October 10, 2012 at 7:40 PM HST - Updated June 28 at 4:26 AM
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing the Hawaiian community today? And what would you do to solve it?
The most important issue facing Hawaiians today is our peoples' economic & cultural survival for the future.
Economic survival requires employment, education & the ability to remain in Hawaii.
First is education. OHA can pursue this in conjunction with our other Hawaiian educational institutions & associations including the Kamehameha Schools, the University Center for Hawaiian studies and Hawaii Nui A Kea as well as our Hawaiian Language teachers beginning with youth—Punana Leo, Ka Papa Kai, etc. We need to support Hawaiians in economic development, including small & large business. OHA can & should lead the way by creating job opportunities through Public Private partnerships. OHA has not fully utilized its ability to create & joint venture in Hawaiian business with its beneficiaries & the State, for example Kakaako Makai and its opportunities for development and construction.
Cultural Survival is dependent upon maintaining & preserving cultural practices on our aina. This requires land & access to our cultural places as well as the ability to engage in practice through planting, fishing & other cultural undertakings that are dependent on or relate to the land including Laau lapaau, Hula, as well as spiritual practices at sacred places. OHA needs to ensure the protection & preservation of these practices by supporting cultural endeavors & most importantly diligently protecting these practices. Protection may necessitate litigation, the making of laws, and even policy issues in Washington D.C.