Note: Things are really heating up amongst the local population between Native Hawaiians and the 120 year illegal occupation the U.S. government. Here’s some background information on recent public meetings issued by the U.S. Dept of Interior in late June and early July, 2014. More background information on this unfolding story, is posted to the right under the Hawaiian Sovereignty Issues category. Mahalo…Annette
MANA statement to the press regarding OHA governing entity. July 16, 2014.
Between June 23 and July 8, the US Department of Interior held 15 hearings in Hawai’i seeking input from Kanaka Maoli on a possible a rule change in federal law that would allow for a government to government relationship with Native Hawaiians. Throughout these packed hearings we witnessed an outpouring of love and patriotism as testimony after testimony rejecting the proposed rule change, rejecting federal recognition and re-affirming over and over that the Kingdom of Hawai’i still exists as a subject of international law. And it is through international law that we expect to move forward to restore justice to our people, lands and government. The passion, love and knowledge expressed at these hearings was awe inspiring and have launched a new era of unified dedication to justice amongst our people.
We call on the Department of Interior and the Obama administration to move forward under the principles of democracy, heed the voice of the people of Hawaii and cease any further support for US federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, despite what efforts particular individuals who claim to represent our people may say or pushing to the contrary.
The Department of Interior called for hearings in Hawaiʻi after a number of back door meetings with representatives from OHA and a few other politicians who were in Washington pushing for federal recognition in violation of their own commitment to the Hawaiian people to facilitate a neutral process toward self-governance. OHA tried to be sneaky but unfortunately for them, what they sparked was a unified, democratic Hawaiian voice who gave a resounding no, no, no, to federal recognition.
After weeks of oral and written testimony in nearly unanimous opposition to federal recognition the only moral action for OHA to take is to abandon Act 195, the Kanaʻolowalu roll and the pursuit of a governing entity as a ‘governing entity’ is only relevant to federal or state recognition. But we have learned that OHA is indeed proceeding with the status quo, proving that they do not represent the concerns and hopes of the Hawaiian community. The question then remains, who is OHA working for? Who do they represent? Why have they turned a deaf ear to the many voices of the people? Why have they abandoned their own publicly announced commitment to an open and neutral process, their own commitment to be “hands off”.
OHA might state they are obliged to the 125,000 on the Native Hawaiian roll, also known as Kanaʻiolowalu. We would remind OHA that they are obliged to all beneficiaries, 3/4 of whom chose not to sign up for the roll. We must also emphasize that 3/4 of the so called 125,000 names on the roll did not chose to be on the roll but rather were hijacked by Kanaʻiolowalu from other Native Hawaiian databases. In addition, many have found the names of deceased relatives who passed away before the roll was ever created and who the roll commission will not allow living loved ones to disenroll, this being one of the most egregious and deceptive flaws of the roll.
OHA cannot move forward with the corrupted and offensive native hawaiian roll and cannot move toward a so called governing entity. Doing so without any mandate or consent of the people is unprincipled and undemocratic. And it promotes division and disunity among our people and will only result in calls for escalated resistance, disengagement and direct action. MANA calls for a process of fair and open dialogue where every voice is heard and all opportunities for education is encouraged and where open, free dialogue and debate is required. We have full faith in our community to truly speak for themselves in a clear, educated and unified voice. OHA disregard for such demonstrates their own fear of the wishes and concerns of an educated lahui.
In closing, we want to acknowledge and thank everyone in the community who came out to speak at the Department of Interior hearings, no matter what side of the issue you took. under international law. Today we stand here as MANA, movement for aloha no ka aina. Our message to the lahui is to remain steadfast! Heed the call of the Queen and onipaa! We call on the lāhui to organize your families, your neighborhoods and your mokus. To hold your own public dialogues and educational forums. Continue to have full faith in yourselves, and in your communities and in the lāhui. We will continue to speak for ourselves in a clear, educated and unified voice. We know who we are. We are kanaka maoli, we are Hawaiian nationals. We are not Americans! The US has no legal authority over our nation and we will continue to challenge them to prove otherwise.
But we challenge OHA to have the same faith in our community.
We challenge OHA to put resources toward education that will bring to light the full range of options for the restoration of our government and assets that are available to us under international law. Stop campaigning and start educating!
And we challenge OHA to a public debate with other members of the community over our pathway forward.
E ola ka aina, e ola Papahanaumoku, e ola Mauna Kea, e ola Moananuiakea, e ola na kupuna, e ola ka lahui Hawaii, e ola ke aupuni Hawaii. E ola! Aloha Aina.
Red Ribbons for our Country
Aloha ʻĀina Kākou,
We’re encouraging everyone who supports Hawaiian Independence, and who feels that Queen Liliuʻokalani and the tens of thousands of our kūpuna who protested against annexation to the US is grounds to contest their presence in our islands to wear a Red Ribbon.
The red ribbon represents Queen Lili’uokalani’s letter of protest against annexation and the cession of her lands and country:
“I, Lili’uokalani of Hawaii, by the Will of God, named heir-apparent on the tenth day of April A.D. 1877, and by the Grace of God, Queen of the Hawaiian Islands on the 17th day of January, A.D. 1893, do hereby protest against the ratification of a certain treaty which so I am informed has been signed at Washington by Messrs. Hatch Thurston and Kinney, purporting to cede those Islands to the territory and dominion of the United States. I declare such treaty to be an act of wrong toward the native and part native people of Hawaii, an invasion of the rights of the ruling chiefs, in violation of international rights both towards my people and towards friendly nations with whom they have made treaties, the perpetuation of the fraud whereby the constitutional government was overthrown and finally an act of gross injustice to me.”
We carry on the kuleana to see justice for our people, for our country and for our Queen. Make a red ribbon yourself or look for MANA organizers at the DOI meetings with Red Ribbons to give away to whoever wants one.
If you make one yourself, fold the ribbon so that it takes the shape of an upside down V. Don’t loop it or it will look too much like other campaign ribbons. Lets make our ribbons distinct. Use a small safety pin to attach it on the left side above the heart to represent our deep seated love for our land, country and queen.
Basic Talking Points for Department of Interior Hearings
by MANA, Movement for Aloha No ka Aina
The Department of the Interior should not assist the Native Hawaiian community in reorganizing our government or facilitate the reestablishment of a government to government relationship.
The Department of Interior should also not involve itself or support the current State of Hawaii-driven efforts to establish a governing entity.
We base our position upon the the following Principles of Nation Building:
1) We believe that nation building cannot be initiated, controlled or monitored by the occupying state or state representatives at the national or local level.
2) We believe that any nation building efforts must start with us, the lahui kanaka (larger Hawaiian community), from the bottom up, not top down.
3) We believe that terms of reconciliation must be set by those who have been injured, not by the offending party.
4) We believe that clauses and conditions granting the United States sovereign immunity and indemnification upholds ultimate power with the US and prohibits true reconciliation.
We reject and condemn any offers or models that do not uphold these principles.
The current State of Hawai’i and Department of Interior involvement in nation building do not uphold these principles.
We believe the Hawaiian people can and will produce a peaceful and just resolution of the political and legal problems created by the US if we are not prevented from growing on our own pace and according to its own ideals.
We do not want just a “governing body” or “entity.” We want the restoration of our independent government and we deserve nothing less than that.
We have earned, through our patience and non-violent persistence, the trust of many of those who inhabit these islands along side us that we will not disenfranchise others nor deprive others of their rights.
We insist on claiming our rights as a sovereign people and on the US and state policy makers keeping their hands off our efforts.
Lastly, the question over the United States’ legal authority or jurisdiction over our nation remains unresolved: namely, does the Hawaiian Kingdom, as a sovereign independent State, continue to exist as a subject of international law? Resolving this question is a fundamental first step in reconciliation as called for in US Public Law 103-150, the Apology Resolution of 1993.
Testimony to DOI Advanced Notice of Rule Making
June 22, 2014
To: Representatives of the US Dept of the Interior and Dept of Justice
From: MANA (Movement for Aloha no ke ʻĀina)
Re: Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making
We welcome the representatives of the US Department of Interior and the US Department of Justice to Honolulu and thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of Kanaka Maoli seeking the restoration of our independent government. Our testimony in response to questions (i) and (ii) is that the Department of the Interior should not facilitate the reestablishment of a government to government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community, and should not assist the Native Hawaiian community in reorganizing its government. Nor do we support the DOIs involvement or support in the current State of Hawaii-driven efforts to establish a governing entity, which is a process designed entirely without the input of the community and which has been vigorously criticized and opposed at a number of recent community forums.
We believe that the Departments of Interior and Justice have a critical responsibility to protect the assets and resources of Kānaka Maoli and that this responsibility derives in part from Senate Bill 103-150, the Apology Resolution of 1993. This apology committed the United States to an undetermined process of reconciliation. However, the creation of a government to government relationship with any entity but a restored, independent, Hawaiian government would not be reconciliation but an additional US aggression upon our nation.
Already, the U.S. has perpetrated numerous crimes against our people including: a) a determinative role in the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani’s lawfully constituted government and in its replacement by a non-elected republican government composed of a coterie of U.S.-born subjects of the Queen; b) the rapid and rapacious appropriation of our lands, waters and other resources; c) the attempted erasure of our history, language and culture; and d) the strangling of our diplomatic relationships with other nations in the world. These actions all constitute violations of our collective right of self-determination and also of our human rights.
The United States has in fact violated the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the Kānaka Maoli collective right to self-determination by refusing to allow the restoration of the government it helped unseat in 1893. Inasmuch as US never conquered our Kingdom which resisted takeover using diplomatic, not military means, nor executed a valid treaty of cession/annexation with us, either one of which was required at the time for an annexation to be valid under international law, the US has no legal authority over our nation.
In fact the attacks on the Hawaiian organizations like OHA and DHHL have principally come from right-wing American organizations who have, in American courts, asserted that the very existence of assets, resources and Hawaiian agencies which manage and protect them violate the rights of all other Americans who do not have access to those assets because of their race. This threat to our people and our national lands would not exist if Hawaiʻi’s independence was restored. So the US, by removing our government and by refusing to allow its restoration creates and maintains the political and legal threats to the few assets that still benefit Kanaka.
What the US ought to do between now and the restoration of our full independence is to officially recognize an interim trust relationship with Kānaka Maoli inasmuch as it holds our lands and resources depriving us of their benefits. Indeed, the United Nations imposed this international trust relationship on the U.S. when, after W.W. II, it placed Hawai’i on the list of non-self governing territories which, it later declared, must be decolonized. As we are not now able to exercise our sovereignty in our own country, the US must also assure in this transitional period that the Hawaiian people do not lose the rights and prerogatives, however inadequate, that have been garnered by Hawaiians since the American takeover: OHA revenues; Hawaiian Homelands; special health and education funds; gathering and access rights, to name a few.
The US government should simply acknowledge that the Hawaiian people have agencies in place that advocate for Kanaka and manage their resources and that neither the courts nor Congress should diminish their mandates. In other words, the US should inflict no more harm as the Hawaiian nation continues to unify and strengthen itself. We call on the Department of the Interior to consult with other federal agencies, experts in international law and its own constitutional experts to determine rules and procedures that would allow federal protections of Kanaka Maoli assets without establishing a government to government relationship.
An increasing number of people believe that restoration of our independent government is not only viable and reasonable but inevitable. This makes the political climate and future in Hawaiʻi very different, and somewhat more precarious than in 1959 when Congress declared Hawaiʻi a state, in 1993 when tens of thousands of Hawaiians were seeking limited self-government, or even in 1999 when representatives from Interior and Justice came to Hawaiʻi seeking to begin a process of reconciliation. There has been considerable nation building since then, and a dramatic change in the interpretation of the history of our loss. The Department of the Interior and the State of Hawaiʻi should not attempt to influence or interfere with the nation building that has been ongoing among Kānaka for the past thirty years. The good will and aloha shown by Hawaiian patriots will quickly sour if either the US or the State of Hawaiʻi uses tactics to divide and alienate our people from one another.
We believe the Hawaiian sovereignty movement can and will produce a peaceful and just resolution of the political and legal problems created by the US if it is not prevented from growing at its own pace and according to its own ideals. We do not want just any governing body. We want the restoration of our independent government and we deserve nothing less than that. Through our patience and non-violent persistence, we have earned the trust of those who inhabit these islands along side us that we will not disenfranchise others nor deprive others of their rights. We do insist, however, on claiming our rights as a sovereign people and on the U.S. and state policy makers keeping their hands off our efforts.
Movement for Aloha No Ka ʻĀina
Ikaika Hussey, Camille Kalama, Noelani Goodyear Kaʻōpua, Terri Kekoʻolani, ʻIlima Long, Andre Perez, and Jonathan Osorio
MANA position on OHA nation building submitted as testimony at 5/29/14 Board of Trustees meeting
May 29, 2014
MANA continues to oppose the settler-state process initiated by Act 195 for a number of reasons that we feel are in alignment with the values of Aloha ‘Åina. We will not allow our self-determination to be administered by the United States. Our principles are expressed in the following document along with some of the fundamental problems with the current OHA-led nation-building process.
- State of Hawaiʻi legislation – with no lāhui consultation
- Forced OHA to fund Kanaʻiolowalu
- Act 195 gave the governor the power to appoint a five-member Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to build the foundation for self-determination. Key leaders in self-determination and nation building efforts should be appointed by the Hawaiian people, not the Hawaiʻi State Governor
- Kanaʻiolowalu owes its existence to Act 195.
- According to Act 195, the function of the roll is to create “a reorganized Native Hawaiian governing entity.” The terms “reorganized governing entity” and “reorganization” have a specific history, or genealogy, within US law going back to the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, which allowed for limited self-governance under US plenary power (supreme authority).
- The sole kuleana of the Native Hawaiian roll commission is to prepare and maintain a roll of “qualified Native Hawaiians” and to certify that the individuals on the roll are of Native Hawaiian ancestry
- Numerous commissioners stepped outside the scope of their appointment duties and lobbied in Washington DC while they were serving as commissioners without the knowledge of the Hawaiian community.
- According to Act 195, “the members of the qualified Native Hawaiian roll, and their descendants, shall be acknowledged by the State of Hawaiʻi as the indigenous, aboriginal, maoli population of Hawaiʻi.” A native roll will give authority to the state to establish who is Native Hawaiian and limit it exclusively to those who signed up for the roll. The threat of exclusion from the state responsibilities to Native Hawaiians is a coercive tactic to get Native Hawaiians to sign up with the roll.
- Rolls are directly related to Indian law and tribal recognition through the Daws Act which was initiated to quantify tribal members for limited land allotments and monies.
- Rolls are used to distribute limited resources by the federal government to the tribal members. The smaller the roll, the larger the share of federal monies roll members receive. This fostered competition almost always results in competition within tribes over who should count as a member and who should not.
- Blood quantum has been a mechanism by which to determine how little or many native people will count as a member of the tribe.
- Due to lack of response from Hawaiian community to sign up for the roll, Act 77 is created to allow Kanʻiolowalu to hijack the names of nearly 100,000 Hawaiians from other databases: Kau Inoa, OHA’s Hawaiian Registry and Operation ‘Ohana programs.
- There are more names on the roll through Kau Inoa than those who signed up directly for Kanaʻiolowalu.
- The majority of people on the roll are on without their free, prior and informed consent.
- Nation building plan designed by OHA Ad Hoc Committee with no lāhui representation or consultation.
- Despite committing to neutrality, within less than a week of their announcement, OHA trustees and Kanaʻiolowalu commissioners and other Hawaiian politicians were in DC lobbying the Department of Interior to find an alternate way to recognize Native Hawaiians as a tribe.
- As a result of OHA and Kanaʻiolowalu’s lobbying, the Department of Interior, who governs American Indian Tribes and their lands, is preparing a visit to Hawaiʻi for consultations. This further indicates the work being done behind closed doors to push through federal recognition.
- Inherent sovereignty is directly related to indian law and operates within the U.S. framework.
- Inherent sovereignty means the authority to govern is not granted by another government, but by the consent of the people who are governed. Indian tribal governments have inherent sovereignty.
- Seeking inherent sovereignty comes with pre-determined outcomes.
- Self-determination is a core principle in international law that accords all nations and peoples the right to freely-determine their political status. It specifically includes independence.
- Self-determination cannot be initiated, controlled or monitored by the occupying state.
- All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 15 states that everyone has the right to a nationality and that no one should be arbitrarily deprived of a nationality or denied the right to change nationality.
Position and Recommendations
- OHA should not utilize the Kanaʻiolowalu roll and instead use a voter registration process
- Disassociate the process of organizing our people from State and Federal government
- Ensure that proper education and outreach is provided equally across the pae ‘āina to ensure informed decision making.
- Include lāhui representation on all planning committees and at all stages of self-determination efforts followed by consultation and approval.
- Support ground level people’s organizing efforts toward independence
- Continue to urge the US Department of State for a clear and thorough response to the four questions put forward in Dr.Kamanaʻopono Crabbe’s letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.
- Provide equal funding and work into pursuing all pathways to independence, including UN decolonization and de-occupation through international courts.