Land Issues -- Ceded Lands, Gathering Rights, Land Titles, Leasehold, Ancient Burials

(c) Copyright 2001-2019 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

Who rightfully owns the lands of Hawai’i? Do racially-defined ethnic Hawaiians have superior rights to land ownership? Do the ceded lands in general, or the Crown Lands in particular, belong to them? Do they have special gathering rights or access rights not available to all residents of Hawai’i? The following items have a direct bearing on these issues.

Hawaiian sovereignty: framing the problem. An introduction to the issues for newcomers.


Whose Land Is It? Hawaiian Spirituality, Kingdom Law, and Modern Law All Support Racial Equality

Ceded Lands -- Open Letter to Hawai’i Legislature for January 2003 urging that no ceded land revenues should be sent to OHA. This letter is a shortened, simplified version of the extensive analysis provided in the ceded lands webpage below.

Ceded Lands Belong to All the People of Hawai’i; There Should Be No Racial Allocation of Ceded Lands or Their Revenues. Extensive analysis of the origins of the ceded lands in the government and crown lands of the Mahele (1848), Annexation (1898), and Statehood Act (1959). Detailed explanation why there is no historical, legal, or moral basis for racial claims to ceded lands or their revenues. A shorter, simplified version is provided in an open letter to the Legislature (see above).

U.S. apology resolution 20th anniversary -- A resolution was introduced in the Hawaii legislature to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the U.S. apology resolution; and testimony was offered to the Hawaii legislature in the form of a substitute resolution explaining that the apology resolution is filled with falsehoods, has produced bad consequences, and should be repealed. Detailed footnotes provide extensive documentation proving that statements about history in the apology resolution are false, and proving that bad consequences predicted by opponents of the resolution have actually happened.

Who Owns The Crown Lands of Hawaii? -- Book by Professor Jon Van Dyke, book review by attorney Paul M. Sullivan, and links to some related materials available on the internet.

Selling the Ceded Lands -- The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the State cannot sell ceded lands without permission from ethnic Hawaiians; but the State appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which agreed to decide the case. The final ruling is that the apology resolution of 1893 cannot be used as a basis for prohibiting the state from selling ceded lands, because the apology resolution does not change the fact that the U.S. acquired the ceded lands in fee simple absolute in the annexation of 1898 and returned those lands to Hawaii in fee simple absolute at the time of statehood in 1959.

Land Acknowledgments: The dangerous new fad of institutions expressing appreciation for aboriginals who long ago occupied their lands and whose descendants, however attenuated and assimilated, remain.

Ken Conklin Ph.D. vs. Keanu Sai Ph.D. -- Dialog regarding Sai's presentation to a committee of the Maui County Council in May-June 2019 in which Sai relies on false assertions that Hawaii is under a continuous prolonged belligerent occupation by the United States from January 1893 to now; that the State of Hawaii is an illegitimate puppet regime; that therefore land titles in Hawaii are not valid.

State of Hawaii enacts legislation in 2012 to transfer to OHA land in Kakaako valued at $200 Million. But is this land transfer legally permissible and morally righteous? Text of legislation and all testimony and committee reports; links to a demand letter from attorney H. William Burgess portending possible lawsuit to block the transfer; history of the ceded lands and how OHA acquired the "right" to 20% of ceded land revenues.

How Hawaiian racial entitlements take away rights from private and government landowners in ways unique among the 50 states. Includes some discussion of the public trust doctrine for water, appurtenant water rights for taro, the PASH decision as a license for ethnic Hawaiians to trespass, NAGPRA and local law regarding ancient burials, regulatory takings and inverse condemnation, collective racial ownership of Kaho'olawe and several valleys, failed legislation on bioprospecting that would have established ethnic Hawaiian collective right to regulate research on biota and to extract racial royalties on any discoveries in the name of indigenous intellectual property rights.

Putting Haiku Valley, Kaneohe, Under Racial Control (April 2012)

Some important issues for the Hawaii Legislature in 2009. Stop the giveaway. Just say no.

Ceded lands issues in the Hawaii Legislature, 2009

Kahana Valley Giveaway - Just More of the Same. (includes a reminder of recent giveaways of State of Hawaii lands to racially exclusionary institutions of the Evil Empire)

Map of Hawaiian islands showing some of the lands likely to be demanded by an Akaka tribe, where different laws would prevail and businesses might operate exempt from taxes and regulation.

Using Hawaiian language as a political weapon by demanding that the names of places and streets must be Hawaiian -- historical background and 4 case studies: Thurston Ave.(Kamakaeha), Barbers Point (Kalaeloa), Dillingham Military Reservation (Kawaihapai), Fort Barrette Road (Kualakai).

Thurston Twigg-Smith, “Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter?” (Honolulu, HI: Goodale Publishing, 1998). Chapter 9: Land is Key.
Mr. Twigg-Smith's entire book can be downloaded free of charge, at:

Bellows Air Force Station -- 1995 Environmental Impact Statement considers and rejects typical sovereignty activists' claims that ethnic Hawaiians have a racial right to own the ceded lands or to determine public policy for the use of ceded lands.

Hawaiian Bones -- Rites For the Dead vs. Rights Of the Living (A philosophical inquiry into the conflict between respecting ancient burials vs. respecting the needs of living people for construction projects, and suggestions for how such conflicts should be resolved)

Keanu Sai got started in the Hawaiian sovereignty scam biz by proclaiming himself Regent pro-tem of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. He claimed land titles in Hawai'i are junk because the overthrow, annexation, and statehood were all illegal. He collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from hundreds of clients for bogus title searches and warranty deeds. He caused grief to property owners, messing up the real estate industry and mortgage banking for more than a year by filing bogus land title warranty deeds at the Bureau of Conveyances. On this page are a description of the process Mr. Sai followed to get himself established as Regent pro-tem, and a lengthy series of newspaper articles reporting the rise and fall of his “Perfect Title” company.

Hawaiian Kingdom land scams make a big return in 2008 [FBI investigating mortgage scam involving issuance of Hawaiian Kingdom bonds.

Were non-kanaka maoli historically full partners in Hawai'i, or only second-class guests?

Did kanaka maoli exercise self-determination?

Were the lands stolen? Do the ceded lands rightfully belong to kanaka maoli alone?

“Kahana: How the Land Was Lost” by Robert H. Stauffer. Essay length book review. Stauffer says the usual myths are not true that haoles stole Hawaiian lands immediately after the Mahele through Hawaiian ignorance. However, he develops a new conspiracy theory to explain how Hawaiians lost their land to haoles, and he pushes the profound idea (true by definition) that if there were a law making native land unalienable then Hawaiians would not have lost their land. Well, duh!

Are kanaka maoli entitled to reparations? (a lengthy legal argument by attorney Patrick Hanifin)

Does the U.S. Owe Hawaiians Anything?

A Brief History of Citizenship and Voting Rights in Hawai'i (Kingdom, Republic, Territory, and State) by attorney Patrick W. Hanifin.

Lili'uokalani Loses a Big One (The Crown Lands) Lili'uokalani v. United States, 45 Ct Cl. 418, 1910

Mauna Ala (Royal Mausoleum) -- History, Mystery, Ghost Stories, and A Claim of Continuing Hawaiian Sovereign Territory

Native(?) Hawaiian Gathering Rights(?) Attorney Paul M. Sullivan's extensive legal analysis of the underlying issues in the PASH case, with 371 hot-linked footnotes.

Neighbors Living Under Different Laws -- Example of State Sex Offender Registry (A court ruling in Minnesota shows that if the Akaka bill passes, then any ethnic Hawaiian who is a sex offender can avoid placing his name on the sex offender registry merely by moving to an address on any Hawaiian homeland, even if he later moves out of the homeland. Example: 7 out of 11 registered sex offenders in Waimanalo live on the Waimanalo Hawaiian Homeland, within easy walking distance of an elementary school and of non-native neighbors; and pay zero property tax).

MAUNA KEA -- How the telescope campus serves the spiritual essence of this sacred place. A Hawaiian creation story, and the legends of the gods, help us understand why the best telescopes in the world should be welcome here.

Analysis of the terms "culture", "Native Hawaiian" and "oral history" -- Comments on NASA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Outrigger Telescopes Project by Honolulu attorney Paul M. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan calls into question the use of such vague terms to assert that “Native Hawaiians” have special “cultural” rights over Mauna Kea based on “oral history” developed through interviews by a “cultural expert” who has a conflict of interest when serving as both an interpreter and information gatherer for NASA and also as an advocate for a local group opposing the NASA project.


Hawai’i Bioprospecting Bill -- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (a bill to regulate biological research on public lands is a trojan horse for Hawaiian racial supremacy in land use policy)

Hawaii Bioprospecting -- Hearings by the Temporary Advisory Committee on Bioprospecting (late 2007), and testimony by Ken Conklin. Legal issues concern whether to pass laws regulating bioprospecting and distribution of royalties; whether such laws would conflict with the PASH decision; and whether such laws would constitute a partial eminent domain "taking" of property requiring compensation to landowners.

In 1990 a federal law was passed called NAGPRA -- the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. It requires museums that have preserved and protected ancient bones and cultural artifacts to “return” them to individual living descendants or to “tribal” groups. But the implementation of that law in Hawai’i has been very poorly managed; and there are serious problems with the law nationwide. Bishop Museum has allowed extremely valuable artifacts to be taken by one favored, radical group without respecting the rights of competing claimants. Future generations will be deprived of the right to study and be inspired by those artifacts. See details about the NAGPRA law, Kennewick Man, and Hawai’i controversies about Mokapu, Honokahua, the ka’ai (sennit caskets) containing 500-year-old bones of Liloa and Lonoikamakahiki, the Providence Museum spear rest, the Forbes Cave artifacts, and the activities of the group called Hui Malama, plus a federal investigation of the Forbes Cave artifacts controversy at a meeting of the NAGPRA Review Committee in St. Paul, Minnesota May 9-11, 2003.

Mandatory Lease-to-Fee Conversion; Haunani-Kay Trask Racial Demagoguery

Fraudulent Ahupua'a -- The Use of Cultural and Environmental Restoration as a Political Front for Hawaiian Sovereignty -- The Ahupua’a Restoration Council of He’eia (ARCH)

Makua military training vs. Hawaiian Sovereignty: Using environmental concerns and cultural preservation as ploys to force the U.S. military out of Makua and eventually to force the U.S. out of Hawai'i

Stryker Brigade Lawsuit -- Ethnic Hawaiian Activists Use A Religious Legend To Claim Racial Supremacy in Political Power -- Long-Range Attempt to Push the Military (and the United States) Out of Hawai'i

Amicus Brief filed May 27, 1999 in Hawaii Supreme Court in OHA vs. State (OHA lawsuit seeking 20% of revenues from Hilo Hospital, Waikiki Duty Free Shoppers, public housing and other revenues). Amicus brief points out that OHA laws violate Constitution of United States.

On March 28, 2000 a multi-racial group of 23 citizens of Hawaii MOVED TO INTERVENE in OHA v. State in the Hawaii Supreme Court. Their MEMO IN SUPPORT charges the State Attorney General has a conflict of interest because he represents the interests of OHA in the Rice case. Their PROPOSED BRIEF challenges the validity of OHA itself based on the RICE DECISION.

The Ceded Lands Case. Article by H. William Burgess and Sandra Puanani Burgess, HAWAII BAR JOURNAL (July, 2001), pp. 9-15

OHA v. State of Hawai'i -- Hawai'i Supreme Court Decides the Ceded Lands Case on September 12, 2001

Are there books and other websites which support the concept that kanaka maoli are not entitled to race-based sovereignty?

(c) Copyright 2001-2019 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved