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Hawaiian language educator Kili Namau‘u to speak at chamber meeting

By Staff | Jun 7, 2018

Kili Namau‘u has been director of the Hawaiian language immersion preschool Punana Leo o Maui for 25 years.

KAHULUI – Kili Namau’u, director of Punana Leo o Maui, will be the featured speaker at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting slated for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, at the University of Hawaii Maui College Pa’ina Food Court.

Following her presentation, the Honorable Boyd Mossman will install the chamber’s newly elected board and officers for Fiscal Year 2018-19.

Namau’u has been director of the Hawaiian language immersion preschool Punana Leo o Maui for 25 years.

It is one of 13 Hawaii preschools under the direction of ?’Aha Punana Leo Inc., an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Hawaiian language.

The language immersion schools have become a model for early learning in an endangered indigenous language.

Punana Leo o Maui was founded in 1987 on the grounds of Ka’ahumanu Church in Wailuku. The school currently serves 30 children and their families.

Punana Leo o Maui is accredited by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Namau’u is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Hawaiian Agencies and Organizations.

Gov. David Ige appointed her to the State Board of Education in July 2017.

“Indigenous languages around the world are going extinct at an alarming rate,” said MNHCoC President Teri Freitas Gorman.

“People may believe it doesn’t personally affect them, but that’s just wrong. Each language carries a unique worldview that is transmitted through speech from one generation to the next. There are two official languages in Hawaii, and Kili’s work ensures this will always be the case.”

During the annual dinner event, MNHCoC members will elect a board of directors and officers for the new fiscal year beginning on July 1.

Mossman will say a few words about “kuleana,” or the privilege and responsibility, of community service before the installation ceremony.

Judge Mossman is the founding president of MNHCoC, having established the new organization in 2005. He continues to serve as a cherished friend and advisor.

Prepaid admission, which includes a traditional Hawaiian dinner, is $25 for members or $30 for non-members.

Reserve online at www.mnhcoc.org or pay by phone at (808) 757-3045 by Sunday, June 10.

MNHCoC’s mission is “to promote and sustain Hawaiian values and culture, and enhance the socio-economic status of Native Hawaiians in business and as individuals.”

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in perpetuating the spirit of aloha through commerce, culture and community.

The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce welcomes Hawaiians and “Hawaiians at Heart” to share in its mission.