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Benefit Dinner >> Honored Guest Speakers >>

Darrell Robes Kipp is the founder of the Piegan Institute, a private nonprofit researching, promoting, and preserving Native American Languages since l987. A graduate of Eastern Montana College, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is a nationally known scholar and designer of language revitalization programs. The institute’s Cuts Wood School is nationally recognized as the premier model of Native American Language reservation based programs. Mr. Kipp has worked with indigenous communities in New Zealand, Hawaii, the Balkans, and over 100 Native American tribes in the United States. He is a noted historian of the Blackfeet Tribe, of which he is a member. Mr. Kipp is a respected member of the tribe’s two oldest societies: Medicine Pipe and Okan Lodge. He was the recipient of the prestigious 2005 Montana Governor’s Award for the Humanities and the 2005 Montana Historical Society’s Trustee Award. His home is located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Dr. William H. Wilson (Bill, Pila) was born in Honolulu and spent some of his youth in Europe, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Mexico. During his teens, he realized the importance of Hawaiian and began learning it. In the late 1970s, Bill and his wife, Kauanoe Kamanā, were hired to establish a Hawaiian Studies B.A. at the Hilo outer-island campus of the University of Hawai ʻi. Since then, the couple has been at the forefront of Hawaiian language revitalization as a parents, educators, and policy developers. The ‘Aha Pūnana Leo language nest organization they helped found, and follow-up K-12 immersion schools have been visited by many Indigenous groups. Bill and Kauanoe raised their two children as first-language speakers of Hawaiian and educated them in Hawaiian language schools. More recently, Bill has been a key figure in developing a Hawaiian language college (Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani) at UH-Hilo. The College includes two B.A.s, a Hawaiian immersion education certificate, two master’s programs, and a Ph.D., all focused on Hawaiian and indigenous language revitalization.


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