Hawai‘i Spotlight

Pali Lookout team celebrating the removal of invasive plants

Pali Lookout

Assisting the Hawai‘i Nature Center to clear a walkway

Hawai‘i Nature Center

Student Leaders taking a break in the lo‘i (taro field)

Student Leaders taking time off to help a lo‘i

Overlooking Kamananui Valley

Students working to restore Ulupō Heiau

The Hawai’i Spotlight program provides opportunities for students to explore different parts of the island and learn about the Hawaiian culture and the community we live in. It focuses on the core values of the University: Aloha, Kuleana and Pono. Students will explore what each value means and identify ways to exemplify these values in their daily lives. These events are scheduled once per month.  


Spring 2019 Events

‘Iolani Palace Tour

Saturday, January 19, 2019, 11:00am-2:00pm

See where Hawaiian Kings and Queens lived and governed the islands on your very own personalized tour form HPU’s very own Dr. Douglas Askman. Take a journey with Dr. Askman of the Hawai‘i monarchy starting with the Kamehameha Dynasty until the last reigning monarch, Queen Liliu‘okalani.

‘Iolani Palace is a living restoration of a proud Hawaiian national identity, registered National Historic Landmark and the only official royal palace in the United States.
This guided tour will only take 15 students. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity. Sign up today!


Medicine Walk In Kamananui (Moanalua) Valley

Saturday, February 23, 2019; 8:00am-12:00pm

Join us in this unique opportunity to help beautify Kamananui (Moanalua) Valley and learn more about Native Hawaiian plants and its medicinal uses. 

Participants will have the opportunity to meet Roddy Kamawaelualani Kawehi Akau.  He is the great, great, grandnephew of Namakahelu Kapahikauao Kamehameha, Roddy Akau is the kahu (guardian) of Kamananui Valley or otherwise know as Moanalua. His lineage can be traced back to the original inhabitants of Kamananui.  A cultural practitioner, Kahu Akau's knowledge of the mo'olelo (story), history and cultural sites of the valley is unparalleled. He is an advisor the Na Ala Hele O'ahu Advisory Council, Kahu Akau consults with Division of Forestry and Wildlife on issues related to Kamananui Valley. He visits Kamananui on a regular basis to monitor cultural sites, assess stream flows, evaluate native and invasive species, help visitors and hikers, and perform basic maintenance work. As a la'au lapa'au (healer/spiritual healer) Roddy will share his knowledge on the plants in Kamananui Valley.



Saturday, April 6, 2019; 8:00am-12:00pm

Have you drove to the North Shore and noticed a small parcel of land with a grouping of coconut trees outside Wahiawā town? For years Kūkaniloko remained untouched and bypassed by locals and tourists alike. Only those who live in the area or are involved in the Hawaiian community know about this amazing location that has stood for centuries.   

Kūkaniloko, otherwise known as the Birthing Stones, is a scared place for Native Hawaiians. It has seen ali‘i (high-ranking) children born there and was used as a school for astronomy purposes.

Join us to kokua (help) Kūkaniloko in and around the area. Learn more about the location from the Lenchanko ‘Ohana (family) who have guarded and cared for the stones for over 45 years. Participants will have an exclusive opportunity to enter where the na pōhaku (stones) are. This area is closed to the public and can only be accessed thru the Lenchanko ‘Ohana.

What to Bring:
Work clothes to get dirty (long sleeve shirts and pants are highly recommended)
Water bottle
Sun Screen/Bug Repellent
Allergy medication (if you are allergic to pollen or bees)
Closed toe shoes (required)
Positive attitude!

*There are no bathrooms at the location. Restroom break will be available upon return to campus.

Bring a sense of ADVENTURE!

Kamehameha Highway
Wahiawā, HI 96786

Bus transportation is provided:
Pick up at Aloha Tower Marketplace Shuttle Stop at 7:00am
Pick up at Hawaii Loa Campus Shuttle Stop at 7:30am

Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to departure time.

Lunch will be served at the site.

To reserve your spot you must complete the Hawai‘i Spotlight-Kūkaniloko reservation form. Space is limited, so sign up today!


Past Hawai‘i Spotlight event include:

Jam Sesh with Kekoa Kane

Kekoa Kane taught participants a mele Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian song). He also share mana'o (information) about Hawaiian music and its history.

Kekoa Kane is an award-winning Hawaiian falsetto singer and ukulele player. He has been performing since he was 4 years old, has won multiple competitions, and is the recipient of multiple Na Hoku Hanohano awards. As a member of the Mana Maoli Collective. Mana Maoli is the nonprofit that started Oahu's first charter school and continues to support 14 schools across the islands with its Mana Mele Project, which teaches students Academics, Business, and Culture (ABCs) though music and multimedia, via year-long classes, short to long term mentorships on and off campus, and a solar mobile studio. Kekoa is not only exceptionally talented, he's also a strong supporter of spreading the message of Hawaiian music.


Ulupō Lo‘i

Participants learned firsthand how Native Hawaiians cultivated kalo (taro) in the moku of Ko‘olaupoko (a land division).  It provided a unique opportunity to work in the mud and learn about the significance of this ancient staple.  


 To view past events please click here to visit the HPU Student Activities Facebook page.