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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Archived: 2016 OHA Kauaʻi Trustee candidates

UPDATE: 2020 OHA Kauaʻi & Niʻihau Trustee candidate info can be found here.

2016 community questions

Q1. What opportunities to do you see for OHA and its Board of Trustees to help improve the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our lahui?

– Aukahi Austin Seabury, Ph.D. Psychologist, Executive Director

Q2. What is your strategy for achieving nation building?

– Vicky Holt Takamine, Kumu hula

Q3. Many of the most pressing issues facing the lahui—such as climate change, and health and wealth disparities—are a part of global dynamics. How do we use our mana and ancestral values to help solve these contemporary, complex and pressing issues?

– Kamuela Enos, Sustainable agriculture and indigenous enterprise advocate

Candidate answers


➤➤ Q1 Response: Our strategic plan at OHA includes an initiative called “Mauli Ola.” This initiative is an ongoing effort to indentify numerous determinants of health as such as socio-economic conditions and access to healthy foods, as well as numerous other factors that lead to ailments such as obesity and diabetes. Part of our effort is to decrease the number of obese Native Hawaiians by 2018. It is clear that poor physical health is directly related mental and spiritual health as well. So this initiative is a work in progress in which we identify numerous factors and directly support programs and organizations that address those factors through our grants program.

➤➤ Q2 Response: I believe OHA’s role in Nation Building at this point should be to engage in more diplomacy with other Native and Pacific Island Nations, to build support for an economic development strategy that is centered on indigenous owned resources. Specifically, what can we learn from our Pacific Island cousins about a diversified ag economy? Energy production? It is time we start looking to other island nations to find models of economic development. I believe that if we developed sound economic strategies that could be implemented by a Native government, support for the Nation building effort would increase substantially.

➤➤ Q3 Response: Similar to my answer in the previous question, I believe that we need to look at our traditional ways of economy and be creative in making those systems work in today’s economy. I am not saying we should commodify our culture, but we should be looking at agriculture and energy production especially and figuring out how we can build communities around projects that embrace our culture and provide a livelihood for those who are living in that community. Kalo farming and other small-scale farming are examples. These small farms are the key to diversified, sustainable agriculture in Hawaii. I also believe that OHA, the State, and NGO’s can work together to provide better capacity building efforts for traditional and small-scale farmers and rural communities throughout the State. Ultimately, more sustainable practices, such as food production, and renewable energy production are key ways to tackle climate change issues; poverty issues in Hawaiʻi, and can be a catalyst for cultural re-connection.

View Candidate responses by race

OHA TRUSTEE Hawai‘i candidates
OHA TRUSTEE Moloka‘i candidates
OHA TRUSTEE Kaua‘i candidates
OHA TRUSTEE At-Large candidates


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