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Seven Native Hawaiian organizations to receive $1M for cultural education programs

United States Sen. Brian Schatz announced Wednesday that seven Hawaii organizations will receive a total of $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior to further their work in preserving and sharing Native Hawaiian culture with visitors.

“Everyone who visits Hawaii should understand and appreciate Native Hawaiian culture, and this funding will help give local organizations the resources they need to preserve and share these important traditions,” Schatz, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said in a statement.

It will help support educational programs for visitors, and subsequently, help create jobs and expand economic opportunities for Native Hawaiian communities, according to the office of Sen. Schatz.

The funding, which is part of the Interior Department's Opportunities in Hawaii program, is also made possible by the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act — legislation created in part by Sen. Schatz, that seeks to empower Native communities through cultural tourism.

The list of recipients include:

  • Aoao O Na Loko Ia O Maui, for the Koieie Fishpond Visitor Engagement Program. The program will help educate visitors about the cultural and historical significance of the Koieie Fishpond.
  • The Hanalei River Heritage Foundation, for the I Mana Ka Aina Visitor Engagement Program. The program will develop a bilingual, historical interpretive educational program for visitors.
  • Hiipaka LLC, for Hoihi no Waimea. It will engage visitors in interactive cultural activities such as lei making, coconut weaving and poi pounding.
  • Moanalua Garden Foundation Inc., to support the 46th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival.
  • Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, to support engagement programs with visitors and Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners.
  • PAI Foundation, for Nana I Ke Kumu: Look to the Source. It will educate and engage visitors on the traditions, principles and values of Native Hawaiians.
  • Waianae Economic Development Council, for E Mau Ke Ao: Sustaining the Cultural Practitioner. It will help create new businesses for cultural practitioners through access to new markets, increased marketing efforts, and training programs.