KS submits comments to the Department of the Interior

Aug. 19, 2014

Contributed by Communication Group Staff

Kamehameha Schools today submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (the Department) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to help determine whether the Department should develop a formal, administrative procedure for reestablishing an official government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community and, if so, what that procedure should be.

We are one of many organizations, groups and individuals in the Native Hawaiian community and throughout the state that have been engaged in discussions about Native Hawaiian governance for more than a decade. However, our interest in and support for Native Hawaiian advancement and well-being has been present since our establishment and spans more than 130 years.

By 1883, when Pauahi signed her will, encroaching foreign interests and influences had left Hawaiians with diminishing control over their own lands and governance.  Rampant disease had reduced the Hawaiian population from over 500,000 to some 40,000. With the socio-economic, political and cultural condition of her people in severe decline, the future seemed bleak. 

Today, Pauahi’s enduring legacy supports an educational system that includes three K-12 campuses, 31 preschools statewide and dozens of enrichment programs that help educate more than 40,000 children each year.

As we celebrate well over a century of achievement, we must also acknowledge the sobering reality that serious challenges continue to face Native Hawaiians – social conditions that can and must be changed through bold and innovative strategies in education and stewardship over the course of the next generation and beyond.

In a few months, Kamehameha Schools will broadly share its Strategic Plan for 2020. We envision leading and working with many collaborators to provide quality educational experiences for Native Hawaiian children and their families.

The work of Kamehameha Schools and our fellow Hawaiian-serving organizations is critical to help advance the well-being of Hawaiians in their homeland. In this spirit, and as our Native Hawaiian community gathers to assert its right to chart its own political course forward, Kamehameha Schools has submitted comments to the US Department of the Interior on the matter of Native Hawaiian governance. Click HERE to see KS’ comments.