Pleasant, nice, amiable, satisfied, contented, happy, affable, agreeable, congenial, cordial, gracious; please.

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Hawaiian dictionary : Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian


As a kid, growing up in Hawaiʻi, what I was taught about Thanksgiving seemed pretty typical for any kid growing up across the US. In class we made construction paper Pilgrim hats and colored pictures of the Mayflower. We learned that the Pilgrims stood up against the King of England who persecuted them for practicing their religion. To gain their freedom, they braved a long, arduous voyage across the sea before landing at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. Many lives were lost at sea and then more died from sickness and starvation as they struggled to survive in the “New World”. With winter coming, they might not have made it through if not for the help of some friendly Native Americans who taught them how to farm. To thank them, the Pilgrims invited members of the tribe for a feast and that was the first Thanksgiving. 

Since then, the event has been mythologized as the “first Thanksgiving.” Along with it being a day to show gratitude, it has come to symbolize the perseverance and good intentions of the Pilgrims and by projection, Americans. Today, 400 years later, we have a fuller picture of that event as perspectives of the Wampanoag people have pushed through the soil of history that once buried it.

The Pilgrims established their colony in Plymouth just as winter was beginning. With inadequate supplies, winter nearly decimated the colony. Luckily, the Pilgrims stumbled across Wampanoag storehouses and survived on plundered provisions. In the months that followed, despite the trespass, members of the Wampanoag people showed ʻoluʻolu -a gracious, nice act – to the Pilgrims teaching them farming practices that would help them thrive. Later that fall, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag celebrated an abundant harvest with a feast lasting three days. The alliance formed between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag was short lived. Eventually they and other colonists pushed for more land and greater access to resources. This led to the seizing of lands and the enslavement and mass killing of the Native Americans.

Although reduced in numbers and confined to smaller plots of land, members of the Wampanoag continue to live in Massachusetts. Since the 1970s they have been calling for the stories of their ancestors to be heard and for justice to be restored. Instead of Thanksgiving, they commemorate the occasion as a National Day of Mourning. It is a peaceful protest decrying the discrimination and oppression their ancestors faced. It is not a call to arms or a threat to overthrow the government. Instead, Wampanoag produce video segments, write books, give talks and do all they can to tell their stories with the hope of bringing about change. In this sense, the Wampanoag remain ʻoluʻolu – simultaneouslygentle and strong – persevering to educate and right the wrongs of the past.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story written by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten, and illustrated by Garry Meeches Sr. (Illustrator) Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Corn, squash and beans were so important to the Wampanoag, they called them the three sisters and viewed them as gifts from the Great Spirit. Talk with your family about what plants/food sources are important to your culture.
  • SKILLS: What genre of literature best describes this book?
  • INTELLECT: How does this story differ from the more common Thanksgiving story that is frequently told about the Pilgrims?
  • CRITICALITY: How does hearing different perspectives of a historical event help us promote equity and prevent injustice?
  • JOY: Try making Nasamp, a traditional Wampanoag dish that may have been shared during the great harvest feast.

Parents/Kupuna/Teachers: Learn more about this story through a thought provoking interview with the book’s authors. 

Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) VISIT

Kāneʻohe Elementary is an accredited institution and every six years, must undergo a renewal process to maintain it’s accreditation status. As such, this week we welcome three educators from schools across Hawaiʻi and one from California. Over the course of the week, they will visit our classrooms, interview members of our school community, and observe our practices. At the end of the week, they will provide a report of their findings and any recommendations pertinent to our continued efforts to improve. If you see our esteemed visitors on campus, please be sure to say “Aloha” and welcome them to our school.


For those that drop-off and pick-up students on Mokulele, please remember to show aloha to our neighbors. The roads across and mauka of our school are privately owned by the residents of Parkway. They asked me to relay this plea not to park, stop or use their roads as turn-arounds.  Please show aloha and mahalo for your kokua.



See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.


Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 


At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


Nov 6 – 9, 2023WASC Accreditation Full Visit
Wed, Nov 8, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Nov 15, 2023, 5:30 – 7 PMThe Wellness Committee presents: Kāneʻohe Eats register here
Wed, Nov 29, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 13, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 20, 2023Winter Classroom Paina
end school at 2:05 PM (switch with 12/21)
Thur, Dec 21, 2023Winter Songfest
end school at 1:15 PM (switch with 12/20)
End of Quarter 2
Dec 22, 2023 – Jan 5, 2024Winter Break Intersession – no school
Wed, Dec 27, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Jan 8, 2024Waiver Day #3 – No Students

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