Mililani B. Trask


Photo: Mililani TraskHawaiʻi Island candidate

  • Age | 71
  • Occupation | Attorney at Law, OHA Trustee Hawaiʻi Island
  • Where did you grow up | Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu and Hāna, Maui
  • Schooling | Kamehameha Schools, San Jose State/BA, Santa Clara Law School, JD
  • Current residence | ʻŌlaʻa, Hawaiʻi
  • Website | n/a
Question 1Question 2Question 3Question 4Question 5
How are you currently serving (or have served) the lāhui? Please list the Native Hawaiian-serving organizations you are (or have been) affiliated with, the duration of your involvement, and your role/activities within those organizations.
Please provide an example of your community work to implement a project, initiative, grant or program. Please include your specific role and the outcomes for the community.
Please provide an example of your experience working collaboratively with other professionals to establish policies.
How and with whom can OHA collaborate to address and strengthen the economic stability of our lāhui?
How and with whom can OHA collaborate to address the related issues of affordable housing and houselessness in the Native Hawaiian community?
  1. I have served the lāhui my whole life. I have been a member of the Hawaiian civic clubs and the KS Alumni Association. I created Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi and served as its kiaʻāina for eight years. I was also a member of the PKO, Hoʻāla Kānāwai, Nā Koa Ikaika Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi (United Nations), and as the Pacific regional representative UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. I was recently elected by six of eight OHA trustees to fill the Hawaiʻi Island vacancy on their Board of Trustees.
  2. I am currently working on the Kōkua Kumukahi project on Hawaiʻi Island. We (my nonprofit Pono Kaulike, Inc.) are in a partnership with the Men of Paʻa (Puna Hawaiʻi Recovery program for Hawaiians returning from prison) to protect, clean up, restore, preserve and protect Cape Kumukahi a sacred wahi pana on Hawaiʻi Island. Many involved are lineal descendants with iwi kūpuna buried at the site which is a leina. Funding was provided by the Spirits Aligned Program funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. UH has the land but refuses to protect and preserve it. We are dedicated to getting the Burial Treatment Plan implemented and a preservation plan adopted and implemented. We will persevere.
  3. It took 22 years to elucidate the UNDRIP – setting forth the standards to protect Indigenous peoples’ human rights. That was achieved in 2007. Since that time, I have continued to work with the Indigenous experts and diplomats to integrate the UNDRIP into the UN agencies and bodies’ operational policies and standards with Indigenous peoples. Best examples are those being used by UNESCO, FAO, and UNPFII. The USA under Obama endorsed the UNDRIP and since that time various US agencies and bodies including DoD have had to engage in “consultation” as well as “corrective measures” which implement the UNDRIP provisions through policies of the government and the UN Bodies. As part of the OHA ceded land PIG [Permitted Interaction Group] I am now drafting policies I will propose to OHA BOT for the protection of the ceded land trust.
  4. OHA needs to take a bifurcated approach.
    1. Work with Hawaiian beneficiaries to: 1) support, fund and facilitate community-based economic efforts and Hawaiian small businesses and 2) create commercial spaces and places for Hawaiian entrepreneurs to operate their businesses.
    2. Work with county, state and federal folks to establish economic training and business opportunities and funding sources for business training as well as marketing opportunities.
    3. Manage and develop a “Made in Hawaiʻi by Hawaiians” brand for real Hawaiian business in Hawaiʻi and the US that is geared to inform consumers as well as showcase Hawaiian-made art, clothing, edibles, and products for consumers. Help our businesses market more of their goods to markets in Hawaiʻi and globally.
  5. OHA should undertake a project to assess which housing models and products meet the needs of Hawaiians living in Hawaiʻi. These pre-cut units are available on most islands, are appropriate for our tropical weather and can integrate solar and water catchment for energy and food sustainability. I strongly suggest OHA work with Elon Musk who has designed the “Boxable” unit, easy to ship, expandable and affordable (but needs catchment and solar components).

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