E Ola Ka ‘Olelo Hawai’i (The Hawaiian Language Shall Live)Feb 15th, 2000 | By camartinez | Category: 11-3: Native Language, Media Reviews
Video: Hawaiian with English subtitles, 28 minutes.
Produced by: ‘Aha Punana Leo
Review by Clara A. Martinez, MA Ed.
Indigenous Language and cultural revitalization is progressing at a rapid pace in Hawaii. This award-winning video (Hawai’i International Film Festival, 1997) documents the success of Hawaiian indigenous language immersion schools.
‘Aha Punana Leo is a non-profit Hawaiian educational organization dedicated to its single vision: E Ola Ka ‘Olelo Hawai’i (the Hawaiian language shall live). It was founded in 1982 to re-establish Hawaiian as a daily language and to protect its status as an official language of the state of Hawai’i. ‘Aha Punana Leo pioneered immersion preschools that led to elementary and high school programs taught in the mother tongue in Hawaii.
The film showcases students in classroom interaction conducted in Hawaiian, with interviews by teachers, parents, and community members. According to the film, there are 11 Hawaiian preschools and two model Hawaiian school sites run by ‘Aha Punana Leo. Outdoor programs at the two model sites adapt traditional Hawaiian environmental practices, including traditional agriculture and aquaculture. The film makes clear the integral relationship between language preservation and cultural preservation and shows the extended involvement necessary to accomplish both.
As a result of the Hawaiian language revitalization, a new College of Hawaiian Language (Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani) has been organized at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, on a model similar to that of tribal colleges on the mainland.
For information about the Hawaiian College, visit the website called Kualono (http://www.olelo.hawaii.edu). For information on other videos and learning materials from ‘Aha Punana Leo, the e-mail address is: email@example.com.
Video copies can be obtained for $19.95+ $2.00 shipping and handling from ‘Aha Punana Leo, P.O. Box 1265, Kea’au, Hawaii 96749.