Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! What an honor and a feeling of pride to experience my second OHA Oath of Office and Investiture Ceremony! This year’s festivities commenced at Kawaiahaʻo Church. It was so special to see everyone together, all to support OHA with the celebration of the elected Board of Trustees.
What a wonderful program filled with oli, beautiful Hawaiian music by Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom accompanied by Jeff Peterson, along with other talented singers, musicians, lovely hula, and the profound words of our speakers – from the young haumana Kealiʻinohomoku Wichman of Ke Kula ʻo Samuel Kamakau, to the words and song by Kahu Kenneth Makuakāne. It brought us all together, holding hands, singing in harmony with melodies and messages that filled this majestic church.
Surrounded on this momentous day by family, friends, supporters, benevolent societies, Hawaiian civic clubs, legislators, dignitaries and many others with whom we collaborate, all under the loving gaze of our aliʻi portraits is a memory to behold.
Congratulations to my colleagues! Together, we work in unity for the good of our people to bring our talents together – aloha kekahi i kekahi – aloha each other, respectively sharing perspectives and manaʻo. Come together with open minds, understanding, clarity, humility and aloha for the decisions made to see forth our mission to better the conditions of our beloved Native Hawaiian people and with the values of our Mana i Mauli Ola Strategic Plan, through education, health, housing and economic stability to improve our people’s wellbeing through our foundations of ʻohana, moʻomeheu (culture) and ʻāina (our lands and waters).
With a new year comes a renewed focus on our objectives and goals.
I’m honored to continue serving as the chair of the OHA Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment. I look forward to the 2023 Legislative Session and continuing our collaborative efforts to unlock the full potential of our Kakaʻako Makai property, Hakuone, and to continue the discussion of OHA receiving its share of the public revenues from the Public Land Trust, originally Native Hawaiian Crown and Government Lands. Mahalo in advance for your kōkua, support and testimony!
Mahalo nui to everyone who attended the OHA Investiture and mahalo nui to all of the OHA staff and many others that made this event one to remember! I wish everyone a healthy and prosperous new year!