Following in the legacy of the first Native Hawaiian United States Senator, Daniel K. Akaka, the second cohort of Native Hawaiian Congressional Fellows spent March through December working in the offices of the four Members of Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation.
The fellowship’s second cohort consisted of four individuals: Kekoa Morris, placed in the Office of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, went to Washington, D.C. upon his graduation from Princeton University. Kamuela Werner, a fellow in the Office of U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, previously worked at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Manuokalani Tupper, who began as a fellow for U. S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and currently serves as a fellow for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, worked at a Hawai‘i law firm and in the Hawai‘i State Legislature. Shanise Ka‘aikala, a fellow in the Office of U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, traveled to D.C. from Maui to complete the George Washington University Native American Political Leadership Program and extended her stay through this fellowship.
Kamehameha Schools and OHA have partnered to host the Native Hawaiian Congressional Fellowship, to ensure that Native Hawaiians are in a position to meaningfully exercise self-determination by influencing, and even molding and shaping, the federal policies and programs that affect the Native Hawaiian community.
Fellows spend nine months working in a Congressional office, receive mentorship throughout their time in Washington and develop a network that will serve them well, should they decide to continue into a career in federal policy.
The first cohort of three fellows completed the program in Summer 2017, and the second cohort just finished their fellowships in December. Applications are now being accepted to participate in the third cohort of the program.
Those who want to learn more about or are interested in applying to be a Native Hawaiian Congressional Fellow should visit www.oha.org/dcinternships, follow OHA on social media, or call OHA’s D.C. Bureau at (202) 506-7238.