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Senator Hirono Announces Funding to Support Native Hawaiian Education and Cultural Programs

Initiatives Expand Knowledge and Practice of Ancient Hawaiian Storytelling and Promote Connection Between Hawaiian Culture and Science

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today announced over $90,000 in grant funding from the Native American Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program to promote Native Hawaiian education and cultural practices in Hawaii. The funding will support initiatives by the Hula Preservation Society (HPS) and Papahana Kuaola that promote valuable cultural practices.

“Programs like the Native American Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program provide critical support for Native Hawaiian education and cultural practices,” said Senator Hirono. “This funding will support the preservation of Native Hawaiian language, arts, and culture.”

As part of the grant funding, Papahana Kuaola will receive $50,000 from the Native American Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program to fund the Hanohano 'o O'ahu: The Geology and Mo'olelo of Kona to 'Ewa project, which will provide “hands-on” learning opportunities for 500 fourth grade students and teachers from rural communities to learn more about the connection between Hawaiian culture and science.

“Hanohano 'o O'ahu: The Geology and Mo'olelo of Kona to 'Ewa will provide class and field learning opportunities to nurture ?understanding, interest, and appreciation for Hawaiian traditions, the geology of the islands, environment, the community, and the consequences of subsequent interactions,” said Mahealani Merryman, Papahana Kuaola-Lelekamanu Program Director.

In addition, Senator Hirono announced that the HPS will receive $44,180 to expand the knowledge and practice of the ancient Hawaiian storytelling program called Hula Ki‘i. This project will include video instruction from hula masters and presentations across Hawaii and the continental United States.  

“Bringing Hula Ki`i to Life" builds on the strength of our collections at Hula Preservation Society, combined with knowledge and expertise of leading practitioners from three islands, to provide much-needed community-based, hands-on learning in the area of Hula Ki`i,” said Maile Loo, HPS Executive Director. “Thank you Institute for Museum & Library Services for recognizing the need to preserve and share our treasured traditions and practices.”

Senator Hirono remains strongly committed to Native Hawaiian Education and cultural programs, and has consistently supported the Native Hawaiian Education Act (NHEA), which provides grant funding to support educational services for Native Hawaiians. Last Congress, her legislation to renew the NHEA was included in the Every Student Succeeds Act, the comprehensive revision and renewal of federal K-12 education programs, that President Obama signed into law.