Kumu Kalei Nuʻuhiwa was born and raised on the island of Maui. Currently lives in Hilo, is a mother of two, and for the last 14 years has worked with the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation's project called Papakū Makawalu. The project conducts research in Hawaiian pule (incantations/prayers) and mele (songs) to extrapolate Hawaiian understanding and epistemologies of the natural world to be reestablished in daily life.
In the last 30 years, Kalei has been active in the Hawaiian language movement, revitalization of the island of Kahoʻolawe, wayfinding practices, reinstatement of the Kaulana Mahina (lunar calendar), and extensive study of sites on Mokumanamana, Maunakea, and Maunaloa. Cofounder of ʻAimalama, a consortium of women practitioners and educators, collectively gathered to teach communities how to readapt to the environmental changes through the revival of the Kaulana Mahina (Hawaiian lunar calendar) and Kilo (practice of reading the weather) to encourage communities to become their own advocates and experts of their surroundings. ʻAimalama facilitated two conferences that brought communities from the various islands of Hawaiʻi, Yap, Tahiti, Cook Islands, and New Zealand together to share about living through the cycle of the moon to survive. The ʻAimalama process simply teaches people to observe, record, prepare, re/adapt, mitigate, and survive.