This blog is about Hawaii's status as an independent country under prolonged illegal occupation by the United States, and the history, culture, law & politics of the islands.

By Scott Crawford, Hana, Maui


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What really happened at the Aha, part I

Report from The Hawaii Independent:

Editor’s note: As one of the 154 kānaka maoli who agreed to participate in the state-sponsored, Naʻi Aupuni-initiated Native Hawaiian ʻAha, Kaʻiulani Milham had a front row seat at the month-long proceedings. What follows is the first installment of a multi-part, first-hand account that highlights various and consistent affronts to democratic processes that ruled during the ʻAha proceedings. 

Despite heavy opposition from federal recognition advocates and an agenda deliberately primed to produce a federal recognition-friendly constitution, Hawaiian independence advocates at the Native Hawaiian Convention, better known as the ʻAha, succeeded in planting a stake in the ground for the “pursuit of independence.”

For Jade Danner, a staunch proponent of federal recognition, those three words—hard won additions to the draft constitution’s preamble—were a stake to the heart. According to Katie Kamelamela, one of two appointed sergeants-at-arms during the ʻAha, the words sent her “crying like a little bitch” to the parking lot.

Independence advocates knew the stakes going in.

They knew that independence is an option in diametric opposition to the interests of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and they knew that, after a decade of failure to secure federal recognition through the Akaka Bill, OHA was desperate for a win.

Twice in recent years, at the 1999 ʻAha Hawaiʻi ʻOiwi (AHO) and again at the 2000 Ha Hawaiʻi conventions, OHA had withheld funding after the elected delegates determined to pursue independence.

Read the rest…


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