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 Newsinterviews 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.
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:
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!
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.