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Molokaʻi doctor and Native Hawaiian activist Noa Emmett Aluli remembered

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U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, D-Hawaii, and Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli. PC: Courtesy

Government leaders from around the state joined in mourning the recent passing of Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli, and recognizing his accomplishments.

In a statement from the Hawaiʻi Senate Democrats, Aluli was recognized for his work as a healer, mentor and doctor.

“We extend our sympathy and aloha to the ʻohana of Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli. He was known for his staunch advocacy and protection of Kahoʻolawe and as a recognized healer, mentor, and doctor to many on Molokaʻi. Moe me ka maluhia e Dr. Aluli. Mahalo for your lifelong dedication to Hawaiʻi and its people.” 


Governor David Ige was also among the state leaders offering condolences to the Aluli family. “It is with great sadness that we received the news of Dr. Noa Emmet Aluli’s passing. He was a courageous protector of Kaho‘olawe, a pioneer among Native Hawaiian health practitioners, and a respected leader who dedicated his life to the people of Moloka‘i. Dawn and I extend our deepest condolences to his ‘ohana.”

US Rep. Kai Kahele, D-Hawaii, recognized Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli as a friend and mentor.

“Throughout his life, and especially as a leader of the people, Uncle Emmett, as many affectionately called him, generously gave of his time and resources with a strong commitment to the health and well-being of Native Hawaiians,” Kahele said in a statement Wednesday.


The statement recognized Aluli’s accomplishments. He graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine in 1975, as part of its first graduating class. Aluli made the intentional decision to complete his residency on Molokaʻi. Later, he opened his own private medical practice, the Molokaʻi Family Health Center and Clinic, to serve a large population of Native Hawaiians. 

He is a co-founder of Nā Puʻuwai, the Native Hawaiian Health Care System that serves the islands of Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi, according to Kahele. He also helped draft the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act that was signed into law in 1988 to promote health and disease prevention services to improve the health status of Native Hawaiians. 

“In addition to his commitment to Native Hawaiian Health, Dr. Aluli also served as a strong advocate for traditional Hawaiian practices and the return and protection of our precious ʻāina,” the statement said.


Aluli co-founded the Pele Defense Fund in 1985, a group dedicated to defending the rights and customs of Native Hawaiians. 

Also, Aluli was part of the “Kahoʻolawe Nine” the first group of individuals who stood up against the Navy’s bombing of Kahoʻolawe. 

He served as a member of the 2nd Congressional District’s Native Hawaiian Health Task Force and his contributions helped to set federal legislative priorities and policies to advance Native Hawaiian healthcare. 

“Maria and I extend our deepest sympathies to Uncle Emmett’s life-partner Dr. Davianna McGreggor, their daughter Rosie Alegado Kong, son-in-law Raymond Kong, grandchildren Justice and Cassius and the entire Aluli-McGreggor ‘ohana,” Kahele said in the statement.

 “Uncle Emmett leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the people of Hawai‘i, especially those lives he generously touched on Molokaʻi. His imprint and contributions will be felt for generations. He will be greatly missed.”


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