Thursday, June 3, 1999

All groups can
have their say in fall
sovereignty summit

The October gathering hopes
to bring diverse opinions together

By Pat Omandam


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants to include all sovereignty groups in planning its proposed Hawaiian summit this October.

It has hired a technical assistant to get it done. Julie Cachola, a community planner who has worked with Ka Lahui Hawaii, the Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council and its successor, Ha Hawaii, said dates for the October gathering are just one of many issues she's working on.

Cachola told trustees yesterday there's been a lot of action in the sovereignty movement in recent years, with people talking about the same things but through different approaches.

"Its been seen as a lack of unity and it's divisive in the community," she said

"Basically, the time has come, I think, for a consensus-building effort in pulling together the groups."

OHA Government Affairs Chairwoman Mililani Trask said planned sovereignty conventions by Ka Lahui Hawaii and Ha Hawaii are reported to be on hold, so now is the time to get everyone together.

Trask realizes unless OHA involved Hawaiians with diverse opinions in planning for the gathering, it would become an event where opposing views would clash and nothing would be accomplished.

"We're hopping that if we can build consensus, maybe it will be possible for both those groups to come together," she said.

Cachola is working with a sovereignty advisory council that is attached to Trask's government affairs and sovereignty committee. Its members are Vicky Holt Takamine, Lehua Kinilau, Liz Pa Martin and Clifford Chee.

Cachola said she plans to use Web sites, video and community-based TV programming to maximize exposure of the event.

The goal is to put together a package where people can learn about the different models of sovereignty.

Organizers would then call for the question on native Hawaiian self-determination, she said.

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