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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

What We Do

Advocate for Native Hawaiians

OHA is focused on the strategic directions of education, health, housing and economics to improve the wellbeing of Native Hawaiians. By using the cultural strengths of ‘ohana, mo’omeheu and ʻāina as foundational elements, OHA seeks to affect change in the areas of Educational Pathways, Health Outcomes, Quality Housing and Economic Stability. OHA’s advocacy involves conducting research whose findings are used to guide decisions and empower communities to inspire positive results in these areas. OHA’s advocacy also calls for developing and shaping public policies that have broad implications for the Hawaiian community. OHA’s advocacy is reflected in its efforts to help ensure that laws are complied with at the local, state and federal levels. In addition, OHA’s advocacy requires working with communities to share information and build public support for Hawaiian issues.

Provide Resources

Among the key ways OHA fulfills its purpose is by providing resources towards improving conditions for Native Hawaiians. For example, each year OHA awards $500,000 in scholarship money. Similarly, nearly 2,000 Native Hawaiians have borrowed more than $34 million from OHA within the past decade to start businesses, improve homes, consolidate debts and continue their education. In addition, OHA awards more than $9 million in grants annually to community-based organizations that support the focus of the strategic plan. And as the state’s 13th largest landowner, OHA manages more than 27,000 acres of lands set aside largely for cultural and agricultural endeavors.

Facilitate Collaboration

At OHA, facilitating collaboration is among its core values. This is critical to the organization’s ability to energize relationships and earn the trust of important community partners. As a result, OHA has built formal relationships with various organizations to help achieve broad, lasting change in the Hawaiian community. Among them was the Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force, which was created by the Hawai‘i Legislature to support comprehensive solutions to concerns about the disproportionate number of Native Hawaiians who are in prison in Hawai‘i and the U.S. At the same time, OHA is working closely with the Nā Limahana o Lonopūhā Native Hawaiian Health Consortium to improve health.

 

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OHA ushers in a new era of accountability

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OHA Board Chair “Hulu” Lindsey statement on Department of Interior announcement to develop policy with Native Hawaiians

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OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey’s Statement on International Racial Equity 2030 Challenge Awardee Kawailoa

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