Say no to the transfer of lands of the Hawaiian Nation
The Hawaii state government's proposed allocation of lands belonging to the Hawaiian Nation must be rejected. The state of Hawaii, as part of the U.S. federal system, has no authority to allocate any land of the sovereign Hawaiian Nation to any party other than the rightful owners.
U.S. Public Law 103-150 (Apology Resolution) of 1993 clarified that the kanaka maoli (native Hawaiians) never relinquished their claims over their national lands to the United States. Even though the Hawaiian Nation was invaded by the United States in 1893 and its government was removed, the Hawaiian Nation, under international law, continues to exist. Only the kanaka maoli and fellow loyal non-kanaka citizens, as continuing members of the Hawaiian Nation, have legal authority to decide on the lands of the Hawaiian Nation. Until the U.S. government ends its illegal occupation of Hawaii, it is obliged to keep intact all the lands it occupies.
The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs cannot be viewed as a legal representative of the Hawaiian Nation, since it was created in 1980 by the illegal state government and the federal government. Thus, members of OHA have allegiance to those two governments, not to the Hawaiian Nation. OHA was created by the U.S. occupier as custodian of certain funds derived from Hawaiian national lands that the occupier allocates, allegedly, for the benefit of the occupied. But OHA cannot be considered a trustee of the lands of the Hawaiian Nation unless OHA were specified by the U.S. federal system to serve as custodian of all occupied lands until the lands are restored to the Hawaiian Nation.
The attempt, since 2000, by Congress to create a Hawaiian nation within the federal system (the Akaka Bill) stands in contradiction to the findings of U.S. PL 103-150 that acknowledges that the United States invaded the Hawaiian Nation in violation of treaties and international law. That public law also acknowledges that the United States, in 1893, suppressed the inherent sovereignty of the kanaka maoli people and deprived them of their right to self-determination. Such findings and admissions indicate that this public law's call for reconciliation on the part of the United States must be addressed through international law, not through U.S. domestic law.
OHA and the state's proposed land and money awards to OHA bring to center stage the reality that the United States remains an occupier and that as such, it is trustee of the Hawaiian national lands until the Hawaiian Nation government is reconstituted and recognized. Attempting to pursue reconciliation through U.S. domestic law maintains the deception that U.S. PL 103-150 uncovers.
If the state government sincerely desires to address the issue of the lands, it must do so through international law, particularly the Law of Occupation, Law of Restitution and Law of Self-Determination. Under the International Law of Occupation, the United States must end its occupation, assist in the restoration of the Hawaiian national government and return all occupied national lands to that government.
Under the International Law of Restitution, the United States must restore the original situation. In the case of the Hawaiian Nation, there are two "original" situations. The first is the original independent Hawaiian Nation that existed in 1893 before the U.S. invaded Hawaii and assured the overthrow of the government of Queen Lili'uokalani.
The second situation existed between 1946 and 1959, when the lands of Hawaii were placed under United Nations supervision as a non-self-governing territory, with the United States designated as the administrative authority. As such, the United States was tasked to prepare the people of the U.S.-occupied Territory of Hawaii, who had not been allowed to exercise their right to self-determination. In 1959, these colonized people were the kanaka maoli and other non-kanaka Hawaiian nationals and their descendants who had not sought U.S. citizenship. Thus, the 1959 fraudulent statehood referendum was not U.N.-supervised and the ballot did not include independence as the primary option for attaining self-determination.
Further, U.S. citizens, who already had exercised their right to self-determination by accepting U.S. citizenship, including U.S. military personnel and other non-Hawaiian nationals, were allowed to vote. The United States then wrongly reported to the United Nations, but not to the people of Hawaii, that a legitimate exercise of self-determination had been conducted. Thereupon, the United Nations duly removed Hawaii from its list of non-self-governing territories because no one in uninformed Hawaii or in the uninformed U.N. General Assembly publicly objected to the invalid voting procedure.
Given the fraudulent 1959 statehood vote, Hawaii, under the U.N. Law of Self-Determination, should remain a U.N. non-self-governing territory until a legitimate exercise of self-determination is conducted.
Kekuni Blaisdell is a member of the Kanaka Maoli Tribunal Komike, a pro-independence Hawaiian sovereignty group.