Julian (Keikilani) Ako


Photo: Julian Ako

At-Large candidate

  • Age | 79
  • Occupation | Retired School Administrator
  • Where did you grow up | Mānana (Pearl City), Oʻahu
  • Schooling | Kamehameha School for Boys, Macalester College, University of Kansas
  • Current residence | Honolulu, Oʻahu
  • Website | ako4oha.com
  1. In 2015, I retired after 36 years of service at the Kamehameha Schools, having spent the final 10 years as high school principal at the Kapālama Campus. Those 36 years represent the fulfillment of a personal calling to improve the capability and wellbeing of Native Hawaiians through education.
    Since retirement, over the past seven years I have continued to seek opportunities to improve the conditions of Native Hawaiians in various leadership positions in the Hawaiian civic club movement and in the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association. I also am on the boards of other nonprofit organizations that serve Native Hawaiians. Election as an OHA trustee will enable me to continue my lifetime mission of helping other Native Hawaiians.
  2. From 1999-2000, I served as one of the facilitators in the development of the Kamehameha Schools Strategic Plan 2000-2015. The plan was transformational, in that leaders began for the first time to speak of Kamehameha not just as an institution FOR Native Hawaiians but also, indeed, as a HAWAIIAN institution. Further, the institution’s land assets, its ʻāina, was viewed for the first time as having cultural and educational value as opposed to exclusively economic value. Paepae ʻO Heʻeia would have been filled in for the development of luxury homes not affordable for Native Hawaiians if not for the changes that came out of the strategic planning efforts which I helped to lead.
  3. As high school principal at Kamehameha, I also led some changes to better serve students, with the creation of smaller learning communities, instituted for the first time for Kamehameha, Kapālama, a Hawaiian language graduation requirement and championed the development of a Hawaiian culture-based curricular program, infusing a Western education system with a Hawaiian worldview.
    While working at Kamehameha Schools as a dean of Student Activities, I collaborated with other administrators, class advisors and club advisors to draft policies related to student travel and fundraising. Furthermore, when I served as the interim head of Educational Support Services at Kamehameha, I worked with the Legal Division, other Kamehameha executives and divisional heads on policies for Kamehameha Press as well as the admissions program.
  4. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs must continue to partner with the aliʻi trusts and other governmental agencies on programs to strengthen the economic stability of Native Hawaiians.
  5. In terms of the houselessness challenge many Native Hawaiians face, to the extent feasible OHA must collaborate with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and other groups that work to address the affordable housing issue. We have to recognize that because of its limited resources OHA alone cannot solve this issue.
    If I am elected, I will work with my other fellow trustees to address the needs of our people by ensuring that OHA receives its full 20% share of the annual revenues from the Public Land Trust and by ensuring that OHA’s money is managed prudently. I will also listen to the voices of our people and be an advocate for them.

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