Dennis was born and raised on the west end of Kauai in the rural plantation town of Kekaha. This provided him with a rich multicultural environment of living and learning respect and appreciation for his own cultural background as well as for other ethnic groups with in his community. His foundational spiritual teachings in both christian and traditional Hawaiian culture, language and 'ohana were provided by his parents, Herbert Ha'o Kauahi and Christobel Ka'anohiokalani Holt Kauahi.
He graduated from Waimea High School in 1963 and furthered his education at Willamette University, attaining a Bachelors degree in Sociology in 1967. He attended the University of Hawaii School of Social Work and graduated with a Master's in Social Work degree in 1970. Since then until his retirement in 2012, Dennis has work with the Queen Lilioukalani Children's Center providing culturally based Social Work based healing practices to a wide range of communities
He has received mentor-ship on Hawaiian healing cultural knowledge and practices from four recognized and renowned Hawaiian cultural experts: Mary Kawena Pukui, Nahale-Elua Mahuiki, Aunty Malia Craver and Uncle Danny Hanakahi.
Dennis' interest and commitment continues to be, particularly with our males, helping all males with our community to bring their gifts and talents to the leadership of family, community and state through the strengthening of themselves and ohana.
Awards and Affiliations.
2012 - Papa Ola Lokahi
Native Hawaiian Health Award for ongoing dedication to improving
the health and well-being of Kanaka Maoli.
2012 - Hawaii National Association of Social Workers
Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions made in the field of Social Work
for the enhancement and well-being of individuals and families in the state of
2013 - Honpa Hongwanji Mission Of Hawaii
Living Treasure of Hawaii Award, for unique accomplishments and contributions
made towards enriching our society.
2012 - Board Member, Aha Kane Organization, focusing on the development of male
leadership in our families communities and state.
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