Photo: Officials from OHA and Taiwanese Government


On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, a delegation from Taiwan met with OHA officials to discuss, on behalf of the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) of Taiwan, the potential of the agency co-hosting the “Austronesian Forum” during the 2020 Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture in Hawai‘i, as well as the possibilities of connecting current Polynesian regional issues with that of the indigenous peoples in Taiwan. Our guests included Dr. Da-Wei Kuan, Associate Professor of the Department of Ethnology, National Chengchi University, Taiwan; Li Cheng-Cheng, UH-Mānoa Graduate Student and former student of Dr. Da-Wei Kuan; and Mr. James Huang, Division Director at the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Honolulu.

Photo Above: OHA and Taiwanese Government Officials meet in the OHA Board Room. Photo Credit: Nelson Gaspar

Paula Akana named new Executive Director of ‘Iolani Palace

Photo: Paula AkanaFollowing an extensive local and national search, The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace today announced that the Board of Directors has selected Paula Akana as its new Executive Director, effective July 8, 2019.

As a veteran broadcast journalist, Akana brings more than 30 years of communications and leadership experience to her new role. Over her distinguished career with KITV Island News, she has covered a variety of stories about ‘Iolani Palace, including its restoration, return of long-lost objects, and unique place in Hawai‘i’s history.

“I am humbled and honored to be asked to help lead the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace. The Palace has always held a special place in my heart,” said Akana. “I want to mahalo KITV for allowing me to share stories of the Palace and our Hawaiian culture for the past 35 years. I now look forward to not only sharing the Palace’s story with the world, but also, along with the board, staff and volunteers, to continue to restore and protect this wahi pana.”

“The diligence, passion and grace that Paula has brought to her job each and every day for the last 30 plus years is rare and special,” said Jason Hagiwara, general manager of KITV. “While we will miss her, we are excited for her and wish her well in the next chapter of her journey.”

Built in 1882 by King Kalākaua, ‘Iolani Palace was the home of Hawai‘i’s last reigning monarchs and served as the official royal residence and social life until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893. A registered National Historic Landmark, ‘Iolani Palace is a living restoration of a proud Hawaiian national identity and the only official royal palace in the United States. For more information, please call ‘Iolani Palace at (808) 522-0822 or visit

‘Iolani Palace announces He Mele Lāhui Hawai‘i program

Photo: Ku‘uipo Kumukahi
Hawaiian entertainer Ku‘uipo Kumukahi in the Palace’s Imprisonment Room. – Photo: The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace

In an effort to convey the monarchy era splendor of this historic landmark to visitors from around the world, ‘Iolani Palace recently announced its new He Mele Lāhui Hawai‘i program, featuring twice monthly pop-up performances by acclaimed Hawaiian entertainer Ku‘uipo Kumukahi in the Palace’s Imprisonment Room. He Mele Lāhui Hawai‘i is presented in partnership with the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa.

Kumukahi is a professional Hawaiian music performer, songwriter and recording artist who has committed her life to the education, preservation, perpetuation and promotion of the Hawaiian language through poetry and mele. She is currently the director of Hawaiian culture and community relations at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, where she serves as the live consciousness of Hawaiian heritage at Pualeilani. A firm believer in community collaboration, Kumukahi supports a variety of efforts to build and maintain community relationships.

The following is the remaining 2019 schedule of He Mele Lāhui Hawai‘i performances, which take place from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. All dates are subject to change.

  • June 12 and 26
  • July 10 and 24
  • August 7 and 21
  • September 4 and 18
  • October 2 and 16
  • November 6 and 20
  • December 4 and 18

Entry to the Palace is required for these performances. For more information about He Mele Lāhui Hawai‘i, visit or call (808) 522-0822.

A new Native Hawaiian career and technical education program at Windward CC

‘Ao Kahi is a Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education project sponsored by Alu Like, Inc. and funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The ‘Ao Kahi project is expanding opportunities at Windward CC for Native Hawaiian students to obtain recognized postsecondary credentials and hands-on learning in Information and Computer Science (ICS), specifically in cybersecurity. The project covers Windward CC student tuition to complete the Certificate of Competence in Information Security, a 40-hour internship on campus or with a business organization ($12.50/hour stipend), and student support throughout the duration of the grant (scheduled for three years).

‘Ao Kahi is for Native Hawaiian1 students with a minimum 2.0. GPA2 who will:

  • register and complete ICS 171, ICS 281, and ICS 282, as well as ICS 184 if needed
  • be able to attend ALL classes with a positive work habit and a positive attitude
  • be able to participate in all other required project activities (i.e. project feedback)

Take three courses to earn a Certificate of Competence in Information Security:

  • ICS 171 – Introduction to Computer Security (3 credits)
  • ICS 281 – Ethical Hacking (3 credits)
  • ICS 282 – Computer Forensics (3 credits)


  • ICS 184 – Introduction to Networking (3 credits) (optional prerequisite based on math and computer experience)
  • ICS classes listed above are either online or hybrid
  • Career and internship advising begins upon registration
  • Internship and job placement assistance starts after completion of ICS 171
  • Coordinator supports students throughout the duration of the grant

The ‘Ao Kahi project is a great option for Native Hawaiian students interested in any major since these computer skills are valuable personally and professionally. We welcome students to start their ICS career pathway at Windward Community College.

1 Proof of Native Hawaiian ancestry can be verified by birth certificate, Hawaiian registry card, or a verification letter from Kamehameha Schools, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, or Hawai‘i State Department of Health.

2 Minimum 2.0 GPA can be from high school or community college.

HCAP Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help O‘ahu households with their energy bills

Screenshot of HECO WebsiteHonolulu Community Action Program, Inc. (HCAP) will be accepting applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) starting June 3, 2019, on O‘ahu.

LIHEAP is a federally-funded program to assist low-income households in meeting their home energy needs. Offered once a year, LIHEAP provides income-eligible households with assistance in paying their electric or gas bills. In 2018, HCAP helped over 4,980 O‘ahu families apply for energy assistance through LIHEAP.

O‘ahu residents who qualify can apply for one of two programs available through LIHEAP in 2019. The first is “Gas or Electric Bill Payment Assistance,” whereby an energy credit is applied to the gas or electric accounts of households having difficulty paying these bills. The second is “Energy Crisis Intervention,” whereby households whose electricity has been shut off in the past sixty days or is scheduled to be shut off within seven days are provided financial assistance.

HCAP will be accepting applications at its five District Service Centers on O‘ahu, starting June 3, 2019 and ending June 28, 2019. Applications will be accepted Monday through Friday 9 am – 12 noon.

Applicants must bring the following documents and information with them to apply:

  1. Current original heco electric bill or Hawai‘i Gas bill
  2. Proof of residence
  3. Photo identification.
  4. Social security numbers
  5. Proof of age or disability
  6. Proof of income
  7. Proof of non-citizen status

Another option for applicants is to print and fill out forms through the HCAP website at Applicants must bring the forms with them to the application site. The forms cannot be submitted online or mailed.

Interested applicants may call any of the HCAP District Service Centers for more information on dates, times, and program requirements.

For more information, visit our website at or our social media accounts:@HCAPhi.

Mana Mele celebrates music and education in 3-in-1 concert

Mana Mele, the Hawaiian music and education nonprofit, is holding a 3-in-1 benefit this month, bringing together Hawaiian immersion schools, charter schools, and musical artists to ho‘okani pila and to premiere their newest video. Confirmed performances by Kapena, Josh Tatofi, Paula Fuga, Shane & Caleb of Sudden Rush, students, and more. Check out for more info.

Sat., June 29, 2019 (3-10pm, doors open at 2:30pm) at Victoria Ward Park (980 Auahi Street, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96814).