‘Aha Pūnana Leo Receives First Early Ed WINHEC Accreditation

Congratulations to the ‘Aha Pūnana Leo Hawaiian language nest preschools on their recent accreditation from the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC)!

As explained in the announcement of International Recognition for Hawaiian Language Preschools on the ‘Aha Pūnana Leo’s website,

“For 90 years the use of Hawaiian was illegal in schools. The ʻAha Pūnana Leo led the movement to remove that ban and has been the primary private entity supporting the development of education through Hawaiian from preschool on to the doctorate level. Language revitalization programs worldwide widely recognize the ʻAha Pūnana Leo as the model for education in an endangered and indigenous language revitalization movement.”

Receiving WINHEC accreditation is undoubtedly an important accomplishment for the ‘Aha Pūnana Leo in and of itself but it is also significant as this is the first time an early education program has received this international accreditation. In celebrating this landmark accomplishment as well as the 30th anniversary of the first Pūnana Leo preschool (started in 1984 in Kekaha, Kaua‘i), we’d like to share some footage from our collections which feature the ʻAha Pūnana Leo (and its Board President Dr. Kauanoe Kamanā).

Videos from the Juniroa Productions collection:


Pūnana Leo classroom footage

Footage from a day spent in a Pūnana Leo classroom. This clip features their snack time, but the full-length footage (please email uluulu@hawaii.edu to request access) includes the children at recess, doing exercises, and participating in classroom activities.

Interview with Kauanoe Kamanā

Interview with Kauanoe Kamanā

Interview with Dr. Kauanoe Kamanā, one of the original founders of ʻAha Pūnana Leo and its current Board President. She talks about the beginning of the Pūnana Leo preschools and Hawaiian language immersion education.


Interview with Pila Wilson and Kauanoe Kamanā

Interview with Pila Wilson and Kauanoe Kamanā in their Hilo home discussing the Pūnana Leo preschools and how they have chosen to use ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i in their home.

E ola mau ka ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i!

Other Online Resources:

A Timeline of Revitalization http://www.ahapunanaleo.org/index.php?/about/a_timeline_of_revitalization/

E Ola Ka ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (1996) – View at http://www.ahapunanaleo.org/index.php?/resources/cartoons/
“This video presentation tells the story of how a small group of scholars and native speakers struggled to bring back the language that their ancestors were forced to give up.” Produced by the ʻAha Pūnana Leo. Directed by Na Maka o ka ‘Aina. 28 minutes.


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