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Tuesday, May 9, 2000

9 discuss issues
at Native Hawaiian
Convention meeting

By Harold Morse


What form should an independent Hawaiian nation take? Nine in attendance at a Native Hawaiian Convention meeting considered territorial matters, nation citizenship and government structure.

Last night's meeting was at the American Friends Service Committee headquarters in Manoa.

Poka Laenui, also known as Hayden Burgess, said one concept with substantial support is: The independent nation would cover the entire Hawaiian archipelago, even though it might not have a presence on each of the scattered Pacific islands.

He advocated nation citizenship to all of Hawaiian descent and to descendants of citizens of Hawaii at the time of the 1893 overthrow of the monarchy, as well as other avenues to citizenship.

To be a citizen of the Hawaiian nation one would have to opt for this citizenship alone, in opposition to dual citizenship, Burgess said.

But some sentiment was voiced last night to allow dual citizenship in a proposed independent nation, at least temporarily.

There was no unanimity on concepts of government structure.

Whether a legislature would be unicameral or bicameral or whether Hawaiian ancestry would be a requirement to serve in some executive branch positions found no agreement.


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