Native Hawaiian community leaders experience Alaska Native culture


HONOLULU – On June 17, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement organized a five-day cultural leadership exchange in Anchorage, Alaska for three Native Hawaiian community leaders. The exchange is part of the nonprofit’s small, but effective, Leadership Network Program that allows community leaders in Hawaii to engage with practitioners and other Native leaders around the country to discuss and share valuable community development strategies.

Through support in part from the Office of Innovation and Improvement of the U.S. Department of Education, and its Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations, also known as ECHO, CNHA coordinated the trip logistics and a jam-packed agenda involving site visits to various Alaska Native corporations and destinations including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the First Alaskan Institute, the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, the Alaska Native Medical Center and the Alaska Federation of Natives.

Among the program participants were Kumu Hula Lein?‘ala Kalama Heine of N? Pualei O Likolehua, Rosaline Lum of Healani Canoe Club, and Lorraine Rapozo of the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association.

“This trip was remarkable,” said Rapozo, AHHA president. “The information we received from the Native leaders we met was invaluable. Seeing first-hand how they use their resources, and their ability to work together to solve issues was beyond my imagination.”

“The CNHA Leadership Network Program is an important way for us to grow the experience of our members and connect resources to the challenges in our communities,” said Kapuniai, CNHA community development manager. “It is an essential part of our job to create venues for our leaders to engage with other community leaders who are implementing solutions to similar challenges we all face.”