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  • Hawai‘i Conference

AHEC Represented at the 23rd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Submitted by Rennie Mau

New York City – Kahu Wendell Davis of the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches (AHEC) and a member of the United Church of Christ (UCC) denomination, represented our community at the 23rd Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, held as part of the World Council of Churches' activities. During this pivotal forum, Kahu Wendell took part in a poignant ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, presenting a traditional lei in remembrance of those deeply affected by the September 11 attacks.

The forum commenced with an opening worship at Tillman Chapel within the Church Center for the United Nations on April 15. Kahu Wendell was joined by Rev. Dionne Boissiere, Chaplain of the Church Center, and other indigenous leaders from around the globe. The session was marked by shared spirituality and profound collective experiences.

Highlighting the involvement of AHEC's youth, Kahu Wendell's daughter, Puakailima Davis, contributed to the gathering by reading scripture in Hawaiian and performing a hula dance to the song "Majesty." Kahu Wendell also actively participated, delivering both scripture readings and the sermon message. Donna Bollinger, UCC Representative to the United Nations, was also in attendance, supporting our representation.

Throughout the forum, discussions focused on vital topics such as empowering indigenous youth, advocating for self-determination, and promoting continuity among indigenous peoples. Themes of unity, climate action, language preservation, land rights, and other critical issues were addressed, setting the stage for ongoing dialogue and action.

This event marks a significant step forward in our continued commitment to enhancing the voice and impact of indigenous communities globally. It is both a foundation for future engagements and a beacon of hope for indigenous peoples worldwide.

Photos courtesy of Wendell Davis


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