Founder & Kumu
Kainoa Embernate is an ʻŌiwi Hawaiʻi born in Hilo and raised along the Hāmākua coast of Hawaiʻi Island. He acknowledges his kūpuna whose genealogical ties are in Kohala, Portugal, Mexico, Japan and the Philippines. Raised in a multi-ethnic pastoralist/agriculturalist community, Kainoa did not ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi as a first language.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies, a Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education certification, and a Master of Arts in Indigenous Language and Culture Education from Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. He taught for the ʻAha Pūnana Leo non-profit organization, Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu Hawaiian medium laboratory school, and lectured at his alma mater.
He moved to New York City in October 2012 to complete rigorous training and development in Classic Culinary Arts at the International Culinary Institute (formerly the French Culinary Institute). During his occupation as a cook, Kainoa taught in-person ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi classes throughout the New York Tri-State area to Hawaiian diasporic individuals, Hawaiian cultural-practitioners, and other enthusiasts.
On September 12, 2016, Kainoa founded Hālau ʻŌlelo. He is currently a Ph.D learner in Instructional Design for Online Learning at Capella University. As an independent scholar-practitioner, he aims to disrupt negative ideologies that endanger ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.
As a current guest resident on Lenapehoking territory of the Indigenous Lenape people, Kainoa dedicates his time and energy developing Indigenous Hawaiian scholarly work and practical applications. He is also an independent consultant based in New York City working with community leaders to make visible and equitable Indigenous Hawaiian ways.
ACTIVITY: Listen to KUMU KAINOA EMBERNATE - Hawaiian Language Educator