The following statement was issued by Michael Malulani Odegaard, Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidate:
Aloha mai kakou. I am Michael Malulani Odegaard, and I would like to serve as your Trustee-At-Large for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
After a 15-year career in Community Planning & Design, I rented out my California home and moved to Hawaii in 2007 to pursue a life goal and desire to study olelo Hawaii.
While volunteer teaching at ke Kula Kaiapuni o Anuenue and coaching hoe waa (outrigger canoe paddling) at Roosevelt High School I became acutely aware of the need to malama our Hawaiian language revitalization efforts through creating increased work opportunities in the Hawaiian language.
By building a strong bridge “from the language nest into the workplace and marketplace,” we will ensure the continued success of our Hawaiian revitalization efforts.
Therefore, I feel that now is the time for OHA to begin its operations in Hawaiian as well as in English; in so doing OHA can become a unifying force in our community. Everyone elects OHA trustees, and now, more than ever, your vote will make a huge difference.
Two years ago I started Hawaii Bilingual to give voice to the feeling that we can do more to support our people who desire to preserve our culture through the Hawaiian language.
After hearing my presentations at UH Manoa and at Oahu Burial Council meetings, the distinguished leader of reconciliation efforts for Native Hawaiians Rev. Kahu Dr. Kaleo Patterson encouraged me to run for OHA. With my part-time position teaching Hawaiian language, I decided that I do have the time to use my background in community planning to make a positive difference for our people.
My vision for OHA, 30 percent of whose employees I understand already speak Hawaiian, is for this agency to take its place along with the Aha Punana Leo and our Hawaiian language college faculties and charter schools, as the next institution of public service to malama our mother tongue.
In addition to converting all of OHA’s operations and publications into Hawaiian along with English, I will prioritize funding bilingual programs and partnerships that help our keiki (children) to be successful in school, our ohana (family) to thrive, and our makua (parents) to have the skills to earn a living wage that allows them raise their families in our home land.
Not only will I ensure that those who need OHA’s resources can access them in either of Hawaii’s two official languages, but I will also expand OHA’s outreach mission to make more television programming and broadcast media available in our mother tongue so that we may be able to “immerse” ourselves with Hawaiian language media at home.
I humbly ask for your consideration and vote. To learn more about my candidacy please visit my website, MalulaniOdegaard.org
You can also view a 5-minute speech that provides more understanding of my manao by visiting:
In the following 18-minute interview radio broadcast, the host incorrectly identifies the “seat” as being for Oahu; actually, itʻs an At-Large seat:
Finally, the following link takes you to a summary of my candidacy qualifications, with the ability to compare mine with others:
Me ke aloha pumehana,
Michael Malulani Odegaard
77-116 Laaloa Avenue
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740