Hundreds attended CNHA’s 11th annual Native Hawaiian Convention to discuss ideas for more moving forward as a people building on the work accomplished by those who came before us. And Senator Akaka is one of those very champions.
“I think the legacy that Senator Akaka has left for Native Hawaiians, Hawaiʻi and the Country really is an inspired and more knowledgable next generation of leaders,” says Robin Danner, who is President for the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.
And advancing the Hawaiian language movement was one of his many achievements while in DC.
“This child of Hawaiʻi helped carry our language forward. He supported our language and Native American languages ensuring support for their survival and perpetuation,” says Nāmaka Rawlins, who is the Former Executive Director for the ʻAha Pūnana Leo. “From the babies in the Pūnana Leo, their parents and from all of us we give you our greatest gratitude.”
And the reason for such emotion is the realization that Senator’s era as a senator has come to an end.
“As you know after 36 years of service, I am retiring at the end of this year,” says United States Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka.
Our work as a people however, is far from over. And Senator tasked and encouraged us with continuing our efforts.
“This voyage we are on together is far from over,” says Senator Akaka. “There may be rough seas along the way, but I am confident that you possess the ability to successfully navigate our people into the future.”
“Like those who set the course before you, grab your paddle and hoe a mau,” he continues to say. “Me ke aloha pumehana, a hui hou kākou.”