The Hawaiian Kingdom’s most important national holiday — La Kuokoa, or Independence Day — officially was recognized Wednesday by the Hawaii County Council in a nonbinding resolution asking the state Legislature to add Nov. 28 to its list of state holidays.
Nov. 28, 1843, was the date Great Britain and France formally recognized the Hawaiian Islands as an independent state. La Kuokoa was celebrated openly by the Hawaiian Kingdom until 1895, two years after the 1893 overthrow, said Kale Gumapac, a Hawaiian rights activist.
The council approved Resolution 285 by an 8-0 vote, with Puna Councilman Dan Paleka absent. Three members of the nine-member council, including Paleka, have Native Hawaiian ancestry.
“This is the beginning of the reawakening of our history,” Gumapac said. “We need to restore what was erased from Hawaii schoolbooks. Worse, it was erased from kanaka memory.”
Some 209 candidates will vie for 40 delegate positions across the islands for the Native Hawaiian ‘aha constitutional convention that will work to form a Native Hawaiian government.
Kuhio Asam, president of Na‘i Aupuni, which is in charge of running the November election and subsequent Native Hawaiian convention and ratification process, said the candidates are “diverse in their age, backgrounds and purpose,” adding, “They are representative of a good cross section of the Native Hawaiian community.”
They include former and current state legislators such as state Rep. Kaniela Ing (D, South Maui); former City Council members; Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees and administrators; lawyers; and University of Hawaii professors.
The candidates also include well-known activists such as Walter Ritte Jr. of Molokai; Moani Akaka of Hawaii island; and Mahealani Cypher, aka Denise DeCosta, a former Honolulu city clerk.
The delegates will be elected to represent Native Hawaiians who live in and outside Hawaii.
On Oahu, 110 candidates will vie for 20 delegate positions. Hawaii island has 32 candidates for seven slots; Maui, 15 contenders for three positions; Kauai and Niihau, five hopefuls for two spots; Molokai and Lanai, four candidates for one position; and out of state, 43 contenders for seven slots.
Ballots to elect the delegates will be sent to certified voters on Nov. 1, said Election-America, a private national company hired by Na‘i Aupuni to conduct the election.
Votes can be cast by mail or electronically but must be received by Nov. 30.
Native Hawaiians who have not been certified can still apply with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (kanaiolowalu.org) or the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (oha.org/registry).
The U.S. Department of the Interior today announced that Native Hawaiians — not the federal government — would decide whether to reorganize a Native Hawaiian government, what form that government would take, and whether it would seek a government-to-government relationship with the United States.
“The United States has a long-standing policy of supporting self-governance for Native peoples, yet the benefits of the government-to-government relationship have long been denied to Native Hawaiians, one of our nation’s largest indigenous communities,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement out of Washington, D.C. “Today’s proposal is testament to the Obama Administration’s strong support for our nation’s Native peoples’ right to self-determination.”
The proposal takes the form of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that followed a series of public hearings across the islands last year.
Native Hawaiian Community Proposed Rule on Self-Governance
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
The U.S. Department of the Interior is proposing to create an administrative procedure and criteria that the Secretary of the Interior would apply if the Native Hawaiian community forms a unified government that then seeks a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States. Under the proposal, the Native Hawaiian community — not the Federal government — would decide whether to reorganize a Native Hawaiian government, what form that government would take, and whether it would seek a government-to-government relationship with the United States.
The proposal, which takes the form of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), builds on more than 150 Federal statutes that Congress has enacted over the last century to recognize and implement the special political and trust relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. The NPRM comes on the heels of a robust and transparent public comment period as part of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) process that began last year and included public meetings. More than 5,000 members of the public submitted written comments to the ANPRM, and they overwhelmingly favored creating a pathway for re-establishing a formal government-to-government relationship.
Members of the public are encouraged to read the proposal and provide comments in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, on www.regulations.gov (docket no. DOI-2015-0005), or by U.S. mail/hand delivery to the Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7228, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC 20240. The public is also encouraged to participate in the scheduled teleconferences on the proposed rule.
“In the heyday of empire, most of the world was ruled, directly or indirectly, by the European powers. On the eve of the First World War, only a few non-European states had maintained their formal sovereignty: Abyssinia (Ethiopia), China, Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Persia (Iran), and Siam (Thailand). Some others kept their independence for a while, but then succumbed to imperial powers, such as Hawaii, Korea, Madagascar, and Morocco. Facing imperialist incursion, the political elites of these countries sought to overcome their political vulnerability by engaging with the European powers and seeking recognition as equals.
Debate surrounds the public holiday which commemorates the day Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States. Controversy circles the 56th anniversary of Hawaii becoming the newest state of the USA on 21 August and there are calls for it to be removed as culturally insensitive to Native Hawaiians.
Independent activists are using the public holiday to gather support for Hawaiian sovereignty.
PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF HAWAIIAN NATIONALS
A coalition of Hawaiian Independence advocates
P.O. Box 23055, Honolulu, Hawaii 96823 HawaiianNational.com Contact:
Mr. Leon Siu 808 265-2085 email@example.com
Mr. Pilipo Souza 808 358-6428 firstname.lastname@example.org
GATHERING AT IOLANI PALACE OF HAWAIIAN PATRIOTS FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2015 – 11 AM
EVENT: THE NON-CELEBRATION OF STATEHOOD
Hawaiian Nationals and Free Hawaii advocates are gathered here today to point out that the State of Hawaii has once again failed to celebrate their “Statehood Day” holiday! Statehood Day is a joke…It’s a non-celebration. The “State” has obviously abandoned its own holiday!
Where are the Governor, legislators, mayors, county council members, armies of public workers, government employees and their unions on this supposedly most auspicious day for the State of Hawaii? Where are the citizens of the 50th State? Nowhere to be found. It’s as if they are ashamed of “Statehood Day.”
No Celebration for Statehood
In 1959 President Dwight Eisenhower signed an official proclamation purportedly making Hawaii the 50th state of the United States. There was dancing in the streets, parties, Hawaiian shows and fireworks at Iolani Palace.
But today, other than state and county workers having the day off, neither the state nor the county administrations do anything to acknowledge the holiday.
The past three governors: Cayetano, Lingle and Abercrombie avoided statehood celebrations saying they were “too controversial.”
Governor Lingle, however, could not avoid the “50th anniversary of statehood” in 2009. Even then, the commission to coordinate the jubilee downplayed the event reducing it to a few TV and radio public-service announcements; newspaper ads, a few speeches and proclamations; and a closed conference to envision the next 50 years.
Meanwhile advocates for Hawaii independence conducted numerous, highly public events exposing the “Fake State of Hawaii” gaining coverage in over 130 papers around the world (including the New York Times, USA Today, etc.) about the strange 50th Anniversary non-celebration.
Why have state leaders been reluctant to celebrate statehood? Are the people who voted for statehood suffering from “buyers remorse”? Or is it perhaps that the truth about the illegal takeover of the Hawaiian Islands is sinking in?
The truth is: people are realizing Hawaii wasn’t adopted into the U.S. family; Hawaii was kidnapped! That’s not something one celebrates!