Legislators Host Hawaiian Caucus Week at State Capitol
The Hawaiʻi State Legislature’s Native Hawaiian Caucus Co-Chairs, Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole and Rep. Daniel Holt, with 43 of their colleagues, are sponsoring Hawaiian Caucus Week and Hawaiian Caucus Day to honor community leaders that have contributed to the advancement of Native Hawaiians and recognize the contributions of ‘ōpi‘o (youth), makua (parents), kūpuna (elders), Hawaiian at Heart supporters and ‘ahahui (organizations).
Certificates of recognition will be presented in both the House and the Senate as follows:
- Monday, Feb. 4 – ‘Ōpi‘o – Nānākuli High and Intermediate School students in the ʻAʻaliʻi program and their involvement with the political process on the subject matter of water management.
- Tuesday, Feb. 5 – Makua – Joseph Kūhiō Lewis, a single parent raising two children while receiving a degree and being actively involved in Hawaiian matters of leadership, politics, economic and community development, housing, health and welfare, and culture.
- Wednesday, Feb. 6 – Kūpuna – Aunty Danielle Ululani Beirne (Keawe), a kupuna with over 40 years of involvement in advocacy for self-determination for Native Hawaiians.
- Thursday, Feb. 7 – Hawaiian at Heart – Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi, for their significant contributions towards enriching our Hawaiian culture and honoring our “Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi.”
- Friday, Feb. 8 – ‘Ahahui – Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu (Charles Manu Boyd, President) and the Hawaiian Civic Club movement (Hailama Farden, President, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs). The Hawaiian Civic Club was established in 1918 by Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, delegate to the U.S. Congress, and celebrates100 years as the oldest Hawaiian community-based grass roots organization. The Hawaiian Civic Club movement has grown into a confederation of over 60 clubs located throughout the State of Hawaiʻi and the United States.
Hawaiian Caucus Day will be held on Friday, Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Capitol rotunda and on the 4th floor walkway. The community will come together and take part in educational displays, speeches, and entertainment to share our Native Hawaiian language and culture.
In 2013, Act 28 was created and designates the month of February as ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi month to celebrate and encourage the use of Hawaiian language. We also acknowledge Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani (Feb. 9, 1826–May 24, 1883) for her strong advocacy of Hawaiian language and culture; she was a member of the Kamehameha family, the Royal Governor of the Island of Hawaiʻi, and the landholder of what would become the Kamehameha Schools estate.
ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is both the Indigenous language and an official language as recognized by the Constitution of the State of Hawaiʻi. The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2019 as the “Year of the Indigenous Language.” Its purpose is to draw attention to the critical loss of Indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote Indigenous languages.