Research with Kupu alumni included the examination of the relationship between land, culture, health and Native Hawaiian well-being. In this process, using qualitative measures (NVIVO) to analyze youth speeches and journals, we sought to measure the level of impact that Kupu had on youth in terms of health and wellness, however at the conclusion of our work we learned much more than initially planned. We learned three ways Kupu youth believed that their lives had been impacted as a result of their guided land practices and experiences. Kupu alumni expressed an increased sense of pride. As a result of their experiences, youth were positively impacted in the daily routines of their lives. They also noted positive changes in self such as improved self- confidence. Youth noted an increased sense of purpose. Kupu alum shared that their eyes were opened to the value of touching land in changing their mindset on education. They also shared an enhanced motivation to improve and change the current education system to include more land cultivation practices for younger children. Kupu alumni also responded that their experiences had given them an increased recognition of Identity and cultural heritage. Alums expressed an increased effect on their connection to others/family, their history and an increase appreciation for life and sharing their lives with others. In sum, we learned that listening to youth voices, both expressed in written and oral formats, is essential to sustaining knowledge of land, culture and health from generation to generation and for Hawaii's future.
Camonia Graham-Tutt, University of Hawaii West Oahu, United States
Stream: Preserving and Challenging Cultures
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