The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa has announced a $3.2 million gift from the Laurence H. Dorcy Hawaiian Foundation to establish an endowed chair of Hawaiian studies at the Hawai'inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.
Named in honor of a local poet and environmental activist, the Dana Naone Hall Endowed Chair in Hawaiian Studies, Literature and the Environment "will contribute continuous research in indigenous land and resource management in Hawaii," said Hawai'inuiākea dean Jonathan Osorio.
A graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Naone Hall earned a BA in liberal studies with an emphasis on contemporary poetry from UH Mānoa, served as editor of Hawai'i Review, UH Mānoa's flagship literary journal, and has worked for decades to honor and protect Hawaiian burial sites, primarily on Maui. Her 2017 book Life of the Land: Articulations of a Native Writer was among the winners of the 2018 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.
"Through this endowment, we will teach new generations of Hawaiians about their ancestors who honed social, environmental and cultural management skills over a thousand years," said Osorio. "Powerful, fearless community leaders like Dana Naone Hall have been key to the perpetuation of Hawaiian knowledge over the last fifty years as they worked tirelessly to protect our oceans, streams, and forests from urbanization and tourist-driven development."