Legislature to Recognize Hawaiian Leaders

February 12, 2020, 11:05 PM HST · Updated February 12, 11:05 PM
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State Capitol, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Hawaiian Caucus week at the State Legislature will culminate with an open exhibition of groups promoting the language, history, and education of our host culture on the fourth floor of the State Capitol from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Hawaiian Caucus Day will feature more than 60 exhibitors including Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Lā Pūkoʻa, the Council for Native Advancement, the Hawaiʻi State Archives, the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce and many more.

There will also be an educational briefing by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources on the State Legacy Land Conservation Program from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in room 414. The program provides grants to community organizations and government agencies that strive to purchase and protect land that shelters exceptional, unique, threatened, and endangered resources.

Rep. Daniel Holt (Kalihi, Pālama, Iwilei, Chinatown), co-convener of the Native Hawaiian Caucus, said it is important to publicly recognize and honor the Hawaiian community leaders working to perpetuate our host culture.

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“As the Hawaiian community continues to gain political momentum and unity, it is important to recognize and honor those that have been working to teach and share Hawaiian arts, language and skills,” Holt said in a press release.

“The Hawaiian people honor our kupuna and continue to work toward the renewal of our culture and values.”

The House of Representatives this week is honoring Native Hawaiians and supporters including:

  • The Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society’s founder Kumu Wendell Silvia and his wife Sharon, President Trisha Kehaulani Watson, Vice President Suzie Chun Oakland, and Executive Director Guy Sabilla were recognized for their mission to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture through teaching the traditions of hula.
  • Duane Desoto and Malia Kaaihue for their being perfect mākua (parents) and their commitment and involvement in the Native Hawaiian Community.
  • Professor Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie for her 25-year career as a litigator, administrator and advocate for the Native Hawaiian Community.
  • Hawaiians at Heart: The 200th anniversary of missionaries’ arrival in Hawaiʻi with Peter Young, a descendant of the Rev. Hiram Bigham; Elizabeth Letz-Hill, Director of the Mission House Development; Dr. George Scott, Chaplin at Punahou School; and Nola Nahulu, Choir Director at Kawaihaʻo Church.
  • Perpetuating the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Trustee Lance Keawe Wilhelm, the Chairman of the Board of Kamehameha Schools, and Jack Livingston Wong, the school’s Chief Executive Officer.
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