Monday, March 14, 2011

5th Annual Hawaiian Caucus Day

 Today was the 5th Annual Hawaiian Caucus Day at the Hawaii State Capitol. It included vendor exhibits on the second and third floor, pa'i'ai-making demonstrations in in the Rotunda, and a certificate floor presentations to honor four individuals who have selflessly served their community and contributed to the overall well-being of the State. 

The House presented certificates of recognition to:

Jerry Konanui, a Native Hawaiian Mahi'ai from Pahoa who is a renowned and respected Hawaiian Kupuna with extensive knowledge on the cultivation sand propagation of kalo, awa, ko and 'uala. He is credited with finding several varieties of Hawaiian kalo which were previously thought to be extinct and in recent years has been involved with the Hawaiian and taro farming communities’ efforts to restore and perpetuate Hawaii’s endemic food and medicinal plants and protect them from genetic modification;

Shad Kane has been an instrumental leader in the Hawaiian community as well as the Kapolei and Makakilo areas through his involvement with numerous organizations such as the Kapolei Hawaiian Civic Club, the Royal Order of Kamehameha Ekahi, the O’ahu Island Burial Council, the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board, and the West Qahu Employment Corporation. He has worked tirelessly to give the new “Second City” of Kapolei a strong Hawaiian cultural presence and has additionally worked for the preservation of our island’s cultural, historical and environmental heritage. More affectionately known as Uncle Shad Kane, he has also been devoted to the promotion of job creation, recreational opportunities and civic involvement in the West O’ahu area.

Leina'ala Kalama Heine, a powerful influential figure in hula who is from Waimanalo has not only partaken in the annual presentation of the Merrie Monarch Festival as a competitor and judge, but she has also dedicated her life to the preservation of Hawaiian culture through the perpetuation of hula and preparing women to become future kumu hula and practitioners who aspire to carry on the traditions of mele oh
and mele hula.

Kupuna Dorothy Kanani Awai, of Haleiwa, is recognized for her endless sharing and giving of her aloha and musical talents, giving her time, love, and support to numerous community events for decades. As a Hawaiian studies teacher and an ukulele instructor, Kupuna Awai has blessed our keiki with her mana’o, planted seeds of aloha, and taught the fundamentals of traditional Hawaiian music thereby perpetuating Hawaiian culture for our future generations. Truly, Kupuna Awai embraces and embodies the spirit of aloha.

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