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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Dan Ho Delivers Positive Message To Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month



May 28, 2010

Washington, D.C. – Son of Guam, and the Discovery Channel’s host of the DAN HO SHOW, Dan Ho delivered the keynote address at the Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs’ Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month celebration.

Before a crowd comprised of Pacific Island leaders in the DC Metro area, the self-identified “fashionable public servant,” Dan Ho, dished out laughter and “real island talk” on the importance of self-identity and the critical need for Pacific Island cultural preservation.

A noted author of two books, which Ho claims, “only Kinkos would publish,” and the creator of a magazine which gained recognition from both the Library Journal and Folio as one of the top 10 new magazines of 2003; Dan Ho ran successful restaurants before suffering a near life-threatening experience.

“I thought I had it all, I thought I could be the next Chamorro Martha Stewart, have my own cooking show, publish books, money, décor, have it all, but then I realized I wasn’t complete, the life I had chosen for myself was a vacuous one and I didn’t want to go out that way,” said Ho.

As a thriving entrepreneur, Dan branded his island roots and lessons learned from growing up on Guam, eventually landing a nationally syndicated television show. “I was given a platform and I was more than ready to use it. This was my opportunity to influence, to remind my community, the Chamorro people, the value of speaking our language, preserving our traditions but most emphatically knowing and accepting our rich cultural heritage and identity,” said Ho.

The dynamic and engaging Dan Ho spoke candidly about the critical role Chamorro cultural approaches and methodologies must play in the crafting of federal government policies, specifically as it relates to the military buildup on Guam. Ho emphasized the need for Chamorro engagement and participation to develop meaningful policy outcomes.

“He is a motivating-humorist, who delivers an inspiring message about the importance of going back to what is indigenous and uniquely our own- the Chamorro way. He is courageously blunt, hilarious and draws upon very universal principles that emphasize the importance of identity and the safeguarding of indigenous traditions and most critically, language,” said Assistant Secretary Babauta.

Other speakers included Christina Lagdameo, Deputy Director for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, underground spoken word performers, Sulu DC and singer and songwriter Lilian Bui.