SOC508 – Changing the Narrative for Native Hawaiian Wellbeing (Guest Edition)


Aloha mai kākou, we take a local perspective today with special guests, Brandon from Kamehameha Schools and Lisa from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, who walk us through a new radical study aiming to change the traditionally deficits-based narrative about the Native Hawaiian people to one of strength and resiliency. Drawing from the Kūkulu Kumuhana dimensions of Native Hawaiian wellbeing, we discuss the ʻImi Pono Hawaiʻi Wellbeing Survey 2021, from which a number of local organizations have analyzed and published numerous briefs, including ones on COVID-19 impacts in Hawaiʻi and more. Be sure to check out our website for great links that support indigenous research as well as a vocabulary list of all the Hawaiian words used in the episode!


Native Hawaiian Wellbeing, Kūkulu Kumuhana, Indigenous Frameworks, Culture, Data


Hawaiian words in the episode (in order of use):

Hawaiian online dictionary 

  • Aloha mai kākou – greetings to all of you
  • Mahalo – thank you; gratitude
  • E kala mai – forgive me; sorry; apologies
  • Moʻokūʻauhau – ancestry; genealogy
  • ʻImi pono – to seek out fullness/completeness/balance 
  • ʻOhana – family
  • Kaiaulu – community
  • Honua – world, environment
  • Ea – self-determination
  • ʻŌiwi – cultural identity and native intelligence
  • ʻĀina Momona – healthy and productive lands and people
  • Pilina – mutually sustaining relationships
  • Waiwai – ancestral abundance and collective wealth
  • Kupuna – elders
  • Ke Akua Mana – spirituality
  • Mōʻi – King; chief; ruler
  • He Ali’i Ka ‘Āina; He Kauwā ke Kanaka – The Land is Chief; Man is its Servant
  • Kai – ocean; salt water
  • Wai – fresh water
  • Kūkulu – to build; pile up; a pillar
  • Kumu – the source (e.g., teacher); basis; main stalk or root of plant
  • Haumāna – students
  • Hana – the work; activity
  • Kūkulu Kumuhana – “the pooling of strengths, emotional, psychological, and spiritual for a shared purpose. A unified, unifying purpose.” (Source).
  • Naʻau – intuition; feelings; gut instinct
  • Kākoʻo – agree; support
  • Moʻolelo – story; tale; myth
  • Mana – divine power, among other things. (Read the book!).
  • Hoʻoponopono – to correct; the name of a traditional healing process (conflict resolution) to resolve issues within ʻohana 
  • Heluhelu i ka puke – read a book!
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