Eni meets with Tokelauan Community
Washington D.C.— Congressman Faleomavaega met last week with members of the Tokelauan community in Washington State during his visit for the 3rd Annual Samoa Cultural Day in Tacoma, Washington.
The meeting took place on July 4th at the Samoa-Tokelau Seventh Day Adventist Church in Tacoma. Approximately 70 members of the community from Seattle and Tacoma were in attendance at the church’s community hall.
Following a meeting last month with the Ulu o Tokelau Salesio Lui in his Washington, D.C. office, Faleomavaega arranged the Tokelauan community meeting to discuss major issues of concern for Tokelauans living in the U.S. mainland. Of the issues discussed, a primary theme was the need for a Tokelauan community organization to address issues such as education, community well-being, and cultural preservation for younger generations.
“I thank all of our Tokelauan community members who took part in our meeting this past week and I especially thank the leadership of Brother Etuale Nouata in helping organize our event. Tokelauans are few in number and scattered throughout the U.S. However, I believe as we work together our leaders can help to create a better future for all Tokelauans and especially the younger generation,” Congressman Faleomavaega stated.
“In my recent meeting with Ulu o Tokelau Salesio Lui, we discussed several issues affecting the islands but also the need for community cohesion among Tokelauans in the U.S. and the entire Tokelauan diaspora. The Tokelauan community in New Zealand is highly concentrated and very active in community-building as well as language and cultural preservation. I am hopeful that our leaders here in the U.S. will also work together towards these similar goals.”
“I thank Faaluaina Pritchard, Director of the Asian Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma, for lending her experience and support for our Tokelauan community in Washington State. I also commend the example of community advocates such as Dr. Betty Pedro Ickes in Hawai‘i, who is Executive Director of Te Taki Tokelau, a non-profit organization that runs Te Lumanaki o Tokelau i Amelika Language and Culture School. I am hopeful that similar community programs can be achieved in the mainland.”
“Lastly, I encourage all Tokelauans throughout the United States to take an active role in preserving our rich heritage and I look forward to being a part of these efforts in the near future,” Faleomavaega concluded.
Source: Media release from Faleomavaega's office