Loretta Tuell and Jade Danner, both with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a roundtable listening session August 22 with 75 people in attendance. Federal policy makers, agency officials and community stakeholders were on hand in Honolulu, Hawaii to discuss obstacles and strategies to accessing capital in Native communities.
Tuell, staff director and chief counsel of the Indian Affairs Committee and Danner, policy director, began the events kicking off the 10th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention. They were followed by a Next Generation Leadership Forum led by the University of Hawaii Hawaiian Studies Program that discussed Legal Empowerment for Indigenous Peoples and a reviewed the U.N. Declaration on Indigenous Rights.
“This forum allows our people, who self select themselves as leaders in their own communities to think of issues that they can present and share with the CNHA plenary,” said Lilikala Kame`eleihiwa, “the three issues that we’re discussing this year are what we would like to see in indigenous serving universities, land requirements for food sovereignty, and political rights under the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights.”
The convention continued August 23 with attendees hearing from Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz, Tex Hall, chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Inian Nation; and Colette Machado, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chair. Tuesday’s focus will be on business, education and Hawaiian Home Lands trust.