(BIVN) – A U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs field hearing was held in Hilo on Thursday, and was focused on access to federal funding and resources for the Native Hawaiian community.
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led the discussion held at the Haleʻōlelo building on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. The hearing was entitled “Upholding The Federal Trust Responsibility: Funding & Program Access For Innovation In The Native Hawaiian Community.”
“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,” said Chairman Schatz in a news release. “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.”
The following witnesses participated in today’s hearing in Hilo:
- Ms. Nāmaka Rawlins, Alakaʻi – Senior Director, Hale Kipa ‘Ōiwi at ‘Aha Pūnana Leo
- Ms. Kāhealani Naeole-Wong, Po‘o Kula – Head of School, Kamehameha Schools Kea‘au Campus
- Dr. Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, Director, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
- Ms. Amy Kalili, Partner, Pilina First LLP
- Ms. Luana Kawelu, President, Merrie Monarch Festival
- Dr. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, Advisor, Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Cooperative, President, Māla Kalu‘ulu Cooperative & Associate Research Professor, University of Hawai‘i
- Mr. Kūhaʻo Zane, Creative Director, Sig Zane Designs and SZKaiao & Kālaimoku, Board of Directors, Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation
A similar hearing was also held on Wednesday at the East-West Center on Oʻahu.