Fw: Ho'ala Statement - Please Read, Sign & Forward

Important statement on Akaka Bill.  Please circulate.
I signed in solidarity.
Jim Albertini
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB
`Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
email ja@interpac.net
www.malu-aina.org
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2007 10:54 PM
Subject: Ho'ala Statement - Please Read, Sign & Forward

E Hoala!  Ua Lawa!
Awaken!  Enough is Enough!


Aloha No e Na Oiwi Apau:

We are speaking here in this letter out of aloha to all our people, no matter where you may stand politically.  We might not all agree on politics, but we are of the same Kupuna, the same koko, the same Aina Aloha.  This is not intended to attack any individuals, nor is it being said with a desire to start another political group -- we already belong to a group - the Kanaka Oiwi, and we are speaking from the spiritual reality of who we are, regardless of the political, economic, or ethnic issues that appear to separate us.

Anything done to our Aina, anything done in our name impacts all of us because of our spiritual and ancestral kuleana no matter where we live or what we do.  It is through and to this connection that already unites us that we speak on the subject of the Akaka Bill.  Because this is out of aloha and for aloha we must speak with complete honesty and clarity; when it comes to our people and our ability to survive here in our homeland, we must speak without the fear that silences so many of us and with the courage to speak beyond political positions.

Whether you are pro independence, pro federal recognition or pro assimilation into being full fledged American citizens, the dangers of the Akaka Bill, renamed the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, must be addressed.  The appalling lack of input from the Hawaiian people, via Congressional hearings in Hawaii nei that are open to all of our people, not just the selected and the elected, should be seen and understood to be part of the federal and state government's agenda.  It is no accident that they haven't bothered to take the time to ask us what we want.

The United States government dominates Hawaiian sovereignty discourse and movement through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and the non-profit industrial complex that receives money used in the service of the American agenda.  I believe we all know or are related to someone who depends on the U.S. government or an organization like the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) for economic sustenance, but what of our spiritual and physical sustenance, both of which require our freedom to live as we desire in our own country?

Let's recap a few historical developments brought to Hawaii and Oiwi by the United States of America:

1893            United States facilitated the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

1897            Oiwi spoke out against annexation of Hawaii through the Ku e
                   Petitions but....

1898            The United States took control of Hawaii against the will of our
                   kupuna and our Queen and against their own laws and international
                   laws.

1921            Hawaiian Homestead Act divided Oiwi by the American practice of                    racializing native people via blood quantum.

1959            Statehood vote where majority of Oiwi DID NOT agree.

1993            Apology Bill: the U.S. admitted their illegal and immoral overthrow
                   of the kingdom.

2000            Akaka Bill:  the U.S. now wants Hawaiians to give up our spiritual,
                   cultural and legal entitlement and right to our land, resources and
                   political status.  In addition, this bill was authored by Patricia Zell, a
                   non-Hawaiian attorney in Daniel Inouye's office.  Inouye is also a
                   non-Hawaiian.

*A note about American blood quantum rules:  descendants of enslaved Africans were / are racialized differently - the one drop rule that stated anyone who has one drop of African blood, meaning African geneology, is black.  Why?  Because they themselves, their bodies as African slaves were the resource the U.S. wanted to control.  As slaves they had no rights to freedom, and later, as black descendants of slaves they became a low wage labor force.

In the case of the Natives, or indigenous, or aboriginal people, however you choose to term descendants of the first people to inhabit the land and territory now occupied by the U.S. and other non-native powers, it's the opposite.  Blood quantum is used to confine us and divide and conquer by saying Hawaiians with less then what the American government sees as making one an authentic Hawaiian cannot be counted as Hawaiian.  Why?  In our case, our land and resources are what the U.S. wants to control and exploit.  Blood quantum is one of the ways the U.S. is dispossessing us of our land and resources.  Once they forced dispersion of us as a people, through American economy, laws and culture, our power as a people to survive began to dissipate.

It has taken merely a century for the United States to set up what essentially amounts to Oiwi agreeing to the overthrow of the kingdom through the Akaka Bill; it has taken the U.S. less than two decades to gather together the most cherished of our sovereignty activists and set them against their own kind.  And the U.S. has systematically made our dispersion appear voluntary, so much so that even we as Oiwi here at home often think of the Diaspora Hawaiians as those who have given up their homeland and who do not want to be Hawaiian anymore -- further division.

Today, leaders whom many of us have looked up to for over twenty years have decided to give away the future of generations yet unborn because they believe that we, the living Oiwi are not strong enough to fight for our country.  Some of these leaders are now consulting on military projects that they know will damage our Aina and be used to practice war against people in other countries who have never done harm to the Hawaiian people.  Others are consulting and being paid to allow real estate investments like Laau Point on Molokai, despite enormous opposition from the Oiwi there.

All the while, OHA has spent countless thousands on a campaign, KAU INOA, to get Hawaiians to sign up on a roll so that they, as the American state agency, can convince the American congress that they indeed represent the Hawaiian people, when all along they have not asked the Hawaiian people what we want.  Even worse, OHA has spent millions lobbying for passage of the Akaka Bill.

What can one derive from OHA's actions?

Clearly, they do not believe the Oiwi are worth a fraction of the time and money they have spent lobbying the Akaka Bill.  They do not want to hear that the actual Hawaiian people think about what they are trying to do IN OUR NAME.

Whether we agree with the Akaka Bill or not, as a people we deserve to be heard.  And not by fake hearings, but in real, genuine on the congressional record hearings here in Hawaii nei on all islands.  Hearings wherein those of us who choose to speak either as the sovereign people we already are or as Americans, can say openly what is true for us, not what their political system and economic agenda demands.

Since the beginning of the push for the Akaka Bill, there was ONE official hearing in these islands about the first draft,and it was held in a room at the convention center on Oahu.  Even so, the majority of Oiwi who were able to attend spoke against the bill.  But that hearing was a fraud because every draft of the bill since then has gotten worse and worse in an effort to pass it at all cost.  The result is that every hearing after that ONE has been held in Washington D.C. where only pro-Akaka Bill Hawaiians who can use taxpayer money or are otherwise funded have been allowed to speak.

Why does the Akaka Bill exist?

The proponents of the Akaka Bill insist this bill is the only thing that will protect $70 million in annual federal aide.  The Trustees of OHA have said outright that after the bill passes they will proceed to settle our right to the so-called ceded land, which is the crown and government land of the kingdom - almost half of Hawaii nei.  If this land was actually ceded, why do they need to create a settlement?  And seeing as how the wealthiest people on the planet keep building houses here in our homeland, it would stand to reason that the land they want us to sign off on is worth countless billions, which means trillions over time.

And if anyone among us does not know what will happen to the land after it is given over, just look at the past 100 something years.  Nothing will improve for Oiwi, and, in fact, life will become much harder because the massive real estate and military build up that will follow will make being Hawaiian in Hawaii very hard.  And will probably, within a short decade or so, price most of our people out of the rental and mortgage market.  That means our children today, when they become makua, will not be able to afford to live here. 

Already, the military has as much land as the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, but unlike Hawaiians, they are actually using that land.  Think of that, the U.S. military uses more land in our homeland than their government allows us to use.  How many of our kupuna died and will pass on the DHHL list, waiting for something that is theirs already?  Instead of seeing this reality as a weakness in the American system in Hawaii, we should see this as their intention towards us, to encourage us to stay silent, begging for what is ours, ultimately erasing us with our own passivity.

About non-profits in Hawaii:

Many of the non-profits in Hawaii are maika i, pono organizations doing what they can to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, sacred sites, moolelo and the aina.  The most powerful entities in Hawaii, however, are pro federal recognition, which by definition of what will happen through a supposed settlement of land means they are also pro military and real estate expansion.  Real Estate-ism and Militarism are two industries that are forcing Hawaiian people and Hawaiian ways into exile.

It's important to see where we Oiwi are in the matrix of non-profits that have embedded themselves in our political dialogue.  Even organizations that appear to be pro Hawaiian independence have done damage to independence discourse and activism by dividing actual Hawaiians and co-opting activism.

Our leaders, who genuinely inspired us 20 years ago, fail us now as they participate in ventures that Oiwi know are wrong and contrary to the well-being of Hawaii and Hawaiians.  The past efforts of these individuals, strong and true, make it difficult to challenge them and we become confused and confounded by their stands and actions.

And our lack of media access makes having the necessary political disagreements impossible.  If we were Caucasian or Asian in Hawaii, we would see our political arguements unfold in the press as they do in America and other nations.  Instead, the media, on the right and left, at home and on the continent has legitimized this bill over and over again.  Even Amy Goodman, on Democracy Now gave validation to the bill when she hosted Senator Akaka on her show on May 4th.

This material reality of not having the means to communicate and argue things in the open with full disclosure and transparency creates yet another layer of confusion for us, and more labor.  Before we can deal with the U.S. we must untangle and confront our own kind, our own leadership when they are misrepresenting us as a people.  If we cannot even call out our own people when they are wrong, how then will we ever confront the U.S. government?

In Hawaii, the American system of government refuses to respect our ways.  Here on Hawaii Island, we are forced into litigation against the state and county governments for their failure to protect Pa ihi loa (sacred residences and resting places of alii) along Kona kahakai in their insistence on creating the Alii Highway.  We must file injunctions against these same parties for the reconstruction of  a pier upon Kamakahonu, for the damage it brings to the first capital of Hawaii and Pa Lama of Kamehameha the Great.

We are forced into court against NASA when they insist on continued desecration of our most sacred mountain,  Mauna Kea.

A battle for respect of sacredness of lands which comprise Kanaueue, Hale Kii and some 7 other ahupuaa in north and south Kona, inspired a vigil at Puu Ohau, in 2003.  The unprecedented legal struggle that stopped Oceanside 1250 for more than 3 years should have signaled huge alarms for the need to place attention to issues that face Oiwi on all islands.

As the descendants of Umi-a-Liloa awaken to want to know more about him and the importance of Ahu-a-Umi, the same descendants must ready themselves for further battle against the United States military machine as they are bringing a Stryker Brigade to lands that have not been surveyed by Hawaiian kupuna, lands that we know are filled with sacred connection to our spiritual and historical past.  And, as Hawaiians our connection to our past is our way to the future.

As the military and real estate industries erase our physical connection to our past and reduce our material and cultural reality to an economic struggle to survive in our homeland, the Akaka Bill erases every signature that our kupuna placed on the Ku e Petitions.  This bill mocks and degrades their memory and that of our alii.

These are some of the reasons we, the undersigned, are speaking here.  Senators Inouye and Akaka are poised to get this bill voted on soon  and since the Democrats now control the senate they stand a better chance than ever before of succeeding.

We don't want to see generations more of Oiwi go through what we, our parents before us, have endured.  Our people have been fighting for a century and we are not winning on the matter of our sacred sites, our aina, our wai and kai.  Things are already so bad thousands of our people are HOMELESS in their homeland and are moving to Nevada and California.

As our people disperse to America, as fewer and fewer of us are willing and able to stand up against massive haole and Asian insistence that our homeland is a commodity, it a place for vacations and war games, what will happen?  Eventually the overthrow will have succeeded in our complete dispossession.

To Be [Hawaiian] or Not To Be...

What good is having our right to independence if we don't take the steps to insure that there is a Hawaii to be independent in?  What good is being American and pro-federal recognition if the American government agencies and officials that say we want the Akaka Bill can't be bothered to hear us in our homeland?

Brothers and Sisters, Kukukane and Kukuwahine, Uncles, Aunties and Ohana apau, we are opposed to any process that will lead to yet another process that will give over one inch of Hawaii nei to the U.S.  It is one thing to be robbed, it's another thing entirely to go along with it either through participation or through silence and inaction.

The wound inflicted on us by the United States in 1893 will never heal unless we are heard.  And if the matter of hearing us in our homeland is too hard for OHA and the rest of the government they represent, if they are in too much of a hurry after 7 years of lobbying to do what they keep insisting is the right thing for the Hawaiian people, then the next overthrow in Hawaii needs to be the overthrow of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

E Ho ala!  Ua Lawa!

Pehea ko oukou mana o e ka mauliauhonua?  What is your mana o, established families of the land?  How do you stand in your ahupua a?  If you agree with this statement, please add your name, print it, fax it and mail it to the addresses below.  Also pass it on to other ohana.

We want as many copies as possible to go out.  If you want us to know that you're signing and forwarding the Ho ala Statement on, email akaka_hearingsinhawaiinow@yahoo.com .


E Hoopuka ka Leo!
Let the Voices Be Proclaimed!


O Makou No Ku i ke Aloha No Hawaii Kulaiwi,
We who stand in love for Hawaii, our Homeland,


Mikahala Roy      Kona, Hawaii

Pele Hanoa      Ka u, Hawaii

Jim Medeiros, Sr.      Kona, Hawaii

Roy Bobo Palacat      Kona, Hawaii

Lynette Cruz      Oahu, Hawaii

Nani Rogers      Kauai, Hawaii




Offices of Senator Inouye
You must go to inouye.senate.gov to send an email on his system.

Washington D.C.
722 Hart Building
Washington D.C. 20510-1102
202-224-3934   Fax:  202-224-6747

Oahu:
300 Ala Moana Boulevard
Room 7-212
Honolulu, Hawaii  96850-4975
808-541-2542   Fax:  808-541-2549

Maui:
Ryther Barbin, Field Representative
24 N. Church Street, #407
Wailuku, Hawaii  96793
808-242-9702   Fax:  808-242-7233

Hawaii Island, Hilo:
Delbert Nishimoto, Field Representative
101 Aupuni Street, #205
Hilo, Hawaii  96720
808-935-0844   Fax:  808-961-5163

Kona:
Wayne Tanaka, Field Representative
P O Box 41
Kealakekua, Hawaii  96750
808-935-0844   Fax:  808-961-5163

Molokai:
William Akutagawa, Field Representative
P O Box 573
Kaunakakai, Hawaii  96748
808-642-0203   Fax:  808-560-3385

Kauai:
Ronald Sakoda, Field Representative
1840A Leleiona Street
P O Box 311
Lihue, Hawaii  96766
808-245-4611   Fax:  808-246-9515

Offices of Senator Akaka:
You must go to akaka.senate.gov to send an email on his system.

United States Senate
141 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Tel:  202-224-6361
Fax:  202-224-2126

Prince Kuhio Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Rm. 3-106
Box 50144
Honolulu, Hawaii  96850
Tel:  808-522-8970
Fax:  808-5454683

Office of Hawaiian Affairs
711 Kapiolani Blvd., Ste 500
Honolulu, Hawaii  96813

Tel:   808-594-1888
Fax:   808-594-1865






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