Agreements link Indigenous students in Canada and UH community colleges


Kapiʻolani Community College and University of Hawaii Community colleges boost indigenization, knowledge sharing and study abroad through two memorandums of understanding with a Canadian community college.

Kapiʻolani CC Chancellor Pagotto and NICs President Domae signs an agreement between the two colleges.

The first agreement lays the foundation for student, faculty and staff exchanges between North Island College (NICs) and the seven uh community college campus. The agreement allows NICs students to pay NICs tuition fees while studying in a uh Community College of Hawaii. NICsCampuses and facilities are located on or near Vancouver Island.

The second agreement builds on the 15-year relationship between Kapiʻolani CC and NICswith an increased emphasis on educational pathways, joint research projects and cultural exchange opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

“Although the histories of Canada’s First Nations and Native Hawaiians in Hawaii diverge in the details, it is clear that much is shared: deep convictions about sovereignty, the primacy of cultural and linguistic heritage and sacred relationships with the land,” said Kapiʻolani CC Chancellor Louise Pagotto. “We have so much to learn from each other about how to promote Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing within Western academic institutions for the good of our communities. Our agreement commemorates these common goals and commits us to deepen these deep bonds. »

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hula performance
Kapiʻolani CC Dean of Arts and Sciences Nāwaʻa Napoleon and Keauhou Mitchell-Aldan presenting hula kahiko.

The signatures were part of NICsthe recent visit of Kapiʻolani CCwhere Kwakʻwala (an Indigenous language of Western Canada) Native Language Proficiency Certificate students from Port Hardy were invited to Honolulu for a cultural exchange. The cohort was offered in partnership with the Kwakiult, Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw and Quatsino nations.

“We raise our hands in gratitude to the University of Hawaii Vice President for Community Colleges Erika Lacro, Kapiʻolani Louise Pagotto, Community College Chancellor, Council and Dean of Native Hawaiians Nāwaʻa Napoleon for accommodation NICs,” said NICs President and CEO Lisa Domae. “The revitalization of Indigenous and land-based languages ​​is at the very heart of NICsthe commitment to “work together as one” and to walk the long road to truth and reconciliation. As island schools, we share a special affinity with the University of Hawaii and Kapiʻolani Community college that we look forward to growing together. Both of these agreements build on our previous relationship and expand opportunities for students to include study abroad as part of their learning at NICs.”

people dancing
Dressed in traditional blankets, ermine and cedar, NICs presented dances of their ancestors.

The 10-day visit focused on revitalizing deep-rooted ties that were established generations ago with Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island and exchanging dialogue on indigenization and the revitalization of Native Hawaiian language with uh and Kapiʻolani CC. The rich conversations about education, knowledge, practices and based on aina learn around the island of Oʻahu were facilitated by Napoleon and members of `Aha Kalāualani, the college’s Native Hawaiian council.

The last day of the cultural exchange saw the two Kapiʻolani CC and NICs share protocol, songs and dances. Napoleon presented a mele (song) he had composed based on the events that had taken place during NICsthe visit of Oʻahu. Keauhou Mitchell-Aldanof `Aha Kalāualani, composed and danced a hula kahiko to accompany the mele.

large group of people
students, teachers and staff of NICs and Kapiʻolani CC congregate at Ka Wehena Kaiao on campus.
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