Nalani Minton Receives the 2022 Empowering ʻŌiwi Leadership Award, E OLA

Nalani mintonNālani Minton, MA, MA, BS, Director of the ʻIKE AO PONO program and Assistant Specialist III at NAWSON/UH Mānoa has been awarded the Empowering ʻŌiwi Leadership Award (E OLA). E OLA is a new community-based award presented through a partnership with Kamehameha Schools and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, that recognizes different emerging Native Hawaiian leaders across the pae ʻāina of Hawai’i nei. Awardees were nominated by other community leaders, mentors, or members of the Native Hawaiian community.  The historic achievements of the ‘IKE AO PONO program under Nālani’s leadership includes the graduation of 500 Native Nurses between 2002 – 2022 from NAWSON, including over 320 BS, 135 MS, and 32 doctorally prepared nurses, PhD and DNP. These accomplishments are shared precedents through the collaborative efforts of the students, both undergrad and grad, the faculty and administration, as well as the UH President and Provost, UH Native Hawaiian programs, Department of Native Hawaiian Health, Kūaliʻi and Pūko’a Councils, the College of Health Sciences and Social Welfare, and other partners and funders who have provided collective support, especially the Queens Healthcare Systems, Kamehameha Schools, and other Native Hawaiian organizations.

Nālani was nominated by Diane Peters-Nguyen, CEO of the American Red Cross Pacific Islands Region, in recognition of her leadership and community impact. “Nālani is a deeply committed proponent of Indigenous rights and has devoted her life to uplifting our Kanaka Maoli through her work in the community and as Director of ‘IKE AO PONO,” said Peters-Nguyen. “Nālani Minton is the first Native Hawaiian ever hired or tenured as faculty at the UH Manoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing. She has committed her life work to ending systemic, structural, and operational racism through her work with the Tribunal, Kaho’okolokolonui Kanaka Maoli in Hawai’i and at the UN Geneva International Indigenous Peoples Working Groups, where she contributed to the drafting of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which expanded self-determination under international law for all Indigenous Peoples worldwide. Her kuleana runs deep from her work with our late uncle, Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, one of the first Native Hawaiian physicians, an avid humanitarian, and the convenor of the Tribunal. Nālani is an inspirational leader, educator, and compassionate cultural practitioner to those she teaches and empowers, especially as a role model and mentor for future leaders and the next generations of our lahui”. This is expressed in her work of over 40 years in health and healing, writing, music, art, film, and her positive spirit.

For more information about the E OLA Award, contact the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement at

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