What They’re Watching: Sheri Daniels, Papa Ola Lokahi

Sheri Daniels, Executive Director of Papa Ola Lokahi, joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss the overall well-being of Native Hawaiians.

There is so much happening with Native Hawaiian issues from water rights on Maui to sand mining on Maui to kupūna iwi, to the bones of our ancestors. All of these things play a role in health. You know, education, how we educate our kids and our generations not only in the Western education, but in our Kaiapuni schools, our Hawaiian language immersion schools? How does all of that play into a health of a kanaka, of a person? That’s really important.

And for me, that’s what keeps me up, is that is the work that we’re doing, the efforts that we’re putting helping the lāhui? Because that’s what we want, we never want to do anything to negatively impact, and that’s never our intention. But sometimes you forget to bring the drone down and ask the people on the ground and that’s what we constantly, I have to remind myself. It’s okay like we have to come down, refuel, check in and ask the questions. And sometimes I think the biggest piece for us is we don’t always like what we hear. And it’s not a criticism it’s about how do we do it better. And really for me, it’s my intention and our intention as an organization is to help our lāhui. Those comments and feedback good, positive, in-between is what helps us to continue to carry and support our lāhui and that’s really our vision is to improve the health and well-being, not just the physical kino, the well-being of our kanaka.