REPORT FROM TI LEAF — With less than a week before the 11th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention opens on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at the Hawaii Convention Center, registration has hit 600 participants during the three-day event.
“The discussion topics and presentations completely connect with this year’s theme of Moving Forward – Our People, Our Land, Our Spirit,” said Robin Puanani Danner, President of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the nonprofit organizer of the event. “Whether you are interested in health, or in trust land issues, in self governance or in solutions being implemented by Hawaiians in the area of law or access to capital, it’s an incredible three-day opportunity to engage!”
The Convention schedule opens on Tuesday with a dozen issue topics and caucuses hosted by CNHA member organizations, including the Native Hawaiian Education Council, the Kapolei Hawaiian Civic Club, the Native Hawaiian Economic Alliance, the Imua Group, the UH Hawaiian Studies Forum on Next Generation leaders, Hawaiian Community Assets, and sessions on healthcare, affordable housing and more.
“Tuesday is really about lifting up dialogue by and with the experts in different fields of work,” Danner said. “At CNHA, and I’m sure for others as well, these issue briefings are valuable to informing our policy positions, and also how to partner and support these amazing organizations and leaders.”
The Tuesday schedule also includes the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs holding a two-hour roundtable on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. Governor John Waihee will also be addressing participants on the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission established under state law in 2011.
Wednesday of convention week is always dedicated to technical and financial resources available to community-based organizations. Nearly the entire day is dedicated to sessions with local and national foundation leaders, including Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kresge Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations and others.
“With the help of Mrs. Inouye, we have been working with a Pacific Island Steering Committee over the last three years to connect local and national funders and to raise awareness about solutions born and working in the Pacific,” said Maile Meyer, CNHA board member and Chair of the Hawaiian Way Fund. “It’s been amazing to share about what groups are doing here at home, but also to hear about the trends and best practices in other parts of the country.”
The Thursday schedule is dedicated to a public policy roundtable including presentations by former Honolulu Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, OHA CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe, and members of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.
Convention and Convention scholarships are made possible through support by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Olelo Community Media, and the Hawaiian Way Fund.
CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian Organizations, providing assistance in accessing capital and technical resources, and is a policy voice on issues important to Native Hawaiian communities. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of Hawaii through the cultural, economic, and community development of Native Hawaiians. For more information about CNHA please contact us at 808.596.8155, toll-free at 1.800.709.2642, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at www.hawaiiancouncil.org.