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Sen. Schatz leads field hearing in Hilo on federal resources for Native Hawaiians

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Nāmaka Rawlins, Kāhealani Naeole-Wong, Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, and Amy Kalili testify before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in Hilo.

US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a field hearing in Hilo on Thursday, highlighting the unique perspectives the University of Hawai‘i and the Hilo community bring to the federal conversation about how best to support Native communities.

It was the second field hearing in Hawaiʻi this week, entitled: “Upholding The Federal Trust Responsibility: Funding & Program Access For Innovation In The Native Hawaiian Community.”

Chairman Schatz said, “This is a place where rich tradition and cutting-edge innovation meet, and I am interested in learning from you today about how you use those resources to serve the Native Hawaiian community. We brought the Committee to Hilo to hear directly from you about your successes, your challenges, and your recommendations for advancing Native Hawaiian education, tradition and culture, economic development, and the arts.”

Luana Kawelu, Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, and Kūhaʻo Zane testify before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in Hilo

Participants in the Hilo hearing included:

  • Nāmaka Rawlins, Alakaʻi – Senior Director, Hale Kipa ‘Ōiwi at ‘Aha Pūnana Leo
  • Kāhealani Naeole-Wong, Po‘o Kula – Head of School, Kamehameha Schools Kea‘au Campus
  • Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, Director, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
  • Amy Kalili, Partner, Pilina First LLP
  • Luana Kawelu, President, Merrie Monarch Festival
  • Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, Advisor, Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Cooperative, President, Māla Kalu‘ulu Cooperative & Associate Research Professor, University of Hawai‘i
  • Kūhaʻo Zane, Creative Director, Sig Zane Designs and SZKaiao & Kālaimoku, Board of Directors, Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation
Field Hearing titled “Upholding the Federal Trust Responsibility: Funding & Program Access” (part 2)
Chairman Schatz with Luana Kawelu following the conclusion of the Senate Committee Indian Affairs field hearing in Hilo


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