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Learning about the History and the People
of Kalaupapa: Educational Materials

The Kalaupapa School, circa 1904, with teacher John Unea and students. 

Photo: Courtesy IDEA Archives 

To give teachers a hand in learning the history of Kalaupapa based on the words of the people, Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa has created various materials that focus on chapters of the history often ignored or emphasize the lives and achievements of the people who were sent to Kalaupapa and shaped a great deal of the history.


We have provided these materials for teachers and students to view or download at no charge. Included are:


“Timeline of Leprosy/Hansen’s Disease in Hawai‘i: Significant People, Events & Dates”


Most timelines associated with Kalaupapa focus almost exclusively on the holy lives of Father Damien and Mother Marianne (both now Saints) or dates associated with the medical history of Kalaupapa. Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa wanted to produce a timeline that would not only include Father Damien and Mother Marianne, but important dates connected to the ali`i who had deep connections to Kalaupapa and, most especially, accomplishments by the people of Kalaupapa themselves.


This award-winning timeline features 16 pages of text and photographs.



“A Source of Light, Constant

and Never-Fading”


These 24-page booklets were designed as educational companions to the historical exhibit of the same name, “A Source of Light, Constand and Never-Fading” produced by Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa. These 8x10-inch booklets are simply smaller versions of the exhibit panels created especially for teachers and students. The award-winning historical exhibit focuses on chapters of the history of Kalaupapa often ignored in traditional histories and includes stories of the ali‘i and the people of Kalaupapa in addition to Father Damien and Mother Marianne.


Two versions of this booklet are available to view or download: one booklet is in English and the other exclusively in ‘Olelo Hawai‘i.

READ ON ISSUU (English Version)

DOWNLOAD PDF (English Version)

READ ON ISSUU (Hawaiian Version)

DOWNLOAD PDF (Hawaiian Version)

“Guidelines on Language:

Offensive and Archaic Words

Must Be Eliminated”


We often use words without thinking or realizing how hurtful they can be to others. Many people who have never visited Kalaupapa often use the offensive term “leper” and other descriptions that do not focus on the humanity of the person. This one-page guideline gives examples of words to avoid. We are also including an article written by Kalaupapa leader Kuulei Bell in 2009 before the canonization of Father Damien when local media sources had resurrected these old and insensitive words.



“The Pride of a Nation”
(Click to see video)


(video found on lower part of Home Page)


This 5-minute video, available for viewing on our home page, provides an introduction to the history of Kalaupapa as seen through the eyes of the people. The first part of the video focuses on the history and how the resurgence of the Hawaiian language has helped us see this history in a new light — with nose flute music composed by Kalaupapa descendant Kalapana Kollars. The second part highlights many individuals who were at Kalaupapa along with some of their remarkable accomplishments. These slides are accompanied by the song “E Na Kini,” written by Kalaupapa resident Ernest Kala and sung by Dennis Kamakahi and Stephen Inglis, both connected to the people of Kalaupapa. By watching this video, you will understand why Mercy Huchison Bacon, great-niece of Kalaupapa leader Ambrose Hutchison, calls the people of Kalaupapa “the pride of a nation.”

Recommended Reading (books) for more in-depth learning

about the history of Kalaupapa


Teachers as well as students and members of the public often ask what books about the history of Kalaupapa are the most accurate and present the people of Kalaupapa with dignity. This list of books should help anyone obtain a deep knowledge of this history.


"Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory by Anwei S. Law — The Most Comprehensive History of Kalaupapa, Highly Recommened for Teachers, Students and Anyone Interested in the History of Kalaupapa"

by Anwei Skinsnes Law

This all-encompassing history is told through the voices of the people of Kalaupapa based on 40 years of research and interviews. Words of the early residents have been taken from letters and other materials that were written in Hawaiian and have since been translated, giving us another side of the history of Kalaupapa, a side that is accurate and more inclusive of the contributions of so many people who have been left out of their own history. The book is 600 pages long with 300 photographs, many that have never been published before. It  follows the history of Kalaupapa from the period that led to the drastic separation of families through the future with descendants now becoming involved in the future to insure that their kupuna will be remembered as they wish to be. Suitable for older students with a serious interest in Kalaupapa and especially recommended for teachers of all grade levels.  This will become the “textbook” of Kalaupapa. ( or

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