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Anna Keala Kelly

Commentary by Anne Keala Kelly who is a historian and writer based in Honolulu.

"Given the relentless nature of the federal recognition juggernaut, considering some basic truths is an imperative for Hawaiians.

When I say Hawaiians, I am referring to kanaka/kanaka maoli/kanaka 'oiwi, the descendants of the original people of this place whose 'ohana signed the Ku'e Petitions of 1897. I realize there were non-kanaka who signed that petition, but I'm talking about Hawaiians in and out of Hawai'i who are eligible for federal recognition.


The Ku'e Petitions represent the voice of almost every one of the nearly 40,000 Hawaiians who were alive in 1897 and as a people and an independent nation-state rejected attempts by the United States to occupy and annex Hawai'i. They did not want federal recognition, federal money for healthcare and education ... they didn't want federal anything.

Anyone with some knowledge of Hawaiian culture and the sovereignty struggle knows that to Hawaiians, the Ku'e Petitions, more than 100 years later, offer some of the most compelling evidence of resistance. The petitions are free of the Americanized interpretation of Hawaiian history, and are experienced by many Hawaiians as something like a direct communication from kupuna (elders) to 'opio (the young).

Culturally speaking, what one's kupuna wants is usually not debatable, and in some ways is like a command. That is why most Hawaiians who have seen the petitions or know of them react so powerfully. This document has opened the hearts and minds of Hawaiians in a way that "enrolling" and "federalizing" them will never achieve. The tens of thousands who signed the petitions are no longer living, but they have more power in death than the state and federal government, and all the Hawaiians they've manipulated into promoting federal recognition have in life.

Whether or not you agree with my analysis of how the Ku'e Petitions influence the issue of federal recognition, it's only one of the many reasons I have for disagreeing with the "enrollment" the Office of Hawaiian Affairs began yesterday.

It was the 111th anniversary of the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom and Queen Lili'uokalani. And OHA used it, while cloaked with illegal-overthrow indignation, to begin its enrollment. OHA attempted to co-opt the commemoration of an event that represents the opposite of federal recognition.

So threatened with irrelevance, OHA became political vandals, in a way, committing a kind of sacrilege.
Strong language? Consider it this way: If OHA, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) and others have their way, the 112th anniversary of the illegal overthrow will become the first anniversary of the day Hawaiians signed up to acquiesce to the U.S. takeover of the Hawaiian kingdom.

OHA's elected trustees work for the state. They were elected by natives and non-natives, and are paid by all the taxpayers. I don't like what Freddie Rice and his cohorts did. It was white supremacy, using the judicial system to create a metaphor for cross-burning. Instead of burning it in front of a house or a church belonging to black people, they burned it in front of a distressed state agency that looks like it belongs to Hawaiians.

But still, OHA was told by the Supreme Court that conducting elections for Hawaiians only is unconstitutional. Therefore, wouldn't it stand to reason that the Rice v. Cayetano decision that invalidates Hawaiian-only elections conducted by a state agency extends its reach to include OHA's enrollment of Hawaiians for the purposes of electing delegates?

Also, OHA has spent into the millions of dollars to convince Hawaiians and lawmakers to ignore other legal and political options and to go along with federal recognition legislation that requires an election.

Even if OHA manages to separate itself from the physical process by hiring the CNHA to conduct the enrollment and/or the convention, isn't OHA still setting up an election? It's as if OHA believes the ends justify the means — that fixing the primary will have nothing to do with the election's outcome.

Pro-federal recognition entities insist Hawaiians can be a tribe that equates "self-determination" with voluntarily giving the ever-changing U.S. Congress plenary power over them as a people, and that doing so won't affect independence claims in the international courts. They've fully embraced the "corporate model" that Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawai'i, has been trying to establish since Alaska Native tribes signed a land claims settlement act in 1972. Simultaneously, they deny being opposed to Hawaiian independence.

OHA represents the interests of the state and federal governments. Both want to end Hawaiian claims to the nearly 2 million acres of crown and government land, aka "ceded lands." And yet OHA insists it represents the Hawaiian people, even though it has not given independence advocates even a fraction of the money it has spent on lawyers and lobbying and "educational" programs that promote federal recognition.

There is no place for OHA in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Discourse about sovereignty includes independence. The Ku'e Petitions have galvanized that.

Messy as it may seem to people who are too inconvenienced by that fact, or who have no imagination for a Hawai'i where America isn't running the show, Hawaiians are talking independence and looking for ways to live it, create it and reclaim it.

Where is OHA? Leading a congressionally driven rush to solidify power over the Hawaiian people. "



Cross-posted in oiwi

Comments

( 64 comments — Leave a comment )
maldito
Jan. 18th, 2004 10:31 am (UTC)
no cross post, I already did it. *L* But she made good point. Nonetheless, I signed up in case we have no choice....cannot be left in the dust and they'll need SOME voices and I'm determined to be one!
haolegirl
Jan. 18th, 2004 10:37 am (UTC)
no cross post, I already did it. *L*

I know... I saw it but I not going repost em there.

But she made good point. Nonetheless, I signed up in case we have no choice....cannot be left in the dust and they'll need SOME voices and I'm determined to be one!

So you are able to substantiate having them tell you what is best for Hawaiians? No... thats the thing about Hawaiians. Many are imprisoned to believe that they dont matter nor do their voices matter but I can tell you that one person does matter. Even with the entity (OHA) it doesnt matter. Each and every Hawaiian has rights. They can set up their own organization and present themselves to this gov't in order to be another voice but many havent pushed enough like Ka Lahui. There should be MANY voices... not just one... not just OHA. Sounds like youre a member because you feel that one voice is better than no voice but that one voice may do you more harm than good. Once you sign up for them to represent you... you are leaving it up to them to determine YOUR destiny and your children's. Thats why I refuse to be a member of OHA. I dont want them speaking for me AT ALL :)


maldito
Jan. 18th, 2004 10:49 am (UTC)
lana, i think I explained this to you a million times and this is probably you not comprehending well. First of all, I'm not part of OHA, but their registry program which they'll use as a database of which just so happened w/ this KAU INOA registration, will be used for that. That way, I wouldn't have to present my docmentation again.

If I were to have my son/daughter go to Kamehameha schools, provided that the schools begin using OHA's registry program, they'll be able to tap into that source to verify ethnicity rather than me make copies all over again and present them.

This has NOTHING to do w/ voicing opinions! I didn't register b/c i wanted to speak up for me, which don't you think is ironic since i voice my opinions anyway and have voiced my opinions about mismanagement of OHA and your beloved school? Think about it. I mean REALLY think about it!

OHA is not speaking for us, or rather I should say not speaking for me b/c I signed up w/ their registry program. I had one intention only and to use them as a source of verification for whatever furture use they'll have with it. Which is why some of my cousins registered too. yet these are the same cousins whom you've read in the paper, like Kaleo Patterson the kahu whom have been very outspoken on Hawn. issues, which is why they say he never got that postion, etc. b/c he is an "activist". So...that contradicts what you say too.
haolegirl
Jan. 18th, 2004 11:04 am (UTC)
"First of all, I'm not part of OHA, but their registry program which they'll use as a database of which just so happened w/ this KAU INOA registration, will be used for that. That way, I wouldn't have to present my docmentation again."


Actually the Hawaiian Registry IS part of OHA. If you go to their website at http://www.oha.org/hwregistry.asp you will see the following:


"Mail your completed application and support documents to:

Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Attn: Hawaiian Registry
711 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 500
Honolulu, HI 96813"


So yes the papers do go to OHA and yes they are a part of OHA. Therefore YOU are a part of OHA :)



"If I were to have my son/daughter go to Kamehameha schools, provided that the schools begin using OHA's registry program, they'll be able to tap into that source to verify ethnicity rather than me make copies all over again and present them."

For someone who has done alot of genealogical research I find it surprising that you would have trouble pulling out your genealogy records when you do it online. You have also contructed webpages specifically about your genealogy charts so whats so difficult about pulling out evidence of your Hawaiian ancestry?



(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 11:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 11:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 11:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 19th, 2004 10:38 am (UTC) - Expand
haolegirl
Jan. 18th, 2004 11:09 am (UTC)
"This has NOTHING to do w/ voicing opinions! I didn't register b/c i wanted to speak up for me, which don't you think is ironic since i voice my opinions anyway and have voiced my opinions about mismanagement of OHA and your beloved school? Think about it. I mean REALLY think about it!"

Actually I have thought about it... deeply. This is what you stated earlier by the way, "Nonetheless, I signed up in case we have no choice....cannot be left in the dust and they'll need SOME voices and I'm determined to be one!" That implies that you have chosen OHA to speak on behalf of you. Of course Im not saying that its the ONLY voice but you have signed up so that you dont want to be left in the dust. What does that mean? Does that mean that you have no choice but to choose OHA or are you choosing them because you dont wanna lose out on federal money?


"OHA is not speaking for us, or rather I should say not speaking for me b/c I signed up w/ their registry program. I had one intention only and to use them as a source of verification for whatever furture use they'll have with it."


Why would you need them to verify that youre Hawaiian when you have evidence as it is?


"Which is why some of my cousins registered too. yet these are the same cousins whom you've read in the paper, like Kaleo Patterson the kahu whom have been very outspoken on Hawn. issues, which is why they say he never got that postion, etc. b/c he is an "activist". So...that contradicts what you say too."


What exactly am I contradicting?


(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 11:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 03:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 05:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 19th, 2004 10:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 19th, 2004 10:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 19th, 2004 11:09 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 05:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 18th, 2004 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 19th, 2004 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 19th, 2004 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 19th, 2004 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
haolegirl
Jan. 18th, 2004 11:14 am (UTC)
"This has NOTHING to do w/ voicing opinions! I didn't register b/c i wanted to speak up for me, which don't you think is ironic since i voice my opinions anyway and have voiced my opinions about mismanagement of OHA and your beloved school? Think about it. I mean REALLY think about it!"

Well this is what you stated earlier, "Nonetheless, I signed up in case we have no choice....cannot be left in the dust and they'll need SOME voices and I'm determined to be one!" This implies that you have chosen OHA to speak up for you in addition to you speaking up as well but as a huge and powerful voice... you choose OHA because you dont want to be left in the dust so you signed up? You voice your opinion alot as it is so why do you use one of OHA's resources when you have LOTS of evidence of your Hawaiian genealogy?

"OHA is not speaking for us, or rather I should say not speaking for me b/c I signed up w/ their registry program. I had one intention only and to use them as a source of verification for whatever furture use they'll have with it. "

For someone who has extensive genealogy records who has made webpages regarding genealogy and who hsa memorized some of his genealogy... why would you want a card when you have your chart that you have posted online?


"Which is why some of my cousins registered too. yet these are the same cousins whom you've read in the paper, like Kaleo Patterson the kahu whom have been very outspoken on Hawn. issues, which is why they say he never got that postion, etc. b/c he is an "activist". So...that contradicts what you say too."

What am I contradicting?


ehanui
Jan. 18th, 2004 11:57 am (UTC)
Anne didn't state anywhere that she was a historian, did she? I first met her in person 2 years ago this upcoming March while at a meeting with Keanu Sai, Kau'i Goodhue, Lynette Cruz and a select few others. When sharing our specialties, I recall her stating that hers was film and that she also could write.
haolegirl
Jan. 18th, 2004 03:05 pm (UTC)
It must have been a word to describe her by the writers there because one of them even labelled Ken Conklin as an expert of Hawaian language when he is not. Anyway... how do you know these people personally? I only know and have met Pat from Keaukaha and Former Federal Judge Paul DeSilve of Hilo whom I related to.
ehanui
Jan. 18th, 2004 11:38 pm (UTC)
Seven years ago, Ken Conklin was very Hawaiian friendly. During that time, he learned alot about Hawaiian language and culture. He's very familiar with the language, then again, so was Lorrin Thurston.

I've known Keanu Sai personally since 1998. We met in DC while he was filing his Writ of Mandamus. Fascinating man! Since then, I've helped re-type some Hawaiian documents. Two years ago, a group of us were summoned together to create the Living Nation campaign. The campaign itselft kinda strayed from its original intent, so I didn't stay active. I've know Lynette Cruz for quite some time. Anne is quite a talented writer. She's been writing for the weekly and she does great in exposing issues.


haolegirl
Jan. 18th, 2004 11:42 pm (UTC)
Now Im wondering who you are. Its driving me crazy... really *L* I mean... the islands are only so small.... I wonder if I would recognize your name.
(no subject) - ehanui - Jan. 21st, 2004 12:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 21st, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ehanui - Jan. 24th, 2004 12:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 24th, 2004 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ehanui - Jan. 24th, 2004 04:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - ehanui - Jan. 26th, 2004 11:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 27th, 2004 05:50 am (UTC) - Expand
ehanui
Jan. 24th, 2004 12:32 pm (UTC)
In 1997, I believe kupuna and doctor, Kekuni Blaisdell greeted Ken Conklin with the traditional honi in front of the archives. That's how Hawaiian friendly he was.
haolegirl
Jan. 24th, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC)
So he was like the Campbells of yesterday. He smiled at Hawaiians only to try to hurt them?
(no subject) - ehanui - Jan. 24th, 2004 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 24th, 2004 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ehanui - Jan. 26th, 2004 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 27th, 2004 05:50 am (UTC) - Expand
maldito
Jan. 18th, 2004 03:15 pm (UTC)
She didn't, but the HONOLULU ADVERTISER did. Dude, who are you? You know EVERYONE! LOL YOu not my cousin, are you? LOL
haolegirl
Jan. 18th, 2004 03:23 pm (UTC)
Thats why Im like... "Who are you? Would I recognize your name?" I bet I would if I knew his name! *L*
ehanui
Jan. 18th, 2004 11:27 pm (UTC)
I don't believe we're cousins.... My grandmother's brother though did live on Moloka'i. He was taken away in the earlier part of the 1900's because he was thought to have had leprosy. I always thought it was strange because I didn't think that continued but apparently he maintains some resentment for it.
(no subject) - haolegirl - Jan. 18th, 2004 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ehanui - Jan. 21st, 2004 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maldito - Jan. 19th, 2004 05:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ehanui - Jan. 21st, 2004 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
( 64 comments — Leave a comment )

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