HAWAII – The Office of Hawaiian Affairs held its State of OHA address on Tuesday. About 500 people attended the hour-and-a-half long event held at the Central Union Church on Oahu.
Kahu Wendell Davis performed the opening pule and Chairperson Colette Machado welcomed the audience.
The agenda included, song, chant and speeches. Former Senator Daniel Akaka was honored for his years of service and was a keynote speaker. He urged unity among Hawaiians as they strive for self determination.
|Daniel Akaka, Dec. 11 2013||
Akaka also spoke at length about how the politics of aloha helped bring about the Apology Resolution in Washington, twenty years ago.
Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kamana’opono Crabbe delivered main address. He offered praise for OHA initiatives, many of which exist in cyberspace, like the Cutting Edge, Kamakako’i website educating on the issues facing Native Hawaiians, or OHA’s online information portals, like the Kipuka Database.
Crabbe also called for stronger ties with the ali’i trusts to further OHA’s mission.
The event comes at an interesting time for OHA. This month, the state Supreme Court ruled that OHA can keep spending trust funds on programs that aid Hawaiians with any amount of Native blood quantum, not just %50 percent and above.
Also, the support for Kana’iolowalu – the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission – appears to be diminishing. After a few years and millions of dollars, the effort has fallen short in term of signing people up for acknowledgment as native stakeholders in a future Hawaiian nation. The OHA Board of Trustees recently decided to cap funding and develop an exit plan for the roll, which was initially ordered by an act of the state legislature, and given to OHA to manage.