Tuesday, August 3, 1999

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
A canoe floats by spectators lining Hilo Bay before
Sunday's opening ceremonies.

Kamehameha future
as indigenous model

By Pat Omandam


HILO -- A national model for early childhood education. The finest college preparatory program in the nation, if not the world.

And a key repository for Hawaiian culture.

That's what Kamehameha Schools should be like for Hawaiian children in the future, says its President Michael Chun, who spoke at a workshop on the school at the World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Education in Hilo yesterday.

"I want Kamehameha Schools to be the model for early education," Chun said. "Every Hawaiian child will be guaranteed access to a quality preschool education."

Chun also envisions the school in a few decades as a leader in private/public partnerships. The first step is re-establishing many of its community outreach programs that were closed back in 1995 by the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate board of trustees.

He called the changes that year "a point of great controversy" because the community was not involved in that decision. In 1961, the school sought extensive community input on plans to establish its outreach programs, he said.

Chun, at the University of Hawaii-Hilo, also told delegates Kamehameha Schools over the next year will continue strategic planning about expanding its satellite elementary-level campuses in Hilo and on Maui to eighth grade.

Also, there will be discussions about whether both campuses should eventually be turned into high schools, he said.

Meanwhile, the future of all Hawaiians was the subject of a panel of sovereignty activists yesterday. The group gave perspectives on self-determination as viewed by the groups DeJure Hawaii, Ka Lahui Hawaii, the International Peoples Tribunal and the Lawful Hawaiian Government.

Clifford Chee argued the lawful Hawaiian government still exists under international law while the defacto state of Hawaii rules over the islands. Chee said the November 1993 U.S. resolution that apologized for the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom now puts the burden on Hawaiians to reinstate its lawful government and update its constitution by 105 years.

Once that is accomplished, he envisions an eight-year period where Hawaii "changes managers" from a U.S. state to a sovereign government.

Ka Lahui Hawaii is working toward sovereignty on various levels, said Shane Pale. He said the 20,000-member group has asserted its right to self-determination and is working in four areas to accomplish its goals. Among them is fighting for indigenous rights at the international level by sending a delegation to Geneva every year.

The goal, Pale said, is to get Hawaii reinscripted on the United Nations List of Non-Self Governing Territories, which would allow Hawaiians an international right to choose the type of sovereignty they want in Hawaii, he said. Hawaii was taken off the list in 1959 after statehood, although Hawaiians never had a chance to vote whether they could be a sovereign nation, he said.

Also working at the U.N. level is the International Peoples Tribunal. Member Nalani Minton said the tribunal seeks self-determination through reinscription on the U.N. list and through a process set up by Hawaiians based on human rights and peace.

Educator Henry Noa said a group of Hawaiians under international law have reinstated a temporary native government on March 13. It plans to conduct elections this Nov. 6 for its House of Representative and House of Nobles, followed by a constitutional convention.

This workshop on Hawaiian sovereignty comes two days after Hawaiian delegates of the Native Hawaiian Convention at the state Capitol began discussion on self-determination.

Bishop Estate Archive

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin