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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

OHA funds exhibit on Pearl Harbor

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded $100,000 to the Arizona Memorial Museum Association for the creation of an exhibit that will depict the history of Pearl Harbor before it became a military installation.

The exhibit will be part of the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center that is scheduled to be dedicated on Dec. 7. The first phase of the museum opened on Feb. 17.

OHA's award will fund an interpretive exhibit of the history of Ke Awalau 'Pu'uloa, now called Pearl Harbor, and will be part of the new O'ahu Gallery. Laurie Moore, spokeswoman for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund, said the display will "preserve the precious memories and history associated with Hawaiian culture."

"The O'ahu Gallery will discuss several aspects of Hawaiian history in an accurate and unbiased manner," Moore said. "We are honored that OHA has chosen to partner with us in this endeavor."

Ed Nishioka, OHA spokesman, said the Arizona Memorial is the state's top visitor attraction and will be the perfect place for an exhibit depicting Hawaiian history and culture.

"We felt it would be a great way to showcase the Native Hawaiian culture and what the land looked like prior to how it's being used today," Nishioka said. "A lot of people, all they know is that it's been a military base, and we can show how the land was used back then."

He said the exhibit is in the planning stages, and OHA is working with the museum to design the project. Nishioka said the award to the museum fits into OHA's new strategic plan, which includes the perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture.