Skip to main content

Jonathan Nāpela Center for Hawaiian & Pacific Studies

Aloha, halo olketa, nisa bula vinaka, talofa lava, mālo e lelei, kia orana, taloha ni, kona mauri, hafa adai, ali'i, iokwe yuk, fakaalofa lahi atu!

Welcome to the Jonathan Nāpela Center for Hawaiian & Pacific Studies. The Hawaiian and Pacific Studies are the study of the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands' peoples, cultures, histories, languages, and heritage. The Hawaiian & Pacific Studies major and minor degrees provide students with concentration-specific and interdisciplinary courses on Hawai'i and the Pacific Islands. The modern curriculum of both programs provides students with broad knowledge of the Pacific Islands to enhance cultural awareness, learn indigenous values and methodologies, and bridge knowledge to help sustain and build families and communities globally while understanding the host culture and people, Hawai'i as the place-based space of cooperative learning.

The History of the Jonathan Nāpela Center for Hawaiian & Pacific Studies Name

The Jonathan Nāpela Center for Hawaiian & Pacific Studies bears the name of Jonathan Nāpela, one of the early Hawaiian converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jonathan Nāpela, who served previously as a judge on the island of Maui, came in contact with the Church of Jesus Christ through the proselytizing efforts of Elder George Q. Cannon from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jonathan Nāpela was involved in assisting Elder Cannon in the translation of the Book of Mormon into ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian). His in-depth knowledge of the Hawaiian language enabled him to provide valuable insights and maintain the quality of the language. Additionally, Jonathan Nāpela then organized an ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi school, teaching new missionaries who would come to Hawaiʻi. Nāpela epitomized the spirit of resilience and courage while having a love for truth and learning.