Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce Announces


NATIVE Act Cosponsor to Speak on Importance of Native-Led Tourism at October Conference

KAHULUI, MAUI, HI –  Brian Schatz, Senior Senator from the great state of Hawaiʻi, will be the keynote speaker at the 11th Annual Business Fest produced by the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. He will address this year’s theme, “Ka ʻIkena ʻŌiwi: Native Wisdom.” He will be joined by Native American speaker: Ben Sherman, Chairman of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance; Native Alaskan speaker Camille Ferguson, Executive Director of the American Indian and Alaska Native Tourism Association; and Native Hawaiian speaker Ramsay Taum, Founder of Life Enhancement Institute of the Pacific. Hawaiʻi State Senator Brickwood Galuteria will offer opening remarks about the potential for indigenous tourism programs to increase Native Hawaiian wellbeing.

The day-long conference will be held at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapū, Maui on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. The annual MNHCoC Biz Fest has become Maui’s largest networking event for those who guide and manage their businesses with Hawaiian cultural values.

Senator Schatz and other speakers will share their thoughts, experience and expertise in the Indigenous Tourism sector. This year’s conference theme was selected by MNHCoC members. The Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act or NATIVE Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and John Thune (R-S.D.). The law, enacted last September, enhances and integrates native tourism, empowers native communities and expands the nation’s unique cultural tourism opportunities

“We are quite honored that Senator Schatz has agreed to be our keynote speaker this year,” said MNHCoC President Teri Freitas Gorman. “Indigenous tourism programs in New Zealand, Canada and Australia have helped to differentiate those destinations while providing a way for First Nations people to generate economic and community benefits while perpetuating their language and traditional cultural practices. We are so proud that our senior senator not only understood this, but has offered positive, proactive legislation through the NATIVE Act.”

Senator Schatz has dedicated his career to public service as a strong advocate for Hawai‘i’s middle-class families, a clean energy economy, seniors, veterans, and Native Hawaiians. He serves on four Senate Committees essential to the future of Hawai‘i: Appropriations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and Indian Affairs.  Senator Schatz also serves as Chief Deputy Whip, a leadership position that gives him a greater role in shaping policy and communications for Senate Democrats.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 11th Annual Business Fest are available. For information as well as applications to participate in the Vendor Exhibits, please visit www.mnhcoc.org. Conference registration will open in August.


About the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (MNHCoC) —  MNHCoC’s mission is “to promote and sustain Hawaiian values and culture, and enhance the socio-economic status of Native Hawaiians in business and as individuals.” Membership is open to anyone with an interest in perpetuating the spirit of Aloha through commerce, culture and community. We welcome Hawaiians and “Hawaiians at Heart” who believe that Native Hawaiian prosperity benefits everyone. . For more information, see www.mnhcoc.org.


Contact: Teri Freitas Gorman or 808.298.5071