Wednesday, December 15, 1999

AlohaQuest to put
sovereignty issues
on TV, Web

By Pat Omandam


Hawaiian activist Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele believes there are many people who want to know more about self-determination, but stay away from sovereignty meetings because they feel they don't know enough or fear others may be disruptive.

"They might not want to go if they see me and Mililani (Trask) and all these guys in one place," he said.

To avoid any such intimidation, Kanahele said talks need to be taken directly into homes, where people are comfortable in front of their TV sets and computers.

That's the idea behind a six-hour AlohaQuest "educast" that will be broadcast live and simultaneously over the Internet and on KFVE-TV from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday. Each hour of the broadcast will explore an important period in Hawaiian history and offer visions for Hawaii's future.

The more that people are informed, the better equipped they will be to make decisions about sovereignty and the better the chances will be of a consensus being reached, Kanahele said.

"Basically, whatever we decide will have a big affect on the whole community," he said.

AlohaQuest is being sponsored by Aloha First, a nonprofit group that encourages education on Hawaiian issues. Organizers hope the broadcast -- which will originate from the grounds of Iolani Palace -- becomes a powerful step toward achieving solutions to self-determination.

The $50,000 production probably represents the first time anyone in Hawaii has attempted a six-hour live Webcast, said Rolf Nordahl, press secretary for the Nation of Hawaii, which is affiliated with Aloha First.

Nordahl said what's unique about the Webcast is that the video stream that will be going to computers is live. AlohaQuest has launched a Web site at There, people can watch and participate in live chats during the broadcast, as well as order online memorabilia. Among the items for sale are "Free Hawaii" T-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons, a videotape or compact disc of the broadcast, and an educational package on Hawaiian history and sovereignty.

Kanahele said the broadcast will follow Hawaii's history as outlined in the 1993 congressional resolution that formally apologized to Hawaiians for America's involvement in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

The first hour will discuss Hawaii prior to 1893, while the second and third hours will focus on key events between 1893 and 1998. The fourth hour looks at the sovereignty movement today.

The next hour is devoted to restoration of a native government, and the final hour is on the possibilities for reconciliation in the future. That includes a planned Hawaii-owned and controlled bank, a tax-free economy and offshore banking, and the role of the alii trusts -- those established by Hawaiian royalty -- under an independent nation.

Some of the speakers are Keanu Sai, Kekuni Blaisdell, Francis Boyle, Keoni Agard, NoeNoe Silva, Jim Bartels, Jon Osorio, Tom Coffman, Emmett Aluli, Nainoa Thompson and the Rev. Ka Leo Patterson.

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