Naeʻole-Wong testifies at Senate Committee on Indian Affairs field hearing

Jun. 15, 2022

Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi Po‘o Kula Kāhealani Nae‘ole-Wong KSK’87 was among the KS alumni who testified at a recent Senate Committee on Indian Affairs field hearing held at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. The hearing highlighted culture and innovation in the Native Hawaiian Community.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawai‘i, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led the field hearing titled “Upholding The Federal Trust Responsibility: Funding & Program Access For Innovation In The Native Hawaiian Community.” Chairman Schatz called out the unique perspectives the Hawaiʻi island community brings to the federal conversation about how best to support native communities.

“This is a place where rich tradition and cutting-edge innovation meet, and I am interested in learning from you today about how you use those resources to serve the Native Hawaiian community,” Schatz said. “We brought the committee to Hilo to hear directly from you about your successes, your challenges, and your recommendations for advancing Native Hawaiian education, tradition and culture, economic development, and the arts.”

Nae‘ole-Wong discussed the importance of Hawaiian culture-based education in empowering ‘ōiwi students to find their competitive edge. She was joined by lāhui leaders Nāmaka Rawlins KSK’70 – senior director of Hale Kipa ʻŌiwi at ʻAha Pūnana Leo; Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, Ph.D. – director of Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the UH Hilo; and Amy Kalili KSK’89 – partner of Pilina First LLP.

The following ‘ōiwi leaders also participated in the hearing:

  • Luana Kawelu KSK’58 – President, Merrie Monarch Festival
  • Dr. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln – UH associate research professor
  • Kūhaʻo Zane – Creative director, Sig Zane Designs

View the full video of the hearing here.

Nāmaka Rawlins KSK’70, Kāhealani Nae‘ole-Wong KSK’87, Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, and Amy Kalili KSK’89 testify before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs field hearing in Hilo.