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Hawaii educators testify about native language at U.S. Senate hearing

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:59 p.m. HST, May 26, 2011


Three educators from Hawaii are testifying about native language at a U.S. Senate committee hearing on native language and culture-based education.

Sen. Daniel Akaka's office said Thursday Namaka Rawlins of the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Hawaiian Language, Alvin Parker of a Waianae charter school and Shawn Kanaiaupuni of Kamehameha Schools traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

The hearing is to explore trends and achievements in native language and culture-based education including barriers and strategies in meeting educational needs of students from native communities.

Akaka says that out of more than 300 native languages once spoken in the country only 175 remain and many are at risk of being lost.

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