Native Hawaiians still don’t have the full federal recognition and rights that Native Americans and Alaska Natives have, but now they have a semi-permanent presence in the halls of Congress.
Native Hawaiian groups have purchased art showcasing Native Hawaiians and loaned it to be displayed in the Indian Affairs Committee room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. It was hung on the wall Thursday, before the panel, chaired by Sen. Daniel Akaka, met.
“This is such a tremendous endeavor,” Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement President Robin Puanani Danner said in a press release. “It will be a reminder to generations of Senators that legislate on this committee for the betterment of all Native peoples - we so appreciate the great service both Senator Akaka and Senator Inouye have been to us as Native Hawaiians, and to our Native counterparts in other areas of the country.”
The group said this will be the first time in the history of the committee’s existence that Native Hawaiian art is featured alongside American Indian and Alaska Native art.
The piece, titled “‘Aha Ula,” was painted by Brook Kapukuniahi Parker. Here’s the photo DC808 shot Thursday after the committee meeting broke up: