Updated: September 28, 2022
US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a field hearing on Wednesday to discuss federal resources for the Native Hawaiian community.
The hearing was titled “Upholding The Federal Trust Responsibility: Funding & Program Access For Innovation In The Native Hawaiian Community.”
Since assuming the committee chairmanship, Sen. Schatz reports he has delivered the biggest federal investment in American history for Native Hawaiians. This includes more than $270 million in direct funding for housing, education, health care, food and agriculture, broadband, and culture and the arts.
Chairman Schatz opened the hearing by underscoring the importance of hearing from Native Hawaiian leaders on their community’s needs and how the federal government can continue to help.
“The federal government has a trust responsibility to Native Hawaiians – just like it does with American Indians and Alaska Natives – and that trust responsibility must be fulfilled,” said Chairman Schatz. “That is why we brought this conversation home – for the first time in more than a decade to hear about how this Committee can seek equity for Native Hawaiians and support a thriving Native Hawaiian community.”
The following witnesses participated in the hearing:
- Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, Chair, Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
- William J. Aila, Jr., Chairman, Hawaiian Homes Commission
- Kūhiō Lewis, President & Chief Executive Officer, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
- Dr. Sheri Daniels, Ed.D., Executive Director, Papa Ola Lōkahi
- Dr. Winona Kaalouahi Lee, MD, Associate Chair, Medical Education, Department of Native Hawaiian Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
- Elena Farden, Executive Director, Native Hawaiian Education Council