Founded in the spring of 1990, the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation is a Hawaiian cultural-based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Established on the vibrant traditions and rich cultural heritage of the Kanakaʻole family, it is the Foundation's mission to elevate Hawaiian intelligence through cultural education founded on the teachings and traditional practices of Edith and Luka Kanakaʻole.
The family of Edith Kanakaʻole and the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation is grateful for U.S. Treasury honors for the late cultural icon Edith Kanakaʻole
The late Edith Kanakaʻole, venerated Hawaiian cultural icon, kumu hula, composer, chanter, and a key influence in the Hawaiian renaissance of the 1970s was designated today an honoree of the 2023 American Women Quarters™, a program of the United States Mint.
The honor will be shared with four other women trailblazers, former First Lady and first chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights Eleanor Roosevelt, first African American and first Native American woman pilot Bessie Coleman, Mexican American journalist Jovita Idár and Maria Tallchief a Native American and America's first major prima ballerina.
“This is an unbelievable honor for our family, for our body of work at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation in carrying on her legacy and her teachings, for our home and for our people,” said Kanaka‘ole’s granddaughter and Executive Director of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, Ph.D.
Kūha‘o‘īmaikalani Zane, Kanaka‘ole’s grandson and president of the board of directors of the foundation established in honor of her life’s work said, “this high recognition reminds us that our work at the foundation continues to be relevant, our research and our practices continue to have meaning and application.”
Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, Ph.D., a daughter of the late Kanaka‘ole, a cultural resource herself said, “my mother was a ‘pusher’ but she always did it with a smile. She pushed all six of her children, when it was not yet a natural process for Hawaiians, towards Higher Education to earn a degree. When she became an Instructor at the University of Hawaiʻi in Hilo she encouraged Hawaiian students to 1) maintain their stay and earn their degree, 2) know who they were as Hawaiians and elevate the status of the Lāhui.”
In a release today, U.S. Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson said, “the range of accomplishments and experiences of these extraordinary women speak to the contributions women have always made in the history of our country. I am proud that the Mint continues to connect America through coins by honoring these pioneering women and their groundbreaking contributions to our society.”