Presented by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

On the 100th year of her passing, Queen Liliʻuokalani serves as an inspiration for the Liliʻuokalani Trust (LT) to courageously innovate and blaze pathways towards its vision of thriving Hawaiian children.

Consider the trauma the Queen experienced in her lifetime—a measles epidemic, the death of her husband and brother, the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, a trial and imprisonment, and a failed campaign to block Annexation. The Queen remained resilient despite her suffering. In 1909, she established LT to help the most vulnerable children, specifically, those orphaned or otherwise destitute.

Creating pathways to thriving

Queen Liliʻuokalani

Today, Native Hawaiian children are overrepresented in statistics on teen pregnancy, youth incarceration, poverty and homelessness (see below). LT Chairman Thomas Kaulukukui, Jr. notes that, “the needs of disadvantaged keiki persist over decades and increase in scale; it is incumbent on us to nurture the resiliency of our kamaliʻi.”

LT aims to change these trends and to shift its focus to the wellbeing of our kamali‘i. Charged last year by the trustees to end the cycle of poverty for Native Hawaiians, LT has reorganized and unveiled a new strategic direction and vision.

Visioning the future

The leadership of LT recognizes that maximizing its impact is its kuleana. “We are blessed with a growing endowment that allows us to dream big. We’re self-funded and independent so we can do things others cannot,” said Robert Ozaki, President and Chief Executive Officer. “If we don’t dream up to undertake the big stuff, then shame on us,” he said. “In an exponential world, where everything is changing really fast, we need to take larger steps, leaps, and risks to prepare our kids for a new world.”

LT recently shifted its approach: focusing their high-impact programs and services on the most vulnerable Native Hawaiian kamali‘i and expanding their impact with a bold, multi-pronged approach—one that invites community partnerships, relies on measurable results, and values the ability to stay nimble and change with the changing times.

In addressing the necessary change that LT is undergoing, Chairman Kaulukukui said: “We are going to serve our Hawaiian children better, with lasting effects. We are going to make systemic changes to attack the core maladies that plague our children. We are going to positively affect current and future generations of Hawaiian children in ways that no organization has.” It’s a bold and ambitious vision, and yet one that directly honors and builds on the Queen’s dream. “Her legacy,” said Kaulukukui, “is our inspiration.”

LT Mission statement:

We BELIEVE in the resiliency of our Hawaiian children. We ADVOCATE and work towards systemic change for their well-being and BUILD them pathways to thriving lives.

BELIEVE, ADVOCATE, and BUILD: Truancy Court Collaboration on Kaua‘i

The vision of Liliʻuokalani Trust (LT) — e nā kamalei lupalupa (thriving Hawaiian children) — is the guiding light for LT’s recent partnership on Kauaʻi.

LT partnered with the Fifth Circuit Family Court, the Department of Education, Department of Health, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Attorney General’s Office, Hale Kipa, and the Kauaʻi Police Department to develop an innovative strategy to enhance youth opportunities to succeed in school.

The stakeholders envisioned a more supportive and proactive response to students who begin to exhibit a pattern of school nonattendance, as an alternative to the practice of filing a petition with the Attorney General and scheduling a court appearance.

Now, kamaliʻi are referred to a multidisciplinary team that intercedes with the family to determine and address the root causes of the youth’s nonattendance. This strategic support of youth and families is designed to prevent kamaliʻi from becoming involved in the State’s juvenile justice system – up to 89 percent of Hawaiʻi’s inmates have reported they were truants – and to provide them with pathways to educational success.


"Softball ʻOnipaʻa - I will give my best effort" . Families gather & display signs to support middle school students playing sports as part of LTʻs youth athletics pathway
Believing in the importance of physical activity, the joy of play, and healthy choices, LT launched its youth athletics pathway this past summer with a collaboration between LT and the UH Mãnoa Athletics Department. Seventy-three Hawaiian middle school students from across the State came to the UH Mãnoa campus to explore various sports with UH athletes from the basketball, soccer, softball,and football teams. –photo: Courtesy Liliʻuokalani Trust
Fifty ‘ōpio came from across the state to explore their creative potential through dance, culminating in a performance at Hawai‘i Theatre.
Through a partnership with world renowned Alvin Ailey Arts In Education, LT launched its creative development pathway with a two-week Spring dance camp. Fifty ʻōpio came from across the state to explore their creative potential through dance, culminating in a performance at Hawaiʻi Theatre. — photo: Courtesy Liliʻuokalani Trust


Lili‘uokalani Trust Timeline

  • September 2, 1838
    Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamaka‘eha is born
  • January 1891
    Liliʻuokalani ascends the throne upon the death of King Kalākaua
  • January 17, 1893
    Queen Liliʻuokalani yields her throne to avoid bloodshed
  • December 2, 1909
    Queen Liliʻuokalani executes a Deed of Trust establishing Liliʻuokalani Trust (LT)
  • November 11, 1917
    Queen Liliʻuokalani dies of a stroke at Washington Place at the age of 79
  • 1935-1941
    LT’s child welfare program operates under the Children’s Service Association
  • 1941-1946
    LT’s Child Welfare Services operates as a distinct unit within Child & Family Service
  • 1946
    LT Child Welfare Department becomes a welfare agency in its own right
  • 1970 – 1990
    • Expands services to include community outreach, adding to individual children and ʻohana services
    • Publishes Nānā I Ke Kumu (vol I in 1972 & vol. II in 1979), which lay the scholarly foundation for Native Hawaiian cultural social work practice
    • Establishes offices on neighbor islands
  • 2002
    A self-determined LT brings endowment management in-house
  • 2015
    • Creates a vision of E nā kamalei lupalupa (thriving Hawaiian children)
    • Accepts challenge by trustees to break the cycle of poverty and focus programs on the most vulnerable of our Native Hawaiian people


Nani Na Pua Eo E Lili‘u

Nov. 10, 5 and 7 p.m.

The Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus presents music written by and for Queen Liliʻuokalani, including excerpts of the newly commissioned opera “Nani Na Pua” by Native Hawaiian composer Herb Mahelona, which is based on her life as a child attending Royal School. Reserved seating $10, general admission free. Kawaiahaʻo Church,

Aloha Lili‘u

Nov. 11, 8 a.m.

On Saturday, Nov. 11 at 8:30 a.m. more than 200 churches across the island chain will sound their bells to honor the Queen, just as it happened 100 years ago at the announcement made at the exact hour by Court Chamberlain Colonel Curtis Iaukea.

A centennial observance of this day will be filled with the sounds of church bells, pahu, oli and kanikau from every mokupuni. Church bells will toll 100 times, pahu will sound 100 times, 100 pū will resonate, 100 ʻōlapa will dance in honor of our Queen. Come and be a part of Aloha Liliʻu on Nov. 11 at the Queen’s Promenade and Statue at 8 a.m.

For more information visit

Concert and Remembrance Speech

Nov. 11, 5 p.m.

The Royal Hawaiian Band will perform at 5 p.m. at ʻIolani Palace, followed by a remembrance speech at 6 p.m. by Rev. Malcolm Chun.

LT iHuddle
A two-day “LT Innovation Huddle” with nearly 300 enthusiastic participants was convened in August. LT teammates were joined by staff from other nonprofits, community partners and friends. The hope is that new conversations and partnerships are formed, leading to deeper community collaboration. (Pictured from a panel discussion, l-r: Moderator David Hipp of LT, Mark Patterson of Hawai‘i Youth Correctional Facility, Terry Corkins of Hoʻola Na Pua, and James Koshiba of Hui Aloha). -Photo: Courtesy Liliʻuokalani Trust
Lili‘uokalani Trust kamali‘i danced at “Lili‘u: Tribute to a Queen”
In September, Liliʻuokalani Trust kamaliʻi danced at “Liliʻu: Tribute to a Queen,” an evening concert at ʻIolani Palace celebrating her life and musical legacy. — photo: Courtesy Liliʻuokalani Trust

How does Queen Liliʻuokalani’s legacy resonate today?

2017 Native Hawaiian Convention to share their thoughts about her lasting legacy. – Kawena Carvalho-Mattos

How Does the Queen’s Legacy Resonate with You Today? from Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Vimeo.