The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' mission is to improve the conditions of Native Hawaiians. One way this is done is through legislation. Amy Kalili shows us one initiative that OHA will pursue this legislative session, addressing inequities in the criminal justice system.
"Our legislative program really focuses on that issue of public policy changes that we think are appropriate for the native Hawaiian community," said Clyde Nâmuʻo, CEO, Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Kia mâkou i ka hoʻoponopono i nâ kânâwai e pilikia ai ka Hawaiʻi.
And as OHA works to better conditions for Hawaiians, all of Hawaiʻi benefits. One example is a bill regarding disparate treatment in the criminal justice system.
A ma kçia ʻimi ʻana o OHA i ka pono o ka Hawaiʻi, he mea ka pômaikaʻi o ia hana e ili ana ma luna o ko Hawaiʻi a pau, ʻaʻole ʻo ka Hawaiʻi wale nô. ʻO kekahi laʻana maikaʻi o kçlâ, ʻo ia ka pila i pili i i ke ʻano e hoʻopaʻi kaulike ʻole ʻia nei ka poʻe ma ka ʻônaehana hale paʻahao a ʻaha hoʻokolokolo.
"When you look at the data, something is very wrong. You know, Hawaiians are 24% of the population, yet the Department reports 40% of the incarcerated are native Hawaiians," said Kat Brady, Community Alliance on Prisons.
He 24% ka nui o ka Hawaiʻi ma Hawaiʻi akâ, he 40% o ka poe paʻahao.
This study confirmed and highlighted some of the inequities like these here.
Ma kçia moʻolelo nô i hôʻoia a palapala ʻia ai nâ mea like ʻole i pili i kçia kaulike ʻole no ka Hawaiʻi ma kçia pôʻaiapili e laʻa me… (1) ka lôʻihi o ka hoʻopaʻahao ʻia; (2) ka lôʻihi o ka wâ hoʻomalu a (3) pçia ka pâkçneka nui loa o ka poʻe e lawe ʻia i nâ hale paʻahao ma ka ʻâina haole.
OHA is now asking the legislature to form a task force to tackle these disparities.
Me ia ʻikehelu paʻa, ke noi aku nei ʻo OHA i ka ʻahaʻôlelo e hoʻokumu i komikina, nâna e ʻimi i ke ʻano e hoʻoponopono ʻia ai kçia kaulike ʻole.
"It's shining the light on these issues, and I'm very confident that once people understand that this is going on, they will want to fix it," said Nâmuʻo.
He waiwai ka hôʻike ʻana i kçia mau pilikia i hiki ke ʻimi i ka hoʻoponopono.
For me, it's not just a question for Native Hawaiians. It's for anyone who's interested in justice," said Brady.
ʻAʻole kçia he pili i ka Hawaiʻi wale nô, he pili ia i ka poʻe a pau e ʻimi ana i ka pono.
OHA will be pursuing legislation on many fronts, including protecting burials, educating boards and committees on Native Hawaiian rights, and ceded lands.
For more, watch ʻÂhaʻi ʻÔlelo Ola this Sunday at 4:30 on KGMB.