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Schatz Secures $1 Million In New Federal Funding To Support Native Hawaiian Community, Cultural Education For Visitors

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that seven Native Hawaiian organizations working to preserve and share Native Hawaiian culture and traditions with visitors will receive $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior to continue doing so. The funding is made possible by the NATIVE Act, 2016 legislation authored by Senator Schatz to help empower Native communities through cultural tourism.

“Everyone who visits Hawai?i 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,” said Senator Schatz, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

The new funding, part of the Interior Department’s Opportunities in Hawai?i (HO?IHI) Program, will support a number of educational programs for visitors, in turn helping to create jobs, increase living standards, and expand economic opportunities for Native Hawaiian communities. The full list of recipients includes:

  • ?Ao?ao o Na Loko I?a o Maui, for the Ko?ie?ie Fishpond Visitor Engagement Program, which will help educate visitors about the cultural and historical significance of Ko‘ie‘ie Fishpond
  • Hanalei River Heritage Foundation, for the I Mana Ka ‘Aina Visitor Engagement Program, which will develop a bilingual, historical interpretive educational program for visitors
  • Hi?ipaka LLC, for Ho?ihi no Waimea, which 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
  • PA?I Foundation, for Nana I Ke Kumu: Look to the Source, which will educate and engage visitors on the traditions, principles and values of the Native Hawaiian people
  • Wai?anae Economic Development Council, for E Mau Ke A?o: Sustaining the Cultural Practitioner, which will help create new businesses for cultural practitioners through access to new markets, increased marketing efforts, and training programs