HONOLULU, Hawaii—In a campaign release yesterday, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton issued a statement of support for Native Hawaiian self-determination. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) board of directors and its President reacted with enthusiasm.
“This is truly amazing! The former secretary’s acknowledgement of the unique opportunities for Hawaii, and for Native Hawaiians in bringing solutions to our communities is so refreshing,” said Michelle Kauhane, CNHA president. “As a strong presidential candidate, her awareness of and support of self-determination is a clear sign that Secretary Clinton gets that Native Hawaiians are on the move to make life better for our families, and frankly for all of Hawaii.”
Over the years, CNHA has worked with Sen. Daniel Akaka and President Obama to advance good policies to revitalize the Hawaiian language, to dedicate resources to charter schools and education, on affordable housing solutions, and economic opportunities to create jobs on or near Hawaiian Home Lands across the state.
“One of the most powerful solutions we can have, is taking on our kuleana for our communities,” Kauhane added. “That’s what self-determination is all about!”
Kauhane was one of over 100 Native Hawaiians that spent a month working on the drafting of a Native Hawaiian constitution, with dual citizenship, and a pathway to provide community based solutions in every way.
“It was one of the most challenging, emotional and liberating experiences I have had,” she said. “The diversity in our community is amazing, and yes, sometimes the passion overflows, but the Na‘i Aupuni Aha was a life changing event, that gives our children hope.”
Kauhane cited the impact to all of Hawaii, in saying “A fully functioning relationship with the federal government and our state government brings so much to the table—we will be at the table, working together to advance the solutions we know Hawaii needs, whether that’s economic stability, renewable energy, improved educational systems, or addressing homelessness. Our community is ready, is ready to do the work, and to help Hawaii and our people move forward.”
CNHA, founded in 2001 is one of the largest coalition of leaders working on the cultural, economic, political and community development of Native Hawaiians. For more information visit www.hawaiiancouncil.org.