Courtesy White House
President Clinton signs Public Law 103-150, the "Apology Resolution" to Native Hawaiians, on November 23, 1993, as Vice-President Al Gore and Hawaii's Congressional delegation look on, from left: Sen. Daniel Inouye, Rep. Patsy Mink, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, and Sen. Daniel Akaka.

No Aloha: Native Hawaiians Against Interior’s Relationship Proposal

Gale Courey Toensing
6/27/14

The Interior Department asked in a recent press release if the United States and the Native Hawaiian community should enter into a government-to-government relationship.

Judging from the response of Native Hawaiians at a meeting with Interior officials in Honolulu Monday (June 23), the answer is a resounding “No.”

With a rapidly growing nationalist or sovereignty movement in Hawaii, an overwhelming majority of Native Hawaiians at the emotionally charged meeting expressed anger and mistrust of the federal government with many saying a government-to-government relationship with the U.S. would end their quest to restore their country to the status of a sovereign independent nation – the way it was before the U.S. overthrew its government and Hawaii became the 50th state, the Huffington Post reported.

The meeting was the first in a series of public meetings and consultations in Hawaii and Indian country over the next 60 days. The schedule is listed in Interior’s press release. The release says the meetings are to solicit comments to help Interior decide if it will move ahead and develop a formal, administrative procedure for “reestablishing” an official government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community and if so, what that procedure should be.

RELATED: Working on Acknowledgment – Interior’s New Hawaiian Recognition Initiative

Congress has enacted more than 150 statutes dealing specifically with the Native Hawaiian community, but the U.S. has had no formal relationship with the Native Hawaiian community since its illegal military overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 and its backing of a U.S.-controlled ''provisional government'' in violation of treaties and international law. Congress passed an Apology Resolution in 1993, acknowledging that the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States. And in 2000, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice jointly issued a report called The River of Justice Must Flow Freely that recommended self-determination for Native Hawaiians under federal law as a priority.

Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who retired in 2012, tried unsuccessfully for a dozen years to get Native Hawaiians federally recognized through Congress. Many Native Hawaiians supported the effort and it was almost universally supported by Native Americans. The National Congress of American Indians passed more than one resolution favoring federal recognition for Native Hawaiians and the organization still supports it, President Brian Cladoosby told ICTMN.

Interior officials said they were at the meeting to listen and find out if Native Hawaiians wanted to pursue an official relationship.

The vast majority of Native Hawaiians who spoke were indignant, and even outraged, that the federal government would try to insert itself in their affairs, Watchdog reported.

They scolded, shouted at and questioned the motives of Interior Department officials. Many want the Hawaiian monarchy restored to power and the U.S. government out of Hawaii, the report said.

Bumpy Kanahele, who heads the organization Nation of Hawaii, told Interior officials: “We don’t need you to come in to tell us how to govern ourselves. Let us figure it out.”

Jonathan Osorio, professor of Hawaiian studies at the University of Hawaii, said the feds shouldn’t intervene and impose additional “aggression upon our nation,” Watchdog reported.

Michael Lilly, former Hawaii state attorney general, said Interior’s efforts are unconstitutional, because under the Constitution only Congress the plenary power to recognize tribes and ratify treaties. “That power does not reside in the executive branch of the federal government or with the various states. So the current effort aimed at creating a tribe of Hawaiians has no legal basi,” Lilly said, according to Watchdog.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation who spent four years working in the civil rights division at the U.S. Department of Justice specifically on such issues, said Interior’s efforts were not only unconstitutional, but beyond its boundaries. “The administration has no authority to enter into such a relationship. … They continue to divide up our country and raise the walls between different races. I find it disgusting that they want to do this,” von Spakovsky said.

"I'm hearing a lot of 'No's' so far," Interior spokesman Sam Hirsch said, according to the report.

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Theresa Keohunani Taber
Theresa Keohuna...
Submitted by Theresa Keohuna... on
PLEASE GET THIS OUT TO ALL THE NATIVE NATIONS IN THE AMERICAS... www.doi.gov on the press release for the APRNM the US Dept of Interior will be meeting with Native Nations to hear comments regarding the Hawaiian People, the kanaka maoli..... THE MAJORITY OF OUR PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN HERE IN HAWAII NO NO NO NO NO TO FEDERAL RECOGNITION... WE DO NOT WANT TO BE CATEGORIZED AS A "NATIVE TRIBE" WE HAVE OUR OWN COUNTRY AND WANT IT BACK, WE WANT THE US TO DEOCCUPY HAWAII.... WE DO NOT WANT TO DETRACT OR LESSEN THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT THE NATIVE NATIONS HAVE MADE WITH THE US GOVT WE DON'T WANT TO BE A PART OF THE UNITED STATES... LEGALLY WE HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED ILLEGALLY BY THE US FOR THE PAST 121 YEARS... WE ARE CALLING ON ALL THE NATIVE NATIONS AND PEOPLE TO REJECT FEDERAL RECOGNITION FOR THE HAWAIIAN PEOPLE, THE KANAKA MAOLI..... WE STAND WITH YOU AND WOULD NEVER WANT TO INTERFERE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE US.... PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT WE ALL SAY NO.... THERE ARE A FEW THAT ARE CONSPIRING AGAINST THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.... I'M SURE THAT THERE HAS BEEN THESE SAME ISSUES AMONGST THE NATIONS BUT WE AS KANAKA MAOLI DO NOT WANT TO BE A NATIVE TRIBE, WE ARE NOT A TRIBE..... PLEASE HELP US FIGHT FOR JUSTICE THIS IS ALL ABOUT JUSTICE... MAHALO FROM HAWAII

Theresa Keohunani Taber
Theresa Keohuna...
Submitted by Theresa Keohuna... on
PLEASE GET THIS OUT TO ALL THE NATIVE NATIONS IN THE AMERICAS... www.doi.gov on the press release for the APRNM the US Dept of Interior will be meeting with Native Nations to hear comments regarding the Hawaiian People, the kanaka maoli..... THE MAJORITY OF OUR PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN HERE IN HAWAII NO NO NO NO NO TO FEDERAL RECOGNITION... WE DO NOT WANT TO BE CATEGORIZED AS A "NATIVE TRIBE" WE HAVE OUR OWN COUNTRY AND WANT IT BACK, WE WANT THE US TO DEOCCUPY HAWAII.... WE DO NOT WANT TO DETRACT OR LESSEN THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT THE NATIVE NATIONS HAVE MADE WITH THE US GOVT WE DON'T WANT TO BE A PART OF THE UNITED STATES... LEGALLY WE HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED ILLEGALLY BY THE US FOR THE PAST 121 YEARS... WE ARE CALLING ON ALL THE NATIVE NATIONS AND PEOPLE TO REJECT FEDERAL RECOGNITION FOR THE HAWAIIAN PEOPLE, THE KANAKA MAOLI..... WE STAND WITH YOU AND WOULD NEVER WANT TO INTERFERE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE US.... PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT WE ALL SAY NO.... THERE ARE A FEW THAT ARE CONSPIRING AGAINST THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.... I'M SURE THAT THERE HAS BEEN THESE SAME ISSUES AMONGST THE NATIONS BUT WE AS KANAKA MAOLI DO NOT WANT TO BE A NATIVE TRIBE, WE ARE NOT A TRIBE..... PLEASE HELP US FIGHT FOR JUSTICE THIS IS ALL ABOUT JUSTICE... MAHALO FROM HAWAII

Theresa Keohunani Taber
Theresa Keohuna...
Submitted by Theresa Keohuna... on
PLEASE GET THIS OUT TO ALL THE NATIVE NATIONS IN THE AMERICAS... www.doi.gov on the press release for the APRNM the US Dept of Interior will be meeting with Native Nations to hear comments regarding the Hawaiian People, the kanaka maoli..... THE MAJORITY OF OUR PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN HERE IN HAWAII NO NO NO NO NO TO FEDERAL RECOGNITION... WE DO NOT WANT TO BE CATEGORIZED AS A "NATIVE TRIBE" WE HAVE OUR OWN COUNTRY AND WANT IT BACK, WE WANT THE US TO DEOCCUPY HAWAII.... WE DO NOT WANT TO DETRACT OR LESSEN THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT THE NATIVE NATIONS HAVE MADE WITH THE US GOVT WE DON'T WANT TO BE A PART OF THE UNITED STATES... LEGALLY WE HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED ILLEGALLY BY THE US FOR THE PAST 121 YEARS... WE ARE CALLING ON ALL THE NATIVE NATIONS AND PEOPLE TO REJECT FEDERAL RECOGNITION FOR THE HAWAIIAN PEOPLE, THE KANAKA MAOLI..... WE STAND WITH YOU AND WOULD NEVER WANT TO INTERFERE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE US.... PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT WE ALL SAY NO.... THERE ARE A FEW THAT ARE CONSPIRING AGAINST THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.... I'M SURE THAT THERE HAS BEEN THESE SAME ISSUES AMONGST THE NATIONS BUT WE AS KANAKA MAOLI DO NOT WANT TO BE A NATIVE TRIBE, WE ARE NOT A TRIBE..... PLEASE HELP US FIGHT FOR JUSTICE THIS IS ALL ABOUT JUSTICE... MAHALO FROM HAWAII

Theresa Keohunani Taber
Theresa Keohuna...
Submitted by Theresa Keohuna... on
PLEASE GET THIS OUT TO ALL THE NATIVE NATIONS IN THE AMERICAS... www.doi.gov on the press release for the APRNM the US Dept of Interior will be meeting with Native Nations to hear comments regarding the Hawaiian People, the kanaka maoli..... THE MAJORITY OF OUR PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN HERE IN HAWAII NO NO NO NO NO TO FEDERAL RECOGNITION... WE DO NOT WANT TO BE CATEGORIZED AS A "NATIVE TRIBE" WE HAVE OUR OWN COUNTRY AND WANT IT BACK, WE WANT THE US TO DEOCCUPY HAWAII.... WE DO NOT WANT TO DETRACT OR LESSEN THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT THE NATIVE NATIONS HAVE MADE WITH THE US GOVT WE DON'T WANT TO BE A PART OF THE UNITED STATES... LEGALLY WE HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED ILLEGALLY BY THE US FOR THE PAST 121 YEARS... WE ARE CALLING ON ALL THE NATIVE NATIONS AND PEOPLE TO REJECT FEDERAL RECOGNITION FOR THE HAWAIIAN PEOPLE, THE KANAKA MAOLI..... WE STAND WITH YOU AND WOULD NEVER WANT TO INTERFERE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE US.... PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT WE ALL SAY NO.... THERE ARE A FEW THAT ARE CONSPIRING AGAINST THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.... I'M SURE THAT THERE HAS BEEN THESE SAME ISSUES AMONGST THE NATIONS BUT WE AS KANAKA MAOLI DO NOT WANT TO BE A NATIVE TRIBE, WE ARE NOT A TRIBE..... PLEASE HELP US FIGHT FOR JUSTICE THIS IS ALL ABOUT JUSTICE... MAHALO FROM HAWAII

Wanbli Koyake's picture
Wanbli Koyake
Submitted by Wanbli Koyake on
Hau mitakuyepi, Greetings my Relatives! mitakuyepi Gail na Theresa Pilamayaya pelo, I thank my relatives Gail and Theresa for writing of Kanaka Maoli’ effort to prevent being swallowed up by the u.s.a. –a.k.a United States of Assimilation. It should be obvious to everyone, by now, that “Federal recognition” is a euphemism for Greedy digestion of Original Peoples. We Original Peoples do well to remember that the Wasicu are notorious for defrauding Original Peoples through treaty making and then neglecting and breaking their so-called trust relationships. And Lie! The Wasicu like to lie! My theory is that greedy lying is congenital now. You can’t go on lying for countless generations and not expect such consequences. Not too long ago, 10-12k wasicu years, we took separate paths, Original Peoples kept to the well-worn, age-old, path of our ancestors while the Wasicu/Greedy abandoned their ancestors –and ancestral origins on Mother Earth– for servitude to Greedy ambitions. More power to ‘em! We don’t want Greedy Power! We Original Peoples prefer the Power of Kinship! Wowapi na wicoiye hohecetu welo Mitakuye Owasin! My words and written words are true! All my Relations!
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