Posted by: kuhiovogeler | December 21, 2009

Awakening a Sleeping Hawaiian Giant

For over a hundred years, organizations have acted on behalf of the Hawaiian people, often to the detriment of these same Hawaiians. Ever since the Committee of Thirteen conspirators in 1887 forced King Kalākaua to sign the “Bayonet Constitution,” allegedly due to Kalākaua’s mismanagement of government funds, Hawaiians have been subject to organizations claiming to act on their behalf.

Today, many organizations—from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools, to United Church of Christ, with its reconciliation efforts for Native Hawaiians, to the many Hawaiian governments and kingdoms that argue legal legitimacy over the Hawaiian people—assert that they are acting for the betterment of Hawaiians. These organizations, however, have attempted to limit the aspirations of Hawaiians and control our destiny.

For example, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), a semi-autonomous state agency, is “acting for the betterment of Native Hawaiians” (quote from the OHA website). Yet, as much as OHA tries to better the lives of Native Hawaiians, as a state agency, OHA does not represent the people of an independent Hawaiian State. Though OHA has registered over 100,000 Native Hawaiians through the Kau Inoa program, these people have not been informed of their rights under international law. Moreover, this registration process is for Native Hawaiians under US law, rather than Hawaiian nationals under international law.

Hawaiian nationals, defined by the principle of jus sanguinis (parentage) under international law, are those who can trace their ancestry to 1893, before the first US occupation of the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian nationals thus include aboriginal Hawaiians, as well as other non-native Hawaiian kingdom subjects. According to the 1890 census, 85% of Hawaiian Kingdom subjects were aboriginal Hawaiians, 15% non-native. Just as the term “American” expresses nationality, not ethnicity, any person who can trace one’s ancestry to the Hawaiian Kingdom prior to the 1893 occupation, would also count as a “Hawaiian” today.

The many Hawaiian governments and kingdoms, while raising the issue of State continuity under US occupation, also assert that they are working for the betterment of Hawaiians. However, like OHA, these entities cannot claim to represent the will of the over 500,000 Hawaiian nationals worldwide. Though these organizations allege legal continuity with the Hawaiian Kingdom, none profess to be representatives of a preponderance of today’s Hawaiian nationals. For example, while the Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom Government may have 4,000 participants, this number does not come close to including the total 500,000 Hawaiian nationals.

Though OHA and these many Hawaiian governments do not represent today’s Hawaiian nationals, these organizations assert that they stand for the Hawaiian people. The only way that these organizations can make this assertion is that today’s Hawaiian nationals have not spoken. Just as the conspirators of 1887 silenced the voice of Hawaiian Kingdom subjects when they illegally dismissed the Hawaiian Kingdom legislature, the Hawaiian nationals today remain quiet because a governmental mechanism does not exist for their voice to be heard. Once Hawaiian nationals express their will, this will be a force of great power.

So, if the US government intends to right the wrongs of the last hundred and sixteen years, then they should set aside funds to register all of the Hawaiian nationals throughout the world and inform these Hawaiians of their rights under international law. If the Office of Hawaiian affairs hopes to act for the betterment of Hawaiians, the trustees should change the Kau Inoa program to include all Hawaiian nationals. If the United Church of Christ has set aside money to rectify complicity in illegal acts against Queen Lili‘uokalani, the Pū‘ā Foundation should spend that money on programs that help reassert Hawai‘i’s sovereignty through the expressed will of Hawaiian nationals. If Kamehameha Schools wants to educate Hawaiians, these schools should instruct young Hawaiians in the skills necessary to run an independent Hawaiian government. And if the entities claiming to be the Hawaiian government want to help the Hawaiian people, these organizations should work together to find common ground and to understand the hopes, aspirations and fears of Hawaiian nationals.

The real strength of Hawaiian nationals is that we do not need any organization, claiming to represent Hawaiians, to allow us to speak our mind, express our will, re-establish our government. We hold the power to make this change right now, and we have held this power for over a hundred years. If we work together, the organizations listed above may help to facilitate this transition process.

We control our own destiny. All we have to do is wake up and get to work. This is our kuleana.

As we look toward the coming year, think about what role you, and each person, might have in this awakening, this hō‘ala. During the holidays, ask your friends and family what they too would want to do during this awakening.

We can reawaken the Hawaiian nationals worldwide. Our strength is that we shall take these initial steps together.



  1. […] has a new post on his blog, Awakening a Sleeping Hawaiian Giant, that is worth reading, about the distinction between the national and native/ethnic definition of […]

  2. I love your post and it’s pono. For a few years now, I have been trying to change the mindset of the people and dispell the divisive illusion the U.S. Americans have been fostering. To break it, one has to view these “sovereignty groups” as national parties with their own platforms (the U.S. has 22 recognized and registered political parties not just the Democrats and Republicans. When we view these groups as such; it makes more sense that we are unified with different platforms. When those groups initially formed; no one made a concerted effort but felt they could puka through and get all the people behind them. It didn’t work for several understandable reasons. Then the national movement took off on its own and out-grew what these groups initiated. They are all valid and if you choose, you could register with any of them. In the end, all Hawaii subjects/ nationals will decide by popular mandate who their individual representatives are. Most of the work; they have already done and we thank them for it. Now its to vote for the best candidate from all these groups and individuals that didn’t subscribe to any group or “party”. It will be a more democratic process to get the ball rolling again and their kuleana to promote their platform and candidates. Simple, eh?

  3. The fact remains : It is REAL and not fake – 1839 Declaration of Rights, 1840 Kingdom of Hawaii Constitution. We have our rights, We have our Constitution, what more do you want? Read them and you will find how advanced the hawaiian people really was in the early 1800s. Look it up, read it, the hawaiian people dont need to reorganize, we are fully equipped to stand up and thrive, if only the USA would stop interfering by throwing all of our people in jail for not obeying their foreign laws, if we go holo holo late night thats our kuleana, we not trespassing we catching mu’u or manpachi, red fish that comes out only in the night. Yah and also stop stealing our resources and land. When we have a council meeting at our sacred places, oh you say thats your property and we need to leave. USA and state of Hawai(puppet), they are interferring with our process of governing our selves.

  4. Aloha, Kuhio. Always encouraged and moved when i see another “Subject” or “National” of the Kingdom of Hawai’i “Affirm & Exercise their Hawaiian National Rights.” We definitely more of our people to start their own blogs and start uncovering and sharing woth the rest of the World and Humanity about what has and is going on in Hawai’i for over a century and a half now. Mahalo for your blog!!!

  5. One more thing everyone. Let’s all continue to make that “kahea” to the rest of the “Hawaiian Nationals” throughout the World, let’s continue to speak like a “Hawaiian Nationals,” and let’s start living like a “Hawaiian Nationals” to…

  6. What means other than “overthrow” do we Hawaiians have? Do we Infiltrate? Disobey? Insurrect? Undermine? Gather signatures? Petition? Cry? Whine? Meet umpteen times to discuss the past? Aue. Nothing other than mass demonstration, legislative takeover and the shutting off of support to American millitary bases will get it done. Just say no? Just say now!

  7. this giant will be awaken within our next generation of Kanaka Maoli’s, da 7th generation.
    too much of our Kupuna Kahiko’s (ancestors) died in silence, lost and confused in their own generation. we are the generation today that will educate the next generations to come.
    with aggression and yet much Respect to our Kingdom Leaders, our Kupuna’s and the direction to Unite into our Hawaiian Kingdom Government as Kanaka Maoli Nationals of this Kingdom of Hawaiian Islands.
    Akua (God Jehovah) will lead our Right Leaders of Kanaka Maoli’s. I feel they are already chosen and waiting for the call to gather to Unite with one another. May we also find them on this website, to see the education and the raising of one as a traditional cultural Kanaka Maoli.
    just by the way they communicate, will help us identify the real from the make believe and the wanna bee’s.
    for oahu, they need to clean their sacred lands from religion and military. for maui, we need to stop the transportation to and from our lands, at least grasp the control and/or limit the freedom of more criminal acts towards our kingdom subjects. this illegal government records will show the innocents of many of our kanaka maoli’s in prison.
    i agree, say NO (Aole) to any more lies to crimes to be committed by the usa. and yes, we will do it now in our lifetime for the future of our next generation to come, da 7th generation…
    ~da princess~

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