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No. 2017 – 45


WHEREAS, in 1987, a resolution was passed by the Hawai‘i State Legislature calling upon the State of Hawai‘i Department of Education to implement the 1986 law removing all legal barriers to allow for the use of Hawaiian language as a medium of instruction in the public schools, and also calling upon the U. S. Congress to develop and enact legislation in support of the survival of Hawaiian and other Native languages; and

WHEREAS, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs adopted resolution 2016-19 which urged all policy makers at all levels of government to make distinct provisions for Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, and Native American language programs; and

WHEREAS, on November 20, 2014, members of the U. S. Congress requested that the American Academy of Arts and Science undertake a new study to examine the nation’s current capacity in languages and how a greater attention to language training can improve education of citizens and thrive in a multicultural society; and

WHEREAS, the request noted that the percentage of the world’s population that speaks English as a first language is declining rapidly; and

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Arts and Science has the ability to provide critical assistance in this effort to assess the national impact of language learning; and

WHEREAS, American Academy of Arts and Science was tasked to answer the question of how language learning influences economic growth, cultural diplomacy, the productivity of future generations, and the fulfillment of all Americans, and

WHEREAS, four recommendations were proposed in the report developed by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences:

  1. Increase the number of language teachers at all levels of education so that every child in every state has the opportunity to learn a language in addition to English.
  2. Supplement language instruction across the education system through public-private partnerships among schools government, philanthropies, business, and local community members.
  3. Support heritage languages already spoken in the United States, and help these languages persist from one generation to the next.
  4. Provide targeted support and programming for Native American languages as defined in the Native American Language Act.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 58th annual convention at Seattle, Washington, in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani, this 4th day of November 2017, urging support for the recommendations presented by the American Academy of Arts and Science report on Native American Languages used as primary languages of education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs will support the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) in its continued efforts to advocate with the U. S. Congress and the U. S. Department of Education on the priorities of Native American Languages, including building upon the recommendations and full implementation to increase support for Native American Languages in Education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that certified copies of this resolution be transmitted to U. S. Senator Brian Schatz, U. S. Senator Mazie Hirono, U. S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa, U. S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, National Indian Education Association, National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs, ʻAha Pūnana Leo, Chair of the Board of Education, Superintendent of the Department of Education, Director of the Office of Hawaiian Education (for distribution to Kula Kaiapuni and Hawaiian Focused Charter Schools), Interim Dean of Hawai‘inuiakea (University of Hawai‘i -Mānoa), Director of Ka Haka Ula o Ke‘elikolani (University of Hawai‘i -Hilo), the Chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.

The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani on the 4th day of November 2017, at the 58th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Seattle, Washington.

Annelle C. Amaral, President