Teaching About the Contested Hawaiian Language Term Haole – Is It Necessary?


It has been nearly twenty years since Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask defended her use of the Hawaiian word haole in her correspondence with student Joey Carter. Contention continues to surround this term across Hawaiʻi, including the University of Hawaiʻi campuses. Led by two UH Mānoa faculty members who include the meaning and use of haole in their curriculum, this presentation discusses the associated challenges and conflicts that arise in the classroom. It also examines how we can support the correct use of these words and prevent non-Indigenous people from labeling words in our languages as derogatory or disparaging.