Letters | 6-11-14


Education would help us all beter understand Hawaiian issues

Mahalo for bringing out some of the challenges all of us in these Hawaiian Islands must address. The quote to the effect that “Hawaiians have to look like idiots” by an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee who has been in office for 24 years, demonstrates why so many people perceive Hawaiians are divided.

The real issue is who continues to keep Hawaiians divided? In the 1990s, a process was set up called the Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council, three models of self-determination for the Hawaiian people were identified after consultation with international legal experts — “1. Total independence, 2. Nation within a nation, 3. State within a state.” A process to elect delegates was created, a vote was held, and 80 elected delegates met, and decided that two models of self-determination should be explored: total independence and nation within a nation.

While the implications of “total independence” are obvious, the “nation within a nation” simply means equal status with the U.S. Soon after the delegates set this course, OHA and the state of Hawaii pulled all the funding, effectively killing that process.

The recent controversy erupted after OHA asking the U.S. State Department a simple question: “Does the Hawaiian Kingdom continue to exist under international law?” The majority of OHA trustees not wanting to know the answer demonstrates why it is time for an independent process, without OHA, its trustees or the state of Hawaii being involved.

An equal amount of money they have spent trying to force the Hawaiian people on the “state within the state” model, should be spent on educating everyone in these islands on the “nation within a nation” and “total independence” models of self-determination. This process would allow all of us to understand what is pono for all the people and the islands we all love.

Ron Cawthon

Keauhou