Dr. Claire Kuuleilani Hughes

Dr. Claire Kuuleilani Hughes

Dr. Claire Kuuleilani Hughes

Candidate:  Dr. Claire Kuuleilani Hughes
‘Aha District:  Oʻahu
Address: 1926 Awapuhi Street Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 988-6340
Email: dr.clairehughes@yahoo.com

  1. What are your qualifications to be a delegate to the ‘aha?

 I worked to implement the federal Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act of 1988: authoring, co-authoring and committee-authoring the Dental. Nutrition, and Cultural–Historical Task Force Reports supporting this law. I lobbied in Washington, D.C. and testified before the U.S. Congressional Senate Select Committee. This federal law continues to serve Hawai`i. As a State Department of Health employee, I implemented and assured federal and state law requirements governing health care for Hawai`i’s vulnerable populations.

  1. How would you characterize the values of your campaign to be elected as a delegate to the ‘aha for example, with aloha, lōkahi, kūpono, etc.?

I have always worked with all of these qualities in my many collaborations and community efforts. I believe that they qualities are important and something we all need to remember as we work together during the ‘aha process.

  1. What three components of the constitution are you particularly interested in advocating and why?

I would start with the ‘āina and Hawaiian cultural foundations because they are so important. I will also work to protect retirement, health, medical and safety coverages, as well as other earned programs.

  1. What governance model will you advocate for?

I will be advocating for model of governance that members are elected through a democratic process.

  1. Are you willing to discuss other governance models?


  1. How would the governance model that you choose impact the ali‘i trusts, the Hawaiian Homestead Act, federal contracts made with Native Hawaiian businesses; grants provided by the United States for programs and services to the Native Hawaiian people?

Protection of the Ali‘i Trusts, ‘āina, and our cultural foundations and protection of retirement, health, medical and safety coverage are paramount to me. I have also been the recipient of Federal Grants that benefited our people in the area of Health care/Nutrition. I believe that I would pick a governance model that would have maximum benefit for our people. Securing monies for kanaka maoli is what I have been working towards for the last 50 years.

  1. In your governance model, would you be inclusive of people other than Native Hawaiians as citizens?

I think our first concern should be our people and how we need to protect ourselves in the environment which we live in, in this day and age. We can certainly address how non-Hawaiians fit into the model and this should be discussed at the ‘aha.

  1. How do you see participation by others in helping the ‘aha on the various aspects of the draft constitution?

This is one of the first things that the 40 delegates need to address. A plan to include input from the experts in all areas of our culture. The goal would be to gain a comprehensive view to be looked at and structured into the overall plan.

  1. Looking ahead, as a delegate to the ‘aha, how would you assure that the governance model ratified by the Native Hawaiian people is implemented and recognized at the state, federal, or international level, as appropriate.

The task for the 40 people chosen will be to create the frame work of the governing entity. The difficult part comes in implementation and I have experience in that with the federal Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act of 1988. I believe I can help this group with my knowledge and experience.

  1. Why should Native Hawaiians vote for you?

I have dedicated over fifty years of my life to community service through the Department of Health, the Native Hawaiian Health Systems, Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, the Native Hawaiian Health Systems, Hawai`i Dietetic Association and OHA’s Ka Wai Ola. I have collaborated on numerous projects and testified with Dr. Emmett Aluli, and Dr. Naleen Andrade before the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs in the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C.. I am here to work together for our mo`opuna and the future of all Hawaiians. I humbly ask for your support and your vote so I can continue my dedication to our people.