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Hawaiian Convention delegates named; motion filed to block

According to the Star-Advertiser, “A total of 152 people were named Wednesday as delegates to a February constitutional convention that will discuss Native Hawaiian self-governance.” Here’s the participants list (PDF) from the Na’i Aupuni website.

The Lahaina News interviews some delegates, including Bumpy Kanahele:

Representing the island of Oahu, Hawaiian leader Pu’uhonua Dennis Keiki “Bumpy” Kanahele accepted the invite the day it was received.

He is optimistic and steadfast in his actions to restore the sovereign nation.

“It moves our 2015 political process into the limelight for the world to truly see the suppression of the national sovereignty of the Hawaiian people,” he said.

Since the early 1990s, Kanahele and other Native Hawaiians have consulted with Francis A. Boyle.

Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago; a Juris Doctor Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Harvard Law School; and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from Harvard University.

He authored the book “Restoring the Kingdom of Hawaii, The Kanaka Maoli Route to Independence.”

The international human rights advocate was specific in outlining his strategy. He views the constitutional convention as an opportunity.

“I am saying everyone should go there – all kanaka maoli – and the delegates and everyone else should vote to restore the Kingdom of Hawaii and make it clear at this conference you want the kingdom restored, and you don’t want an Indian tribe,” he noted.

To this end, Kanahele and another delegate have agreed on tactics.

“I was advised by Francis A. Boyle, that on the opening day of the ‘Aha, to make a motion on the floor to proclaim the Restoration of the National Sovereignty of the Hawaiian People. The motion would need a second by another delegate or more, and that will not be a problem,” Kanahele said.

“Now the motion,” Boyle advised, “would be on the floor of the convention for further discussion and education. This move would protect the national sovereignty of the Hawaiian people and return to them their international status as an independent country once again.”

Meanwhile, from the Star-Advertiser article:

On Monday, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit — including Kelii Akina of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii — filed a motion asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hold Na‘i Aupuni and other agencies in civil contempt. The motion accuses the group of violating the letter and spirit of the injunction.

On Wednesday, the Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a brief on behalf of the American Civil Rights Union supporting the appeal and arguing that these kinds of elections should be declared unconstitutional. The libertarian Cato Institute also joined the brief.

The motion is expected to go to the full Supreme Court for consideration at a future conference.

SCOTUSblog gives some procedural background on the motion.

Na’i Aupuni cancels election; all candidates can be delegates

From the Star-Advertiser:

Facing a potential court battle that could go on for years, Na‘i Aupuni announced this morning that it will cancel the Native Hawaiian election and proceed to a four-week convention in February.

All 196 Hawaiians who ran as candidates will be offered seats as delegates to the convention, or ‘aha, said Na‘i Aupuni President Kuhio Asam.

“Our goal has always been to create a path so that Hawaiians can gather and have a serious and much-needed discussion about self-governance,” Asam said at a downtown Honolulu press conference this morning.

“We anticipated that the path would have twists and turns and some significant obstacles, but we are committed to proceeding to the ‘aha where this long-overdue conversation can take place,” he said.

He said the board of the nonprofit Na‘i Aupuni — considering the delay it faced from a lawsuit that accused the election of being race-based — decided that the most effective route going forward would be to offer to convene all of the remaining delegate candidates and allow to organize and achieve Hawaiian self-governance.

Election-America, the contractor hired to run the election, has been told to stop taking ballots, to seal any ballots already received and to prevent anyone from counting the votes, he said.

Na‘i Aupuni attorney William Meheula said the ballots will never be counted, thus making the litigation brought by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii moot. He said the group will take steps to dismiss the lawsuit.

In addition, Asam said, Mediation Center of the Pacific has been hired to serve as facilitators to lead the initial “instruction week” and assist with organizing the delegates, who were informed of the group’s move this morning.

The confirmation deadline to participate in the convention is Dec. 22. An email will request that the candidates confirm whether they intend to accept the terms and attend the ‘aha in Kailua during the the month of February.

Asam said delegates will receive information during the first week regarding constitution building, federal Indian law, international law regarding de-occupation, decolonization, the rights of indigenous people, U.S. Constitution issues that relate to Native Hawaiian self-governance, the ceded lands claim, background on Hawaiian Home Lands, kingdom law and constitutions drafted by sovereignty groups.

And here’s the update from Na’i Aupuni that was emailed out to voters this morning:

Dear Voters,

Given that the counting of the votes may be delayed by the legal process for up to a few years, Na`i Aupuni has decided to terminate the election as of today and to offer all 196 candidates the opportunity to serve as `Aha delegates from February 1 to 26, at a meeting facility in Kailua, Oahu.

One of the main reasons behind this decision to seat all candidates is that they represent a broad-based spectrum of the Native Hawaiian community and Na`i Aupuni wants to seize this rare opportunity to organize Native Hawaiians and to propose a path to self-governance.

A Q&A that addresses many issues concerning this change of events as well as the terms that Na`i Aupuni is offering the candidates to serve as delegates are set forth on the Na`i Aupuni website, naiaupuni.org

Mahalo nui for supporting the Na`i Aupuni process and we encourage you to support the upcoming `Aha!

William Meheula

And here’s Na’i Aupuni’s news release (PDF)

Ho’okuikahi 4 – What’s Next?

Hookuikahi Flyer 4 copy

Sovereignty Narratives Coming to a Head

Community Matters, December 3, 2015, with Dr. Kalama O Ka Aina Niheu and legal representative of the Grass Roots Institute of Hawaii (GRIH), Michael Lilly

Supreme Court blocks Native Hawaiian election vote count

From the Associated Press:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked votes from being counted in a unique election that’s considered a major step toward self-governance for Native Hawaiians.

The high court granted an injunction requested by a group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians challenging the election. […]

The order blocks the counting of votes until at least the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issues its ruling.

La Ku’oko’a at UH


Naʻi Aupuni Extends Voting Deadline 3 Weeks

Press Release from Na’i Aupuni (PDF)

Na‘i Aupuni, the Native Hawaiian organization with a mission to establish a path to Native Hawaiian self-determination, announced today it is extending the deadline to vote to December 21.

“Because voters may not have cast their ballots over concerns and questions on the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decision to temporarily stop the vote count, we are extending the voting deadline to December 21, midnight Hawaii time,” said Bill Meheula, legal counsel for Na‘i Aupuni.

The SCOTUS decision temporarily stayed the vote count and certification of the elected delegates, but did not stop voting.

La Ku’oko’a Celebration in Hana


Supreme Court justice blocks vote count in Native Hawaiian election

From Associated Press

A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Friday issued a temporary stay blocking the counting of votes in an election that would be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s order also stops the certification of any winners pending further direction from him or the entire court.

Native Hawaiians are voting to elect delegates for a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians. Voting ends Monday.

 Nai Aupuni, the nonprofit organization guiding the election process, is encouraging voters to continue casting votes, said Bill Meheula, an attorney representing the group.

Lā Kūʻokoʻa – Hawaiian Independence Day 2015

2015 La Kušokoša Flyer full