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Aloha For All -- Political Activity in the Legislature and in State Regulatory Agencies, Year 2002



(c) Copyright 2002 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


During year 2002, the Aloha For All organization offered legislation and testimony in the State of Hawai'i Legislature on several matters, and other testimony in other venues. Items below are listed in approximately chronological order. Scroll down to find the one that interests you.

(1) Statehood Day Celebration Resolution
(2) HB2402/SB2475, a bill that would allow OHA to procure goods, services, and construction without compliance with chapter 103D or 103F. The bill text is provided, plus the Aloha For All testimony on this bill
(3) HB2400/SB2476, a bill that would provide OHA with an appropriation of $17,000,000 for fiscal year 2002-2003. The bill text is provided, plus the Aloha For All testimony on this bill
(4) HB2403/SB2477, a bill that allegedly clarifies the public land trust and public land trust revenues. Makes appropriations to the office of Hawaiian affairs. Sets standards for the making of grants, subsidies, and purchases of services. The bill text is provided, plus the Aloha For All testimony on this bill
(5) SB2919: A bill proposing a separate ethnic Hawaiian tax supported "public" school system. The bill text is provided, plus the Aloha For All testimony on this bill plus a large webpage specially written by Ken Conklin regarding the history of education in Hawai'i, the distinction between public and private schools, voucher plans, charter schools, Hawaiian language immersion schools, and the new Hawaiian culture immersion charter schools.
(6) Aloha For All offered testimony in a hearing of the Department of Land and Natural Resources regarding a proposal by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to expand the telescope campus at the top of Mauna Kea.
(7) Aloha For All offered testimony in April 2002 for a scoping hearing for an environmental impact statement regarding U.S. military use of Makua for live-fire training.
(8) Aloha For All offered testimony in April 2002 for the hearings on the Draft Reserve Operations Plan for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve


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Our first venture into the legislative arena was the introduction of the Statehood Day Celebration Resolution in the House (HR11) and the Senate (SR22). In 1954, 120,000 Hawai'i citizens signed a petition, now in the National Archives, demanding Statehood. In 1959 Hawai'i voted 94% 'Yes' and was admitted to Statehood, with huge celebrations and a permanent holiday. But in recent years Statehood Day (formerly called Admission Day) has been little more than a paid holiday for state employees. This resolution recalls the long history of Hawai'i's struggle for Statehood. It urges the Governor to revive an active celebration of this important holiday as a way to bring all Hawai'i's people together in a show of American patriotism. For the text of the resolution, and a discussion of its political importance, see
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/statehoodhistandcurr.html


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The Office of Hawaiian Affairs offered a package of four bills, introduced simultaneously in both the House and the Senate. One of those bills was to include the OHA trustees in the State of Hawai'i retirement system, and was not of concern to Aloha For All. However, the other three bills drew a response. For each of these three bills, the original text of the bill is provided as copied from the Legislature's website, followed by the Aloha For All testimony in response. When hearings were held, an OHA trustee pointed out the obvious fact that there was some confusion and overlap in the contents of these three bills. Nevertheless, Aloha For All testimony was based on the bills as introduced, and therefore this testimony was also repetitive. The testimony was effective in causing the committees hearing the bills to make some significant amendments as the bills moved forward, but was not successful in killing the bils.

Click here to see HB2402/SB2475, a bill that would allow OHA to procure goods, services, and construction without compliance with chapter 103D or 103F. Below is the Aloha For All testimony on this bill:

This bill should be rejected.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is an agency of the government of the State of Hawai'i. This bill would exempt OHA from the customary rules that prevent government agencies from (1) engaging in sole-source contracting, and (2) discriminating for or against contractors, service-providers, and grantees on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or family relationships.

Graft, corruption, and favoritism are perennial problems plaguing government agencies throughout the world. Hawai'i has procurement laws designed to prevent such abuses. OHA should NOT be exempted from those laws. OHA is not a private club for the personal benefit of insiders, friends, and relatives; although its officers and staffers often seem to use it that way. Certain favored lawyers and professors have taken huge fees from OHA over a period of many years. Vendors linked by family ties to OHA officers have been favored in huge construction and service contracts with OHA and DHHL, as documented in published reports. For a compilation of some of those reports, see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaNepotismCorruption.html

Another bill newly introduced in the Hawai'i Senate, SB2919, proposes a state tax-supported Native Hawaiian "public" school district separate from DOE. It is interesting that SB2919 includes the following exemption from the procurement code:

"Hawaiian charter schools shall be exempt from the state procurement code, chapter 103D, but shall develop internal policies and procedures for the procurement of goods, services, and construction, consistent with the goals of public accountability and public procurement practices."

Apparently there is some sort of concerted effort by Native Hawaiian state agencies to get exempted from procurement laws. But so long as such agencies remain part of the government of the State of Hawai'i, and/or receive their funding from State of Hawai'i taxes or revenues, they should be required to obey the same rules of fairness and public scrutiny in contracting and procurement that other government agencies are obligated to obey.

Please do not allow SB2475 to become law.

Submitted on behalf of myself and Aloha For All

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.


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Click here to see HB2400/SB2476, a bill that would provide OHA with an appropriation of $17,000,000 for fiscal year 2002-2003. Below is the Aloha For All testimony on this bill:

Aloha kakou!

Please defeat SB2476

Section 1 is woefully incorrect and misguided. The often-repeated phrase "trust relationship to native Hawaiians" is simply not established in law. If a person walking down the street gives a beggar a dollar on each of several days, that does not give the beggar a right to imagine there is a trust relationship entitling him to demand perpetual handouts.

Section 1 seems to imply that reparations are owed from the current general population of Hawai'i to the minority who have native Hawaiian ancestry, for alleged miseeds more than a century ago. But U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia has stated that there cannot be a debtor race and a creditor race. 20 years ago native-born Hawai'i attorney Patrick W. Hanifin published a lengthy, heavily-footnoted scholarly article in the Hawai'i Bar Journal showing that no reparations are owed to Native Hawaiians. HAWAIIAN REPARATIONS: NOTHING LOST, NOTHING OWED, Patrick W. Hanifin, XVII HAWAII BAR JOURNAL No. 2 (1982). The arguments in that timeless article remain valid today, and the entire article can be seen on the internet at
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/hanifinreparations.html

Sections 2 and 3 seek to appropriate SEVENTEEN MILLION DOLLARS of general funds to give to OHA for one fiscal year. First, it is contrary to the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution to discriminate on the basis of race in the awarding of government benefits and contracts.

But setting aside the Constitutional argument, we must consider that many people of all races need government assistance. Those who lack ethnic Hawaiian ancestry will be hurt to the extent that money is given to a state agency that gives benefits only to persons of such ancestry. If government takes money from people of all races to help needy people, such help should be given on the basis of need and not race. If ethnic Hawaiians are the neediest people, they will automatically receive the most help under any race-neutral distribution of help. Should ethnic Hawaiians, regardless of need, all receive help from government before any truly needy people of other races? Should there be two drinking fountains dispensing the water of life, one labeled "Native Hawaiians only" and the other labeled "everyone else"?

Finally, we must consider Hawai'i's dire economic circumstances following the terrorist attacks of September 11, and compare that against OHA's enormous wealth. OHA has assets of approximately $350 Million, of which about $300 Million is invested in the stock market. Those investments were made by sucking money out of Hawai'i's economy and sending it elsewhere. Now comes OHA to demand more money from a devastated economy to prevent OHA from needing to dip into its pirate's treasure chest of hoarded wealth.

It is time for OHA to begin spending its money to help Hawai'i's people rather than hoarding it in a huge stash. OHA's money was never intended to be a permanent endowment. Even if OHA earned zero income on its investments, it would require 20 years at $17 Million per year to spend the $350 Million in assets it now holds. Furthermore, an examination of OHA's budget shows that it spends far more money on administrative overhead, lawyers, slick advertisements, and lobbying at the state and national levels, than it spends actually helping needy people.

In Office of Hawaiian Affairs v. State of Hawaii, 96 Haw. 388, 31 P.3d 901 (2001), the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai'i ruled that Act 304 as applied to revenue derived from the Honolulu International Airport conflicted with federal legislation, and by its own terms the act was effectively repealed. This Court decision provides the people of Hawai'i a golden opportunity to stop doing something both illegal and immoral.

One way to kill a cancerous tumor is to cut off its blood supply. Our state Supreme Court in its decision of September 12, 2001 has cut off OHA's money supply. Say thank you! Don't blow this opportunity. Let's begin the long road to recovery.

Please do not allow SB2476 to become law.

Testimony on behalf of myself, and Aloha For All

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.


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Click here to see HB2403/SB2477, a bill that allegedly clarifies the public land trust and public land trust revenues. Makes appropriations to the office of Hawaiian affairs. Sets standards for the making of grants, subsidies, and purchases of services. Below is the Aloha For All testimony on this bill:

Aloha kakou!

SB 2477 should be rejected. Four reasons are offered.

(1) ----------------------

Section 1 seeks: "to clarify that it is all the revenues from the public land trust, rather than all the funds from the trust, for which the office of Hawaiian affairs is authorized to expend twenty per cent for the betterment of the conditions of native Hawaiians." Such a "clarification" would cause severe hardship for all the people of Hawai'i. Much of the revenue from the ceded lands is produced from facilities which operate at a loss. Hospitals, airports, harbors, schools, and welfare housing cost taxpayers billions of dollars in bonded indebtedness, current debt service, and huge operating expenses. The "clarification" demanded here would require that 20 cents of every dollar of gross revenue be handed over to OHA, rather than 20% of net income. But clearly, 20% of gross revenue far exceeds 100% of net income (after enormous capital and operating expenses are deducted).

(2) ---------------------

Section 1 states "the legislature finds it incumbent to enact legislation that gives effect to and recognizes the right of native Hawaiians to benefit from the ceded lands trust." However, native Hawaiians have always benefitted from the ceded lands trust, whenever they use the airports, harbors, hospitals, schools, and welfare housing on the ceded lands. Native Hawaiians comprise approximately 20% of our population. Therefore, they would receive 20% of the benefits from the ceded lands just in the normal course of events; and if we believe the victimhood statistics about native Hawaiians having disproportionally large usage of health and welfare services, then native Hawaiians already receive far more than 20% of ceded land revenues without any need for unlawful racial group allocation of funds through racially segregated beneficiary institutions such as OHA.

(3) ---------------------

Section 2 seeks to amend HRS to exempt OHA from the customary rules that prevent government agencies from (1) engaging in sole-source contracting, and (2) discriminating for or against contractors, service-providers, and grantees on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or family relationships.

Graft, corruption, and favoritism are perennial problems plaguing government agencies throughout the world. Hawai'i has procurement laws designed to prevent such abuses. OHA should NOT be exempted from those laws. OHA is not a private club for the personal benefit of insiders, friends, and relatives; although its officers and staffers often seem to use it that way. Certain favored lawyers and professors have taken huge fees from OHA over a period of many years. Vendors linked by family ties to OHA officers have been favored in huge construction and service contracts with OHA and DHHL, as documented in published reports.

This bill is part of an effort at both the state and federal level to treat Native Hawaiians as though they were an Indian tribe, and to allow their tribal government to exercise autonomy, including gross violations of the customary rules of good government. Great abuses have occurred, and huge sums of money have been squandered, in procurement favoritism among the tribal governments. Fortunately OHA remains an agency of our state government, not an Indian tribe, and it is our responsibility to oversee its procurement practices.

Hawai'i's procurement laws have not been successful in preventing such abuses here, but to abolish the restraints now in place would invite massive abuse. This bill should be read in the context of similar provisions in other pending federal and state legislation. It appears there is a concerted new effort by Native Hawaiian institutions to circumvent the law. Two examples:

The latest version of the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill, S1783, contains a new provision called "Ethics" (Section 9), which I have nicknamed "The Dawson/Hee Provision: License for Nepotism and Corruption." It says:

"The provisions of section 208(a) of title 18, United States Code, prohibiting involvement by a Federal Government officer or employee in particular matters where the officer or employee or his or her spouse or minor child has a financial interest shall not apply to Native Hawaiians employed by the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations if the financial interest that would be affected by the particular matter involved is that resulting solely from the interest of the officer or employee or his or her spouse or minor child that results from his or her status as a Native Hawaiian." For analysis, See
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaNepotismCorruption.html

A similar provision is included in legislation newly introduced in the Hawai'i Senate, SB 2919. This legislation would provide a state tax-supported Native Hawaiian "public" school district separate from DOE, including the following exemption from the procurement code:

"Hawaiian charter schools shall be exempt from the state procurement code, chapter 103D, but shall develop internal policies and procedures for the procurement of goods, services, and construction, consistent with the goals of public accountability and public procurement practices."

(4) -------------------------

Section 4 seeks to appropriate SEVENTEEN MILLION DOLLARS of general funds to give to OHA for one fiscal year. First, it is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution to discriminate on the basis of race in the awarding of government benefits and contracts.

But setting aside the Constitutional argument, we must consider that many people of all races need government assistance. Those who lack ethnic Hawaiian ancestry will be hurt to the extent that money is given to a state agency that gives benefits only to persons of such ancestry. If government has money taken from people of all races to help needy people, such help should be given on the basis of need and not race. If ethnic Hawaiians are the neediest people, they will automatically receive the most help under any race-neutral distribution of help.

Finally, we must consider Hawai'i's dire economic circumstances following the terrorist attacks of September 11, and compare that against OHA's enormous wealth. OHA has assets of approximately $350 Million, of which about $300 Million is invested in the stock market. Those investments were made by sucking money out of Hawai'i's economy and sending it elsewhere.

It is time for OHA to begin spending its money to help Hawai'i's people rather than hoarding it in a huge stash. OHA's money was never intended to be a permanent endowment. Even if OHA earned zero income on its investments, it would require 20 years at $17 Million per year to spend the $350 Million in assets it now holds. Furthermore, an examination of OHA's budget shows that it spends far more money on administrative overhead, lawyers, slick advertisements, and lobbying at the state and national levels, than it spends actually helping needy people.

In Office of Hawaiian Affairs v. State of Hawaii, 96 Haw. 388, 31 P.3d 901 (2001), the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai'i ruled that Act 304 as applied to revenue derived from the Honolulu International Airport conflicted with federal legislation, and by its own terms the act was effectively repealed. This Court decision provides the people of Hawai'i a golden opportunity to stop doing something both illegal and immoral.

One way to kill a cancerous tumor is to cut off its blood supply. Our state Supreme Court in its decision of September 12, 2001 has cut off OHA's money supply. Say thank you! Don't blow this opportunity. Let's begin the long road to recovery.

Please do not allow SB2477 to become law.

Testimony on behalf of myself, and Aloha For All

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.


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Click here to see SB2919: A bill proposing a separate ethnic Hawaiian tax supported "public" school system

Here is the Aloha For All testimony offered in opposition to this bill. The testimony was successful in getting the legislature to make substantial amendments to the original bill, changing explicitly racist language to implicit language; however, the bill itself continued moving forward.

Committee on Education
Committee on Hawaiian Affairs
TESTIMONY REGARDING SB2919
February 12, 2002

Aloha kakou,

This testimony is offered in opposition to SB2919, a bill to establish a separate "public" school system for ethnic Hawaiian culture immersion schools.

My Ph.D. is in Philosophical, Historical, and Social Foundations of Education. For 13 years I was a professor of teacher education, and my students were teachers, principals, and superintendents. Also, for 17 years I taught high school Mathematics. Thus I am familiar with both the theory of what makes a good education system, and the practical problems of teaching and curriculum design.

Last year the New Century charter school program permitted the establishment of 25 public charter schools that would have considerable autonomy within the Department of Education. 12 of those slots were taken by groups of Native Hawaiians who established Hawaiian CULTURE immersion schools -- these are different from the numerous Hawaiian LANGUAGE immersion classrooms and schools that have been operating for more than a decade.

The 12 existing Hawaiian culture public charter schools have formed a consortium and written the bill SB2919, that would formally establish a separate Native Hawaiian "public" school system, independent from the Department of Education but funded with tax dollars (of course!). This "separate but equal" school system would have the power to certify and incorporate additional Native Hawaiian culture immersion schools.

I have created a large new webpage which examines the distinction between public and private schools, the nationwide movement toward charter schools and voucher plans, the history of Hawai'i's highly centralized public school system, and the development of the Hawaiian language immersion schools and Hawaiian culture immersion charter schools. Please see http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/efhenb.html

The language in SB2919, and the language on the website of the lead Hawaiian culture immersion charter school, makes the following abundantly clear (supporting excerpts provided below): (A) The entire purpose of SB2919 is to create an apartheid system of education in which racially-defined Native Hawaiians would be guaranteed by law to have a majority of the student population and a majority of the administrative leadership of each school; (B) Children who lack native ancestry would be admitted to these schools primarily out of necessity to comply with laws prohibiting racial discrimination, but they would be on more or less permanent probation to monitor their behavioral and ideological conformity with "Hawaiian culture;" (C) The curriculum is explicitly designed to indoctrinate children to believe in the racial and cultural superiority of Native Hawaiians, enthusiasm for ethnic nationalism and racial separatism, and a belief that Hawai'i's people should oppose and resist the United States as an oppressor of the Native Hawaiian people.

There is no way that public tax dollars should be spent to establish any school system such as this. Indeed, the existing Hawaiian culture immersion schools under the New Century charter school law should be decertified as public schools and have their public funding and tax-exempt status withdrawn.

Here is evidence supporting the three claims stated above.

(A) The language of SB2919 includes the following provision: "As a prerequisite to the establishment of or conversion to a Hawaiian charter school under subsection (a), applicants for Hawaiian charter school status shall assert in writing, in addition to any other requirements of this section, that: (1) The majority of the student population is native Hawaiian; (2) The majority of the local school board of the school is native Hawaiian; and (3) The curriculum is based on culturally-driven approaches to education." Racial segregation of public schools has been prohibited by law since the U.S. Supeme Court ruling in 1954 known as Brown v. Board of Education. In addition, school districts throughout America have spent huge amounts of money, sometimes under court order, to use buses to transport children between neighborhoods and even across district lines in order to ensure racial integration of schools despite the racial homogeneity of neighborhoods. But SB2919 takes pride in establishing schools that are overwhelmingly Native Hawaiian by drawing students from areas where Native Hawaiians predominate, and then establishes a non-contiguous school system that gerrymanders a statewide district of such schools. This retro proposal is unconstitutional.

(B) and (C) are demonstrated by looking at the website of the lead school in the consortium of existing Hawaiian culture immersion schools. Ms. Ku Kahakalau is the organizer and chief spokesman of her own school "Kanu O Ka 'Aina" and of the consortium. The website of her school is http://www.kalo.org/ where statements of her philosophy, curriculum, etc. can be found at http://www.kalo.org/about/index.htm

The kinds of religious, philosophical, historical, and political content being taught in these schools will brainwash the children with a separatist ideology based on the concepts that Native Hawaiians are racially superior (being descended from the gods), have been oppressed by the United States (overthrow, annexation), and have been victimized by an alien economic and political system imposed on them by non-Hawaiians (the victimhood myths are prominent in the school curriculum and in the bill before the Legislature). Some shocking quotations from Ms. Kahakalau's website are provided below.

Would non-Hawaiian children feel comfortable in a school like this? Why would their parents want them to attend? Of course there are a few non-Hawaiians who have bought into the guilt-trip laid on them by the sovereignty activists, who would feel it is their duty to send their children to such a school. And there are a few politically liberal "yuppies" who like the child-centered, hands-on, environmental-based, group-project style of education filled with the mystique of Hawaiian language, hula, chanting, and remnants of pre-contact paganism.

But sooner or later the non-Hawaiian children attending such schools will clearly recognize that they are there as racial tokens to satisfy the law. They will be indoctrinated to believe that they are inherently and irreparably inferior to the true Hawaiians who sit next to them. The situation would be comparable to sending a black child to attend a white supremacist school in Mississippi where the teachers treat "that cute little pickaninny" with kindness while the Ku Klux Klan sets administrative policy and writes the curriculum.

And the ethnic Hawaiian children attending these schools will also be irreparably damaged. They will feel racially superior to non-Hawaiians (being descended from the gods), and entitled to race-based political supremacy in Hawai'i (because they are indigenous, they have a close connection with the land, and the bones of their ancestors are here in the Hawaiian homeland). They will believe their people have been oppressed by the United States (overthrow, annexation, and continued military occupation), and have been victimized by an alien economic and political system which has placed them at the bottom among all ethnic groups in regard to health, education, housing, incarceration, etc. (this victimhood language is in the language of the bill itself). They will be taught that their heroic ancestors resisted, and it is their filial duty to rise up and take control of their homeland. They will feel a duty to rebel against state and federal governments which have produced for them wealth beyond the wildest dreams of their ancestors, freedom and financial support to pursue their culture, and a flourishing of their race that has produced a ten-fold increase in population during the century of American sovereignty, from 40,000 in 1900 to 240,000 in Hawai'i and 400,000 nationwide today. They will have their hopes and dreams channeled into the fruitless pursuits of ethnic nationalism and racial separatism, and in the end they will feel betrayed, defeated, and angry when their efforts are unsuccessful. Meanwhile, they will live well below the level which they could achieve, because their abilities and energies are being wasted to pursue political power and governmental handouts instead of productive work and professional success.

Here (between the lines) are five excerpts taken from Ku Kahakalau's website for her Hawaiian culture immersion charter school Kanu O Ka 'Aina: http://www.kalo.org/about/index.htm Please take note of the ethnocentric emphasis of the purpose and curriculum, and the blatantly anti-American focus of the "liberatory" pedagogy. For those who might believe that it is appropriate to provide government funding for such a school, please consider what would be your feelings if the word "white" were to replace the words "native Hawaiian" or "native" etc. Our Constitution guarantees people the right to hold repulsive opinions and to speak them freely; but it does not require us to spend tax dollars to promote such ideas or to brainwash children in accord with them.

--------------------------------

The long-term goal of Kanu is to create a native designed and controlled system of Hawaiian education that will empower native communities throughout the archipelago to achieve political, cultural and economic self-determination.

[T]his model wants to give native Hawaiians of all ages the opportunity and the choice to remain natives of their kulaiwi and to perpetuate Hawai'i's native language, culture and traditions into the future. In addition, Kanu wants to empower Hawai'i's native people, who are direct descendents of earthmother Papa and skyfather Wakea, to once again assume our rightful stewardship over our archipelago.

Providing culturally driven education, that is specifically designed to meet the unique wants and needs of native students, is Kanu's primary focus. While we accept students that do not have Hawaiian blood, these students and their families, like their native counterparts, must make a commitment to be actively involved in the perpetuation of native Hawaiian language, culture and traditions. In addition, they must consent to being taught according to native Hawaiian values and teaching strategies and behave in a culturally consistent manner.

Probably the most unique and critical aspect of Kanu's educational foundations is the fact that Kanu wants to actively prepare native students to participate in - and perhaps even lead - Hawai'i's indigenous sovereignty movement. Initially I was sort of hesitant to claim that Kanu represents a liberatory pedagogy. However, the more I reflected on the true purpose of my model the more I realized that my model is definitely designed to liberate. Specifically, Kanu wants to encourage Hawaiian students to become politically conscious, and individually and collectively tackle the problem of Hawaiian oppression by the United States and our subjugation to American law and a Western way of life. In that vein, Kanu has the potential of significantly contributing to the Hawaiian sovereignty effort.

Utilizing problem-posing as an instructional technique, Kanu hopes to make our students realize that the occupation of Hawai'i by the United States of America is not fatal and unalterable, but merely limiting ' and therefore challenging. Additionally, Kanu wants to empower our students to accept this challenge and find solutions to this and the many other dilemma, that face Hawai'i's native people in their homeland today. By actively participating in finding solutions to native problems, it is envisioned that Kanu students will become an intricate part of the process of native liberation from American domination that nearly caused the demise of our native people and our way of life.

---------------------

Thank you for defeating this outrageous piece of legislation.

Testimony offered on behalf of myself and Aloha For All

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

Click here to see a large webpage specially written by Ken Conklin regarding the history of education in Hawai'i, the distinction between public and private schools, voucher plans, charter schools, Hawaiian language immersion schools, and the new Hawaiian culture immersion charter schools. This webpage unfortunately had not yet been created at the time when testimony was needed.


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In addition to activities at the Legislature, Aloha For All offered testimony in a hearing of the Department of Land and Natural Resources regarding a proposal by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to expand the telescope campus at the top of Mauna Kea. That testimony can be seen at
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/maunakea.html


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On April 8, 2002, Aloha For All offered extensive testimony for a scoping hearing for an environmental impact statement regarding live fire training by the U.S. military at Makua. Our testimony seeks to discredit the testimony of Hawaiian sovereignty activists and pacifists -- they use cultural and religious claims cynically as a political ploy to obstruct the U.S. military. They hope to force the military out of Hawai'i and force the U.S. to abandon Hawai'i in favor of an ethnic nationalist independent nation of Hawai'i. The complete testimony can be seen at
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/makua.html


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The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve has a website operated by NOAA (The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency) at
http://hawaiireef.noaa.gov

On that website, the 150-page Draft Reserve Operations Plan, a very large pdf document, can be downloaded from
http://hawaiireef.noaa.gov/PDFs/NWHIROP.pdf

In April, 2002 a series of public hearings were held to "inform the public" and solicit comments. Although the approval of the slick Draft Reserve Operating Plan was a foregone conclusion, the public meetings were preseeded by massive TV, radio, and newspaper advertisement encouraging public participation. Following is testimony written by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., in April 2002, on behalf of himself and the Aloha For All organization.

Aloha kakou,

We are pleased to lend our support to the concept of a national marine sanctuary in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. This unique but fragile area is a great treasure for all the world, and especially for the people of Hawai'i.

We do have some concerns about the administrative structure, operational plans, and cultural issues addressed in the Draft Reserve Operations Plan.

One important theme of the operations plan is cultural preservation. We would suggest that affirmative action be taken to rediscover and offer to the public the Hawaiian names for islands, geographical features, and species of plant and animal life. For example, the Draft Reserve Operations Plan does well when it gives information that Necker Island has the name Moku Manamana, and has important cultural artifacts. The name Manamana is significant to anyone who knows the Hawaiian language, and its meaning should be explained so that those who do not know the language will understand why the kind of cultural artifacts found there have religious significance. The Draft Reserve Operations Plan, however, completely misses opportunities to rediscover and make available to the public the Hawaiian names of plants and animals. In particular, there are charts on pages 20 and 22 which provide side-by-side columns for the English and Latin/taxonomic names of various species found in the reserve. While it is likely that more people speak Latin than speak Hawaiian, it would be helpful to the preservation of Hawaiian culture to provide a third column listing the common Hawaiian names for those species.

All our remaining comments raise civil rights issues concerning racial equality. It is both illegal and also very unwise to impose racial restrictions on who can serve on the sanctuary council, who can engage in cultural activities, who can get a permit for subsistence fishing, etc.

------------------------------

On pages 8-9, the DROP identifies the membership criteria for the 15 voting members of the 25-member Sanctuary Advisory Council. The first category states that there must be three Native Hawaiian representatives, including one Native Hawaiian elder. This racial designation is very different from all the other categories, which are race-neutral designations of activities or functions such as commercial fishing, recreation, and education.

"A Charter for the Council, signed in December 2000, provides for a 25-member Council, 15 of which are voting seats:

three Native Hawaiian representatives, including one Native Hawaiian elder;
three research representatives;
three conservation representatives;
one commercial fishing representative;
one recreational fishing representative;
one ocean-related tourism representative;
one education representative;
one citizen-at-large representative; and
one State of Hawai'i representative.
Ten non-voting seats include:
Reserve Coordinator;
Manager of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary;
Department of the Interior representative;
Department of State representative;
National Marine Fisheries Service representative;
U.S. Coast Guard representative;
Department of Defense representative;
National Science Foundation representative;
Marine Mammal Commission representative; and
Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council representative."

Does the designation of three Native Hawaiian representatives imply that there cannot be any Native Hawaiians among the remaining council members representing commercial fishing, recreation, education, etc? Probably not! It would be clearly illegal to exclude people on the basis of race!

The focus of the first item should be knowledge of Hawaiian history, culture, and language; it should not be race. Is a racial group considered to have a group interest, comparable to "research representatives" or "tourism representatives?" If such balkanization of our society is to be entertained, then other racial groups would also be entitled to race-specific representation.

The racially exclusionary language of this first item is not only illegal, it is also very unwise. The council should have the services of the people who have the greatest expertise and love for Hawaiian history, culture, and language; and it is wrong to narrow the pool of candidates by imposing a racial restriction. We regret the apparent need to point out that many of the people universally recognized as being most knowledgable about Hawaiian history, culture, and language were/are not racially Hawaiian. Examples can be found in the bibliography comprising Appendix 3 of the DROP. For example, see the listing for Dr. Kenneth Emory's book on the Archeology of Nihoa and Necker Islands. Thus, the person most closely associated in the last 200 years with the sacred Moku Manamana, who described the cultural and spiritual significance of what he found there, was a white man. The written Hawaiian language was created by the white people who brought Christianity to the islands. The famous song protesting the overthrow of the monarchy, "Kaulana Na Pua," also known as Mele 'Ai Pohaku, was written by a white woman, Ellen Wright Prendergast. Various non-ethnic-Hawaiian anthropologists are noted experts on Hawaiian history and culture, including Emmett Cahill. Walter Judd, Jocelyn Linnekin, Marshall Sahlins, and Valerio Valeri.

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On pages 49-50, the DROP sets forth a theory that a racially-defined group should have special rights in certain areas. Currently-living members of that racial group will apparently be given special rights, even though they are unable to prove lineal descent from persons who may have lived in these areas previously. If it is appropriate to give special rights to living persons because members of their race formerly inhabited this area or conducted significant activities there, then the same logic would apply to members of other racial groups. For example, the report recognizes that European explorers visited this area and died in shipwrecks; and that European and American fishermen and whalers also visited this area and may have lost their lives in storms. Likewise, there were Chinese crew members on merchant ships, and Japanese soldiers who fought in a war and lost their lives here. So, according to the logic of the report, any white person of European or American descent, and also Chinese and Japanese people, should have special rights to visit the area for cultural preservation and also for religious observances related to the souls of their racial forebears who died here. And, if recreational or subsistence fishing rights are to be given based on the fact that members of one's race previously engaged in such activities here, the same logic would require that white fishermen or even whale-hunters should be allowed to follow the practices of their racial forebears. The following is a direct quote from page 49 of the DROP. A useful thought-experiment is to replace "Native Hawaiian" with "white person" and know that the logic is the same.

"Native Hawaiian interests will be defined by cultural and historical experts, knowledgeable kupuna (elders), fishers experienced with the NWHI, and the Cultural Resources Subcommittee of the Council. These interests include cultural practices and significant locations within the Reserve, the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and State of Hawai'i waters as part of the coordinated management called for by the Executive Order. In addition, Reserve staff will work with Native Hawaiians to develop criteria to assess the cultural significance of any noncommercial subsistence, cultural, and religious use, and will develop management guidelines regarding access to the NWHI Archipelago for the conduct of culturally significant practices. The Executive Order also directs the Secretary to identify the areas where appropriate Native Hawaiian uses of the Reserve's resources may be conducted without injury to the Reserve's coral reef ecosystem and related marine resources and species. Such a condition is consistent with the centuries old practices of kuleana (responsibility) and malama (care). As a result these uses will serve to strengthen the Reserve's management efforts."

The DROP continues with the following passage referring to the taking of written and oral histories, and the use of ships' logs and journals, to rebuild the memories of events in the NWHI. It also proposes to use both old and newly created song, chant, and dance to educate the public about this unique and fragile place. But such historical sources and media of expression are not limited to Native Hawaiians, and should be employed to rebuild and celebrate the history of all the people whose racial forebears had a significant connection with this area. When reading the following quote, think about English-language sources and Japanese and Chinese-language sources, as well as Hawaiian-language sources; and think about European, American, Japanese, and Chinese ancestors as well as Polynesian ancestors. Surely there is room in this cultural project to include the sea-chanties of the English whalers and the "banzai!" cries or kamikazi prayers of the Japanese warriors along with the mele of the Polynesian navigators.

"This action plan is aimed at researching, assessing, compiling, and cataloging information regarding the culture and history of the NWHI Archipelago from such sources as mele and oli (song, chant), oral histories and accounts, Hawaiian language newspapers, ship logs and journals, and archaeological and anthropological studies as well as historic accounts by living Native Hawaiians. In addition, the information gathered will be documented in reports and through cultural forms of expression such as mele (song, chant) and hula (dance), and disseminated to the public as part of the process of education about this unique and fragile place. Oral traditions passed down through mele reference islands beyond Lehua and recall the travels of seafaring Polynesian ancestors traversing through this vast area on their way to and from the main Hawaiian Islands."

The purpose of these comments is not to disparage Native Hawaiian history. Rather, it is to assert the obvious -- that people of many races passed through the NWHI and had significant cultural and religious experiences here. We are all entitled to memorialize the history of our own race and to learn from the histories of other groups. If tax dollars are going to be spent celebrating bygone cultural or religious events of one group, then funds should be spent to honor the memories of all groups.

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On page 49, a religious doctrine is propounded that would seem to justify special rights in NWHI for people of one race:

"The natural elements of the Northwestern Archipelago are considered early ancestors born in primordial times and therefore the older relatives of living Native Hawaiians. Both share an interdependent, 'ohana (family) based relationship which requires malama to be given to the older siblings who in turn provide for the well being of the younger."

This same religious doctrine has also been propounded regarding islands in the main group of eight Hawaiian islands. For example, Kaho'olawe is said to be the kinolau (body-form) of the god Kanaloa, and the island was born to the goddess Hina.

Such religious stories can be beautiful and inspirational. But they cannot be used to establish government policy that would give one racial group priority. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that anyone has the freedom to hold and express such opinions. But that same First Amendment also says that nobody has a right to establish such religious opinions as the official views of the government. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or preventing the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech ..." Native Hawaiians or anyone else has freedom to engage in whatever religious ceremonies or protocols they wish (so long as they do not thereby harm the environment or other people), but it is unconstitutional for people holding a particular religious opinion to prohibit the free access or expression by other people who do not hold those opinions. Some currently-living Native Hawaiians may sincerely believe ther are lineal descendants of certain gods or of certain islands. The rest of us are socially obligated to treat those religious opinions with respect, but we are not obligated to give political control or property-ownership to people based on such beliefs.

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Could we please eliminate gratuitous racial references, and open up participation to everyone on an equal basis without racial restriction? Here is an example of how that can easily be done.

The executive order, appendix 1, page 133 of DROP, Section 9, states:

"Section 9. Native Hawaiian Uses. Native Hawaiian noncommercial subsistence, cultural, or religious uses may continue, to the extent consistent with existing law, within the Reserve and Reserve Preservation Areas identified under section 8 of this order. The Secretary shall work with Native Hawaiian interests to identify those areas where such Native Hawaiian uses of the Reserve's resources may be conducted without injury to the Reserve's coral reef ecosystem and related marine resources and species, and may revise the areas where such activities may occur after public review and comment, and consideration of any advice and recommendations of the Reserve Council."

As previously, we point out the following: This provision of DROP sets forth a theory that a racially-defined group should have special rights in certain areas. Currently-living members of that racial group will apparently be given special rights, even though they are unable to prove lineal descent from persons who may have lived in these areas previously. If it is appropriate to give special rights to living persons because members of their race formerly inhabited this area or conducted significant activities there, then the same logic would apply to members of other racial groups. For example, the report recognizes that European explorers visited this area and died in shipwrecks; and that European and American fishermen and whalers also visited this area and may have lost their lives in storms. So, according to the logic of the report, any white person of European or American descent should have special rights to visit the area for cultural preservation and also for religious observances related to the souls of their racial forebears who died here. And, if recreational or subsistence fishing rights are to be given based on the fact that members of one's race previously engaged in such activities here, the same logic would require that white fishermen or even whale-hunters should be allowed to follow the practices of their racial forebears. The following is a direct quote from page 49 of the DROP. A useful thought-experiment is to replace "Native Hawaiian" with "white person" and know that the logic is the same.

Instead of Section 9 as quoted above, we recommend slightly modifying the language to read as follows. This language allows and prohibits all the things allowed and prohibited by the previous wording, but avoids the unnecessary and pernicious racial language.

Any person, regardless of race, who engages in noncommercial subsistence, cultural, or religious uses should be able to continue doing so, to the extent consistent with existing law, within the Reserve and Reserve Preservation Areas identified under section 8 of this order. The Secretary shall work with all interested organizations to identify those areas where such uses of the Reserve's resources may be conducted without injury to the Reserve's coral reef ecosystem and related marine resources and species, and may revise the areas where such activities may occur after public review and comment, and consideration of any advice and recommendations of the Reserve Council."

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The political struggle for racial equality in NWHI is an extension of the same struggle in the main Hawaiian islands. Some Hawaiian sovereignty activists are ethnic nationalists, seeking to "liberate" Hawai'i from the United States. Some activists are racial separatists, seeking to establish a nation within a nation on the model of an Indian tribe. Both varieties of sovereignty activist claim that ethnic Hawaiians are indigenous and therefore are entitled to special political, legal, and economic rights simply on account of being ethnic Hawaiian. There are many issues involved. Here are brief comments on some of these issues, and internet links to webpages that provide extensive historical and legal analyses.

Ethnic Hawaiians are not indigenous. No humans occupied Hawai'i until 2000 years ago. Polynesian immigrants came in several waves of voyaging canoes from different areas of Polynesia and with different cultural practices. The final wave of Polynesian invaders came from Tahiti around 800 years ago and completely changed the genetics, government, and culture, imposing the war god Ku, the ali'i social hierarchy, and the institution of human sacrifice. Polynesians have a shorter tenure in Hawai'i than Anglo-Saxons have in England; and the latest wave of Polynesian invaders who took over the islands arrived here later than the Norman invasion of England.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/indigenous.html

It is a matter of considerable dispute whether there are gathering rights permitting people to go onto other people's property to collect food and cultural materials, and to have access to the shoreline; however, if such rights of trespass do exist, they are rights pertaining to all residents of an ahupua'a, not only to so-called 'indigenous' people.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/sullivanpash.html

Even if Hawaiians were indigenous, it would be legally and morally wrong to give them special standing based on race. The history of the Kingdom of Hawai'i shows that the Native Hawaiians welcomed newcomers, eagerly changing their old ways to embrace the newcomers' religion and culture.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/seconddialog.html

A social contract of full partnership was established under the leadership of the sovereign Kings of Hawai'i, exercising self-determination on behalf of the natives.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/fullpartners.html

According to this social contract, newcomers were given full equality of voting and property rights, in return for investment of capital and expertise. Non-natives became fully equal subjects of the Kingdom through both naturalization and birth, and held high elective and appointive positions in the government. There were no special rights for "indigenous" people during the final 40 years of the Kingdom period.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/HanifinCitizen.html

Whatever special rights may pertain to individuals or families having a tradition of subsistence farming, fishing, hunting, or religious observances should be based not on race but on the fact that such individuals or families have such customary practices in this particular area. All persons must be treated equally, regardless of race; claims to "indigenous" status notwithstanding.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/principles.html

Activists like to use the beauty of Hawaiian music, hula, language, and cultural activities, together with a general impression that Hawaiians have suffered historically, to elicit public sympathy for their victimhood grievances and thus for their political goals.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/hawnsasmascots.html

But there is no legitimacy to claims for reparations for racially-defined Hawaiians, as shown by both an informal essay
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/hanifinallsovereign.html
and a scholarly legal analysis
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/hanifinreparations.html

The ceded lands were all the public lands of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, both government lands and crown lands. There are no valid racial claims to any of these lands.
http://aloha4all.org

In particular, the crown lands were owned not by the monarch personally, but by the government; and were used to generate income to support the office of the head of state. In 1910 ex-queen Lili'uokalani sued the United States for compensation for what she claimed to be her personal right to the crown lands. The court ruled that she did not have any personal ownership of those lands even before the overthrow, and was not entitled to any compensation. But it is interesting that she never made any claim that the crown lands belonged to Native Hawaiians as a group, and she only claimed to own them personally.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/liliucrownlands.html

These issues of government lands, crown lands, ceded lands, and racial ownership were thoroughly explored in an Environmental Impact Statement regarding Bellows Air Force station in Waimanalo, O'ahu in 1995. Portions of the government response can be seen at
http://aloha4all.org/B-INTR1.HTM
and
http://aloha4all.org/B-KUBOTA.HTM
and
http://aloha4all.org/B-Sang.html
and
http://aloha4all.org/B-EIS6-6.html


(c) Copyright 2002 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


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