Sen. Akaka drops gavel on final committee hearing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sen. Akaka drops gavel on final committee hearing

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By SUZANNE GAMBOA
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The goodbyes are beginning for Sen. Daniel Akaka, who will retire when the lame-duck session ends after 36 years in the U.S. Senate.

Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian in the Senate and first Native person to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He has held 43 hearings over two years as chairman.

Fellow senators on Thursday lauded the Hawaii Democrat for his work for Indian Country. The hearing focused on preserving Native cultures and identities.

Akaka grew emotional before dropping the gavel for the last time. Rather than goodbye, he said: "It is with much aloha that I say to you now, 'a hui hou', see you again."

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