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The Seeds We Planted

Portraits of a Native Hawaiian Charter School

2013
Author:

Noelani Goodyear-Ka’opua

The Seeds We Planted

Reveals the paradoxes of teaching indigenous knowledge within institutions built to marginalize and displace it

The Seeds We Planted tells the story of Hālau Kū Māna, one of the only Hawaiian culture-based charter schools in urban Honolulu. Against the backdrop of the Hawaiian struggle for self-determination and the U.S. charter school movement, Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua reveals a critical tension: the successes of a school celebrating indigenous culture are measured by the standards of settler colonialism.

Like the stone walls of the ancient irrigation ditches rebuilt by the Hālau Kū Māna Native Hawaiian Charter School that Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua writes of, this book channels the pain, struggle, hope, and mana (power and authority) of the Hawaiian people into a place of life and growth. Drawing deftly upon Native studies, history, anthropology, gender studies, cultural studies, and education, The Seeds We Planted redefines the meaning and purpose of ethnography.

Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa

In 1999, Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua was among a group of young educators and parents who founded Hālau Kū Māna, a secondary school that remains one of the only Hawaiian culture-based charter schools in urban Honolulu. The Seeds We Planted tells the story of Hālau Kū Māna against the backdrop of the Hawaiian struggle for self-determination and the U.S. charter school movement, revealing a critical tension: the successes of a school celebrating indigenous culture are measured by the standards of settler colonialism.

How, Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua asks, does an indigenous people use schooling to maintain and transform a common sense of purpose and interconnection of nationhood in the face of forces of imperialism and colonialism? What roles do race, gender, and place play in these processes? Her book, with its richly descriptive portrait of indigenous education in one community, offers practical answers steeped in the remarkable—and largely suppressed—history of Hawaiian popular learning and literacy.

This uniquely Hawaiian experience addresses broader concerns about what it means to enact indigenous cultural–political resurgence while working within and against settler colonial structures. Ultimately, The Seeds We Planted shows that indigenous education can foster collective renewal and continuity.

The Seeds We Planted

Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua is associate professor of political science at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She was a cofounder of the Hālau Kū Māna public charter school and served as a teacher, administrator, and board member at various times during the school's first decade.

The Seeds We Planted

Like the stone walls of the ancient irrigation ditches rebuilt by the Hālau Kū Māna Native Hawaiian Charter School that Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua writes of, this book channels the pain, struggle, hope, and mana (power and authority) of the Hawaiian people into a place of life and growth. Drawing deftly upon Native studies, history, anthropology, gender studies, cultural studies, and education, The Seeds We Planted redefines the meaning and purpose of ethnography.

Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa

In this powerfully told story of Indigenous language, education, and cultural reclamation, Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua documents how the seeds of resistance to colonial schooling have brought forth a remarkable educational enterprise, the Hālau Kū Māna public charter school. The school exemplifies a strengths-based, Indigenous self-determined pedagogy. This beautifully written book is one that all those concerned with education for a critical, sustainable, pluricultural democracy will want to read, use, and share widely.

Teresa L. McCarty, University of California, Los Angeles

The story is one of families investing themselves in a culturally sustaining education through service and activism.

AlterNative

The Seeds We Planted

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Indigenous Education, Settler Colonialism, and Aloha ‘Āina

1. The Emergence of Indigenous Hawaiian Charter Schools
2. Self-Determination within the Limits of No Child Left Behind
3. Rebuilding the Structures that Feed Us: ʻAuwai, Loʻi Kalo, and Kuleana
4. Enlarging Hawaiian Worlds: Waʻa Travels against Currents of Belittlement
5. Creating Mana through Students’ Voices
Conclusion: The Ongoing Need to Restore Indigenous Vessels

Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

The Seeds We Planted

UMP blog - On healing, settler colonialism, and Hawai'i

In just a few short months, the ongoing protest movement Idle No More blossomed from four women and a hashtag to a multinational field of Indigenous uprising and vocal presence. INM has gathered Indigenous and settler peoples to stand up for the health of lands and the communities that rely on them, and it has brought the importance of teaching people about Indigenous nationhood to the fore. Most recently, various Indigenous activists and scholars have also called us to consider the next step—where does INM go from here?

Read the full article.

 

RELATED VIDEO:

 

PBS Hawaii - HIKI NŌ: Halau Ku Mana Charter School (28 minutes)

Kanehumamoku Sail On (10 minutes)

Vignette on Halau Ku Mana (2 minutes)