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Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce to hold Biz Fest

By Staff | Aug 24, 2017


KAHULUI – Registration is open for the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Hui Holomua Business Fest on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017.

This year’s conference theme, selected by MNHCoC members, explores the new federal Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act and its potential to expand local tourism, spur economic growth and authentically educate visitors about native culture and history.

U.S. Senior Sen. Brian Schatz from Hawaii will be the keynote speaker. He will address this year’s theme, “Ka ?’Ikena ‘Oiwi: Native Wisdom,” and the importance of native-led tourism at this year’s conference.

He will be joined by Native American speaker Ben Sherman, chairman of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance; Native Alaskan speaker Celeste 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.

Hawaii State Sen. Brickwood Galuteria will offer opening remarks about the potential for indigenous tourism programs to increase Native Hawaiian well-being.


Sen. Schatz and this year’s guest speakers will share their thoughts, experience and expertise in the Indigenous Tourism sector.

The NATIVE Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Democrat Schatz and Republican John Thune of South Dakota, 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. We are expecting this year’s event to sell out quickly, and because this year’s venue has limited seating, we encourage you to register now.”

The annual MNHCoC Biz Fest has become Maui’s largest networking event for those who guide and manage their businesses with Hawaiian cultural values.


The 2017 day-long conference will be held at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu.

Register online by visiting www.mnhcoc.org. More information on sponsorship opportunities and vendor applications can be found on the website.

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. The group welcomes Hawaiians and “Hawaiians at heart” who believe that Native Hawaiian prosperity benefits everyone.

For more information, visit www.mnhcoc.org.