KOHRAC: Indigenous Intuitive Education Model (IIE)

Indigenous Intuitive Education Model: Exploring Learning Methods of First Nation Culture and Traditions


Ancient Hawaiian practices were developed to bring about the best possible outcome for the individual. The Indigenous Intuitive Education (IIE) Model is based on the same concept of the Best-Balanced Competency for the Participant. The ancient ways of sharing the Way of Knowing include guided experience, discussion, mentoring, group solving of projects, community service, meditation, spirit quests / dream time / or equivalent. These ancient ways remain undisturbed in IIE.

Layered upon the ancient ways are several suggestions for Kupunas for monitoring, analyzing, measuring and assessing movement along the path to transformation. For the first time, such a transformation can be documented. Let it be clear that these methods are not necessary for the student’s transformation. They are to assist outside individuals such as academics, other learning institutions, governments, world and spiritual leaders and others to understand the process of transformation. Kupunas have never used or needed such a system but it is suggested here as a template or bridge to allow other First Nations to have a commonality demonstrated in the international arena.

The Participant’s experience is categorized into one of Four Quadrants (Quads). Quad One is the Kupuna path of instruction and guidance. Quad Two reflects group experiences. Quad Three are LIVE Experiment Pods and are real-life situations requiring problem solving skills to develop.

Quad Four is Kupuna Coaching for specific things such as operating an outside business from start to finish, setting up a humanitarian project and implementing it, graduation analysis and preparation for the Kupuna Council. It also includes ongoing support in these areas after graduation. The Quads are not linear but can each be used as appropriate for the individual as determined by their Kupuna. Measurement is shown on the Pathway Block Indexes which show the type of method, frequency and sequence of the experiences along the individual’s journey.

Quads are not separate areas to be learned but are tools to be used while learning any subject matter and in any sequence.


Quadrants are not separate areas to be learned but are tools to be used while learning any subject matter and in any sequence.



  • Kupuna selection

  • Traditions

  • Ancient concepts

  • Self-Identification

  • LUA / Martial Arts

  • Connection to External

  • Flexibility

  • Balance in life



  • Problem solving learning sessions

  • Work as a group to solve a problem requiring many different types of knowledge

  • Learn to work together as a team

  • Learn how to organize

  • Learn to lead or to follow direction



  • Select task in real world

  • Select team

  • Real time success or failure

  • Evaluation

  • Internship



  • Live ownership in outside world

  • Receive mentorship

  • Guidance on results

  • Show success over a predetermined period

  • Graduation after analysis

  • Resources after graduation


Quadrant 1 includes the steps along the path to personal transformation, specifically a path guided in the background by the Kupuna but initiated and chosen by the Participant as their own personal journey.

Kupuna Selection

The Kupuna / Participant selection is a mutual agreement. This takes place after Kupunas and Participants have a chance to meet. They are drawn to each other and selection is agreed upon by both parties. This is a lifetime relationship. It is the beginning of hearing the external insights.

Clearing Out Conditioned Thinking and Beliefs

I was fortunate to have been born inside a culture which taught me to trust my inner voice as well as to hear the voice of the universe. It is as natural as breathing to myself and my People. For those that have been born inside other non-Indigenous cultures, it is necessary to clear the mind and prepare it for a new way of thinking.

In 1997, Dr. Don Miguel Ruiz published a book titled, “The Four Agreements.” This book describes the process of learned responses in thinking as domestication. From birth, we are taught to see and respond in conditioned ways. Some of this conditioning occurs even before we have the skill of speech and so are very deep, indeed. Ruiz goes on to instruct the reader into a transformation that leads to analysis and freedom from existing beliefs.

In 1985, Daniel Goleman wrote an outstanding book called, “Vital Lies, Simple Truths” in which he explains that the human mind will consistently hide or alter information so that it is not interpreted correctly, in essence creating an internal lie in order to avoid pain or a perceived possibility of pain. It does so even before our conscious mind realizes we are in pain.

Building conditions into our lives and our ways of thinking is instinctive. Breaking free of self-conditioned responses requires a clear and firm choice. The Indigenous way allows for and seeks only truth. Truth when found brings about wisdom. Truth without emotional response, brings peace and understanding.

In Kanaka Maoli culture, truth is Pono. The difference between English and Hawaiian makes it difficult to explain precisely. Pono is not just truth. To be Pono is to be truth verified by the external, or the energy flowing through existence. It might be considered as harmony or a single vibration of energy that feels true as well as being words that are true.

Learned Conditional Responses vs. Intuition-Based Thinking

A gentleman named Tom Stone offers amazing insight into his own experience in changing to intuition-based thinking. Tom answered his door one evening while his wife was in the kitchen fixing dinner and his daughter was playing nearby. He didn’t recognize the person and began to open the door. The stranger pulled out a .44 caliber handgun. As Tom attempted to shut and lock the door, the man stepped to the side and shot through the door’s side window, directly into Tom’s chest. As Tom fell to the floor, he yelled for his wife to call 911 emergency services, and told his daughter to hide in her room. He had the presence of mind to put a finger into the wound to try to stop the bleeding. He lay on the floor waiting for the ambulance and wondering if the stranger was going to force his way into the house and kill his family.

Tom began to have all the classic PTSD symptoms, nightmares, startle response, anxiety, flashbacks and it affected his daily life. After a few years and surgeries, he had a tremendous insight. He felt like he was suppressing the experience in order to avoid the pain. Since he was already suffering, he decided to completely confront the strong emotions he had been avoiding. In the process of going in to the emotions in his body, he discovered the ability to unlock these conditioned responses — taken on in such a dramatic way — by going straight into them and the energy they produced in his body. He found that he was completely able to cure his own PTSD.

Tom discovered this worked on everything! He began to be free from many conditioned responses and to live freely, following his intuition and expecting good things to come his way. He went on to write many books and to coach others suffering from PTSD how to change their way of thinking through his book, “Mastering the Art of Success.” As time progressed, Tom’s methods became refined and applied to intuitive thinking enlightenment transformation.

Conditioning is powerful. It’s insidious. Most of the time you don’t know that it is happening and even if you did you would not be able to shield yourself against its influence. Conditioning is a basic part of what happens to us as humans. What is possible though is to learn new techniques that can help you to extract yourself from the limitations produced by your conditioning. To be effective this means that you’ll need to learn to do some things that are the opposite of what you’ve been doing by default…. —Tom Stone

Tom’s methods are used in the IIE Model to clear away condition-based automatic responses and beliefs so that the individual can operate from intuition. This provides a clean slate for the Indigenous transformation of the Hawaiian culture and traditions.

Suppression of emotions is the basis of conditioning. You may feel free of conditioning because you are so good at suppressing emotion that you are no longer aware of doing it. But emotional suppression is not emotional competence. —Tom Stone

Being before Doing

Tom Stone’s teaching is harmonious with Indigenous beliefs. In a recent conversation, he indicated to me that it is so important to establish being before doing. This is because most unconscious patterns of conditioning are pre-verbal; formed before we even had language to describe our pain. It is part of the early formation and conditioning of the human brain. He described some of this conditioning as creating limitations, problems and suffering as we grow past the childhood stage. Other conditioning actually brings about freedom. The experience of being is the place where you can hear the everything that we describe and to see the connections to everything else. This is the place of beginning. Every thought and therefore every decision that is made needs to come from the moment without attachment to the past or the future. There is more clarity this way, so the best decisions are made this way.


The United States can no longer excuse its poor academic performance by asserting that students in other nations excel in rote learning, while ours are better at problem solving. Recent test results clearly tell a different story… The latest round of international standardized test results showed American students are lagging behind the rest of the developed world not just in math, science and reading, but in problem solving as well. The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test examined 44 countries’ students’ problem-solving abilities — American students landed just above the average, but they still scored below many other developed countries, including Britain, Singapore, Korea, Japan, China and Canada… —Vince Bertram, President and CEO of Project Lead The Way, Inc.

The Indigenous path is the ultimate problem-solving method in the world. Our ancient ʻIke, knowledge, answered major problems for the Hawaiian ancestors such as mapping the ocean, actually seeing outer space as clearly as the Hubble telescope, and communicating with the Star People at the beginning.

Quad 2 represents the use of Problem Based Learning yet in the Indigenous style. This method is laced throughout the curriculum as all Quads interact with each other during the learning process. As needed, problem solving as a Group reinforces the connectivity to all mankind and then mankind’s connection to everything else.


Just as dolphins work in Pods as they protect and teach their young, Participants will face challenges and assignments working as a team together to accomplish a task in a live environment. An example of a LIVE Experiment Pod would be running a business to serve the public such as a restaurant as a group in every aspect. It could also be a cleanup project on an environmental concern. The Pod determines and resources their needs. The Kupuna is always available as a resource or to provide requested information.


Quad 4 represents the in-depth involvement of the Kupunas for the Participants as they go through the process of individual transformation. In Hawaiʻi, people form very close relationships. When one person is adopted into another person’s family, it is called Hānai. A Kupuna takes you into their life as a member of their ‘Ohana, their family. The Kupuna monitors and watches over the transformation of the adopted person. They long for the success of that person in their life and will help in many ways to see the full potential of the individual be realized. Kupuna guidance is an integral part of the IIE Model.