Founded in 2001, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) is a statewide and national network of well over 100 Native Hawaiian organizations. Their mission is to enhance the well being of Hawai’i through the cultural, economic, political and community development of Native Hawaiians.
A lifelong learner, Bernice Akamine (Native Hawaiian) pursued a career in art later in life than many artists. She chose to raise a family, then return to school. She studied at the University of Hawai’i where she rediscovered art and chose to attend the Natural Resource Management Masters Program at Central Washington University, and the Hawaiian Ohana for Education in the Arts.
Born on the Island of Maui, two-time Grammy Award nominee and eight-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner Jeff Peterson (Native Hawaiian) grew up on the slopes of Haleakala. Jeff has worked with a wide range of artists and groups in the fields of Hawaiian, classical, and jazz music. Jeff is a 2018 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow.
David Moses Bridges became part of the First Peoples Fund family in 2007 when he was nominated as a Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award honoree. Although he passed away in 2017 his legacy of commitment to First Peoples artists and culture bearers continues through the David Moses Bridges Scholarship, a fund that will support a First Peoples Fund Cultural Capital fellow every year.
Tosa Gladys Two Heart (Lakota) was taught to keep her Lakota values with her wherever she went. She joined the First Peoples Fund staff earlier this Month as a Program Manager and works closely with Jeremy Staab (Santee Sioux), supporting the Indigenous Arts Ecology (IAE) grant program as it continues to develop and grow.