For Immediate Release: September 23, 2022
Press Release by:
Keani N.W. Rawlins-Fernandez, Council Vice-Chair
Maui County Council
Council establishes Hawaiian Language Communications Specialist position
KAUNAKAKAI, Hawaiʻi—Bringing to fruition an initiative from this spring’s annual budget session, the Maui County Council approved the appointment of a Hawaiian Language Communications Specialist on Aug. 5, providing ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi as a medium in the council’s public-information efforts, Vice-Chair Keani N.W. Rawlins-Fernandez announced Friday.
Rawlins-Fernandez said she initiated the position in the Office of Council Services and a similar position in the executive branch’s Department of Management while leading the council’s budget deliberations to ensure ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi—one of the state’s official languages—has a regular presence in local government. She said Maui County is the first county in the state to appoint a communications specialist whose routine responsibilities include Hawaiian translation of some official documents.
“So much of our culture will not be able to be practiced if the resources are not there—if the streams do not run, there will be no ʻoʻopu or hīhīwai,” said Rawlins-Fernandez, who holds the council seat for the Molokaʻi residency area. “The muliwai will not have limu to teach the next generation how to properly identify, harvest, prepare and enjoy the limu that was once everywhere.”
Kamehameha Schools Maui alumna Riann “Nālani” Fujihara started as the council’s Hawaiian Language Communications Specialist on Aug. 8. Fujihara, who graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian Language, leads the Office of Council Services’ efforts to share legislative information with public and will translate selected documents upon councilmembers’ requests.
“It is invaluable to have advocates for ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi in spaces where people are making important decisions for our community,” Fujihara said. “I’m grateful because this position opens the door to produce more public documents written in Hawaiian and create more Hawaiʻi-centered learning environments within Maui County and elsewhere.”
ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi has been an official language of Hawaiʻi since 1978, when the updated state constitution validated all public records that were or will be written in Hawaiian.
The council collaborated with Kumu Hula Cody Pueo Pata to issue their first press release in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi on Aug. 11. The release by Councilmember Tamara Paltin, titled “He hālāwai pūnaewele no nā aloha ʻāina,” is available on the council’s website, MauiCounty.us
Rawlins-Fernandez said that there will be additional collaborative efforts, among Maui County government officials and others across state, to create a Hawaiian vocabulary for technical English terms on governmental affairs.
For more information, contact the office of Vice-Council Chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez at (808) 270-7678 or the Office of Council Services at (808) 270-8008.
Kepakemapa 23, 2022
Hoʻolaha ʻia e:
Keani N.W. Rawlins-Fernandez, Council Vice-Chair
Ka ʻAha Kalana o Maui
Ua hoʻokumu ka ʻaha kalana i kūlana hou ʻo ka Laekahi Hoʻokaʻaʻike ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi
KAUNAKAKAI, Hawaiʻi—I hōʻike ʻia e ka Hope Luna Noho ʻo Keani N.W. Rawlins-Fernandez ma ka Pōʻaono, mai ka palapala moʻohelu kālā mai o ke kau kupulau aku nei, ua ʻāpono ka ʻAha Kalana o Maui Nui i kūlana hou ʻo ka Laekahi Hoʻokaʻaʻike ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi ma ka lā 5 o ʻAukake i hiki ai i ka ʻaha ke hoʻolaha i nā palapala kūkala ma ka ʻōlelo makuahine.
Wahi a Rawlins-Fernandez, ua hoʻokumu ʻo ia i ke kūlana hou ma Ke Keʻena Kākoʻo o Ka ʻAha Kalana, me kekahi kūlana like ma ka Māhele Mana Hoʻokō, ʻoiai ʻo ia e alakaʻi ana i ka kā ka ʻAha Kalana hoʻokaʻina makakoho ʻana i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi—ʻo kekahi ʻōlelo kūhelu o ka mokuʻāina—ma ke aupuni kalana. ʻŌlelo ʻo ia, ʻo Ke Kalana ʻo Maui ke kalana mua loa e hoʻokumu ai i kūlana laekahi hoʻokaʻaʻike nona ke kuleana mau e unuhi i palapala kūhelu ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.
“E nalowale auaneʻi ko kākou moʻomeheu inā ʻaʻohe kumuwaiwai—inā ua maloʻo nā kahawai, inā ua nalowale nā ʻoʻopu a me nā hīhīwai,” wahi a Rawlins-Fernandez, ka mea nona ka noho ʻaha no ka mokupuni ʻo Molokaʻi. “E nalowale ka limu o ka muliwai a ʻaʻole e hiki ana iā kākou ke aʻo aku i nā hanauna hou pehea e kilo, ʻohi, hoʻomākaukau, a mālama pono ai i ka limu i lupalupa ʻē i ka wā ma mua.”
Ua hoʻomaka kēia pua a Pauahi (Kamehameha ʻAʻapueo), ʻo Riann “Nālani” Fujihara, ma kona kūlana hou ʻo ka Laekahi Hoʻokaʻaʻike ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi ma ka lā 8 o ʻAukake. Ua puka ʻo Fujihara he laepua ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi mai ke Kula Nui o Hawaiʻi ma Mānoa, a, ma Ke Keʻena Kākoʻo o Ka ʻAha Kalana, ʻo kona kuleana nō ke kūkala ʻana i ka lono māhele ʻahaʻōlelo i ka lehulehu a me ka unuhi ʻana i kekahi mau palapala e koho ʻia e nā lālā o ka ʻaha kalana.
“He kūpono nō ka hoʻomau ʻana i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi a me ka moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi i nā wahi like ʻole, ma kahi e hoʻokō ai nā kānaka i nā koho nui koʻikoʻi no ko kākou kaiāulu,” wahi a Fujihara. “Mahalo au i kēia kūlana hou no ka mea ua hoʻohāmama ʻia ka puka e hoʻonui hou aku ai i nā palapala no ka lehulehu e kākau ʻia ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, a e hoʻokumu iho i mau wahi hoʻonaʻauao hou aku i kahua paʻa nō i ka moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi ma loko o ke Kalana ʻo Maui a ma waho aku kekahi.”
Ua hoʻokumu ʻia ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi he “ʻōlelo kūhelu” o Hawaiʻi nei i ka makahiki 1978, ka wā a ka mokuʻāina i hōʻoia ai i nā palapala kūhelu a pau loa e kākau ʻia i ka ʻōlelo makuahine.
Ua hana pū ka ʻaha kalana me Fujihara a me Kumu Hula Cody Pueo Pata i mea e hoʻolaha ai i kā lākou palapala mua loa i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ma ka lā 11 o ʻAukake. Hiki ke loaʻa ua palapala nei i hoʻolaha ʻia e ka Lālā ʻo Tamara Paltin ma ke kahuapaʻa o ka ʻaha kalana (MauiCounty.us), ma lalo o ke poʻo inoa ʻo “He hālāwai pūnaewele no nā aloha ʻāina.”
Wahi a Rawlins-Fernandez, e hana pū auaneʻi nā limahana aupuni o Maui nei me nā kānaka ʻē aʻe ma ko Hawaiʻi pae ʻāina i mea e hoʻokumu ai i papa hua ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi no nā hua ʻōlelo haole i pili i nā mea aupuni.
Inā he nīnau kā kekahi, e kelepona mai i ke keʻena o ka Hope Luna Noho ʻo Keani Rawlins-Fernandez ma ʻaneʻi: (808)270-7678. A, eia mai ka helu kelepona o Ke Keʻena Kākoʻo o Ka ʻAha Kalana: (808) 270-8008.