East Hawaii News

Makuakane Family Introduces $100K Endowment

December 15, 2015, 3:06 PM HST
* Updated December 16, 8:34 AM
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The Daniel and Lydia Makukane Endowed Scholarship, set up by the family of Daniel and Lydia Makuakane, will provide $100,000 to students studying Hawaiian language as an honor to their parents’ contributions to the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian language and cultural practices.

Students enrolled in the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula o Ke’elikolani College of Hawaiian Language will be supported by the endowment to help increase the number and proficiency of Hawaiian speakers.

Gail Makuakane-Lundin with her daughters Annie, Teresa and Lydia andgreat-granddaughter Moanilehua Shimose, who attends Ka `Umeke o Ke Ka`eo (a Hawaiian language immersion charter school in Hilo), at the Hale `Olelo Blessing in January 2014. University of Hawai'i Foundation courtesy photo.

Lydia Makuakane with her daughters Gail Makuakane-Lundin, Annie, and Teresa and great-granddaughter Moanilehua Shimose, who attends Ka `Umeke o Ke Ka`eo (a Hawaiian language immersion charter school in Hilo), at the Hale `Olelo Blessing in January 2014. Photo courtesy of the Makuakane Family.

“The College is build upon a strong historic foundation of community commitment from Native speakers and families like the Makuakane ‘ohana who have sustained ‘olelo Hawai’i in their ‘ohana across multiple generations,” said Keiki Kawai’aw’a, director of Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani College. “In that spirit, the Daniel and Lydia Makukane Endowed Scholarship will continue the legacy by assisting families, students and parents, who desire to learn, increase and improve proficiency of the Hawaiian language. In addition, the endowment will support the certification and advancement of P-20 Hawaiian-medium educators.”

Daniel Makuakane and Lydia Ah Hee Makukane were born in Puna to Hawaiian speaking parents who lived traditional subsistence lifestyles. The pair always spoke Hawaiian to each other , despite Daniel not being as fluent in Hawaiian as Lydia. Together, they took pride in conserving and cultivating Hawaiian plants, especially maile.

The couple played an important role in their youngest grandson’s Hawaiian language education and acted as the primary caregiver for the boy. Lydia agreed to serve as a native speaker for Hawaiian language students at UH-Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula ‘o Ke’elikolani College of Hawaiian Language for her grandson until he graduated from Ke Kula ‘o Nawahiokalani’opu’u in 2001.

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“Our parents lived at a time and in a place where Hawaiian language and culture were dominant,” said one of the couple’s daughters, Dr. Teresa Makuakane-Drechsel. “They knew, however, that our experiences would be different and made sure that our core identity, values, and practices were ‘ohana-focused and kanaka Hawai’i. At the same time, they understood the need for us to learn from the diverse teachings of others outside of the ‘ohana. This endowment honors their vision of a culturally and linguistically dynamic Native Hawaiian community.”

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In addition to the $100,000, Dr. Teresa Makuakane-Drechsel and her husband, Dr. Emanuel Drechsel, are making an additional gift to the Daniel and Lydia Makuakane Endowment through their revocable living trust to ensure that scholarships are available in perpetuity for eligible students enrolled at UH-Hilo Ka Haka ‘Ula o Ke’elikolani College of Hawaiian Language.

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