OHA Coming to Molokaʻi May 15-16

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Luana Alapa: Trustee Molokaʻi and Lanaʻi

May is a month of profound significance as we honor Mother’s Day, a time to celebrate the boundless love and nurturing spirit of mothers. Personally, this month holds special resonance as I express gratitude for the presence of my beloved mother, Kauana Kanahele (Pukahi), who recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Her essence embodies sweetness, beauty, and unwavering love, enriching my life in myriad ways.

Reflecting on our recent endeavors, the past three months have been notably bustling for our esteemed Board of Trustees. Our engagements have led us on a journey to Kahana Valley on the picturesque island of Oʻahu. Here, we had the privilege of meeting with beneficiaries deeply rooted in their cultural heritage, steadfastly preserving their way of life through generations. However, amidst their resilience lies a pressing concern – the uncertainty surrounding their land leases. These leases, crucial for their sustenance, await renewal, casting a shadow of ambiguity over their future. As stewards of justice and equity, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs diligently engages in assessing and addressing the needs of this community, ensuring their voices are heard and their rights protected.

Looking forward, a momentous event beckons – the Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture 2024, a celebration of diversity, creativity, and unity among Pacific Island nations. In a rare opportunity, our beloved state of Hawaiʻi (Lāhui) has been entrusted with the honor of hosting this prestigious event from June 6-16, 2024, on the captivating island of Oʻahu. With over 30 island nations converging to showcase their rich heritage through music, dance, and art, this promises to be an unforgettable experience for all. For those eager to partake in this cultural extravaganza, detailed information is available online at festpachawaii.org. Your presence and support are deeply appreciated as we celebrate the richness and diversity of Pacific Island cultures.

Photo: FestPAC 2024
FestPAC 2024 comes to Hawaiʻi in June.

Amidst our bustling schedules, it’s imperative to mark our calendars for the Molokaʻi Island OHA Community and Board of Trustees Meetings scheduled for May 15 and 16, 2024 at Lanikeha Community Center in Hoʻolehua. On May 15, we will embark on visits to various Molokaʻi organizations, immersing ourselves in the unique perspectives and challenges of our island communities. The day will culminate in a community meeting and dinner at the Lanikeha Community Center in Hoʻolehua, offering an opportunity for dialogue, collaboration, and fellowship. Bus transportation arrangements have been facilitated through the kind support of MEO, passengers will be picked up from Kilohana Community Center and Mitchell Pauʻole Center ensuring accessibility for all attendees. For those interested in reserving a seat on the bus, please email pohair@oha.org, as bus seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Should you wish to connect or schedule a meeting with me, please do not hesitate to reach out to my dedicated aide, Pohai Ryan, at pohair@oha.org. Your voices matter, and as trustees, we are committed to serving you.

Aloha e Ke Ekahi e Ke kahi