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No. 2017 – 5


WHEREAS, Eni Fa’aua’a Hunkin Faleomavaega was born in Vailoatai Village, American Samoa on August 15, 1943, grew up on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, graduated from Kahuku High School, and attended Brigham Young University-Hawaiʻi, where he earned his Associate’s degree; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega transferred to Brigham Young University’s main campus in Utah where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega attended the University of Houston Law Center and the University of California – Berkeley, earning his Juris Doctor and Master of Law degrees; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega served in the United States Army from 1966–1969, as an officer in the United States Army Reserve from 1982 to 1989, and he served in the Vietnam War and left the military with the rank of Captain; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega and wife, Antonia Hinanui Cave Hunkin, were active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and “Hina” continues that spiritual commitment with her children and grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega served as the Administrative Assistant to American Samoa Delegate A. U. Fuimaono from 1973 to 1975, as Staff Counsel for the United States House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs from 1975 to 1981, as Deputy Attorney General for the territory of American Samoa between 1981 and 1984, with Delegate-at-Large A. U. Fuimaono as his legislative director, and on Capitol Hill as legal counsel to Congressman Phillip Burton; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega entered elective politics in 1985, when he ran alongside Aifili Paulo Lauvao, the founder of the U. S territory’s Democratic Party, who went on to serve twice as governor of American Samoa (1985–1989, 1993–1997), and Eni Faleomavaega served as Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa from 1985–1989; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega was a Democrat and elected as the non-voting delegate of American Samoa to the United States House of Representatives allowing him to vote in committee, but not on the House floor; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega served 13 consecutive terms from January 3, 1989, until January 2015, and as a delegate, he worked to receive more federal funding for his home territory, particularly for health care and other essential services, he proposed legislation that would allow residents of U. S. territories to vote in presidential elections if they are active duty members of the U. S. military; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega opposed free trade deals involving meats and seafood, as nearly one-third of his territory’s population is involved in the tuna industry, and he also participated in a boycott of President of France Jacques Chirac, who addressed the U.S. Congress in joint session in 1996, because of France’s series of nuclear tests at the Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls in the South Pacific, despite worldwide protests; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega was a passionate advocate for indigenous peoples including Native Hawaiians, and whether it was federal recognition, or health and housing programs for Native Hawaiians, the Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation could always count on Eni Faleomavaega’s outspoken support and assistance; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega attended the annual King Kamehameha Statue Lei Draping Ceremony at the U. S. Capitol in Washington, D. C. for more than 25 years, he was steadfast in his presence and commitment to the celebration of King Kamehameha’s legacy, and it was not unusual for Eni Faleomavaega to walk into Statuary Hall with the front line of the Baltimore Ravens football team, or to enter Emancipation Hall accompanied by the newest recruit for the Washington football team; and

WHEREAS, in 1987, Eni Faleomavaega was invited to be part of a 15-member crew on the Hōkūleʻa as it ventured from Hawai‘i to Rangiroa, about 100 miles north of Tahiti, and Faleomavaega remembered this: “It seems I was living about 1,000 years ago. I was close to the elements and nature and appreciated survival, which depended on everyone working together. The Hōkūleʻa project could not have come at a more appropriate time when the issues of sovereignty are being debated among the native Hawaiian people and also with the Rice vs. Cayetano U. S. Supreme Court case. “It has opened up a whole new sense of approach of what the native people themselves have to do, not only for identification, but also sensing what their future is. The Hōkūleʻa has rekindled the desire and interest among Native Hawaiian people to go back into the Pacific and seek their ancestral roots. It has brought closer a sense of affinity between the different island people. It’s given self-esteem and dignity not only to the Native Hawaiian community but also to the entire Pacific.”

WHEREAS, when asked if he would sail on the Hōkūleʻa again, Eni Faleomavaega quickly responded: “Yes, without hesitation;” and

WHEREAS, as a representative of the Samoan people, Eni Faleomavaega was invited to participate and speak at the welcoming ceremonies held on Sunday morning, March 12, 2000, at Kualoa Beach Park on O‘ahu where the 15-member crew led by master navigator Nainoa Thompson left Hilo on June 15, and traveled 2,655 miles to Tahiti, stopping in New Zealand and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) along the way; and

WHEREAS, more than 2,000 people gathered at Kualoa to welcome the Hōkūleʻa as it sailed to shore from Hilo and it marked the Hōkūleʻa’s 25th anniversary of sailing the Polynesian triangle, uniting people of the Pacific throughout its many voyages, and Eni Faleomavaega, along with U. S. Senator Dan Akaka and other dignitaries, was invited aboard the Hōkūle‘a as it sailed into Kualoa; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega shared this mana‘o in an interview with the Pacific Islands Report about this experience: “The Hōkūleʻa to me was a spiritual experience for the Polynesian people. It’s been a catalyst for the island communities to be together.”

WHEREAS, during the cleansing ceremony, Eni Faleomavaega offered stones that were taken from historic places in Samoa as a symbolic gesture of uniting the Samoan and Hawaiian people, and as the voyaging canoe approached shore, Eni Faleomavaega could not help but remember his own adventure with the Hōkūleʻa more than a decade prior: “It was beautiful. It brought back old memories. I can’t believe it was 13 years ago. It seemed like only it was yesterday.”

WHEREAS, in August 2014, Eni Faleomavaega welcomed the arrival of the Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia in American Samoa and offered his best wishes to Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage; and

WHEREAS, on February 22, 2017, Eni Fa’aua’a Hunkin Faleomavaega passed away peacefully in his home in Provo, Utah, at the age of 73; and

WHEREAS, Eni Faleomavaega is survived by his wife of 45 years, Antonina Hinanui Cave Hunkin, five children, and ten grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, on March 31, 2017, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 1362 into law – an act to name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Pago Pago, American Samoa, the “Faleomavaega Eni Fa’aua’a Hunkin VA Clinic.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 58th Annual Convention in Seattle, Washington, in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani, this 4th day of November 2017, honoring the life and achievements of U. S. Congressman Eni Faleomavaega; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to Mrs. Hinanui Hunkin, Lolo Matalasi Moliga – Governor, American Samoa, Darlene Kehaulani Butts, KAMHCC Pelekikena, 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