Honolulu, HI – The Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations (SCHHA) adjourned the 2019 Homestead leadership summit on August 25, 2019 after voting members elected 5 leaders from Kauai, Maui, Oahu, Hawaii island and Molokai to the Governing Council to serve the next 4 years.

“SCHHA serves the interests of all HHCA beneficiaries, whether on the land or on the waitlist, with 41 specific homestead areas statewide, that are SCHHA members,” said outgoing SCHHA Vice Chairman Kammy Purdy of Molokai.  “I’ve been in leadership positions of the SCHHA for 25 years now, and this year, I’m proud to pass the baton to the next generation, especially on Molokai to Sybil Lopez.”

The 5 member governing council seated on Sunday are Ron Kodani representing Hawaii Island, Richard Soo for Oahu, Sybil Lopez for Molokai, Robin Puanani Danner for Kauai and Kekoa Enomoto for Maui.  The SCHHA constitution also includes Kamaki Kanahele, as the Chair emeritus, from Nanakuli.

Danner and Lopez from Kauai and Molokai respectively were elected unanimously by SCHHA voting members as SCHHA Chairman and Vice Chairman.

“Mahalo to all of our Homestead Associations for giving me another 4-year term as SCHHA Chairman,” Danner said.  “Together with members of our Governing Council, we look forward to working with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, with DHHL, with the Hawaiian Homes Commission, with OHA and its board of trustees, and with the state legislature to pursue solutions that fulfill the promise of Prince Kuhio to our people.”

Danner also noted that aside from state government, SCHHA engages with the federal government, because the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 is a federal law ultimately responsible for overseeing state government in following the intent of Congress 100 years ago.

“We are hopeful and determined,” Danner said from her office on Kauai.  “We know the poor performance of state government over 6 decades, where thousands have died waiting, is fixable, totally fixable.  State government is missing powerful manao and experience – HHCA beneficiaries that remain when governors and directors revolve out, we are the keepers of vital knowledge and experience to make amazing improvements.”

The Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations was founded in 1987 and is the oldest and largest self-governing federation of homestead associations which are comparable to tribes on the continent and Alaska.   SCHHA is entirely dedicated to the sovereignty and self-determination of native Hawaiians eligible under the Congressionally enacted Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, similar to Indian Allotment Acts of the same policy era.  The HHCA created 203,000 acres of trust lands to be distributed for homes, ranches, farms and businesses of native Hawaiians of 50% blood quantum or more.

Robin Puanani Danner
SCHHA Chairman & Homestead Housing Authority CEO