East Hawaii News

Schatz Receives ‘Enough Good People’ Award

October 26, 2015, 12:30 PM HST
* Updated October 26, 12:32 PM
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United States Senator Brian Schatz was recently awarded with an “Enough Good People” award by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. The organization represents the native hospitality and tourism industry nationally.

The award was bestowed upon Senator Schatz for his efforts to champion economic development and cultural strength for Native Hawaiians, American Indians, and Alaska Natives.

“Tourism is not only good for our economy, but it is one of the best ways for Native communities to tell their own stories and share their history and culture.  No organization knows that better than AIANTA,” said Senator Schatz.  “This award is a real honor.  I want to thank AIANTA for this award and for the work they do every day to advocate for Native communities and support tribes and Native-owned businesses in Hawai‘i and across the country.”

Senator Schatz is a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the Senate Tourism Caucus. Earlier in 2015, he introduced the S. 1579, the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act or the NATIVE Act.

The idea behind the Act is to enhance and integrate Native American tourism, empower Native American communities, and expand heritage and cultural tourism opportunities in the United States.

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When the bill was introduced, it garnered broad bipartisan and bicameral support. The legislation was recently voted to be favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affair.

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“Tourism is an essential part of Hawai‘i’s economy, and it is so important that Native Hawaiians are included and supported in this arena,” said Pohai Ryan, Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association and former Hawai‘i State Senator. “Thanks to Senator Schatz’ leadership in writing and introducing the NATIVE Act, this bill will help to advance tourism’s potential to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians, while also supporting and expanding Indian Country tourism throughout the country.”

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