Thursday, July 3, 2008

Public invited to meetings on native Hawaiian programs

A series of public meetings to discuss the impact of native Hawaiian programs on Hawaii communities will begin on Monday, July 7 at 5:30 p.m. in Kapolei. The weeklong sessions, sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), will bring state and federal leaders and the native Hawaiian community together to address concerns and identify possible solutions.

In addition to Kapolei, meetings will be held in Nanakuli, Waianae, Papakolea and Waimanalo.

Members of the NCSL are traveling to Hawaii to talk about the successes and failures of public assistance programs for native Hawaiian communities and comparing them to those of native Alaskan and native American Indian communities.

The public is invited to share their thoughts on community issues, the current state and federal programs that are available today, and possible initiatives that will further benefit the native Hawaiian community.

The special sessions will be held on July 7, Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Kapolei Hale Conference Room; July 8, Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Nanakuli at the Ka Waihona o ka Na'auao School Cafeteria; July 9, Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Waianae Intermediate School Cafeteria; July 10, Thursday at 6 p.m. in Papakolea at the Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School Cafeteria; and July 11, Friday at 6 p.m. at the Waimanalo Public Library.

Representative Karen Awana (District 44 – Honokai Hale, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili) and members of the non-partisan Native Hawaiian Caucus will also be present to hear from the Hawaiian community about how programs are impacting and affecting their families and lifestyle.

"Indigenous peoples of America and the Hawaiian Islands share a common bond: to perpetuate and preserve their heritage, culture and language, and these meetings will help provide a venue for communities to achieve this." said Rep. Awana.

The Kellogg Foundation and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) are also sponsoring the community meetings.

For more information and to register, please contact CNHA Event Services at 808-596-8155 from Oahu or toll free at 1-800-709-2642 from neighbor islands. A registration form can also be downloaded from Refreshments will be served.

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