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Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to Give an Update on its Progress

The Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs will hold an informational briefing to hear an update on the progress of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 10:30am in Room 229 of the Hawaii State Capitol.

The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission was established by Act 195 in 2011 to certify and publish a roll of Qualified Native Hawaiians for the purpose of organizing a Native Hawaiian governing entity that is recognized by the State of Hawai‘i, and can be recognized by the United States. Registration to the roll was open from July 20, 2012 – January 19, 2014 and reopened for a special extension from March 17 – May 1, 2014. Since officially closing registration on Thursday, May 1, the Commission has enrolled over 125,631 Native Hawaiians. Monday’s informational briefing will discuss the next steps for the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.

“Legislators voted for the passage of the legislation creating the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission back in 2011 because it is important for Native Hawaiians to achieve and be recognized for their unrelinquished sovereignty,” said Senator Maile Shimabukuro, chair of the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs. “Registration is an important step in restoring self-governance to the Hawaiian Nation for those Hawaiians who choose to do so.  I look forward to learning more about how the roll will be used in nation building efforts.”

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Senate Hawaiian Affairs Caucus and OHA Take Issue with “Hula” App

Hawaii Leaders Urge CEO to Cease Use of the Native Hawaiian Word Hula

In defense of the cultural practice and intellectual property of Native Hawaiians, two leading state organizations on Hawaiian affairs are asking the creator of an app that helps people get tested for STDs to stop using and branding the word “Hula.”

The app, which at one point used marketing phrases as “it helps you get lei’d,” connects users to various STD testing facilities and promotes itself as the new platform to have discussions about STD.

The letter, signed by members of the Hawaii State Senate Hawaiian Affairs Caucus and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), is addressed to the chief executive office of Qpid.me, Inc., Ramin Bastani, and identifies two key issues that are of concern:

  • Hula is a sacred Native Hawaiian cultural expression and important cultural property;
  • Naming a commercial product after a Native Hawaiian sacred cultural expression without meaningful consultation is inconsistent with state, international, and the Native Hawaiian people’s policies.

Although recognizing and appreciating the efforts of the company to support STD awareness and prevention, the letter also notes that the use of word “Hula” is hewa (or wrong) because it “represents a highly insensitive, tactless and inappropriate misappropriation of a culturally sacred and cherished practice.”

“It’s unfortunate some think that it’s okay to throw culturally-meaningful expressions around without thinking about the group of people it may affect. Hula is a sacred dance that Native Hawaiians cherish,” said Senator Malama Solomon. “As Hawaiians it is our kuleana (or responsibility) to protect our cultural traditions. We don’t want to see continued disrespectful and inappropriate commodification of our culture.”

According to the letter, hula remains an important medium for the perpetuation and preservation of Native Hawaiian history and culture, and continues to be vital for the mental, physical and spiritual health of individuals as well as the Native Hawaiian Community.

The Hawaii State Constitution recognizes and protects Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, including cultural expressions and practices such as hula. The state legislature has also affirmed “that the Native Hawaiian people are recognized as indigenous, traditional knowledge holders and they have collective intellectual property rights. Additionally, the United States supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”), which confers upon indigenous peoples the right to maintain and control traditional knowledge, cultural traditions and intellectual property relating to their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression and manifestations.

Senators who signed the letter include: Senators Malama Solomon, Committee on Water and Land; Brickwood Galuteria, Senate Majority Leader; Clayton Hee, Judiciary Committee; J. Kalani English, Transportation and International Affairs Chair; Maile Shimabukuro, Hawaiian Affairs Committee Chair; Gilbert Kahele, Tourism Committee Chair and Michelle Kidani; Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair.

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To read the full letter, click here:  Hawaiian Affairs Caucus Letter to Qpid.me

Senate Special Investigative Committee on the Hawaii State Hospital Meets Again

The Senate Special Investigative Committee on the Hawaii State Hospital yesterday continued questioning top administrators in a hearing held at the Capitol. During the hearing, concerns were raised about nepotism and if there was a possibility of overtime pay being awarded unfairly. The Hawaii Legislature subpoenaed a top administrator, Bill Elliott, to inquire specifically whether clerks at the hospital were unfairly giving more overtime to one employee over another.

The investigation will be ongoing as senators look in depth at the Hawaii State Hospital as a whole. Further investigation and questioning will resume on April 30th.

Bill Elliott, acting administrator of the state’s only public mental hospital prepares to testify before the Senate Special Investigative Committee.

Partners in Development Foundation’s Ka Pa‘alana Homeless Family Education Program is first program of its kind to receive accreditation

The Senate today recognized Partners in Development Foundation’s Ka Pa‘alana Homeless Family Education Program on receiving full accreditation from the prestigious National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The Ka Pa‘alana Homeless Family Education Program is the first program of its kind in the nation to receive full NAEYC accreditation. Ka Pa‘alana assists homeless families with young children on the Waianae coast by delivering or providing access to essential services, such as a parent-child participatory preschool, FoodBank, toiletry, and dental supplies distribution, and more. Ka Pa‘alana has assisted in transitioning 325 families from the beach to shelter and distributed over 50 tons of food and life necessities.

The Senate expresses its warmest aloha to Partners in Development Foundation for continued success in all future endeavors.

Legislative Committees to Receive Updates on Issues Related to DHHL and OHA

Honolulu- The Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs and the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaii Affairs will be conducting a series of informational briefings to receive updates on several emergent issues being addressed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

The briefings will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2013, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the State Capitol conference room 329.

During the briefing the committees and departments will discuss:

  • Beginning at 9:30 a.m.: The Audit of the DHHL Homestead Services Division, the outcome of the DHHL Roundtable Discussions that occurred at the Hawaii State Capitol and the 12th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention in August and September 2013, completion of the Nelson v. HHC settlement payments, vacant DHHL properties, and other community concerns.
  • 1:30 p.m.: The process and plan of execution for the 2014 primary election of candidates for Trustee of OHA.
  • Directly followed by: Corrective and/or other actions taken or planned in response to the audit conducted by the Office of the State Auditor (Report no. 13-07 of September, 2013) on the management and condition of OHA.

One of the goals of these briefings is to try and come up with ways for DHHL and OHA to achieve greater financial self-sufficiency and to maximize their resources, similar to the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate trust,” said Senate Hawaiian Affairs Chair Maile Shimabukuro.

“From these hearings, we hope to have thoughtful discussion on issues and concerns that have been raised, and to identify the best solutions to better serve the Hawaiian people and our communities,” added Representative Faye Hanohano, Chair of the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs.

Other relevant issues will also be discussed.

Hawaii State Senate Announces Transformation in Committee Lineup

Honolulu–The Hawaii State Senate today unveiled changes to its committee lineup and chairmanships. Two committees have been added, splitting the current Committee on Tourism and Hawaiians Affairs (THA) into two separate subject matter committees. The new committees are Tourism (TSM) and Hawaiian Affairs (HWN).

Senator Gilbert Kahele will chair TSM with Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran serving as vice-chair. Senator Maile Shimabukuro will chair HWN with Senator Clayton Hee serving as vice-chair.

In the beginning of the session we acted quickly to organize and kept changes to a minimum so that we could focus our attentions on the issues and prepare for the 2013 session,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. “Now that session is over, we are afforded the capacity to listen to feedback and evaluate ourselves. In doing so, we have been able to make some positive changes.  These new assignments maximize the skills and interests of each of our members, while providing us with greater opportunity to focus on the individual subject areas.”

Currently, Senator Brickwood Galuteria has served as both the Majority Leader and Chair of THA. The new committee assignments will allow the newly appointed chairs to take on greater leadership roles while providing Galuteria with more flexibility to serve in his continued capacity as Majority Leader.

I am pleased with this new leadership lineup for the committees,” said Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria. “Understanding the role of a chair makes my Senate Majority Leadership assignment more effective. I look forward to working with both Chairs Kahele and Shimabukuro in their new capacities and most importantly to continuing to work with my Senate colleagues to advance the priorities of the Senate Majority.”

Additionally, the Senate announced changes to the vice-chairmanships of the Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) and Water and Land (WTL). Under the new changes Senator Brian Taniguchi will serve as vice-chair of CPN and Galuteria as vice-chair of WTL.


The change in committee assignments will take effect July 1, 2013.

Waianae High School’s Searider Productions to be Honored by Hawaii State Senate

Honolulu – The Hawaii State Senate will be presenting Waianae High School’s Searider Productions with a Certificate of Recognition for receiving the Apple Distinguished Program tomorrow, April 2, 2013 during its Session, which begins at 11:30 a.m.

I am really proud of the Searider Productions students.  They are a fine example of integrating technology with education and learning,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro (District 21-Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko ‘Olina, Nanakuli, Ma‘ili, Wai‘anae, Makaha, Makua).  “Through Searider Productions, students have been able to work on projects for private, public and non-profit organizations – all of which have given them experiences that will prepare them for a successful future.”

The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that are recognized centers of educational excellence and leadership. The selection of Waianae High School’s Searider Productions Digital program highlights its successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with thoughtful, innovative implementations of technology.

Through the implementation of Apple technology, such as Macs, MacBooks, iPads, and software, students have been provided with innovative and highly interactive learning opportunities that focus on mastering contemporary digital media and computer technologies. Searider digital students are able to explore areas such as video production, internet journalism and social media, graphic arts and design, 2D and 3D computer modeling, and interactive media creation and design.

U.S Navy to be Recognized for its Hawaiian Cultural Stewardship and Renewable Energy Initiatives

Honolulu – The Hawaii State Senate will be presenting the United States Navy with a Certificate of Recognition for its Hawaiian cultural stewardship and its renewable energy initiatives on Tuesday, March 12, during its Session.

Senator Maile Shimabukuro is co-sponsoring the certificate with Senator Will Espero, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs.

 Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam has partnered with other organizations to perform important projects that help preserve our culture, including maintaining the Halealoha Haleamau Burial Platform and replacing invasive Pickleweed with native Hawaiian plant species at Ahua Reef,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, who represents District 21, encompassing the areas of Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko ‘Olina, Nanakuli, Ma‘ili, Wai‘anae, Makaha, and Makua.  “These projects mean a lot to our community and we certainly appreciate the Navy pitching in to help.”

The Navy have also been hosting Makahiki events co-sponsoring with the O`ahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs for the past ten years.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam further promotes environmental stewardship by utilizing photovoltaic arrays to lower energy costs in support of U.S. Navy and Department of Defense initiatives, operates a fuel oil reclamation facility to reduce disposal costs and dependence on foreign oil, and was recently recognized as best in the Navy for energy and water efficiency.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kaua`i and its partnership with Ke Kula Ni`ihau O Kekaha sustains the educational display of habitat types that existed on the Mana Plain prior to western contact, and supports educational programs that include remotely piloted water craft and model rockets developed by Kaua`i students.  The Missile Range also manages its light sources to reduce potential harm on the Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrel.  This effort protects the endangered birds and reduces energy consumption.  It also continues its partnership with numerous agencies and volunteers to enhance the survival of Laysan Albatross populations located at the facility.

Ask Your Senator 2012: Thanks For Asking

As part of this year’s ask your Senator project, students from Nanakuli High and Intermediate School emailed in several questions to their State Senator, Senator Maile Shimabukuro (District 21 Ko ‘Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Ma’ili, Wai’anae, Makaha, Makua, Ka’ena Point).

Actively participating in this year’s inaugural Ask Your Senator Project Nanakuli High and Intermediate School students submitted over 20 video questions, the most questions received from any school or district.

After listing to all of the students’ questions, Senator Maile Shimabukuro shared her response to the following selection of questions.

Why don’t you guys take a pay cut instead of taking it from schools?” – Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Student

To view Senator Maile Shimabukuro’s response click here.

1. If our school does not get the right amount of credits to graduate by the year 2015, then what is going to happen?
2. What will you guys do with the students?
3. Are you guys going to make a new school in the area, because Kapolei and Waianae are already crowded as it is?

I was just wondering these things and our school does have a lot of talented and smart people…

- Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Student

To view Senator Maile Shimabukuro’s response click here.

Why do we have insufficient school funds?” – Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Student

To view Senator Maile Shimabukuro’s response click here.

I would like to ask you guys if you could buy or school sports new uniforms and equipment.” – Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Student

To view Senator Maile Shimabukuro’s response click here.

Why don’t we have surfing as a sport at Nanakuli High School?” – Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Student

An avid surfer, Senator Maile Shimabukuro provided a video response. To view her response click here.

Why did they change the time we finish school?” – Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Student

To view Senator Maile Shimabukuro’s response click here.

Why can’t we go on YouTube? I think we should be able to go on YouTube because on YouTube we can get so much information for school projects and there is so much information on YouTube, it’s just like Google.” – Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Student

To view Senator Maile Shimabukuro’s response click here.

Clean-up and Beautification of the People’s Path Planned

MAILI –  A clean-up and beautification of the People’s Path will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2012 from 7:30am to noon.  The People’s Path is a pathway located along the Waianae Coast.  Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, along with many volunteer groups, is coordinating the clean-up.

For the past three years, we’ve been cleaning up and sprucing up the area, making it a safe pathway for residents to use,” said Sen. Shimabukuro, who represents District 21, which encompasses Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakulli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha, Makua, Kaena Point.  “I encourage more volunteers to pitch in with the project.”

Waianae Coast public schools who participate in the “After School All-Stars” program (funded by Kamehameha Schools and The Campbell Foundation), and the Honolulu City & County’s Parks and Recreation Department have already committed to helping this year’s clean-up.

Dedicated individuals, as well as groups, have been volunteering for the past three years to upkeep the pathway.  Some of the groups include the Women of Wai‘anae, Nani O Wai‘anae, Teach for America/Be the Change and the Wai‘anae Boys & Girls Club.  Sen. Shimabukuro also obtained a $5,000 grant from AlohaCare to help support the effort.

This is a great opportunity for the students to learn about stewardship and taking care of their community,” said Tim Bross, site coordinator for the “After School All-Stars” program at Waianae Intermediate School.

People who want to take part in the project may contact Sen. Shimabukuro.  Volunteers are being asked to meet at Maili Point (across from Kaukama Road, aka, “Guardrails”).  They are being asked to bring sun protection and yard tools (ex., rakes, dust pans, weedeaters, shovels, picks).

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