Trustee Akina Responds to Questions at OHA Board Meeting
Affirms Commitment to Native Hawaiian Advancement
News Release from Office of OHA Trustee Keli’i Akina December 16, 2016
HONOLULU, HI- On Thursday, the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs held its second meeting since its reorganization. Newly elected Trustee-at-Large Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D. took the occasion to respond to questions about his positions on Native Hawaiian issues.
The following are excerpts from both Trustee Akina`s verbal remarks to the Board and his position paper on Native Hawaiian issues, which he distributed to the Trustees at the Board meeting.
“I have no opposition to the self-determinism of our Hawaiian people,” Trustee Akina said at the Board meeting. “I support the self-determinism of the Hawaiian people, but I do believe that the path that will get us into trouble is when [we] use our state agency, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its funds, in a way that is unconstitutional, because that is counterproductive to the entire process.”
In his position paper, Trustee Akina presented his views on Native Hawaiian entitlements:
“You should also know that I am completely committed to the protection of the primary Hawaiian entitlements as secured by law. These include the Hawaiian Homelands and the Ceded Lands trusts. I affirm these rights of native Hawaiian beneficiaries and do not promote taking assets away from Hawaiians to give to non-Hawaiians.”
With respect to the Ali`i trusts, Trustee Akina stated:
“I also affirm the rights of the Ali‘i trusts, such as the Kamehameha Schools, to use their private property rights (as the estates of private individuals) according to the wills of their benefactors. I am, after all, a proud alumnus of Kamehameha Schools as are my four children.”
Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D., is a community leader who is known for the phrase he has coined, "E Hana Kākou" - Let's work together! Over the past several years as a public policy adviser at the legislative, congressional and international levels, Dr. Akina’s mission has been to preserve the Aloha Spirit by which native Hawaiians and people of all races are welcomed and encouraged to work together for a better future for all our keiki. He is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a nonprofit, independent think tank and Trustee-at-large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this news release do not reflect those of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs or its Board of Trustees.
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