HONOLULU (KHON2) — Saturday will be the first time the Prince Kūhiō Parade will be hosted in Kapōlei. 

Usually, it’s in Waikīkī but it has been moved to the west side as it’s the largest concentration of Hawaiian homestead and the Hawaiian homestead or the Department of Hawaiian Homelands is one of many different legacies that is left behind because of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole. 

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So, to find out more about who this gentleman is, if you don’t know who he is, KHON2 spoke with the CEO of the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement Kūhiō Lewis. 

KHON2 asked when we speak about Prince Kūhiō, for those who don’t know, what is a very general way of explaining him?

“Well, he was a trailblazer of the time,” said Lewis. 

“He was responsible for so many things that today, we don’t even recognize but he created.  For example, the Hawaiian Civic Club movement.  Thousands of Hawaiians are civically engaged because of that movement.  We have thet Homestead Act which he passed as a non-voting delegate. You know, today over 10,000 families have homes because of that. He is also responsible for the judicial system that we know today. He started that. The Republican party. He knew that we needed a balance system, so he also got involved in the Democratic party. You know, he donated his lands for the public benefit in Waikīkī which is why we have Waikīkī Beach today. That used to be his land. So, I mean, he has created so many opportunities for us to enjoy today and that’s why we honor and recognize Kūhiō every March through parades, through hoʻolauleʻa (celebration).”

Lewis’ goes by the name Kūhiō so KHON2 asked what kuleana (responsibility) does he hold with that name?

“You know, someone once told me sometimes you don’t get to choose kuleana,” said Lewis. “It chooses you and I think in many ways that is what happened in this case.”

“I didn’t use Kūhiō when I was growing up but I started using it later in life and now it seems that everything I do is revolving around this man.  ‘Kūhiō’ is actually ‘to be upright and lean forward,’ and that’s kind of the leadership style that he had, and its things that I aspire to do as a leader in our community.”

Prince Kūhiō fought to restore the monarchy after it being illegally overthrown and yet became a Republican and a congressman and a proud American so KHON2 asked Lewis what he believed was the Prince’s thought process for doing that.

“I think he knew that he needed to take care of his people and they needed to have some means to take care of themselves and so he was foresightful in that way and I think that really sums up what that man represents for us,” said Lewis. “He thought about us.”

Saturday is the Prince Kūhiō Parade. It kicks off at 5 p.m. lasting until about 6:30 p.m. from Kapōlei Hale leading straight to Ka Makana Aliʻi culminating in a hoʻolauleʻa that will then follow throughout the evening. 

If you can’t make it, you can catch us live-streaming and on-air this parade hosted by Kamaka Pili and the beautiful Paula Akana. 

To find more information on the parade, click here.

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To find more information on the hoʻolauleʻa, click here.