First and foremost, Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu Lipe is a mother, daughter, sister, and aunty. And while all of her grandparents are now deceased, she is a granddaughter, nonetheless of Hawai‘i and of her many human ancestors. In particular, her mother’s family comes from Hawai‘i, China, and Europe. Her father’s family comes from India via Fiji. Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu is also the daughter of other genealogies, including that of her traditional hula school, Hālau o ke ‘A‘ali‘i Kū Makani, and that of mentors including but not limited to educators and community leaders from South Texas at the Llano Grande Center; Cleveland, Ohio, at the National Rites of Passage Institute; and MA‘O Organic Farms in Wai‘anae, Hawai‘i.
Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu’s roles in each of these genealogies guide her commitments everyday. In terms of titles, at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa she is the inaugural director of the Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office as well as the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center. She is also the interim director of the Institute for Hawaiian Language Research and Translation. She holds a Bachelor’s in Hawaiian Studies, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, and a PhD in Education Administration.