“E lauhoe a pae aku ka wa‘a”(to paddle together until the canoe lands).And so, too, is it a journey toward a Hawaiian indigenous educational framework. As part of this immense journey there is a need to turn directly to the paddlers themselves for the many stories, the information, and diverse journeys that make up the Hawaiian educational experience. It is from within these many voices that we begin to see the alignment of school goals and practices to their outcomes; and the communities, and populations that they serve. Momentum is building among Hawaiian indigenous educators and supporters of change to redefine education through strategies building upon a cultural framework for education. This work includes realigning educational goals, adapting classroom strategies through cultural indigenous methods and in some cases larger transfor-mations of school ideology. It is the journey of rediscovery to reclaim an indig-enous sense of well-being through the language, culture, values, and traditions; a groundswell that directs improved educational outcomes and school success for Native Hawaiians. It is the call that repositions teachers, schools, families, and communities together as they collectively work toward a common destination. As one small piece of the journey, this article shares initial learnings from a research project about culture-based education from a Hawaiian indigenous perspective. The project arose out of ongoing discussions among educators in
69KANA‘iAUPUNi|HawaIIan IndIGEnouS EduCatIon tEaCHInG FRamEwoRkculture-based settings about the need for empirical measures and information to assess progress and learner outcomes. A committee was gathered to share ideas and thoughts, leading to the larger focus of the project to describe the impact of culture-based education on the outcomes of Native Hawaiian and other school children. In pursuing the project, the research team immediately encountered a major area of struggle facing researchers in indigenous education, or any other research project for that matter, which is to define what it is that we are studying: what is indigenous education? What is Indigenous Education?This question seems a simple one, and it is clear that to understand the impact of culture-based education, we must be able to articulate and understand the approaches and philosophies used by indigenous educators. The benefits of doing so are critically important to the field of education; namely, to be able to promote, share, and develop culturally responsive educational strategies, learning approaches, and systems that presumably benefit all children, especially indig-enous children. Perhaps even more important, however, is that we as indigenous peoples are involved with the creation, discussion, and evolution of our own defini-tions and methodologies; that we participate in the production and documentation of knowledge.