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Building a Hawaiian tribe through actions of the state legislature: May 2014 progress report (Roll Commission failure to follow the requirements of enabling legislation Act 195; identity theft of 87,000 names from earlier racial registries; enrollment of minor children; legislative hearing as cheerleader rather than oversight enforcer; and more issues)


This essay is about what the legislature of the State of Hawaii has been doing during recent years to create a state-recognized tribe out of thin air for ethnic Hawaiians, and where that process stands in May 2014. Important issues are raised: Has the Roll Commission for the Kana'iolowalu racial registry followed the requirements in its enabling legislation from 2011? Was it morally or legally acceptable for the Roll Commission to massively augment its miserable performance by grabbing 87,000 names from previous registries without the permission of those people, creating the impression that they have signed on to two major affirmations not present in the previous rosters for which they actually did register? Did the Roll Commission take seriously its obligation to verify the political affiliation requirement in the 2011 law, or did it take seriously only the requirement to verify racial ancestry, thereby making the roll nothing more than a list of people with at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood? Why has the Roll Commission been enrolling children aged 17, 16, or even younger, many of whom were enrolled by a parent or grandparent, even though Act 195 requires minimum age 18? Will the Hawaiian tribe now being created truly be an autonomous political entity outside the state, as is now being asserted, and therefore not subject to state law regarding open meetings and disclosure of income and expenditures; or will it actually be nothing more than a state government agency? News reports about a May 5 2014 legislative hearing failed to describe these issues, which are discussed in detail below. This essay is NOT about the failed Akaka bill in Congress from 2000 through 2012, whereby ethnic Hawaiians would get federal recognition as an Indian tribe; and it is NOT about ongoing discussions inside the Obama administration whereby an ethnic Hawaiian tribe would be federally recognized through bureaucratic procedures or an Executive Order.


(A) The enabling legislation for the Kana'iolowalu process and the Roll Commission

(B) Requirements imposed by Act 195 (2011) on the enrollment process, and how the actual application for registration used by the Roll Commission failed to comply

(C) May 5, 2014 State of Hawaii Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs hearing about the progress of the Roll Commission

(D) Will the Hawaiian tribe really be an autonomous government outside the State of Hawaii, as former Governor and Roll Commission Chairman John Waihe'e insists?

(E) Will the delegates who write a governing document, or the members of the eventual Hawaiian tribe, allow people with no Hawaiian native blood to become members, and if so, with what rights?

(F) Additional information, including three published articles about the May 5 legislative hearing on the Roll Commission


(A) The enabling legislation for the Kana'iolowalu process and the Roll Commission

The legislature of the State of Hawaii, and nearly all the newspapers and TV stations, have spent perhaps 40 years working hard to provide special rights and government handouts to ethnic Hawaiians. Since 2000 the biggest effort has been to break apart the State of Hawaii by creating a race-based government and handing over land, money, and jurisdictional authority to it. Why in the world is the political leadership doing this? Partly it's to keep money flowing into Hawaii from the federal government that is supposed to be given to federally recognized Indian tribes -- Senator Inouye spent his career on the Indian Affairs Committee adding the words "and Native Hawaiians" to every bill that provided benefits to the genuine tribes for education, housing, healthcare, etc. And partly the support for racial separatism comes from a population who have grown accustomed to treating ethnic Hawaiians as the favorite racial group or state pet.

In 2011 the legislature of the State of Hawaii passed, and Governor Abercrombie signed, Act 195. The law singled out the racial group of ethnic Hawaiians, arbitrarily declaring they are the only "indigenous people" of Hawaii, and defining them as having at least one ancestor who lived in Hawaii before Captain Cook's arrival in 1778; i.e., anyone having at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood. Act 195 explicitly acknowledges that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says they "have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development." However, is open to challenge whether ethnic Hawaiians should be regarded as "an indigenous people", partly because their tenure in Hawaii would be the shortest tenure in the homeland among real indigenous peoples and partly because the special rights and protections justifiably conferred on indigenous people are neither necessary nor appropriate for a thoroughly intermarried and assimilated ethnic group, most of whose members have no intimate daily dependence on the land and no relationship with their ancient gods. Although the U.N. general assembly adopted a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which President Obama has signed, the U.N. has failed to agree on a definition of "indigenous" despite decades of discussion; therefore we cannot be sure whether ethnic Hawaiians meet the unspecified requirements. See

Act 195 created a new state government agency, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, whose five members were appointed by the Governor (one from each of the four counties and one at-large Chairperson), to build a list of ethnic Hawaiians. Act 195 includes a mandate that the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs must provide funding for the Kana'iolowalu process whereby the Roll Commission will build a roster of ethnic Hawaiians who choose to enroll, and publish the tentative roster to allow for challenges and corrections. Ethnic Hawaiians from throughout the U.S. can enroll, and also from foreign countries. The Roll Commission must then certify the corrected roster as its final act before going out of business. Thereafter the roster will serve as a base roll to conduct an election of delegates who will write a governing document (i.e., Constitution) and organize a process (perhaps an election or mass meeting) whereby the base roll can ratify it. The officers of the governing entity elected by the base roll can then decide whether to reopen enrollment, and what requirements must be met for a person to enroll, in accord with the governing document. For full text of Act 195, and discussion of how it was passed, how it began to be implemented, and its likely consequences, see webpage "Hawaii begins to create a state-recognized tribe. SB1520 passed the legislature on May 3, 2011, and was signed by Governor Abercrombie on July 6, 2011 to become Act 195" at

After nearly a year, despite massive advertising in newspapers, radio, and television, the Roll Commission had signed up only 9300 ethnic Hawaiians for the racial registry Kana'iolowalu, out of more than 527,000 ethnic Hawaiians identified in Census 2010. The horrible signup rate was embarrassing to OHA and to the Roll Commission, who decided something must be done urgently. But it was too late in the legislature's 2013 session to introduce a new bill, because internal deadlines had already passed. So legislators used the gut-and-replace tactic -- they took a bill on a different topic, deleted all its content, and replaced it with new content authorizing the Roll Commission to simply add into the new Kana'iolowalu racial registry all the names previously collected during eight years of the defunct Kau Inoa registration, and other OHA lists, without any requirement to ask permission from the people whose names were, in effect, stolen. OHA admitted (bragged!) in writing in its December 2013 newspaper that 87,000 old names were added to the new roster in this way (without their permission). The new bill bearing its old label HB785 passed both chambers quickly, very near the end of the session, and on May 24, 2013 Governor Abercrombie signed it to become Act 77 (Session laws of 2013). Contents of Act 77 are on the legislature's website at


(B) Requirements imposed by Act 195 (2011) on the enrollment process, and how the actual application for registration used by the Roll Commission failed to comply

The registration form for the new roll includes two important political affirmations not required in previous racial registries -- each signer affirms a belief that ethnic Hawaiians had sovereignty (before the revolution of 1893) and have never relinquished it; and each signer affirms that he has a significant cultural, social, or civic connection with the ethnic Hawaiian community. Thus the 87,000 stolen identities now appear to be affirming a profound and controversial belief which they might not actually believe, and asserting a significant personal involvement in a community in which they might actually have very little involvement except for race.

In early May 2014 it is surprisingly hard to find the registration form on the internet. It seems to have been erased from all OHA or Kana'iolowalu websites after the extended registration period ended on May 1. However, it can be seen on page 22 of the OHA monthly newspaper for April 2014, available at
or on page 8 of the OHA newspaper for August 2013, at

The Kana'iolowalu registration form begins with the following DECLARATION:
(1) I affirm the unrelinquished sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people, and my intent to participate in the process of self-governance.
(2) I have a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community.
(3) I am a Native Hawaiian: a lineal descendant of the people who lived and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian islands prior to 1778, or a person who is eligible for the programs of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, or a direct lineal descendant of that person.

There are at least three very important differences between the enabling legislation Act 195, and the actual application for the Kana'iolowalu membership roll.

(a) The opening statement at the top of the form was not in Act 195: "I affirm the unrelinquished sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people." The Roll Commission decided all by itself to require enrollees to sign that. The second half of item (1), along with items (2) and (3), were required by Act 195. But a belief in unrelinquished sovereignty is comparable to a religious creed or loyalty oath, and was never demanded or authorized in Act 195. The belief in unrelinquished sovereignty is an article of faith, reminiscent of the ancient Nicene Creed (325 AD) and Apostles' Creed, which many Christians recite in a modernized form on Sundays, sort of like the Pledge of Allegiance: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord ..."

(b) Another very important aspect of the application form is that it never requires any proof of the political affiliation statement in item (2) -- no membership card or notarized affidavit under penalties of perjury is required, merely the vague statement that the applicant somehow feels an unspecified "cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community." But the racial requirement is stringently enforced and must be proved by submitting certified documents such as, for example, a birth certificate identifying the race of the baby or one of its biological parents as "Native Hawaiian." Thus membership in the roll has one and only one serious requirement: someone must have at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood. A purpose of Act 195 was to make it appear that the entity being created is a political entity and not merely a racial one; because the federal government recognizes Indian tribes on account of the fact that they already exist as political entities exercising significant authority over their members and are not merely racial groups. So Act 195 listed items (2) and (3) in the application declaration as equally weighted requirements for membership. But the application process merely pays lip service to item (2) without requiring any proof such as a membership card in a Native Hawaiian organization or an affidavit sworn under penalties of perjury; while the racial requirement must be proved beyond any doubt.

(c) Act 195 specifically requires enrollees to be age 18 or older. The application form requires a birthdate; but in testimony before the Hawaiian Affairs Committee of the state Senate on May 5, 2014 members of the Roll Commission repeatedly stated that children aged 16-17 often filled out the application for themselves, or the application was submitted for them by a parent or grandparent; and the names of these minor children were in fact added to the roll but with the understanding that they would not participate in voting until they turned 18. Indeed, there are registrants below the age of 16, as shown by this statement on the Kana'iolowalu "Registration Procedures" webpage on April 12, 2012 and still there today: "A guardian or parent's signature is required for those less than 16 years of age."

Act 195 does not authorize any enrollments below the age of 18, probably for the same reason that the U.S. government requires children who come to America with parents who are not yet citizens but later become naturalized, to wait until age 18 before they are eligible to make the choice of U.S. citizenship for themselves. In a legislative hearing on May 5, 2014 members of the Roll Commission were vague about how many of these minor children were included in the enrollment numbers; someone said it's about 16% of the enrollment, but someone said it's about 2,000 to 3,000. Since only about 38,000 people actually enrolled directly for Kana'iolowalu (because 87,000 names were simply transferred from previous racial registries without the permission of those people), the 2,000 to 3,000 underage enrollees are a significant percentage. And we have no idea how many children were among the 87,000 names transferred without permission from the Kau Inoa and other earlier registries.

Nobody knows whether the Roll Commission is actually or accurately verifying the identities or genealogies of applicants. There has been no outside performance or financial audit. One prankster tested the system in a very humorous way, by submitting an application under the name "Sanford Dole" [the President of the revolutionary Provisional Government which overthrew Queen Lili'uokalani on January 17, 1893]. The prankster then received several messages from the Roll Commission confirming receipt of the application, enrollment pending verification of ancestry, and final congratulations with ancestry apparently confirmed. See "'Sanford Dole' Joins Akaka Tribal Roll" by Andrew Walden on January 4, 2014 at


(C) May 5, 2014 State of Hawaii Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs hearing about the progress of the Roll Commission

On May 5, 2014 the State of Hawaii Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs held a televised informational briefing for the sole purpose of getting a progress report from the Roll Commission, which had closed an extended registration period on May 1. For more than a year it was on the published calendar that the legislature would adjourn "sine die" on Thursday May 1, 2014. So one must wonder why the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs waited until May 2 to send out a public notice that it would hold an informational briefing about the Roll Commission on Tuesday May 5. Perhaps there was some nefarious reason why they waited until after the session had ended?

This should have been an oversight hearing where the legislature could find out how well its legislation is being implemented and how well the money is being spent. But that's not what happened. There was no demand to know how much money has been spent during 2 years of the new racial registry nor on 8 years of the Kau Inoa registry before it, nor on 14 years of lobbying for federal recognition of a phony Hawaiian tribe. Legislators never asked why the Roll Commission grabbed 87,000 names from previous registries without asking permission from those people, nor why the Roll Commission chose not to require any signers to provide evidence or swear an affidavit regarding their alleged significant personal involvement in the activities of the ethnic Hawaiian community.

What happened on May 5 was cheerleading, as ethnic Hawaiian legislators expressed support and appreciation for the work of the Roll Commission they had authorized. Its work is to create a racial registry to begin a process of creating a race-based government to break apart the State of Hawaii and hand over money and land to the new government where the ethnic Hawaiian legislators and their families will be beneficiaries. All members of the committee are ethnic Hawaiians (as are many other state Senators and Representatives), except for the Chairwoman, Maile Shimabukuro. But during the hearing Senator Shimabukuro made a point of saying that her son is ethnic Hawaiian; thus, she is also an active participant in the very obvious conflict of interest, working to get huge amounts of land and money diverted to a race-based government where these legislators and their families will be beneficiaries. See webpage "Ethnic Hawaiian government officials have a severe conflict of interest regarding the Akaka bill. If the Akaka bill passes then no ethnic Hawaiian should represent the state or counties in deciding how to divide land and jurisdiction between the state and the tribe. ... Regardless of whether the Akaka bill passes as federal legislation, this webpage raises issues that have immediate relevance because Hawaii Act 195 was signed into law in 2011 to begin a process to establish a state-recognized version of the Akaka tribe." at

Perhaps the most intelligent and well-organized person in the room on May 5 was Norma Wong, who was introduced as a State of Hawaii consultant to the Roll Commission. Wong has worked for decades behind the scenes in all manner of activities serving the ethnic Hawaiian racial empire, including for former Governor Waihe'e (now Chairman of the Roll Commission), in the Honolulu office of the Verner Liipfert lobbying company that worked for OHA and Bishop Estate, etc.

There were three newspaper reports about the May 5 hearing. Links and full text are provided in the notes. But all three were incomplete, with occasional errors. Here is information not provided in those reports.

Norma Wong said 82% of registrants are residents of Hawaii, but all 50 states and some foreign countries have registrants. About half registered online and half on paper. She said 60-65% of the adult registrants are also registered voters of the State of Hawaii (which would mean that about 20% of them registered for the tribe but not for state elections!) About 2,000 to 3,000 registrants are in prison, and therefore not eligible to vote in state elections. Wong said the Roll Commission held registration sessions inside the prisons, and those were the most successful events for producing sign-ups. In the Hilo prison 100% of the ethnic Hawaiian prisoners signed, along with their guards.

Ms. Wong said there are about 200,000 to 250,000 ethnic Hawaiians throughout the U.S. who are adults (18 or over) [why does she not have a more exact figure?] and that the Roll Commission has registered more than 50% of adult ethnic Hawaiians in Hawaii, but well below 50% in the rest of the U.S. She proudly noted that in Hawaii about 20% of the population is "indigenous", which places Hawaii far above the state in second place -- New Mexico -- which has only 8% being indigenous. What she did not say is that the 8% of New Mexico's people who are indigenous are divided among several different tribes and also includes people who are not eligible for any tribe or who are simply not enrolled. However, in Hawaii the 20% are entirely allocated to a single "Native Hawaiian" group. This situation poses serious problems of conflict of interest in the future, as ethnic Hawaiians who are elected to the state legislature or appointed as judges or department heads sit across the table from ethnic Hawaiian friends and family members who are representing the Hawaiian tribe, in negotiations to divide up land, money, and jurisdictional authority. As Wong (unintentionally) pointed out, the severity of this conflict of interest is far worse in Hawaii than anywhere else. Note again the webpage

Many verifications of race came electronically from the Department of Health through a process established in Act 77 which allows the Roll Commission to send an applicant's name with a request to verify racial identity from the birth certificate, and the Department of Health can say yes or no whether the birth certificate confirms "Native Hawaiian." If verification of race cannot be accomplished electronically then applicants must submit paper documents, which take a lot of time to handle.

Wong said that in a month or two the tentative roll will be published, but only on the internet because it would be too expensive to publish tens of thousands of names in the newspaper. Later the final certified roll will be published only on the internet, after which the Roll Commission goes out of business (supposedly).

There was considerable discussion about what happens after the Roll Commission evaporates but before delegates get elected and a governing document gets written and ratified -- something must be done to "maintain the roll" and to provide funding for office staff and meetings of delegates. Roll Commission Chairman John Waihe'e said it is likely that registration will be reopened from time to time, to encourage all ethnic Hawaiians to participate. There was discussion that every ethnic Hawaiian is a member of the "Lahui" [nation, race] whether or not they register, just as every adult citizen of Hawaii is a citizen whether or not they register to vote; and people can choose to register at any time no matter how long they wait. Perhaps the Roll Commission won't evaporate after all! However, Waihe'e's comment that all ethnic Hawaiians belong to the "Lahui" whether or not they register is contrary to the way things work with the genuine Indian tribes, where there are often severe restrictions on percentage of blood quantum required for enrollment, whether residency on the reservation is required, etc.; and where some tribes have been aggressively DIS-enrolling large numbers of members either because they are Black (look up the Cherokee Freedmen lawsuits, Seminole freedmen, and others) or because they have made statements opposed to the views of tribal chiefs or because a smaller number of members allows a larger amount of money to be given to each remaining member when casino profits are divvied up.

Once the "final" roll has been certified it will take several weeks to elect delegates to create a government, because many members of the roll have no internet access and will need time to send and receive paper ballots [including to foreign addresses]. There are large costs involved in every mailout. For example, during the registration process the Roll Commission mailed a 4-page newsletter on glossy paper; it cost $10,000 to print the newsletter and $40,000 for postage. There is a desire to keep everyone informed and interested in the process; so several newsletters are anticipated. Apportionment of delegates will probably be done by using the "Moku" lines previously used for the Native Hawaiian Convention, although some Mokus will have more than one delegate, but not strictly proportionate to population. There will probably be 90-120 delegates, who are urged to finish creating a governing document and get it ratified by January 2015 (not likely).


(D) Will the Hawaiian tribe really be an autonomous government outside the State of Hawaii, as former Governor and Roll Commission Chairman John Waihe's insists?

Perhaps the most troubling issue is whether the Hawaiian tribe will actually be an autonomous political entity "outside the State of Hawaii" as Waihe'e repeatedly claimed. Waihe'e said that since it will be outside the state, the state's open meeting laws would not apply. Although Waihe'e did not say so, he undoubtedly thinks the ethics laws, and financial disclosure laws, and anti-nepotism laws would not apply. Norma Wong said Act 195 not only recognized ethnic Hawaiians as Hawaii's only indigenous people, but by implication it also recognizes ahead of time whatever political entity grows out of the Kana'iolowalu process. Waihe'e agreed, and said this not only places the "Lahui" outside the State of Hawaii but also would allow it to be recognized by the U.S. government as comparable to an Indian tribe, and would also allow it to be recognized by the United Nations. Waihe'e said this is a whole new process for political recognition, which is more similar to how a labor union gets recognized (by the NLRB) even before it has elected its officers or bylaws, rather than the way Indian tribes get recognized only after they have created a governing document and established a government and received approval from the Secretary of Interior.

For the past several years OHA has refused to make public its budget and the salaries it pays to its employees, arguing that OHA is not a state agency. Editor Malia Zimmerman (Hawaii Reporter online) tried for years to get OHA to disclose how much it spent on lobbying for the Akaka bill. Honolulu Civil Beat published two articles complaining that OHA refused to disclose the salaries it pays, when all other state agencies had to disclose. Among other specious arguments OHA asserted that money it receives through legislative appropriations might need to be disclosed (a very small portion of OHA's budget) but that money acquired from its 20% share of gross ceded land revenues, and income from its 650 Million of assets, can be spent without disclosure. That argument is false; but nobody has dragged OHA into court to enforce state disclosure laws. Thus OHA now feels emboldened, and Waihe'e is making a huge leap to assert autonomy for the Hawaiian tribe being created and funded by the state.

OHA is a state government agency despite its assertions to the contrary. It is obligated under state law to disclose its income, budget, and expenditures, even though nobody has yet taken them to court to enforce that. In case anyone in the future might doubt whether OHA is a state government agency, look at the words written by OHA CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe in the opening two sentences of his letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the same date as the legislature's committee hearing (May 5, 2014): "As the Chief Executive Officer for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, being a governmental agency of the State of Hawai'i, the law places on me, as a fiduciary, strict standards of diligence, responsibility and honesty. My executive staff, as public officials, carry out the policies and directives of the Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ..." The entire 4-page letter was published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on May 10, 2014, at
where it was an exhibit in a news report at

But would the Hawaiian tribe be an autonomous entity? Absolutely not! Just look at how the Kana'iolowalu process was launched and is unfolding. It is being created by Act 195 and Act 77 passed by the state legislature; and by a Roll Commission appointed by the state Governor; and by money from the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The millions of dollars spent to build the racial registries for a decade are state government dollars given to OHA from government land revenues or legislative appropriations. OHA, the new Act 195 state recognized tribe, and any future federally recognized Akaka tribe are government-created agencies and therefore must all comply with the 15th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This topic is discussed in detail, including a review of the Civil Beat articles, at

Just as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rice v. Cayetano that all registered voters in Hawaii, regardless of race, have a right to vote for OHA trustees; and the followup Arakaki lawsuit produced a ruling in Honolulu U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that all registered voters in Hawaii have a right to run as candidates for OHA trustee; sooner or later there will be federal lawsuits challenging the racially exclusionary base roll produced by the Roll Commission and the ensuing race-based government.

Norma Wong mentioned the special Native Hawaiian rights enshrined in the revised 1978 state Constitution (including water rights, gathering rights, giving money to OHA for racially exclusionary purposes, etc), and the large number of racial entitlement programs. She said if those race-based privileges and programs were challenged in federal court under the 14th Amendment equal protection clause (and if plaintiffs could establish "standing"), then all the special rights would be found unconstitutional. The only way to protect them is to get federal recognition for a Hawaiian tribe. And Waihe'e repeated his assertion that the creation of the Hawaiian tribe as an autonomous government "outside the State of Hawaii" ensures that federal recognition will come.


(E) Will the delegates who write a governing document, or the members of the eventual Hawaiian tribe, allow people with no Hawaiian native blood to become members, and if so, with what rights?

During the hearing both John Waihe'e and Norma Wong repeatedly mentioned that when the base roll elects delegates to write a governing document for the Hawaiian tribe, the delegates will probably consider whether to allow people with no native blood to become tribal members. The same concept has been mentioned over the years, including as recently as April, by another Roll Commission member, Mahealani Perez Kamau'u Wendt. Independence activists have long pointed out that non-natives were subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom, with voting rights; and have used that fact to oppose the racial requirement always present in the Akaka bill and the Kana'iolowalu process. Establishment Hawaiians like those on the Roll Commission have recently acknowledged this fact, but they never acknowledged (and still do not acknowledge) that descendants of non-native Hawaiian Kingdom subjects should have exactly the same status as descendants of native subjects, without needing to rely on permission from natives.

The establishment Hawaiians have always been reluctant to acknowledge the multiracial character of the Hawaiian Kingdom, because that inconvenient fact clearly shows that the racially exclusionary tribe they envision is NOT a revival or reorganization of the entity that was recognized as a sovereign nation. There was never a government that united the entire archipelago of Hawaii under a single sovereignty and in which all the members or all the leaders had Hawaiian native blood. For example, the oldest bones in Mauna Ala (the Royal Mausoleum) belong to Englishman John Young (Hawaiian name Olohana), whose tomb is in the shape of a mitiature heiau and guarded by a pair of pulo'ulo'u (sacred taboo sticks). Young was the closest advisor to Kamehameha The Great, trained his troops how to use guns and cannons and oceangoing warships, was appointed Governor of Kamehameha's home island (Hawaii Island), and ruled it from a house immediately next to the great heiau built to fulfill a prophecy, Pu'ukohola. His son (Keoni Ana) was Kuhina Nui of the kingdom under Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III, who had veto power over the King, and whose signature appears next to the King's on the first Kingdom Constitution in 1840. And his granddaughter grew up to become Queen Emma. Throughout the Kingdom a majority of cabinet ministers, nearly all judges and department heads, and perhaps 1/4 of the members of the legislature (both appointed and elected) were Caucasian. The Kingdom was robustly multiracial, and the exclusionary government now being created bears no resemblance to it.

Presumably the establishment Hawaiians have in mind not so much allowing membership to descendants of non-native Kingdom subjects, but rather allowing membership to non-native spouses, parents, and people who have made important contributions to Hawaiian culture (such as, perhaps, language expert Marvin [Puakea] Noglemeier, hula expert Pat Namaka Bacon, cultural and language expert Kepa Maly, environmental expert and chanter Sam Gon, webmaster and taro farmer Scott Crawford, etc.). During the May 5 hearing Ms. Wong said how proud she was to see that two of her ancestors signed the Ku'e anti-annexation petition in 1897 (although she must have had at least eight ancestors alive then, so what does she feel toward the others who did not sign?), and that one of her ancestor signers was a Chinese man with no Hawaiian blood [although Wong did not say whether the Chinese man was a Kingdom subject with voting rights before 1887].

This idea that people with no native blood might be allowed to join the Hawaiian tribe is probably not sincere and unlikely to happen. Its purpose is to lull Hawaii's people to not oppose creating the tribe. Some of the genuine Indian tribes do allow non-natives to be members, but almost always as second-class "honorary" members without voting rights. The Hawaiian racial establishment has always been ruthless about excluding people with no native blood from Kamehameha Schools, and from over 800 racial entitlement programs. Those organizations that do allow non-native members (such as the Hawaiian Civic Clubs) always put them into the category of honorary members with no right to vote or serve in leadership positions. If membership with voting rights and full equality were seriously allowed for non-natives, what would be the point of creating the Hawaiian tribe? We already have such a governing entity with full rights regardless of race -- it's known as the State of Hawaii! But even if a few people with no native blood were to join the tribe, they would be easily outvoted by the bloods; and furthermore they would find the bloods demanding superior rights on account of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (combined with the fact that Act 195 has made it a law that ethnic Hawaiians are the only indigenous people of Hawaii).

The only non-natives who would want to join the Hawaiian tribe would be people eager to be subservient to ethnic Hawaiians, as we see is expected of non-native families who send their kids to attend the Hawaiian-focus charter schools. "Kanu O Ka 'Aina" founder Ku Kahakalau very candidly said "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."
Hawaiian racialist activists and a few Asian sympathizers actually wrote a book ("Asian Settler Colonialism") telling Hawaii citizens of Asian ancestry that they are merely guest settlers in the Hawaiian homeland and have an obligation to support ethnic Hawaiians in throwing off the yoke of American imperialism to remake Hawaii into an independent nation with racial supremacy for ethnic Hawaiians.


(F) Additional information, including three published articles about the May 5 legislative hearing on the Roll Commission

Please read this 302-page book: "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State." There are 27 copies in the state library system, additional copies on several college campuses, and portions are available at

Here are the three best published news reports about the May 5 legislative hearing.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 6, 2014

Senators cheer native voter list

by Sarah Zoellick

State senators expressed excitement Monday for the future of Native Hawaiian nation-building now that a commission has compiled a list of potentially eligible voters.

"This is exciting," Sen. Clayton Hee, a member of the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee, said during an informational briefing at the state Capitol. "It's terrific."

The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission recently announced that 125,631 Native Hawaiians are on the Kana‘i­olo­walu Registry, with an additional 4,500 or so names still needing to be entered. "This is about nation-building; it's not about list promulgation," Norma Wong, a consultant who has been working with the commission, told legislators.

The committee called the informational briefing to get an update on the commission's status after its work closed on Thursday. The meeting lasted about 90 minutes, and legislators walked away expressing eagerness to see how Native Hawaiians establish an independent, self-governing entity.

"I think it gave a lot of clarity to us in terms of what it is that … the Hawaiian Roll Commission is trying to do, trying to establish, and so I think it was very exciting," Sen. Maile Shi­ma­bu­kuro (D, Kalaeloa-Wai­anae-Makaha), chairwoman of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee, said after the briefing. "It was exciting because it helped to show me that in the end, you know, it really can be a win-win."

In order for that win-win to happen, however, Native Hawaiians need to be successful in their appeals for recognition to the federal government. Shi­ma­bu­kuro said she worries that the current initiative could be subject to lawsuits -- as an earlier one was in the 1990s -- if the federal government doesn't act soon.

"What kind of (became) clear in my mind is that we do need a two-part proc­ess," she said. "Part one is that we need the federal government to just recognize Hawaiians and to say that yes, you know, there was an illegal overthrow similar to the Alaskans and the Native Americans. … Then that'll allow (Native Hawaiians) to go forward because right now they are vulnerable, because someone who wasn't allowed to sign the roll could say, ‘Hey, that's discrimination.'"

During the briefing, Shi­ma­bu­kuro asked the commission what it hopes to gain through self-governance.

Former Gov. John Wai­hee, chairman and commissioner at large of the Kana‘i­olo­walu Commission, said the many positive outcomes for Native Hawaiians include preserving land and water use rights. But the ability of Native Hawaiians to negotiate with the federal government could also benefit the state in many ways, he said. "One of the things that could happen immediately would be with the return of federal lands that instead of going out for public bid could be returned back to Native Hawaiians, where it should go anyway," he said. "Like Ford Island, for example."

Shimabukuro said after the meeting she also sees cultural benefits to allowing Native Hawaiians to be exempt from state and federal laws. "I'd love to see that … especially for the cultural areas, fishponds and things like that," she said. "Right now they're really stymied by the state and federal laws, you know, to do their cultural practices." She added, "To see how this all unfolds will be very interesting."

Some critics say it's unfolding too fast, with a constitutional convention proposed for later this year, but Hawaiian Affairs Committee member Sen. Brickwood Galu­te­ria (D, Kaka­ako-McCully-Wai­kiki) disagreed. "The process needs to continue as ambitiously as stated," he said during the briefing.

The Garden Island [Kaua'i], May 6, 2014

Native Hawaiian Roll first step in charting future

Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) -- The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission certified more than 125,000 people on its official register, completing a major first step for Native Hawaiians to form their own independent government that could seek federal recognition and the return of land to the Hawaiian people.

When all of the applications are finalized, organizers expect a total of 130,000 people to be certified, they told state senators on the Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Monday. Hawaiians who signed up will have a hand in shaping the new government and will vote to elect delegates in September.

By establishing their own government, Hawaiians could seek to negotiate with the federal government to return military lands to Native Hawaiians, said former Gov. John Waihee, chairman of the commission. "One of the things that could happen immediately would be the return of federal lands," Waihee said. "Instead of going out for public bid, it could be returned back to Native Hawaiians, where it should go anyway." For example, if Ford Island was returned, that could provide housing for about 2,000 Hawaiians, Waihee said. Ford Island, situated in Pearl Harbor, is currently used by the U.S. Navy for military operations, training and housing, said Bill Doughty, deputy director of public affairs for Navy Region Hawaii. It also is home to a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facility. "Ford Island is an active military installation and an integral part of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam," Doughty said.

The new government also could protect Native Hawaiians' rights to water, land access and education, said Norma Wong, a consultant to the Hawaiian Roll Commission. "Without the exercise of political action as a self-governing entity ... we stand essentially to lose everything that we now believe we already have," Wong said.

While organizers of the Hawaiian Roll Commission stated some potential goals, the future direction of the group will be determined through the course of elections and a convention. The group also could make a fresh attempt to secure federal recognition for Hawaiians, Waihee said.

To register for the roll, Hawaiians have to show Native Hawaiian ancestry, generally in the form of a birth certificate, said Naalehu Anthony, the commission's vice chairman. There's no minimum percentage of ancestry that's considered acceptable, Anthony said.

Registrations came from all 50 states and outside the U.S., but 82 percent of the enrollees were located in Hawaii, Wong said. Many of those who signed up were 50 to 65 years old. The election will be facilitated by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and voting will be conducted online and through ballots that are mailed around the world.

After the election, the delegates will meet between October and November to draft a governing document, according to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Then those on the roll will vote to approve the document in January. The roll previously closed in January after the anniversary of the 1893 U.S. overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Hawaiians had presented the Kue Petition, stating their opposition to annexation, in 1897. "Those of us in the room here who are Native Hawaiian are essentially the survivors of the people who took up the cause in 1897," Wong said. "It is not only important for us to say that we survived, but that our history will be a better one in the future than it was in the past."

Honolulu Civil Beat, May 6, 2014 (updated at 5:05 p.m, presumably to add hot-links behind some of the words)

More Than 130,000 Native Hawaiians Sign Up for Nation Building

By Anita Hofschneider

Members of the Native Hawaiian community are on track to establish a constitution for an independent Hawaiian nation as soon as next January.

Representatives from the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, a group charged with enrolling Native Hawaiians in a nation-building effort, told state lawmakers Monday that more than 130,000 people have signed up. For the past month, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has conducted an aggressive public relations campaign that included newspaper advertisements, public hearings and social media outreach.

The commission, which was established by the Legislature with Act 182 in 2011, finished its second round of registration May 1. The Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee held an informational briefing Monday at the state Capitol to take stock of the group's progress.

Norma Wong, a consultant for the commission who handled Hawaiian issues under former Gov. John Waihee, said the group plans to finish certifying its list by the end of June. That would pave the way for the group to elect delegates in September, hold a constitutional convention in October or November, and send the governing document back for approval by January.

After the list is certified, the commission will disband and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will take over the effort to organize the elections and convention. Board members have the power to slow down the process if they choose, but Garret Kamemoto, spokesman for OHA, said there are currently no proposals on OHA's agenda to change the schedule.

Drawing Comparisons to Akaka Bill

Ultimately, the goal is to create a nation with its own laws separate from the United States that would be recognized by the federal government.

Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka tried for more than a decade to achieve federal recognition for Hawaiians in Congress that would give the native community a status similar to Native American tribes. His proposal, known as the Akaka Bill, is not likely to pass anytime soon, given opposition from Senate Republicans and Akaka's retirement.

Another option for federal recognition is through the Department of the Interior, which could confer tribal status with an executive order from President Barack Obama. Interior Secretary Sally Jewel said at a conference in Hawaii last fall that the Obama administration was "looking at different options to move on a path forward."

With the Akaka Bill stymied in Congress, Hawaii lawmakers established the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission in 2011 in an effort to help develop an indigenous governing entity and support federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.

Wong said more than 80 percent of the 130,000 people who signed up for the roll live in Hawaii, including more than half of Hawaii's Native Hawaiian adult population. But Native Hawaiians residing on the mainland are still underrepresented.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are about 518,000 Hawaiians nationwide, including about 290,000 Hawaiians living in Hawaii. [** Note from Ken Conklin: that figure of 518,000 is an error. It should be 527,000]

Even though registration is over, Wong emphasized that the roll may open again to include more people, and it doesn't preclude others from participating in the nation in the future.

Hawaiian Affairs Committee Chairwoman Maile Shimabukuro said that she was surprised and pleased with the number of people who signed up, given all the criticism of the process that she has heard from constituents in her district. Many people doubt whether a nation-building process orchestrated by the state could truly result in an independent Hawaiian nation.

Kealii Makekau, a Native Hawaiian resident of Honolulu who is running for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, attended Monday's briefing and said afterward that he thinks state lawmakers are giving the indigenous community false hope.

"This is a continuation of the Akaka Bill," he said. Many Native Hawaiians disapprove of that route because they want more independence from the federal government.

But members of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission emphasized that this process is quite different than the Akaka Bill.

Commission Chairman Waihee said the Hawaii Legislature took an unusual step in passing Act 195, which acknowledged Hawaiians' right to nationhood and anticipated the creation of an independent government by establishing the roll commission. "Most of the time there is a governing entity first and then the conference of recognition," Waihee said. "In this case really the Legislature set up an entirely new model." He said the process is more similar to the formation of a labor union rather than the recognition of Native American tribes. "Act 195 was really a stroke of genius," he said. "The valiant effort of Sen. Akaka was really kind of yesterday's news."

'Non-Hawaiians Would Have the Opportunity to Become Citizens'

Still, he and other commissioners and lawmakers acknowledged the organization may be vulnerable to legal challenges. The commission has been criticized as embodying racial discrimination by requiring each member of the roll to have Native Hawaiian ancestry.

The Supreme Court ruled in Cayetano v. Rice [** Note from Ken Conklin: should be Rice v. Cayetano] that the state couldn't limit elections for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state entity, to only people of Native Hawaiian descent. Commissioners are hoping that because Act 182 says Native Hawaiians may independently organize a convention, it won't be subject to the same limitation. [** Act 182 is an incorrect number]

Sen. Clayton Hee also said that limiting membership in the roll to Native Hawaiians doesn't preclude citizenship in the new nation. "It was always the intent that non-Hawaiians would have the opportunity to become citizens," Hee said.

Despite the risk of lawsuits and other hiccups, Waihee said he's optimistic about the success of this attempt and that it's long overdue. "It's the largest case of Native Hawaiians that have ever gotten together on self-government," he said, recalling a voting referendum in 1996. "What we're doing now is in a real sense picking up where we left off."

State senators echoed Waihee's optimism. "The process needs to continue as ambitiously as stated," said Sen. Brickwood Galuteria. He likened signing up for the roll to jumping on a bus. "The bus is moving. For everybody on the bus, good. The bus is going to stop again to let people on the bus."


Published May 9, 2014 by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

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