OHA nationhood

Advertiser is reporting:
Rebuffed by Congress in its attempt to get the Akaka bill passed, trustees with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are now seeking to move forward with a Native Hawaiian governing entity without the endorsement of officials in Washington.

A draft "nation-building" model approved unanimously by trustees on Thursday could lead to creation of what essentially would be a Hawaiians-only government that would negotiate for control of land, money and other assets lost when the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893 by individuals backed by U.S. military forces.

I know OHA's mandate, created by the state, is to help Native Hawaiians, so that's parameter they're stuck within. But if we want to be founded on and consistent with Hawaiian history, we need to be thinking in terms of nationality, not ethnicity.

As the Star-Bulletin editorial noted just after the Akaka bill failed:
The bill's opponents implied that any sovereign Hawaiian nation should be extended to all people who can trace their lineage to anyone living in the islands at the time of the overthrow. Distorted as that reasoning might seem, it could be the only way to rescue programs aimed at helping Hawaiians.

Actually, that reasoning is not distorted at all. The citizens of the Hawaiian kingdom were the ones whose country was invaded and occupied. It seems quite reasonable to argue that the descendants of all those citizens should be (and are legally) part of the restored government's national population. But then of course we're not talking about a domestic dependent nation, we're talking about the country of Hawaii.

Update: It's also worth noting this from the article:
Jon Osorio, chairman of the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai'i, said OHA will need to enlist the support of activist groups that have opposed the Akaka bill for the new process to be successful.

"Instead of hoping that (the Akaka bill) gets passed in the Senate, they're taking this state agency and putting their mana behind the making of a government ... and basically forcing the Senate's hand," Osorio said. "'What we're going to do is make this government, we're going to put it in your face, and we're going to make you say no.'"

He added: "If (OHA) does not involve the wider activist community, if they don't get them on their side, it will fail. Because what will happen is the independence people and the non-federal recognition people will criticize it to death."

Also covered in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Update: Hawaii Reporter published what is purported to be OHA's plan document (also download original).

Posted: Sat - June 24, 2006 at 07:38 AM    
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Published On: Jun 27, 2006 10:54 AM
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