Maui News

PHOTOS: Native Hawaiian Disparities Discussed in Senate

June 5, 2013, 4:41 PM HST
* Updated June 5, 4:47 PM
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Photo courtesy: Office of US Sen. Brian Schatz.

Photo courtesy: Office of US Sen. Brian Schatz.

By Maui Now Staff

A US Senate committee took up discussion today on native Hawaiian justice and economic disparities.

It was among the topics covered by Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders who met with the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.

The committee, co-chaired by US Senator Brian Schatz, also discussed immigration reform, and family reunification efforts.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders greatly impacted the history and culture of America, by shaping our military, political, and industrial history,” said Sen. Schatz in a media statement today.

Photo courtesy Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

Photo courtesy Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

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“With nearly 19 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders throughout the United States, today’s meeting focused on key community issues,” he said.

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Sen. Schatz further vowed to keep an “open dialogue” between Congress and the community on ways to provide assistance and advance priorities.

Among those present at the table was Michelle Kauhane, Senior Vice President, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

The group is also meeting with Alaska Native leaders on a variety of policy issues and partnerships while in Washington DC this week.

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“Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians share indigenous values deeply connected to our respective ancestral lands,” said Kauhane in a press release issued today.  “And as a result, we share many of the same solutions to the challenges faced by our young leaders, by our families, our business owners and our subsistence providers and cultural practitioners.  There is so much we can do together,” she said.

One of the key events hosted in conjunction with the Alaska Federation of Natives, is an Alaska – Hawaii Roundtable, in which leaders share federal policy priorities with one another, and keep members of both delegations briefed and informed.

CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian organizations. Members are tasked with accessing capital and technical resources, and serve as a policy voice for Native Hawaiian issues.

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