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C. M. Kaliko Baker, PhD, has been a Kumu ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language instructor) in Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa since 1996 and currently holds an Assistant Professor Position. His research and scholarly efforts primarily focus on Hawaiian, particularly discourse grammar, traditional Hawaiian narratives, and the revitalization of Hawaiian. He completed his PhD in Linguistics in 2012 entitled A-class Genitive Subject Effect: A pragmatic and discourse grammar approach to a- and o-class genitive subject selection in Hawaiian, in which he explored genitive class selection in Hawaiian. Since obtaining his PhD, Kaliko has been writing and researching primarily in the space of Kanaka Maoli identity, particularly how ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is central to indexicalizing and presenting who we are as Kānaka Maoli. He co-authors Hawaiian-medium plays with Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker and also serves as dramaturge under Ka Hālau Hanakeaka. 2022 will bring a book that Kaliko and Hailiʻōpua edited entitled Moʻolelo: The foundation of Hawaiian Knowledge which includes essays from top scholars in the field of Hawaiian knowledge. Currently, he is the president of a non-profit organization, Halele‘a Arts Foundation, which strives to promote Hawaiian-medium theatrical and other media projects.
Dr. Baker is a long time Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana member, the grassroots organization that stopped the U.S. Navy’s bombing and desecration of Kaho‘olawe. Since 2003, he has served as the head Moʻo Lono leading the Makahiki ceremonies while moving the practice forward through the incorporation of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and literary fluency into the ceremonies. Recently, he has been leading huakaʻi ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi under the PKO to Kahoʻolawe during UH’s Spring Break during which the UH Mānoa and Hilo campuses connect and work on Kahoʻolawe using ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi as their means of communication.
As a lifelong resident of Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu-a-Lua, Dr. Baker keeps his hands in his community by taking his students to Ke Kula ʻo S.M. Kamakau in Haʻikū and volunteering at Ka Loko Iʻa o Heʻeia, amongst other things.
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