Klub Kanaka -- Office of Hawaiian Affairs confidential memo of June 2006 outlining OHA plans for setting up Hawaiian apartheid regime following failure of the Akaka bill

First, some background and analysis. Then the full text of the confidential OHA internal memo will be provided. Then an analysis by Andrew Walden describing the OHA plan as a proposal for a state-recognized Indian tribe, and describing how that concept actually works in some states. Additional news reports and commentary are then provided.

On June 8, 2006 the Akaka bill failed to survive a cloture vote in the U.S. Senate. Transcripts of 4 hours of debate on the Senate floor (June 7 and 8), plus hundreds of pages of news reports and commentary, can be found at:


Immediately after the failure of the Akaka bill, Senator Inouye and the Hawai'i media began pushing the concept of a Plan B -- some way to create a race-based ethnic Hawaiian "government" even without federal recognition, transfer state and federal assets to the new entity, and somehow insulate all that from lawsuits regarding unconstitutionality.

For an analysis of the political climate favoring such a concept, and a collection of news reports and commentaries about it, see:

"Akaka/Inouye Plan B -- Upcoming Consolation Prize --The Hawaii Racial Entitlements Protection Act of 2006" at:


A confidential internal memo of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, outlining OHA's ideas for Plan B, was leaked to news reporters, perhaps by an OHA trustee or staffer. Whether the leak was an agreed-upon OHA board of trustees public relations ploy is unclear.

The Hilo "Herald-Tribune" and Kona "West Hawaii Today" newspapers belong to the Stephens Media Group and often print important information that gets published a day later, or not at all, in the larger Honolulu "Advertiser" and "Star-Bulletin." On June 23 the Hilo and Kona papers published a lengthy article describing OHA's plans for ethnic Hawaiian "self-government." In hindsight that news report was obviously based on the leaked OHA internal memo. Perhaps the Honolulu Advertiser might have preferred to keep the OHA memo secret. But since Stephens Media had published the information, the Advertiser played catch-up on June 24. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin still remained silent. The OHA memo also became available to various opponents of the Akaka bill, resulting in this webpage posted June 24.

That OHA memo is copied in full, below. It essentially proposes to follow the process outlined in the Akaka bill for creating a "Native Hawaiian Governing Entity" even without any prior assurance of federal recognition, and by using OHA (i.e., state government) money and technical assistance, even without the help of the U.S. Department of Interior. The new entity might then choose to seek federal recognition. Perhaps Senator Inouye will find a way to insert "earmarks" into federal budget legislation to provide money or federal expertise to help OHA with this project, or "earmarks" providing language that puts Congress on record as supporting this process.

The basic idea is to use the Kau Inoa racial registry, already containing 50,000 names, and solicit additional signatures. Only "kanaka maoli" (people with at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood) are eligible to sign up. All who join this private racially exclusionary Klub Kanaka would then be eligible to participate in an election to choose club officers. An effort will be made to give this process the appearance of forming a government through democratic elections. The club's officers would write a document containing the rules of the club, and call that document a "constitution" for the new "Native Hawaiian Governing Entity."

At some point along the way the new entity would start negotiating with the State of Hawai'i and the United States to transfer lands, money and political authority to the private club. Such transfers of lands, money, and political power might be accomplished mostly with the connivance of the Governor through executive orders, and the connivance of the state Legislature through passing new laws. In the unlikely event that anything requires amending the Constitution of the State of Hawai'i, that would need to be placed on the ballot for all Hawai'i voters to ratify. Clearly, such ballot questions would risk rejection by an irate citizenry and will therefore be kept to a minimum.

Will the Governor and Legislature be generous in giving away public lands, money and political authority to a private racially exclusionary club? Will the state and county governments be willing to shrink their tax bases in order to turn over revenue-producing lands to Klub Kanaka? Will they be willing to establish scattered enclaves throughout their jurisdictions which operate under different laws regarding zoning, labor unions, workers health insurance, taxation, environmental protection, divorce and child custody? Recent history shows that our elected officials are extremely generous with our lands and moneys.

The state government and the City/County of Honolulu have already shown their eagerness to hand over land to OHA. Just a few months ago a huge parcel in Puna (Hawai'i Island), and the entire Waimea Valley on O'ahu, had their ownership titles simply transferred to OHA by state and county governments, and private philanthropies, eager to "make nice." There was no need to ask voters to ratify those decisions. In September 2001 the Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled that there is no way to force the State of Hawai'i to turn over ceded land revenues to OHA. But as soon as Governor Lingle took office she found a way to write OHA a huge check, and set up a process to ensure a continuous flow of government money to OHA anyway, just as though the court had never ruled.

Will the public allow our State of Hawai'i to be made substantially smaller in size, and far less able to generate revenue, in order to establish apartheid? Will we allow our elected officials to establish racial exclusion for some parts of Hawai'i and racial supremacy for all the rest? Will the public continue to elect leaders who do this sort of thing? OHA is clearly counting on it, making use of the "mascot syndrome." See: "NATIVE HAWAIIANS" AS THE STATE PET OR MASCOT: A Psychological Analysis of Why Hawai'i's People Tolerate and Irrationally Support Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism" at:


In the runup to the elections this year we will once again see OHA sponsoring televised debates where OHA officials will ask candidates how much they are willing to give to Klub Kanaka, and the candidates will fall all over themselves asking "How much would you like?" OHA's new Plan B provides a process to build a bottomless "horn of plenty" so all of us can fill it up.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs had already begun acquiring land even before it formally adopted Plan B. Two major OHA acquisitions (paid for mostly by others) were a huge area on Hawai'i Island known as Wao Kele O Puna, and the entire Waimea Valley on O'ahu. Shortly after adopting Plan B, OHA gave serious consideration to buying a major television station. OHA also entered negotiations to purchase a long-term lease on land in Kaka'ako to build a "cultural center" which, in reality, will be a headquarters for the government of the emerging Hawaiian nation. For details of these and other ways OHA is expanding the Evil Empire, see: "Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- Watching the Moves It Makes to Expand the Evil Empire" at:


A Nation-Building Proposal to the


Office of Hawaiian Affairs

June 2006

D R A F T – C O N F I D E N T I A L



      Aloha. Attached is the draft of a plan to create a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity and eventually to receive Federal Recognition of this entity. The Plan has been created in Draft form to allow the Trustees to provide input into the plan before it is finalized for their ultimate approval. 


Page 3-18      Elements of the Plan

Exhibit A Illustration of the Various Steps in the Nation-

      Building Process

Exhibit B      Draft Timeline  

Background Information:

      On January 17, 2004, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs kicked off the nation- building registration program for Hawaiians living in the United States. The registration form was developed by a community group and was given the name Kau Inoa or to "place one's name." Since January of 2004, OHA has taken the lead in promoting this registration program and, as of June 2006, over 50,000 individuals have signed the Kau Inoa registration forms.

      The Kau Inoa registration data base is maintained by Hawaiÿi Maoli a non-profit organization operated by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. Hawaiÿi Maoli is responsible for entering the registration information in a secured data service. Since its inception, the database has not been used. The only criteria for registration is that registrants must be Hawaiian as determined either through previous verifications such as through OHA's Operation ÿOhana, OHA's Hawaiian Registry, DHHL's list of homesteaders, or Kamehameha Schools' Hoÿoulu data base. Individuals requiring assistance in verifying their ancestry may request the assistance of OHA.

Outreach and Advertising:

      Over the past two-and-a-half years, OHA has been responsible for the majority of outreach and advertising efforts. Community groups participate through a small grants program developed by OHA's governance office. Organizations can raise funds for their non-profit group or school and receive one dollar for each registration form completed. Television commercials have also been used to encourage participation in the State of Hawaiÿi. Print advertising has been used in various continental states in conjunction with various Hawaiian-related activities.

Relevant Data for Consideration:

Total Population in HI over 18 years old Total Number of Registered Voters in HI as of 2004 Percentage of Registered Voters to the Population Total Number of Registered Voters who Cast Ballots in 2004 Gen. Elec. Percentage of Registered Voters who Voted in 2004
970,000 647,238 66.7% 431,662 66.7%
Total Hawn Population in HI over 18 years of age Target Number of Registrants based on 66.7%   Target Number of Registrants to Cast Ballots Based on 66.7%  
177,328 118,378   78,891  

(*) Source of Data: 2000 U.S. Census

      As of June 2006, approximately 50,000 individuals have registered for Kau Inoa.  This includes individuals who are both over and under the age of 18 years. Assuming approximately 80% of the total number of Kau Inoa registrants are over the age of 18 years, that means approximately 40,000 people would be eligible to vote in a delegate election. Based on our target of 118,378 individuals, that leaves us with approximately 78,378 individuals still to be registered.

      The credibility of our registration and voting efforts regarding delegate elections could be evaluated against the total eligible voter population in Hawaii and the number of those eligible who actually cast ballots. 


  1. Outreach

Outreach and advertising activities should be continued and expanded. In addition, the Kau Inoa database should be utilized for the purpose of keeping registrants informed of developments in the nation-building process.

  1. Creation of a Kau Inoa Advisory Board

The OHA Trustees should appoint a 9-member Kau Inoa Advisory Board made up of individuals in the community who are versed on genealogy and ancestry verification. The Advisory Board will be responsible for certifying that all individuals who are listed on the database have satisfied the verification process established for the program. The Advisory Board should also be prepared to certify that the process utilized for entering and maintaining the data in the Kau Inoa database satisfies acceptable standards for the handling of sensitive and confidential information. Other duties may be assigned to this group as deemed appropriate by the OHA Trustees.

  1. Acquire ancestry verification software similar to that used by various Indian tribes.

Various ancestry verification software programs are available to facilitate the enrollment or registration process in building the rolls of a native nation. Once a member of a family is certified to be Hawaiian, other members can be verified based on the certification of that one member of the family. This will facilitate the enrollment and registration process.

D.  Seek the advice and input of the U. S. Department of Interior, Office of Ancestry Verification, as to requirements relating to Indian tribes and Alaska natives.

Seeking the advice and input of the U. S. Department of the Interior will provide us with further assurance that whatever we end up with concerning our registration and elections process will comply with the rules and requirements of the Department.

Background Information:

      Apportionment refers to the process by which representative districts are created. When apportioning the representative districts, various legal doctrines need to be considered. First is the doctrine of "one man, one vote." Under this concept, the representative districts are based on the total eligible voter population regardless of whether these individuals have actually registered to vote. Other concepts could be based on registered voters as opposed to eligible voters. Further, representative districts should, whenever possible, share things in common with all members of the representative community. Therefore, "canoe districts" should be avoided unless the two (2) communities which are being joined share various interests in common.

      Once an apportionment plan is developed it should be reviewed with the community and comments should be solicited before it is finalized. Obviously the apportionment plan must precede the election of representative delegates.


  1. Creation of an Apportionment Advisory Committee

The members of the Apportionment Advisory Committee should be appointed by the OHA Trustees and have the following duties and responsibilities assigned to it.

    1. Oversee the development of an Apportionment Plan for the Native Hawaiian Election of Delegates to a Native Hawaiian Convention.
    1. Conduct public hearings and or informational briefings in the various Hawaiian Communities to seek input on the draft apportionment plan and amend the plan as appropriate.
    1. Be responsible for circulating the revised Apportionment Plan and finalize the plan following a prescribed comment period.
    1. Be responsible for publishing the final Apportionment Plan.
    1. The size of the Apportionment Advisory Committee is yet to be determined.
    2. Working through the OHA Administration, the Advisory Committee keeps the OHA Trustees advised on progress, developments, and controversies related to the development of an apportionment plan.
    1. Other duties and responsibilities yet to be determined.
  1. Use of Consultant Services

The Apportionment Advisory Committee should receive the authority and funding to hire consultants which may be necessary to prepare the draft Apportionment Plan, coordinate informational briefings, and perform other tasks.



Background Information:

      The "Election" refers to the election of representative delegates throughout the State of Hawaiÿi and the U.S. Continent. Generally, in order to qualify to vote in the delegate election, one must be registered in Kau Inoa. The number of delegates which are elected within the Hawaiian community is based on the developed and approved Apportionment Plan.

      A number of policy decisions need to be addressed as it relates to Elections. For example, the type of polling method to be utilized needs to be determined. In certain State elections in Hawaiÿi and across the United States, voters are allowed to cast their ballots at the polls on election day or prior to election day as an absentee voter. In certain states, mail-in ballots are permitted. In previous elections, internet voting was attempted in the states of Arizona, Alaska, and Washington. Internet voting is not yet approved by the United States Elections Assistance Commission (EAC).

      Though Hawaiian delegate elections will not be considered State elections since no State funds will be utilized, it would still behoove us to follow the various legal precedents which have been established concerning elections to avoid legal challenges in the future. These policy issues are best addressed by an Elections Oversight Committee.

      In addition to an Elections Oversight Committee, it is also necessary to establish an Elections Certification Board (ECB). In State of Hawaiÿi elections, the Elections Administrator certifies the election results and issues certificates to the individuals who have been elected. In the case of Hawaiian delegate elections, the State of Hawaiÿi Office of Elections will not be able to provide such certifications. Though the State of Hawaiÿi Office of Elections is not going to be directly involved in the elections process, it is envisioned that both the Elections Oversight Committee and the Elections Certification Board will seek the assistance of the Office of Elections and its Elections Administrator.


  1. Creation of an Elections Oversight Committee

The members of the Elections Oversight Committee should be appointed by the OHA Trustees and have the following duties and responsibilities assigned to it:

    1. Based on input from the Hawaiian community address all policy issues relating to the Hawaiian delegate elections.
    1. Oversee all logistical and clerical functions related to assuring a fair and impartial elections process.
    1. Based on input from the Hawaiian community and after consulting with various legal scholars, determine the type of polling method which will be utilized in the election. Note: The polling method selected should facilitate the broadest participation of Hawaiians.

    1. Oversee the development of an educational and communications plan to keep the community advised of the elections process and schedule.
    1. Oversee the production of Election collateral materials such as ballots, mail-in materials and procedures, and internet voting procedures if such procedures are deemed appropriate for these elections.
    1. Working through the OHA Administration, keep the Trustee informed of progress and controversies relating to the Elections Process.
    1. The number of members of the Elections Oversight Committee is yet to be determined.
    1. Other duties and responsibilities yet to be determined.
  1. Creation of an Elections Certification Board

The members of the Elections Certification Board should be appointed by the OHA Trustees and have the following duties and responsibilities assigned to it:

    1. Based on acceptable national standards, create a certification process for certifying the election of Hawaiian delegates.
    1. Circulate for comment to the Hawaiian community the proposed delegate election certification procedures.
    1. Finalize and publish delegate election certification procedures.
    1. Based on the election certification procedures which are adopted, certify the election of Hawaiian delegates and issue certificates as appropriate.
    1. Working through the OHA Administration, keep the Trustees informed of progress and controversies relating to the Elections certification process.
    1. The number of members of the Elections Certification Board is yet to be determined.
    1. Other duties and responsibilities are yet to be determined.
  1. Use of Consultant Services

The Elections Oversight Committee should receive the authority and funding to hire consultants which may be necessary to prepare and execute the delegate elections plan. This should also include necessary funds to wage an informational campaign on the elections.

The Elections Certification Board should be provided with legal and research assistance as required.


Background Information:

      The "Convention" refers to the convening of a constitutional convention for the purpose of creating organic documents related to the formation of a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. Like the State of Hawaiÿi's Constitutional Convention which was convened in 1978, the Native Hawaiian Constitutional Convention will explore the various powers, immunities and rights which will be asserted by Native Hawaiians throughout the United States. Once the Elections are completed and the delegates have been certified by the Elections Certification Board, they will be ready to be seated at the Convention. Following the procedure utilized by the State of Hawaiÿi in its 1978 Constitutional Convention, the delegate receiving the largest number of votes is deemed to be the Interim President of the Convention. Once the body is convened, an election for a permanent chair can be undertaken.

Format of the Convention:

      It is likely the Convention will follow the format utilized by other indigenous aboriginal people who have attempted a similar task. Appropriate research will need to be conducted to determine this format. Generally, various subject matter committees will be established to determine what types of constitutional provisions will need to be established. In the case of Native Hawaiians, one of these committees might be Economic Development. Another might be Native Hawaiian Health. The number and membership of the various Committees should be determined by the elected delegates.

Pre-Convention Planning

      To avoid unnecessary delays in the convention, it is essential that pre-convention planning occur. This would include research on various governance models, government authorities, immunities, and powers. Further, training for the new delegates as to their role and responsibilities needs also to be conducted.


  1. Creation of a Convention Oversight Committee

The members of the Convention Oversight Committee (COC) should be appointed by the OHA Trustees and have the following duties and responsibilities:

    1. Pre-Convention Planning

The COC should be responsible for assuring that convention facilities have been secured for the anticipated dates of the convention. They should also be responsible for developing a proposed convention budget which will ultimately be presented to the OHA Trustees. Pre-Convention publicity should be coordinated by the COC.

    1. Based on the budget approved by the OHA Trustees, the COC should be responsible for all delegate travel, per diem and housing requirements for the duration of the convention.
    1. The COC should also be responsible for identifying various legal and other resource requirements of the convention. This would include constitutional experts as well as various subject matter experts such as environmental and native rights, economic development, health, education, housing, and human service requirements of the community and the like.
    1. The COC should be responsible for developing a Convention Planning Document which will outline the various pre-convention, convention, and post-convention requirements. This plan should also include a budget for the various phases. The document should also include a communications plan to assure that the community continues to be updated on the work of the Native Hawaiian Convention delegates. The business of the delegates should be conducted in a "transparent" manner and soliciting of public input should occur at every step of the way.
    1. Working through the OHA Administration, committee members will keep the Trustee informed of progress and controversies relating to the Elections certification process.
    1. The number of members on the Convention Oversight Committee is yet to be determined.
    1. Other duties and responsibilities yet to be determined.
  1. Use of Consultant Services

The Convention Oversight Committee should receive the authority and funding to hire consultants which may be necessary to prepare and execute the convention implementation plan. This should also include necessary funds to wage an informational campaign on the convention.

Background Information:

      The Ratification process speaks to the issue of having the Native Hawaiian Community ratify or approve the organic documents developed by the Native Hawaiian Convention delegates. Each organic article developed by the delegates to the Native Hawaiian Convention should be voted on separately. The voters should be given the opportunity to ratify or reject each of these articles. Key to a successful ratification process is education of the Native Hawaiian community as to the provisions of the organic documents. Given the fact that registered Hawaiians will reside in all parts of the United States, this task would be considered extremely sizable.

      A Ratification Oversight Committee should be established to assure that the ratification process is handled in a fair and efficient manner. They should be responsible for determining the choices which would be afforded to the community as it relates to the various organic articles, i.e., accept, reject, accept in part, or reject in part.


  1. Creation of a Ratification Oversight Committee

The members of the Ratification Oversight Committee (ROC) should be appointed by the OHA Trustees and have the following duties and responsibilities assigned to it:

    1. Oversee the development of a Ratification Implementation Plan.  

This implementation plan should also include a budget for the cost of conducting the ratifying process. The plan should also include a public information component to assure that sufficient information is provided to the community as to the provisions of the organic documents.

    1. Working with the Convention Oversight Committee, determine the appropriate timetable for all ratification-related activities. 
    1. Working through the OHA Administration, keep the Trustees informed of progress and controversies relating to the Elections certification process.
    1. The number of members of the Ratification Oversight Committee is yet to be determined.
    1. Other duties and responsibilities are yet to be determined.

B.  Use of Consultant Services

The Ratification Oversight Committee should receive the authority and funding to hire consultants which may be necessary to prepare and execute the ratification implementation plan. This should also include necessary funds to wage an informational campaign on the organic documents.


Background Information:

      Once the organic documents have been ratified, the community will be ready to implement the provisions of those organic documents. For example, if one of those organic documents calls for the creation of an executive branch and a legislative branch, and an election of those leaders, an election must be held. Much of the implementation will depend on the availability of resources.


1. Establish a Government Oversight and Implementation Committee (GOIC) with the concurrence of the delegates to the Native Hawaiian Convention. The GOIC should be assigned the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Provide oversight to the election and appointment process which will implement the provisions of the organic documents.
  1. Provide liaison between the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the newly elected officers and representatives of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.
  1. Assure a fair and transparent process for all activities related to the implementation of the provisions of the organic documents.
  1. Other duties and responsibilities yet to be determined.

2. Membership in the GOIC should be determined by the OHA Trustees and the officers of the Native Hawaiian Convention.

3. Provide necessary resources to assist in the implementation of the provisions of the organic documents.


Discussions and Negotiations:

      The transition of resources and authority from the State of Hawaiÿi to the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will rely on the willingness of all parties to participate. Outlined below are some of the issues and concepts which will need to be worked through.

      The Executive Branch, State of Hawaiÿi

      The Governor, as the Chief Executive of the State of Hawaiÿi, must be willing to accept the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity as a legitimate and credible body to which resources and authority may be delegated. Once the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity is in existence, it is envisioned that discussions with the Governor and her designated representatives will begin the discussion of how a transition of resources and authority may be executed. The goal would be to transfer all assets which are currently being managed by the State of Hawaiÿi pursuant to either State or Federal law and which are the subject of these negotiations.

      The Legislative Branch, State of Hawaiÿi

      Most of what will be the subject of negotiations will require amending State statutes and the State Constitution. It is important, therefore, that the legislative branch be an integral part of these discussions and negotiations. In the best of all worlds, a legislative package would be developed through negotiations between the Executive Branch and the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. In order that this legislative package receive favorable review by the Legislature, a number of informational and educational briefings need to be conducted with key legislators.

      The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, State of Hawaiÿi

      During the discussion and negotiation phase, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its Trustees have a significant role to play. Since the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will have little or no resources to conduct its business, it is likely it will depend on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to provide interim resources to conduct essential business. The legal and political issues concerning OHA's ability to make such funding available will need to be addressed at the appropriate time.


  1. Establish an Interim Committee made up of OHA Trustees to work together with the Officers and Executives of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. This Interim Committee should be selected by the Chair of the Board of Trustees and should have the following duties and responsibilities assigned to it:
    1. Provide liaison between the Officers and Executives of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

    1. Should provide recommendations to the Board of Trustees in terms of resource allocations which may be made to the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.
    1. Perform other duties as required.
  1. Establish a Transition Committee made up of Officers and Executives of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, OHA Trustees, and OHA Administrative representatives. The following duties and responsibilities should be assigned to the Transition Committee:
    1. Identify all statutes and other legal provisions which will require amendment or repeal to effectuate the provisions of the organic documents adopted by the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.
    1. Identify short and long term resource requirements needed to operate the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.
    1. Develop a short-term and long-term transition plan for transferring OHA and other State resources to the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.

3. Assure the passage of a joint resolution of the Hawaiÿi Legislature acknowledging the existence of a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.



Background Information:

      There are a number of State legal provisions which can be legislated without federal recognition. There may also be certain State and Federal statutes which will require the formal acknowledgment of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. The decision to pursue final Federal Recognition of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity should be a decision made by the Executives and Officers of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity and the Governor of Hawaiÿi.


      Note: These recommendations are offered with an understanding that the complete transition of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs resources may not yet have occurred when this action is taken or contemplated.

  1. Identify resources to facilitate the passage of a federal measure which would acknowledge the existence of a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.
  1. Liaison with the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, the Governor, the Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and members of Hawaiÿi's Congressional delegation. 


            2006       2007          2008

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb


Kau Inoa

Note: Registration stops 2 weeks prior to Elections




Convening, 6/11/2007

Adjourn: 9/14/2007


1/17/2007 Filing Deadline for Delegates


Election of Delegates


8/1/06 to 11/15/06

                        -------------?    ----?    --? Ratification

                                                                                          9/15/07 to


Election Planning

7/15/06 to 1/17/07----------------------------------?

Convention Planning---------------------------------------------------------------------------?

7/15/06 to 6/11/07

Ratification Planning-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------?

7/15/06 to 12/15/07


Hawaii Reporter, July 10, 2006

A State-Recognized Indian Tribe for Hawaii?

By Andrew Walden

After the thumping defeat of the Akaka Bill in the United States Senate, the State Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is debating ‘Plan B' methods to create a Hawaiian tribe.

While Senators Dan Inouye (D-HI) and Dan Akaka (D-HI) pledge to bring the Akaka Bill back for a vote next session, a "Nation Building Proposal to the Trustees" published in the HawaiiReporter.com on June 28th indicates that after 6 years of attempts, OHA is no longer going to continue waiting for the Akaka Bill.

Instead, the document, "Hooulu Lahui Aloha –To Raise a Beloved Nation" outlines a non-Akaka strategy patterned on state-recognized Indian tribes.

The OHA document, labeled "draft-confidential", outlines six steps ending with "convening of a representative governing entity". These are followed by a seventh step; "Negotiating the transfer of Hawaiian assets to the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity". An eighth step envisions further efforts to win federal recognition as a tribe. Without federal recognition, the tribal government is unlikely to succeed in shielding Kamehameha schools and other Hawaiians-only entitlements from federal lawsuits alleging racial discrimination. Also there is also no precedent for a state tribe to organize its own legal system as some federal tribes do.

The Supreme Court decision in Rice v Cayetano presents a more immediate obstacle. In this landmark 1999 ruling, the Supreme Court invalidated the use of a Hawaiians-only voter roll in OHA elections and the restriction of candidate eligibility to only those with Hawaiian ancestry.

The document states: "…Hawaiian delegate elections will not be considered State elections since no State funds will be utilized, it will still behoove us to follow the various legal precedents which have been established concerning elections to avoid legal challenges in the future."

If this is an attempt to dodge Rice by claiming the elections are not State of Hawaii elections, it is a pretty thin dodge. The document itself is evidence that state funds are being used to organize the elections.

Another possibility is that elections will be open to all Hawaii voters, as OHA elections currently are. If so, that would bring into question exactly what it is that is being organized, since the electorate and candidates are not restricted to members of the purported Hawaiian ‘tribe.'

There is nothing in the document which indicates this will be OHA's plan. OHA, however is a State of Hawaii body, elected by the entire electorate of the State and led by elected officials of any racial background.

The State of Hawaii is organizing a racially-defined subsection of the population into a tribe whether they want it or not. The Kau Inoa registration list is claimed by OHA to have "approximately 50,000 registrants" as of June, 2006, "including individuals who are…under the age of 18 years."

According to the document, Kau Inoa will form the electorate for the Hawaiian tribe. A timeline is proposed working towards a Hawaiian Constitutional Convention which will run from June 11, 2007 to September 14, 2007, conveniently missing the 2007 legislative session.

According to OHA's timeline, Kau Inoa will close registration April 7, 2007. While Kau Inoa tribal registration continues, apportionment of Constitutional Convention Delegate districts will be conducted starting August 1, 2006 until November 15, 2006. The deadline for candidates to file to run for delegate to the Hawaiian Constitutional Convention is January 17, 2007. Elections for delegates will occur three months later, April, 21, 2007.

Fifty thousand out of 401,000 Hawaiians is not exactly a rousing mandate for tribal government, but Kau Inoa is not an effort to register every Hawaiian—just those who support establishing a government or believe that signing up will give them an edge in claiming some future benefits.

The Kau Inoa registration form reads in part: "The Native Hawaiian Registration Form should be completed by Native Hawaiians who would like to participate in the formation of the Native Hawaiian government." A poll conducted for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii in June, 2006 shows 59.5 % support for the Akaka Bill among native Hawaiians.

OHA's Numbers Game

In its document, OHA plays a strange little number game in order to make the 50,000 seem larger than it is. Of 401,000 Hawaiians about 240,000 are living in Hawaii and 161,000 living on the mainland. OHA's numbers ignore Hawaiians living outside Hawaii and start with a 2000 census figure of 177,328 Hawaiians over age 18 living in Hawaii. From this they extrapolate potential registration numbers of 118,378 based on 66.7% voter registration levels in the population of Hawaii as a whole.

From that number they again extrapolate another 66.7% voter participation leaving 78,891 ballots expected to be cast. This number doesn't look half bad compared to "approximately" (OHA-speak for "less than") 50,000 Kau Inoa registrants –including those under age 18. All one need do is forget about the Hawaiians living outside Hawaii, forget the unknown number of minors on the Kau Inoa rolls, forget about the native Hawaiians who do not support the Akaka Bill and forget about the fact that 78,891 is only 19.7% of 401,000 and then "almost 50,000" almost looks good.

The fact that Hooulu Lahui Aloha is a "confidential" nation-building proposal "to the Trustees" says it all. As long as OHA has the nearly-unanimous backing of Hawaii's political class, participation by actual Hawaiians is secondary.

With a state-recognized tribe likely unable to protect Hawaiian entitlements against court challenges to their constitutionality why would OHA go forward? One reason comes from Senator Dan Inouye (D-HI).

Inouye's office indicates that the Senate has appropriated more than $1.2 billion for Native Hawaiian programs over the past 26 years. Inouye's total of federal pork is equal to about $3000 for every Hawaiian, but in this spoils system, ‘trustees' are more equal than other Hawaiians.

In Inouye's scheme of things, a native Hawaiian ‘tribal' government is just one more excuse to feed taxpayer dollars into Hawaii's oligarchic state-capitalist economy.

State recognized tribes are usually allotted very limited land, benefits and other assets, but much more could be on offer from the State of Hawaii. It is possible that ownership of as much as one-fifth of all "ceded lands" – former property of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom which passed to the Hawaii Republic, then to the US federal government and in 1959 to the State of Hawaii --could be transferred to a Hawaiian tribe by the state. OHA already receives 1/5 of the revenues of the ceded lands every year. Between federal and state pork, land ownership and development deals, the income possibilities for a state tribe are enough to make even the greediest and most ambitious professional "trustee" blush.

Hawaiian Lumbees?

State recognized Indian tribes operate in a little known grey area of Indian law with few legal precedents and under varying state laws. In Hawaii state law there is no precedent at all. Lack of clear legal precedent creates a playground for corrupt politicians and their many friends in the judiciary.

The largest state tribe is the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. With over 40,000 members, the Lumbees have been recognized by the State of North Carolina since 1885 but are still denied full federal recognition as a tribe.

One issue surrounding challenges to federal recognition of the Lumbee is whether they are truly an Indian tribe or whether they are a community descended from an Indian tribe (the Cheraw or Cherokee of South Carolina) which then evolved into a refuge for escaped slaves, free blacks and any other people over the last 150 years who were on the outs with the North and South Carolina slave-owning Democrat elite, the Confederate dictatorship, or the Democrats' Jim Crow system of segregation.

Civil Rights After 86 Years of Shooting at Democrats

Lumbee formed the nucleus of a community which resisted the Democrats system of slavery until slavery's Civil War defeat in 1865. Towards the end of the Civil War and during Reconstruction, armed Lumbee guerillas fought Confederate and ex-Confederate Democrat planters who were attempting to steal Indian landowners' property and force Indian men into indentured servitude. This conflict is known as the Henry Berry Lowrie War. Eighty six years after the Lowrie War ended, as many as 1,000 armed Lumbee men shot up a 1958 rally of the terrorist wing of the Democrat Party, the Ku Klux Klan.

By 1964 the civil rights movement had made it impossible for Democrats to maintain the support of white southerners as a voting bloc by sustaining segregation. Jim Crow segregation collapsed. In order to replace their lost white dependency voters Democrats enacted the mis-named "Great Society" programs in order to build a new dependency base (at taxpayer expense) among the victims of their former dependents.

In 1968, ten years after they shot up the Klan rally, the Lumbee got federally funded social services programs under the newly-formed "Lumbee Regional Development Association, Inc. (LRDA)" Notably the LRDA describes its goal in non-racial terms as working "aggressively to improve services for members of the Lumbee River community."

The evolution of the Lumbee community from a group of displaced Indian families to a center of resistance to Democrat slavers and segregationists to a means of distributing social services benefits poses some of the same legal and historical issues as native Hawaiian recognition. Are the Lumbee really an Indian tribe—or a socio-political ‘tribe'? These issues are at the core of why the Lumbee have not been federally recognized.

Ethnicity Becomes an Ideology

Jon Osorio, taro protester and chair of the UH Manoa Department of Hawaiian Studies calls for the Hawaiian Nation to include the "activist community". In a recent OHA infomercial touting the need to pass the Akaka Bill, OHA Chair Apoliona suggested that a future Hawaiian Nation would be open to non-Hawaiians.

The Lumbee, including enemies of racism in the Democrat South, were a community of progressive freedom fighters who understood the importance of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and knew where to aim their guns.

A future Hawaiian Nation, if politically selected to include those from the ‘activist community', would be an agent for the destruction of Hawaiian culture and the evisceration of a Hawaiian nation in order to transform it into a tool of an anti-American ideological agenda cooked up at UH Manoa.

Their paradigm? Ward Churchill, a 100% non-Indian person who is still held up as an Indian spokesperson by UH Manoa ethnic studies professors in spite of lying about his ancestry to get ahead in academia and steal affirmative action preferences reserved for real Indians.

In the view of the UH academic Marxist taxpayer funded ‘activist community', ethnicity is an ideology. If you have the right ideology, you can become any ethnicity you wish. On the other hand, actual Indians (or Hawaiians or African Americans for that matter) who dare to challenge ‘politically correct' dogma are personally attacked in terms once used by the Klan and labeled sell-outs. The transformation of Hawaiian ethnicity into an ideology would be the end of the Hawaiian people.

Like the Lumbee, Hawaiians did not proceed directly from tribal society to a recognized tribe with a reservation. King Kamehameha instead unified the islands and chose to form a modern Kingdom. The Hawaiian Kingdom adopted modern ways including individual ownership of private property, advanced technologies, a postal system, a national currency, international trade, and diplomatic relations with other nations around the world.

Connected to its modernization, the Hawaiian Kingdom also chose to admit non-Hawaiians as equal subjects and even as high level officials.

Because of King Kamehameha's wisdom and all of the history which has occurred since the arrival of Captain Cook, native Hawaiians have the greatest degree of political liberty, personal independence and freedom and highest standard of living of any Polynesian group. Since a state tribe will not be able to defend Kamehameha Schools or Hawaiian Homelands against ‘the lawsuits' it is a mystery why anybody not personally benefiting from pork and corruption would want to trade the modern Hawaiian lifestyle for a mid-Pacific Indian reservation.

If OHA goes through with its plan, this is where they will be leading Hawaiians over the next 14 months.

Hooulu Lahui Aloha –To Raise a Beloved Nation


LRDA http://www.lumbee.org/administration.htm

State and other non-federal tribes:


Henry Berry Lowrie War, 1865-72 http://www.lumbee.org/hbl.htm Lumbee Shoot up Klan Rally, 1958


Andrew Walden is Editor of the Hilo, Hawaii-based Hawaii Free Press. He may be contacted at mailto:hfpeditor@email.com


Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, July 17, 2006

OHA going full speed ahead with nation-building effort

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' ambitious proposal that could lead to the establishment of a Hawaiian government will require the participation of large numbers of Native Hawaiians in a relatively short period of time.

"It's time to move," said OHA Trustee John Waihe'e IV, who supports the "nation-within-a-nation" model of governance.

With efforts in Congress to pass the Akaka bill thwarted for now, OHA is throwing its considerable political clout and as much as $10 million into the effort to form an entity that could negotiate with the state, and possibly the federal government, for control of land, money and other assets.

The Akaka bill, first proposed by sponsor Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai'i, six years ago, would give Hawaiian federal recognition and self-government rights, but an effort to bring the long-stalled bill to the Senate floor for debate was rejected last month.

OHA's proposal is similar but does not seek a go-ahead from Congress as a first step.

It is within OHA's authority to take the lead in guiding the establishment of the new government, Waihe'e said. "We have the resources and we're the legally recognized representatives of the Hawaiian people. In that sense, it is our duty."

To succeed, the proposal titled Ho'oulu Lahui Aloha (to raise a beloved nation) will require thousands of Native Hawaiians to sign on.

OHA administrator Clyde Namu'o acknowledges concerns raised about the fast-paced timeline, which calls for the election of representatives to a new government entity by 2008. But he said it is imperative that the process moves quickly.

"The sooner we get this done, the sooner we'll be able to negotiate with the state," Namu'o said.

He noted that Gov. Linda Lingle has been supportive of Native Hawaiian causes, including the Akaka bill. If she is re-elected, he said, "We would certainly want to knock on her door at some point in the future about transferring assets from the state over to the government. That's part of what's driving the urgency of this."


Since June 23, when the Ho'oulu Lahui Aloha plan was approved by trustees, Namu'o and other OHA leaders have met with representatives from nearly a dozen Native Hawaiian groups hoping to enlist support in collecting names for Kau Inoa, the registry of Native Hawaiians that will help form the voting base for the new government.

Namu'o said the response is positive.

Still, the plan is being assailed both by opponents contending that a separate government would discriminate against non-Hawaiians and critics asserting that Hawai'i should break free from the United States entirely.

Roy Benham, a former OHA trustee and president of the Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club, said he endorses what the plan offers. And he said his club stands ready to send out volunteers to canoe regattas, Hawaiian music concerts and other places where large concentrations of Hawaiians gather to sign up people for Kau Inoa.

Benham said he agrees with the assessment that success for the plan is tied to voter registration and turnout at the polls.

To date, about 50,000 have signed up. OHA's goal is to register 118,000, about two-thirds the total number of Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians in the state.

"It's a long way to go," Benham said. "That's the one thing the state is going to ask, and the feds will, too. I'm sure when we come in with our entity, the first thing they're going to ask is how many people does this represent?"


Some critics question OHA's assertion of authority to lead the way.

"They're a state agency, and they're all about politics," said Mel Kalahiki, chairman of the independence group The Living Nation.

Namu'o countered that those who question OHA's lead in the process have yet to offer up any viable alternatives. He estimated that the price tag for the entire process, from registration to the election of officers, ranges between $7 million and $10 million. The OHA trustees oversee an annual operating budget of about $28.5 million. The agency's investment portfolio is estimated at $400 million.

"If not OHA," Namu'o said, "then who else? Who would have the money to finance such an effort?"

But Kalahiki said the OHA plan would likely preclude efforts to create an entity that would be entirely independent of the United States, the ultimate objective of his group.

"I feel there is a need to call for another proposal," he said.

Namu'o concurred that the proposed model is not geared toward secession from the United States.

"This government would always have to exist within the framework of the federal government," he said. If a majority of convention delegates were to push toward an independent nation, Namu'o said, those leaders would have to change the plan.

H. William Burgess of the group Aloha for All said his organization continues to oppose any plan that gives benefits for Native Hawaiians only.

Like the Akaka bill, the premise of the new plan "is that race and ancestry are valid grounds for the permanent political and social segregation of American citizens," Burgess said.


Nation-building efforts are not a new pursuit for Native Hawaiians.

In the early 1990s a movement began that eventually formed a 97-delegate Native Hawaiian Convention known as Aha Hawai'i 'Oiwi. Elected by roughly 9,000 Hawaiian voters, the delegates began meeting in July 1999 with the purpose of establishing a model for a Native Hawaiian government.

Poka Laenui, chairman of the convention, said delegates had established committees and set up two models for Native Hawaiian governance — an independent one and one that could be integrated into the U.S. structure.

But the convention ran into financial difficulties when both OHA and the Legislature cut funding, and it has not met as a full delegation since August 2004.

Laenui said Aha Hawai'i 'Oiwi is not in competition with OHA's Ho'oulu Lahui Aloha effort, but he expressed mixed sentiment about the matter.

"OHA was elected for a different purpose, to be a receptacle for certain funds and to assist Hawaiians," he said. "It was our mandate (as the Native Hawaiian Convention) to form the Hawaiian government."

Laenui added, however, that he wishes the new OHA effort well.

"There's enough room for everyone to try to organize Hawaiians," he said.

Namu'o, who participated in the Aha Hawai'i 'Oiwi process, said the work done by the Native Hawaiian Convention was significant and could be incorporated into the work of delegates in the proposed larger-scale convention.

Namu'o said he believes many of those now criticizing the process will eventually come on board, even running as delegates.

"At this point, let's get on the bandwagon because this train is about to leave the station."


A draft "nation-building" plan that would lead to a "nation-within-a-nation" Hawaiians-only government was approved last month by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees. Here's a summary of the plan:

• Step up the Hawaiian voter registration effort known as Kau Inoa. About 50,000 voters have registered. OHA intends to boost registration to include 118,000 voters, which is about two-thirds of the estimated total number of Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians statewide. A Kau Inoa advisory board appointed by OHA would certify that those on the list have Hawaiian blood.

• An OHA-appointed apportionment advisory committee develops a plan for electing delegates to a Native Hawaiian constitutional convention that would represent Hawaiians from across the United States.

• Voters registered through Kau Inoa elect delegates to attend the convention. An OHA-appointed elections oversight committee and elections certification board would oversee details of the delegate election.

• The convention of elected delegates drafts a constitution and other documents pertaining to the new governing entity. According to the plan approved by OHA last month, the drafts would "explore the various powers, immunities and rights which will be asserted by Native Hawaiians throughout the United States." An OHA-appointed convention oversight committee would assist.

• Registered Native Hawaiians vote on whether to ratify proposals put forth by the convention.

• A government oversight and implementation committee appointed by OHA and officers of the convention implement the voter-approved documents. If the ratified proposals include the call for creation of an executive and legislative branch, an election is held.

• Officers of the new Native Hawaiian governing entity negotiate with OHA, Hawai'i's governor and the Legislature to determine the scope of resources and authority to be transferred to the new entity. Funding of the entity during this transition period would be through OHA.

• The governing entity decides whether to pursue federal recognition, which likely would lead to negotiations with the U.S. government. Any move to seek recognition, however, would need to include the support of Hawai'i's governor, according to the draft plan.

Source: OHA


Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, July 21, 2006, COMMENTARY

OHA's 'stealth Akaka bill' still dangerous

By Cliff Slater

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has now come up with a stealth Akaka bill, "Plan B," designed to circumvent any federal government interference.

Undoubtedly, our elected officials will play down its dangers as they have with the Akaka bill. They will once more murmur soothingly that Plan B is "just a process." However, if we think through the probable outcomes of it there are still clear danger signs.

OHA is relinquishing neither its sovereignty aims nor what the Akaka bill said was to be negotiated between the state and Native Hawaiian governments:

# "...the transfer of lands, natural resources, and other assets, and the protection of existing rights related to such lands or resources; and

# "the exercise of governmental authority over any transferred lands, natural resources, and other assets, including land use."

The Native Hawaiian government team will negotiate these items with state officials armed with many of the state's 20 percent Native Hawaiian voters in their back pocket and $350 million in OHA funds.

The politics of it dictates that it will not be an even-handed negotiation; it will be a giveaway.

If sovereignty for Native American Indian tribes is any indication, and since Plan B, like the Akaka bill, will be silent on the details of what sovereignty may mean, non-Native Hawaiian citizens must prepare for the worst. For example:

# Property taxes, general excise taxes and income taxes are unlikely to be paid on Native Hawaiian property and retail operations. This means that non-Native Hawaiians would have to make up the shortfalls.

# On Native Hawaiian lands, state and city police forces would likely not have jurisdiction as they do today over criminal offenders.

# State and county land use and building regulations likely would not apply to Native Hawaiian government lands.

In short, anyone who believes that this process will not shortchange non-Native Hawaiian citizens is not thinking clearly.

Like the Akaka bill, Plan B is, in essence, a suit against the current non-Native Hawaiian citizens of Hawai'i for claimed past wrongs stemming from the overthrow.

Native Hawaiians should not look to Hawai'i's other citizens for compensation. These other citizens are entitled to believe that the 113 year-old overthrow issue is settled history. That's especially so considering the statehood vote 50 years ago when 95 percent of all voters approved of statehood and polls taken at the time showed that Native Hawaiians were no more opposed to statehood than were the Caucasians.

In any case, the vast majority of today's Hawai'i citizens had nothing to do with the overthrow. At that time, Asians did not have the vote and the overwhelming majority of today's Caucasians arrived long after the overthrow.

Native Hawaiians who believe that the United States harmed them through its actions at the time of the overthrow should look to the United States for compensation, not to Hawai'i's other citizens.

"But we want our lands in Hawai'i," says the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The remedy is for the United States to buy the land from the state at market prices and transfer it to those who were deprived of the land by U.S. actions.

"But we want the funds we have been getting for our impoverished Native Hawaiians," says OHA. A considerable amount of money already is available for poor Native Hawaiians as it is for poor people in Hawai'i of any race.

Additional funds are available for schools that specialize in teaching Hawaiian language and culture providing that the schools do not discriminate against applicants of the basis of race. In practice, few, if any applicants would be of other races since their parents overwhelmingly want them to learn English.

And Kamehameha Schools may discriminate based on race providing it pays taxes on the profits that it makes; it can hardly expect U.S. taxpayers to subsidize racial exclusion.

"But we want to preserve our language and culture," says OHA. This does not pose a problem unless such programs are race-based. The state and the federal governments both have a vital interest in seeing that Hawaiian culture is not only preserved, but thrives.

If programs that subsidize Hawaiian language and culture require a certain level of understanding for applicants to qualify, that alone would increase Native Hawaiians' understanding of their own language and culture and make it more difficult for non-natives to apply. One would expect that a few non-natives who understand the language and culture better than Native Hawaiians would apply for such programs and this would be healthy; the more non-natives who understand the culture, the better for everyone.

There are healthy ways to achieve nearly all of the stated aims of Native Hawaiians. It is time we all began to explore them.

Cliff Slater is a regular columnist whose footnoted columns are at www.cliffslater.com.


Honolulu Advertiser, July 21, 2006, Letter to Editor


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' daring plan (Advertiser, July 17) to move "full speed ahead" with forming a race-based, Native-Hawaiians-only nation, shows the depths of the delusion into which the trustees have descended.

With Rice v. Cayetano and the recent debacle of the Akaka bill, what part of "racial discrimination" do the OHA trustees not understand?

So they want to get the "nation" up and running by 2008? If a race-based governing entity isn't legal now, what makes them think that it will be legal two years from now? Apparently OHA expects us to believe that it will happen if they get 118,000 Hawaiians to sign up under Kau Inoa. Then the U.S. will miraculously say, "Congratulations! You hit the magic number! Now you qualify to have an unconstitutional race-based government!"

What part of "unconstitutional" do the OHA trustees not understand? And what happens if OHA's recruitment falls short of that number?

And why spend yet another "$7 to $10 million" to "build a nation" by following the exact format that was rejected by the U.S. Senate last month? This would be another $7 million to $10 million lost to silly political machinations instead of real services to the beneficiaries.

And, by the way, how much did OHA spend in the six years of lobbying, slick advertising, posturing rallies and T-shirts to push for the fatally flawed Akaka bill? Where did that money come from?

The OHA trustees need to get on with truly serving all the people of Hawai'i. If it is indeed OHA's purpose to redress the injustices stemming from the 1893 illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, then the OHA beneficiaries should be the Hawaiian Nationals (the remnants of a political entity), not Native Hawaiians (an ethnic sub-group of Hawaiian Nationals).

This shift in the beneficiaries from Natives to Nationals, would provide OHA and other Hawaiian entitlement programs with the bulletproof "political entity" they have been flailing around to find.

Leon Siu


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 22. 2006

Descendants of Hawaiian royalty join to discuss protocols

By Pat Gee

Fourth- and fifth-generation descendants of Hawaii's monarchs are meeting for the first time to discuss a future governed by Hawaiian leaders.

"We will be finding common ground, educating ourselves about each other, which has never been done before," and discussing their relevance to today's issues, said Bill Souza, chief protocol officer of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I and its Na Wahine Hui O Kamehameha I, one of the four royal societies.

About 200 members of the four benevolent royal societies gathered for the three-day 2006 'Aha hipu'u Conference at Ala Moana Hotel which started yesterday.

The other groups include the 'Ahahui Ka'ahumanu; the Hale O Na Ali'i of Hawaii; and the Daughters and Sons of Hawaiian Warriors -- Mamakakaua.

Souza said he hopes the societies can unite and share their separate and secret protocols as "keepers of our culture." The societies had to remain low key because of the political climate following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, Souza said.

Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a co-sponsor of the event, urged members to ensure a future in which the benefits given to native Hawaiians would not be taken away in federal court or by Congress.

She referred to a federal appeals court case over Kamehameha Schools' admission preference for Hawaiians, and the Akaka Bill, which proposes federal recognition for native Hawaiians but failed to reach a vote in the U.S. Senate this year.

According to Souza, also an event organizer, Apoliona only presented OHA's draft proposal for a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. She did not represent the societies' official position on sovereignty, which will be among the issues discussed at the convention.

Apoliona said the key factor toward preserving benefits for Hawaiians is the registration of some 150,000 native Hawaiians in the United States, to vote at a convention planned for 2007. The convention delegates would "define and shape" a governing body that would protect Hawaiian benefits and hopefully be recognized by the federal government, she said.

Mililani Kaina, a member of 'Ahahui Ka'ahumanu, said there is a "fear factor" with the word "sovereignty," based on lack of understanding or misinformation.

She said many older Hawaiians "are living comfortably on Social Security" and enjoying the rights of U.S. citizenship. They are wondering if "sovereignty" would mean secession from the United States and giving up these rights. Kaina said there is a need for more, simplified information, and another speaker concurred that a "more comfortable" word should be used.

OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o acknowledged that people do feel threatened by the word "sovereignty," as well as "Hawaiian nation," so OHA has begun using the term "governing entity."


Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, July 24, 2006, EDITORIAL

OHA nationhood bid merits more support

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is taking heat, unfairly, for the project currently topping its agenda: the Hawaiian nationhood drive.

After the disappointing outcome of the federal recognition bill in the U.S. Senate, OHA trustees took stock of the situation and rationally decided to invest the agency's energy and capital in something more productive than whining and finger-pointing.

There is nothing wrong with people organizing as a political entity. It happens every time an American community incorporates as a municipality within a state. That's just one example of one sovereign government organizing within another.

In the case of Native Hawaiians, critics fear this push as some kind of power grab. But the only power a Hawaiian government would have is whatever its constituents can give it: the power to speak for Native Hawaiians on how their resources should be used.

This is essentially the authority the state now vests in OHA, which manages the Native Hawaiian trust fund and funnels its money toward selected programs to help the beneficiaries. It also serves as one lead agency to speak on behalf of preserving Hawaiian cultural assets — treasured by all Hawai'i residents.

It would make much more sense to have that function performed by a political group actually elected by Hawaiians, not an agency of the multi-ethnic state of Hawai'i. The taxpayer ought to feel delighted that the new entity would be self-sufficient, using its own resources.

Many cynics doubt any state agency would engineer its own termination, but that's OHA's stated intent. Setting aside its somewhat checkered history, OHA's latest enterprise deserves a shot.


Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 27, 2006


Efforts for Native Hawaiians now focused

By Haunani Apoliona

While Cliff Slater and Leon Siu are entitled to their opinions about efforts underway for Native Hawaiians (Advertiser, 7/21) both are ill-informed, and their shared mean-spirited and paternalistic tone is continuing evidence of the mindset of those who rail against Native Hawaiians' exercising a basic right of democracy to organize to form a political body to represent our collective interests.

Native Hawaiian assets, heritage and institutions are under attack. Moving forward our Native Hawaiian process in a credible and methodical manner will, once and for all, set a focused direction for our Native Hawaiian community versus being scattered in various directions.

The success of this process will produce a collective Native Hawaiian voice through the Native Hawaiian governing entity. This entity will work to protect the programs, lands and assets that serve Native Hawaiians, will include 'ohana living away from the homeland and will establish and grow partnerships benefiting Native Hawaiians and all who live in Hawai'i.

Slater and Siu's opinions conveniently ignore a few facts:

# The Supreme Court has confirmed that Congress has broad plenary constitutional authority to recognize indigenous governments and to help restore and restructure indigenous governments terminated or effectively decimated in earlier years. (see Lara, U.S. Supreme Court).

That authority extends to the Native Hawaiian people and permits Congress to adopt NHGRA, which would recognize the Native Hawaiian governing entity and initiate a process for its restoration.

# Slater's "what if" scenarios of what the Native Hawaiian governing entity would be, would do, or would influence are speculation and continuing attempts to scare people. If reality is your aim, review the Apology Bill, Public Law 103-150, enacted by Congress and signed by the president of the United States.

For the people of Hawai'i, kama'aina and malihini, Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian: Native Hawaiians are at a turning point in our generation, our lifetime and in the history of Hawai'i. Native Hawaiians are ready to lead and guide the shared participation and shared responsibility of all Hawai'i in reconciling the wrongs of the past. However, our success will be impacted by your support or lack thereof.

The July 2006 poll in The Honolulu Advertiser noted: 63 percent support for the question, should a Hawaiian entity be formally recognized by Congress and the federal government as a distinct group similar to the special recognition given to American Indian tribes? On a more broadly stated question whether an entity of some kind should be formed, 40 percent agreed.

We look to your continued and increasing support, all of you who love Hawai'i and honor our ancestors, as we work to heal the past toward well-being of all Hawai'i nei for the future.

Haunani Apoliona is chairwoman on the Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.


Honolulu Advertiser, July 27, 2006, Letters to Editor


I am a long-time supporter of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its mission to serve Native Hawaiians.

Recent efforts by OHA in the wake of the failed Akaka bill to begin the process of building a nation have been featured in our local media. I support these efforts, as do many other non-Hawaiians in the community, in order to secure basic rights for Hawaiians and to preserve a culture that we love and respect.

I am, however, worried that OHA and its elected trustees may be taking a big risk in not reaching out more to the entire community to teach, explain and build broad support for OHA's nation-building initiatives.

The entire community in Hawai'i must be consulted and disagreements aired if we are to understand and support OHA's efforts.

The entire community can and should help build the nation.

Rick Jackson



The irresponsible logic in support of OHA's obsession for "nationhood" is misleading. Most readers know better. To compare incorporating a municipality (a sub-division of the host state and entirely accountable to the state) with a separate, race-based "nation" disassociated from its host state, is quite a stretch.

Do you really claim that the new "OHA nationhood" would be entirely "self-sufficient, using its own resources?" Do Sens. Inouye and Akaka plan to rescind the hundreds of federal "Native Hawaiian" programs funded annually by taxpayers? Nope.

OHA's "Plan B" vigorously pursues the federal Indian policy model of separate, race-based governance, that enjoy enormous tax-exemptions, "sovereign immunity," exemption from federal, state and local regulations and ongoing annual federal funding in the millions for each separate (race) tribe.

That's what this country needs: one more race-based government to shackle upon taxpayers. We're fighting the global war on terrorism to replace tribalism with democracy, while imploding domestically with great thinkers like the folks at the Advertiser and OHA.

Elaine D. Willman
National Chair, Citizens Equal Rights Alliance


Hawaii Reporter, July 27, 2006

Unfocused Criticism

By Don Newman

The editorial written by Office of Hawaiian Affairs' Trustee Haunani Apoliona in The Honolulu Advertiser on July 27, 2006, taking Cliff Slater and Leon Siu to task for daring to question OHA's newfound effort to establish a sovereign Native Hawaiian entity in the face of the defeat of the Akaka bill is a study in disingenuous tactics. These are classic examples of debating techniques that are common on the left and by those who cannot answer their opponents on facts alone.

Apoliona starts with a series of personal attacks questioning the character of those she is criticizing. A portion of Apoliona's opening sentence "... both are ill-informed, and their shared mean-spirited and paternalistic tone is continuing evidence of the mindset. ..." So already both have been tarred with a brush that includes being "ill-informed, mean-spirited" and as having a "paternalistic tone," which is supposed to be evidence of something. Notice though that these are not facts but opinions portrayed as facts. In logic this is called Poisoning the Well.

The next interesting aspect in Apoliona's diatribe is the use -- twice -- of the word "collective" to describe the intentions of the purpose of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. On the one hand is the idea is a political body is formed to represent "collective interests" and on the other is producing a "collective Native Hawaiian voice." Only problem is there is no such thing as "collective interests" and even more emphatically, no "collective voice."

What is meant by a "collective voice?" The Native Hawaiian community does not speak today with a collective voice. There were those among that community who wanted the passage of the Akaka bill, some who opposed it because they advocate complete secession from the USA and some who simply consider themselves Americans and don't see themselves separate at all. They see themselves as individual citizens.

Lacking such a consensus within the Native Hawaiian community itself how can anyone claim to speak for its collective voice? The fact is he or she cannot. If the failures of socialism and communism have taught us anything it is to beware of those who claim to speak for the "collective."

This last point is expanded upon by another statement in Apoliona's remarks "This entity will work to protect the programs, lands and assets that serve Native Hawaiians, will include 'ohana living away from the homeland. ..." Not only are Native Hawaiian residents of the islands going to be the concern of this new government but those who aren't even on the "reservation" so to speak.

This leads to the question of how OHA is going to administer programs for Native Hawaiian residents in Nevada or Oregon. Would this violate the laws of those states? Will there be lawsuits? Who can say? But it does reveal that these are grandiose plans indeed.

The final assertion in this section is that "[This] will establish and grow partnerships benefiting Native Hawaiians and all who live in Hawai'i." How will this benefit those who aren't part of the Native Hawaiian governing entity, Native Hawaiian and otherwise? If there is anything that people who advocate such programs assert is that life is a "zero sum" game (isn't that the whole premise here?). If someone gains, someone else must lose. So who loses in the new Native Hawaiian governing entity?

One of the major points in Slater's column was that land and property that would become subject to the Native Hawaiian governing entity would be removed from the state tax base, leaving state taxpayers to make up the difference. Apoliona later calls this "speculation" and an "attempt to scare people" but since the Native Hawaiian governing entity template imitates Native American Tribal law, this is completely accurate. This is how that law works. That is what casinos are all about.

Apoliona then accuses Slater and Siu of getting their facts wrong while doing so herself.

"The Supreme Court has confirmed that Congress has broad plenary constitutional authority to recognize indigenous governments and to help restore and restructure indigenous governments terminated or effectively decimated in earlier years. (See Lara, U.S. Supreme Court.")

The Hawaiian Monarchy was not, from its inception, an "indigenous government." It included residents from nations from all over the world that participated in the government. It permitted foreigners to become residents, something not allowed on Native American tribal lands. When the Monarchy fell it was a multi-racial government embracing those from many nationalities. This is not the definition of a tribe or an indigenous government.

The Monarchy wasn't "terminated by Congress" (the full phrase referred to by Apoliona) nor "effectively decimated in earlier years." It was weakened by acts of several Hawaiian Kings and finally overthrown by a consortium of local residents (not all Americans despite common wisdom) predicated upon actions to impose a new, illegal, constitution on the part of the Queen.

The next assertion by Apoliona, a "review of the Apology Resolution" only perpetuates a revisionist view of what didn't really happen at the time of the overthrow in favor of what really did. The Apology Resolution doesn't represent fact but is a politically prepared document to codify into law what commission after commission determined was not the truth. (The Morgan Report and the Native Hawaiians Study Commission.)

In this regard, there is a phrase used by Apoliona that has been somewhat validated by the Apology Resolution that is at the heart of this discussion "Native Hawaiians are ready to lead and guide the shared participation and shared responsibility of all Hawai'i in reconciling the wrongs of the past."

First is the concept of "reconciling the wrongs of the past." All "past" history is filled with wrongs. Where do we draw the line? When do we say "That is so far in the past that we can no longer reconcile that wrong?" Who do we give Manhattan back to? How do we assess a value? Why one group as opposed to another? This whole concept is rife with unanswerable questions. Fact is, no one who was done that wrong (the overthrow) is alive today. If they are, give them reparations, not a nation. Finally, it wasn't done by the U.S. government (or agents thereof) no matter what the Apology Resolution says.

Second is the idea of the "shared participation and shared responsibility of all Hawaii in reconciling the wrongs of the past." Notice the segue here, the "collectivism" of responsibility as opposed to the collectivism of "interests" and "voice." So what began as a collective implementation of government programs now becomes a collective responsibility of all the residents of Hawaii, even those who don't agree with it. Socialism is a slippery animal, isn't it?

As Cliff Slater wrote "Native Hawaiians who believe that the United States harmed them through its actions at the time of the overthrow should look to the United States for compensation, not to Hawai'i's other citizens."

Apoliona just glossed over this statement because it doesn't fit in with her program. Not "all Hawaii" wants to pay for her collectivist solution but all Hawaii must be a part if it is to fit her vision. One has to ask what that vision is.

OHA has been in existence for 26 some odd years, sits upon a huge pile of money and has been extraordinarily ineffective in helping the Native Hawaiian people it has been chartered to succor. One has to ask why Native Hawaiians are homeless on the Waianae coast while OHA Trustees are flying first-class to Washington to lobby for the Akaka bill. What would be the better administration of those dollars, housing or plane flights?

The failure of the federal government, the state of Hawaii and OHA to address the needs of Native Hawaiians cannot be overlooked. But the solution is not to empower another group of people to take millions upon millions of dollars of federal and state money to create yet another agency, a new "sovereign" government that by all past experience will do nothing but waste the people's money and create another self-serving bureaucracy.

If Native Hawaiians really want solutions to their problems, they need to look for another answer. Experience points the way if Native Hawaiians have but the courage to look.

Reference: http://tinyurl.com/f58c5

Don Newman, senior policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Hawaii's first and only free market public policy institute focused on individual freedom and liberty, can be reached at: mailto:newmand001@hawaii.rr.com


Honolulu Advertiser, July 28, 2006, Letters to Editor


Your editorial encouraging certain state officials to transfer public land, money and other assets to a separate and independent national government for Hawaiians serves to implicate The Honolulu Advertiser in their treasonous conspiracy.

The actions of the OHA officials in the establishment of such a sovereign government is clearly in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Code which provide criminal and other penalties for treason. Neither the federal nor any state government can create a sovereign government.

Beside the fact that Native Hawaiians are not American Indians, they have been completely assimilated in multi-ethnic communities for the better part of 200 years and thus are clearly not tribal.

Above all is the apparent refusal of The Advertiser to accept, six years later, the holding of the U.S. Supreme Court in Rice v. Cayetano that any public election in which only Native Hawaiians can vote, such as that proposed by the OHA trustees in order to establish the native Hawaiian Nation, is unconstitutional.

John W. Goemans



OHA's effort to form a Hawaiian nation is a dangerous adventure in racial politics, and The Advertiser's support for it ("OHA nationhood bid merits more support," July 24) is shameful.

The Advertiser's arguments in support of OHA's effort are foolish and naive. This is not like setting up a municipality. Municipalities are not sovereign and cannot be racially exclusionary. Racist politicians in the South learned that years ago. Nor is this a matter of Hawaiians managing Hawaiian resources or assets. Everything that Hawaiians say is "theirs" comes from state and federal taxpayers and what's left still belongs to those taxpayers, and the Constitution applies to its management.

The Supreme Court will strike down an OHA-sponsored Hawaiian nation just like it struck down the OHA voting restriction.

So OHA's proposal will surely fail, but that does not make The Advertiser's support less wrong. When respected media voices support such racial causes, they raise expectations that can never be met, and in time, this doomed enthusiasm turns to frustration and even to hate.

We have seen that recently. We have wasted some of the best talent of a generation of our citizens on a sad, ugly, hopeless campaign for racial preferences. We have been killing aloha. We must not do that any more.

Paul M. Sullivan


Hawaii Reporter, August 2, 2006

Libertarians and Hawaiians

By Rockne H. Johnson

Author's note: This article was published in 1980 in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in response to a group called the Aboriginal Lands of Hawaiian Ancestry Association (ALOHA) which demanded reparations to native Hawaiians. It is reprinted here with permission.

** Ken Conklin's note: This article was originally published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of October 8, 1980 on page A-16. It was published uner the title "Libertarians and Hawaiians." The author Rockne H. Johnson was the candidate of the Libertarian Party of Hawai'i, running for Congress. Mr. Johnson was at that time the husband of Rubellite Kawena Johnson, University of Hawai'i Professor of Hawaiian Language and Literature, who was co-founder of the UH Center for Hawaiian Studies. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs had just been created by the Constitutional Convention of 1978, and the state Legislature had only recently been passing legislation to provide funding for OHA equal to 20% of revenues from the ceded lands. **

REPARATIONS MEANS payment by a defeated nation to a victor as compensation for damage during a war. The word that properly applies to compensating a victim is restitution. The Libertarian Party platform has this to say about restitution: "We support restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer."

How does this principle of justice apply to the Hawaiian experience? Have the Hawaiian people suffered injury or loss at the hands of the U.S. government? I answer, "Yes."

But governments have always conducted various forms of war against the populace within their domains. The present government divests us of our property through taxation and inflation, tyrannizes us with myriad regulations, penalizes us by declaring crimes where there are no victims, and even claims a right to the lives of young men by a military draft. Our injuries are truly great and our just claims incalculable.

IN WHAT WAY is the case of the Hawaiian people unique? Simply this: in 1893 and again in 1898, their ancestors exchanged the tyranny of one government for the tyranny of another.

Let us not fool ourselves that the Hawaiian people, maka'ainana and kauwa, were any less victimized by the ali'i than they are by the American government of today. Under the kapu system all crimes were crimes without victims and all punishment was death.

The kapu system was overthrown in the Hawaiian libertarian revolution of 1819, but the domination of the commoners by the chiefs continued. All land was claimed by the king, and the labor of the commoners was claimed by the chiefs. While their gardens lay neglected, the people slaved in sandalwood forests to provide modern comforts to the chiefs. And then whatever they did succeed in producing was taxed at all levels of the chiefly hierarchy.

A general social enlightenment gradually improved the lot of the people, but the ali'i never relinquished their stranglehold on the land. This concentration of land in the hands of the king enabled the present government to continue that stranglehold.

Who lost out in 1893 and 1898? Certainly it was the ali'i who lost the land and power which they had usurped or inherited from earlier usurpers. For the common people the change was a mixed blessing. Who can say whether American or Hawaiian citizenship conferred the lesser disadvantage?

But there is one respect in which ethnic Hawaiians have certainly lost out, and that is through enactment of racially discriminatory legislation.

UNDER THE OLD REGIME, the chiefs owned all the land and allowed the people their kuleanas. But anyone could be thrown out at any time if the chief took a dislike to him or if he wasn't producing enough tax.

Under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the government still owns the land, the people still pay the tax, and the children are thrown off the land if they don't have enough Hawaiian blood.

Now, it is bad enough that Hawaiian homesteaders are denied true ownership of their land. What is worse is the psychological effect of telling a race of people that they are not competent to own land, that they cannot be trusted to value it properly, and that they must be taken care of by the government.

This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you treat people as inferior, then you will succeed in convincing them that they are inferior.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is another piece of racially discriminatory legislation which will have the effect of reinstating an ali'i class who will supposedly help the government to take care of the Hawaiian people. I maintain that you cannot help people by urging them to seek substitutes for developing their own potential as productive individuals.

LET ME RETURN to the Libertarian position on restitution. "We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer."

We are all the victims of government oppression, but by which criminal or wrongdoer will we be repaid?

Not by our members of Congress who presume to govern us. If you demand money from these gentlemen they will not reach for their wallets. Instead they will reach for their guns, otherwise known as the IRS, and proceed to rob all the people in order to make the demanded payment. The government has no money that it does not take, under threat of violence, from someone else.

In fact the government spends money faster than it steals it. But the one thing that the government has not spent faster than it has stolen it is land.

Federal and state governments claim 48 percent of the land in these Islands. We should demand that this land not simply be transferred from one level of government to another but that it be released for settlement and full ownership by people of all races. Homesteading would be one way to do this. We should demand this, not just of government land, but of all lands claimed by ali'i estates solely through right of conquest.

"Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina I ka pono" was the motto of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Today most politicians would have us believe that the life of the people is preserved in government handouts.

Let me propose another motto, as true today as it would have been 2,000 years ago: Seek ye first a society of free men and its economic opportunity and all things shall be added unto you.

Rockne H. Johnson, whose Ph. D. in geophysics is from the University of Hawaii, was a Libertarian Party candidate for US Senate in 1976 and for US House of Representatives in 1980, 1982, and 1992. He is currently living with his wife Glennis in Sedona, Arizona.


On August 24-25 OHA convened a "think tank" meeting at a hotel in Waikiki to get input about Plan B from outside experts. An invitation and list of topics for discussion was circulated beforehand to participants. That memo was posted on official stationery in pdf format by Scott Crawford on his Hawaiian Kingdom blog on August 31. The URL for Crawford's pdf document was:
Unfortunately the document is encrypted and its contents cannot be copied and pasted.

Anticipating that after a few weeks the Crawford copy might be deleted, the conference memo has also been placed on this website and can be downloaded at:


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Commentary by columnist

Akaka bill backers: Better get that Plan B

By David Shapiro

The Democratic takeover of Congress has renewed hopes for passage of the Akaka bill for Native Hawaiian recognition, but it would be a mistake for those seeking to preserve Hawaiian assets from legal challenge to put all of their eggs back in that basket.

The political climate has changed dramatically since the Akaka bill failed to advance to a vote in the U.S. Senate on June 8 — and proponents certainly should take another shot — but the measure still faces major obstacles.

Hawaiians would be well-advised to continue working on a Plan B to protect traditional assets in the event that federal political recognition of native rights is not forthcoming.

The Akaka bill was proposed by Sen. Daniel Akaka in 2000 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rice v. Cayetano that Hawaiian-only elections for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs unconstitutionally granted special privileges based on race.

The decision opened the door to legal challenges of all Hawaiian-only programs, including Hawaiian Homes and ali'i trusts such as Kamehameha Schools.

The Akaka bill sought to defuse the race issue by recognizing Hawaiians as indigenous Americans with political rights, similar to American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

The legislation was tied up for six years by conservative Republicans opposing entitlements they saw as race-based. They fanned fears that the Akaka bill could restrict the property rights of non-Hawaiians and ultimately lead to Hawai'i secession from the union.

Akaka and fellow Hawai'i Sen. Daniel Inouye finally got Republican leaders to bring the bill to the Senate floor this year by trading their votes on a GOP energy bill, but they fell four votes short of the 60 needed to head off a possible filibuster by opponents.

Akaka and Inouye lined up all 43 Democrats behind allowing the bill to be debated, and Gov. Linda Lingle got 13 Republicans to go along, but the effort was done in by a scathing report issued by the Bush administration at the last minute charging that the bill was "subdividing the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

While the numbers in Congress have changed in favor of the Democrats, opposition remains strong among conservatives, and it's far from guaranteed that Inouye and Akaka could overcome a Republican filibuster and bring the measure to a successful vote in the Senate — or that Hawai'i Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono could get it through the House.

Even if the Akaka bill does clear both houses of Congress, the margins would likely be too slim to overcome a possible veto by President Bush.

Also working against the measure is the opposition of a vocal segment of Hawaiians who believe the Akaka bill would restrict native rights more than protect them. Thus, the continued need for a Plan B.

Lingle said after the Senate setback that she would work with OHA and Attorney General Mark Bennett to find ways other than federal recognition to protect Native Hawaiian assets, but no details were ever forthcoming.

Inouye said he would introduce a backup bill to protect Hawaiian programs without the complications of Native Hawaiian sovereignty, but again, there have been no details.

OHA stepped up its efforts to form a native Hawaiian government without waiting for federal recognition, but it's far from clear that Hawaiians will accept the leadership of OHA, which has inherent conflicts of interest as a state agency.

What's always seemed backward is that the Akaka bill seeks to create a process for recognizing an undefined sovereign Hawaiian entity that doesn't otherwise exist.

Hawaiians could vastly improve their chances if they approached federal recognition with ideas for a sovereign organization, leadership and agenda already in place.


Honolulu Advertiser, July 31, 2007, EDITORIAL

Hawaiian trust ideas bears close watch

In the midst of Year 8 in the push for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, chances of its passage have improved, but not its chances of becoming law.

The shift in majority to the Democrats may prove helpful if, later in the year, Hawai'i's congressional delegation can help push the issue onto the calendar for a floor vote.

However, those sympathetic to the so-called Akaka bill do not hold the super-majority needed to overcome a likely veto from the White House. Getting even the bill-friendly Republicans and fence-sitters to vote against their party's president will be a long shot.

Nevertheless, it's right that the delegation press for passage anyway.

Demonized as it's been, the Akaka bill still represents a viable approach. It would enable Native Hawaiian representatives to negotiate a final settlement of disputed lands and resources overtaken by the federal government with the overthrow of the monarchy and the subsequent annexation of Hawai'i to the U.S.

Persuading the holdouts that Hawaiians deserve a political status similar to what's accorded to Native Americans and Native Alaskans will take more work, it seems, and final success may not come until a president supportive of the idea sits in the White House.

Meanwhile, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs — custodians of what assets the state has designated for Native Hawaiian benefits — is contemplating a "Plan B" strategy, as it should.

The question is: Will that strategy really make trust funds for Hawaiian programs safer than they are today?

OHA attorneys are reviewing a proposal to create a nonprofit limited liability company (LLC) in which to transfer some of the assets, an idea being pursued by OHA trustee Oswald "Oz" Stender. Stender said this might offer some protection for Hawaiian funds that in theory could be challenged legally and withdrawn.

Of course, OHA has prevailed in such challenges so far, which suggests there is another motive. Stender said it is this: An LLC would be able to pursue real estate and other investments more in the manner of a business, with a measure of privacy that the state's sunshine law wouldn't allow.

This ought to at least give pause to a Native Hawaiian beneficiary, who should have the information needed to hold investors accountable.

They need to watch OHA in the next month, when this project is likely to come to open discussion, and ask how and by whom the nonprofit would be run. A Plan B is a useful concept, but the devil is in the details here.


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