OHA Aha!

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs holds a strange place in Hawaii.  Our general desire to help Native Hawaiians makes people kindly disposed to its mission.  The fuzziness about where the money comes from and where it’s going (on the other hand) has dogged OHA for years.

The 4Hawaiians Only Wiki documents quite a few OHA grants from 2007 and 2008 (and we’re currently adding more from 2009), and we’re looking to you to help us fill in the blanks.  Check out the wiki and let us know what you know (or have learned) about these programs.  Do you know someone who has actually participated in programs like the Pu’ulima Taro Education Project?  (I presume this has to do with educating people about taro and not educating the taro itself.  Because that would be a huge waste of money.  Everyone knows that taro has to learn at its own pace.)  But if you do know someone who has insight into these programs, get him to post about his experience.  If he loved it, then he can let people know that this is a worthy program that deserves support.  If he thinks it was a waste of time, he can spread the word that there are better uses out there for the money . . . or that this isn’t helpful to Native Hawaiians.  OHA and the state of Hawaii have spent a lot of money building community programs and resources.  Now it’s time for the community to evaluate their work.

After all, if you know that someone is out there, going on about how much they’re helping you, wouldn’t you like some objective evaluation of what they’re doing?  OHA is notorious for avoiding this kind of scrutiny.  Now that we have the power of the internet, we don’t have to wait for them to respond to the reporters and researchers.  We can start the grading process ourselves.

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