- Age | 70
- Occupation | Artist, Consultant-Planner, Entrepreneur
- Where did you grow up | Pālolo Valley, Oʻahu
- Schooling | Jarrett MS , Kamehameha Schools, UH Mānoa
- Current residence | Honolulu, Oʻahu
- Website | www.Burke4Aloha.com
- Volunteer membership history in Hawaiian organizations:
Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce 1998 to present, BOD & Treasurer 1999-2001; Pā Kui A Holo – art of Lua 2000 to 2010; Kalihi-Pālama Hawaiian Civic Club 2015 – present BOD 2022; Hawaiian Community Development Board (housing) 2000 to present BOD Secretary.
- Achievements overview:
1) Association of Hawaiʻi Artist: Featured paintings in several art shows 2008 to present; 2) Cook’s Life in the Pacific exhibition, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 2006, Native Hawaiian representative for cultural protocol, escorted this exhibit from Germany to Hawaiʻi as a journalist and cultural practitioner; 3) The ʻŌiwi Files, 2003 – 2005, statewide launch of independent news journal and publishing company archived in Library of Congress and UH Pacific Collection; 4) Pele Plant Project, 2000-2002, coordinator of Tongan spinach health benefits to Hawaiian community through a private grant; 5) Once Were Warriors, 1998. Organized statewide sponsorship and community presentation of film which speaks against domestic violence with Rena Owen (New Zealand actress). Traveled and interacted with communities in Honolulu, Kona, Hilo, Maui & Molokaʻi. A very powerful event against domestic violence in Hawaiian communities; 6) Pew Civic Entrepreneur Leadership National Project: 1997 – 1999. Selected as one of 20 Honolulu community leaders from 10 cities nationwide, attended two national workshops to increase the leadership skills to build community-based activities in our city. Was one of 10 Hawaiian community leaders chosen.
- The best collaboration was setting up the Once Were Warriors Project, being still at the UH Mānoa finishing my masterʻs degrees, I took on this project as an independent planner consultant. It took working with each island’s Queen Liliʻuokalani Centers, the UH community colleges and many small grassroots community groups to organize this powerful and successful event!
I am an independent publisher/editor of the ʻŌiwi Files, with a grassroots community of people delivering the paper statewide and the contributions of writers pro bono to produce a 12-page tabloid newspaper. It is in the UH Pacific Collection, University of Auckland and Waitangi, and other collections.
The most prestigious contribution was my journey to Germany through the Academy of Arts for the 2006 Cook’s Life in the Pacific Exhibition, Honolulu Academy of Arts. It entailed traveling to Berlin, visiting many famous museums to view their collection of Oceania and then bringing 300 artifacts to Hawaiʻi for the exhibit.
- My most urgent message to everyone is for OHA to help to dismantle the racial divide imposed by the Homestead Act of 50% blood quantum. It is the most important policy we must change and become a whole nation of all Hawaiians. To allow this to stand is an insult to everyone, it blinds those to feel privileged to have “immoral rights” by a white superset racially motivated policy to divide all and any Indigenous people. What it does is it prevents unity and degrades the quality of life for the less than 50% blood quantum groups of Hawaiians.
- Many resources are tied to this 50% blood quantum mindset, as in Indian tribes with casino revenues! This should not be our faith. We should stand together and make sure we all are without blood quantum sitting on the same table. When we discard this “hewa” attitude, we can find more pathways to provide shelter and housing via affordable rentals, co-ops and ownership. When ALL share in the pot and housing becomes available to all, which reduces the financial-economic burdens of shelter, it relives the stress of unemployment without shelter, it improves education because there is a roof over our children’s heads and families can thrive, it can relieve social stress as well. We are all 100% Hawaiians no matter the blood quantum.