Candace Galla

Dr. Candace Galla

Associate Professor

Research and teaching areas:

Dance/song/chant/oral traditions

Decolonizing methodologies

Decolonizing pedagogies and knowledges

Indigenous epistemologies

Indigenous Language Revitalization and Reclamation

Indigenous Language/Literacy/Digital Technology

Indigenous Literacy and Education

Language Planning and Policy


Aloha kāua! He Kanaka Hawaiʻi au. ʻO Hawaiʻi kuʻu one hānau. Raised in a sugar plantation town, Pāhala in Kaʻū, I was exposed to a diversity of languages and cultures from a young age – some of which had influence on Hawaiian Creole English (also referred to as Hawaiian Pidgin). Although ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian) was not spoken in my home, I engaged in Hawaiian cultural practices – specifically hula. Through hula I began to learn ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, which is the foundation of hula and without it cannot exist. I continued to learn Hawaiian language and culture formally at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. Upon graduation, I attended the University of Arizona on the original homelands of the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui nations where I received a B.A. in Linguistics, an M.A. in Native American Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Language, Reading and Culture. While I resided in Tucson, I was the Program Coordinator of the American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI) – the program that reignited my passion back into language renewal and inspired my research on Indigenous language revitalization and technology. I returned to Hawaiʻi and taught in Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo where I taught linguistics and Indigenous language education courses. As an Associate Professor in the department of Language and Literacy Education (Faculty of Education) and the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies (Faculty of Arts) at the University of British Columbia, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and teach on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking Musqueam people.


My scholarship emphasizes 1) Hawaiian language and Indigenous languages at the intersection of education, revitalization, digital technology, well-being, traditional and cultural practices, and policy and planning, and 2) decolonizing and Indigenizing the academy to create pathways for Indigenous thinkers and scholars, and scholarship. 

Select Research Projects:


Select Media:


Materials Development for Indigenous Language Learning
Students participated in a community-led project in partnership with a B.C. First Nation community. Indigenous language materials were created with contributions from Elders, language teachers, language speakers/learners, and youth, based on two themes: baskets and food.

Indigenous Language Fluency/Proficiency Degree
The Indigenous Language Fluency/Proficiency Degree Framework is the culmination of several years of work to first articulate a need and approach to developing a degree, and then a consensus on how nested certificates, diplomas, and degrees could be linked across the Province. The objective is to provide the best possible eco-system for Indigenous communities to work with allies to protect and restore their linguistic heritage.


LLED 527: Materials Development for Indigenous Language Learning and Teaching

LLED 565: Indigenous Language and Culture Education

LLED 565: Living Our Indigenous Languages Through Performative Arts

EDUC 440: Aboriginal Education in Canada

ETEC 521: Indigeneity, Technology, and Education

EDST 545: Indigenous Inquiry and Research

FNEL 180: Introduction to Endangered Language Documentation and Revitalization

FNEL 380: Technologies for Endangered Language Documentation and Revitalization

FNEL 480A: Endangered Language Documentation and Revitalization

FNEL 481: Heritage Resources in Endangered First Nations Language Revitalization

Selected Publications

Galla, C.K. & Holmes, Amanda. (2020).
Indigenous Thinkers: Decolonizing and Transforming the Academy through Indigenous Relationality. In Cote-Meek, S. & Moeke-Pickering, T. (Eds.), Decolonizing and Indigenzing Education in Canada (pp. 51-71). Toronto: Canadian Scholars
Galla, C.K. & Wilson, W.H. (2019).
Early and emergent literacy practices as a foundation to Hawaiian language medium education. In Sherris, A. & Peyton, J.K. (Eds.), Teaching Writing to Children in Indigenous Languages: Instructional practices from global contexts (pp. 25-43). NY/London: Routledge

Galla, CK. & Goodwill, A. (2017).
Talking story with vital voices: Making knowledge with Indigenous language. Journal of Indigenous Wellbeing, 2(3), 67-75.
Galla, C.K. (2017).
Materials development for Indigenous language revitalization: Pedagogy, praxis and possibilities, In McKinley, E. & Smith, L.T. (Eds.), Handbook of Indigenous Education (pp. 1-19). Singapore: Springer.
Wyman, L., Galla, C.K., & Jimenez-Quispe, L. (2016).
Indigenous youth language resources, educational sovereignty, and praxis: Connecting a new body of language planning research to the work of Richard Ruiz. In N. Hornberger (Ed.), Honoring Richard Ruiz and his work on language planning and bilingual education (pp. 395–429). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Galla, C.K. (2016).
Indigenous language revitalization, promotion, and education: Function of digital technology. Computer Assisted Language Learning, doi: 10.1080/09588221.2016.1166137
Galla, C.K., Galla, L., Keawe, D., Kimura, L. (2015).
Perpetuating hula: Globalization and the traditional art. Pacific Arts, 14(1–2), 129–140.

Selected Presentations

Select Keynote/Plenary Presentations:

  • Galla, C.K. (2021). Enacting Relational Accountability to Indigenous Languages and Their Peoples, Communities, and Lifeways. Plenary (online). International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. Honolulu, HI, USA. [Video with Opening and Sign Language Interpretation]
  • Galla, C.K, (2019). Shifting Our Perspectives of Hula: Building a Foundation in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. Plenary. Language & Literacy Researchers of Canada Pre-Conference, Congress. Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Higgins, R., Pimiä, K., Galla, C.K., Palmater, P. (2019). Indigenous Language Preservation: Global Perspectives. Plenary Panel. International Association of Language Commissioners. Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Galla, C.K. (2017). Working from a Place of  Resilience: Hawaiian Language, Technology and the Contemporary World. Plenary. Puliima National Indigenous Languages and Technology Forum. Cairns, QLD, Australia.
  • Galla, C.K. (2017). Living Our Indigenous Languages to Build a Sustainable Future. Keynote. Torres Strait Languages Symposium. Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Australia

Select Invited Presentations: