Hawaiian Sovereignty & Culture

“...indigenous peoples by definition lack autonomy and independence. In the modern, post-war world, we are surrounded by other, more powerful nations that desperately want our lands and resources and for whom we pose an irritating problem. This is just as true for the Indians of the Americas as it is for the tribals of India and the aborigines of the Pacific. This economic reality is also a political reality for most if not all indigenous peoples. The relationship between ourselves and those who want control of us and our resources is not a formerly colonial relationship but an ongoing colonial relationship. That is to say, we are not now autonomous yet dependent. Rather, we are dependent and subjugated. Part of our subjugation is the unequal relationship to our numerous colonizers.”

– Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter (Common Courage Press, 1993)

Lani's mom, LA Times, 1939

Lani's mom, LA Times, 1939
Ka Wai Ola o OHA
November 2008
Independence Day, La Ku'oko'a: Nov. 28

In 1842, Kamehameha III had a "very strong desire that his Kingdom shall be formally acknowledged by the civilized nations of the world as a sovereign and independent State." To accomplish this, he appointed Timoteo Ha'alilio, William Richards and Sir George Simpson, a British subject, as joint ministers plenipotentiary on April 8, 1842. Shortly thereafter, Simpson left for England, via Alaska and Siberia, while Ha'alilio and Richards departed for the United States, via Mexico, on July 8, 1842.

After Ha'alilio and Richards secured President John Tyler's assurance of recognizing Hawaiian independence on December 19, 1842, the delegation proceeded to meet Simpson in Europe. On March 17, 1843, Lord Aberdeen, on behalf of Queen Victoria, assured the Hawaiian delegation that "Her Majesty's Government was willing and had determined to recognize the independence of the Sandwich Islands under their present sovereign." Confirming these assurances, Great Britain and France formally recognized Hawaiian sovereignty on Nov. 28, 1843, by joint proclamation at the Court of London, and the United States followed on July 6, 1844, by letter of Secretary of State J.C. Calhoun. Nov. 28 was a national holiday celebrating Hawaiian Independence, La Ku'oko'a.

On May 16, 1854, Kamehameha III proclaimed the Hawaiian Kingdom to be a neutral State, and it was expressly stated in treaties with Sweden-Norway in 1852 and Spain in 1863. As an internationally recognized sovereign and neutral state, the Hawaiian Kingdom joined the Universal Postal Union on Jan. 1, 1882, (today and agency of the United Nations) maintained more than 90 legations (embassies) and consulates throughout the world, and entered into extensive diplomatic and treaty relations with Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Bremen, Chili, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hamburg, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, Spain, Sweden-Norway, Switzerland, the United States and Uruguay.

The year 1893 was to have been a festive year celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hawaiian independence. Instead, it was a year that the United States began to systematically violate Hawaiian sovereignty that resulted in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government and the prolonged occupation of the country since the Spanish-American War. Nevertheless, Nov. 28 was and still remains a national holiday.

By Keanu Sai / Special to Ka Wai Ola

Keanu Sai is completing his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, specializing in Public Law and International Relations. His dissertation is titled The American Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom: Beginning the Transition from Occupied to Restored State. Keanue Sai www.2.hawaii.edu/~anu/

Lani's mother, Aileen Helani, Aunty Madge and sisters (Lani is tallest child)

Note from Lani:
History is reinterpreted to suit those who conquer, convert and/or civilize [sic] indigenous peoples. The history of the Hawaiian Islands is no different. The annexation of Hawai'i by the USA is a common story in history books. However, details of the successful anti-annexation movement and the mobilization of Hawaiian people rejecting annexation and demanding justice for their Queen who had been put under house arrest is now coming to light. Please read the following documentation and how it relates to what is happening today. Mahalo.

A more detailed Hawaiian history up to the overthrow.

How the overthrow and occupation was executed by the US military and government.

Many Thousands of Native Hawaiians Sign a Protest to the United States Government Against Annexation
By Miriam Michelson
Published: Thursday Morning, September 30, 1897
The San Francisco Call newspaper

www.hawaii-nation.org/sfcall.html [for full article]

This article covers a grassroots meeting at Hilo Salvation Army Hall where 300 Native Hawaiian people came together to sign petitions against US annexation of the sovereign Hawaiian nation. Miriam Michelson took down the speeches and the audiences responses word for word. The anti-annexation petitions were successful. Annexationists from the USA were unable to push through their agenda.

The USA ended up taking over the Hawaiian Islands by a sleight of hand when the Spanish American War broke out. For more information on Hawaiian history, sovereignty, nationhood and this "slight of hand", go to Keanue Sai www.2.hawaii.edu/~anu/ for more details.

ON THIS DAY, January 17, 1893

A Revolution in Hawaii
Queen Liliuokalani Deposed From The Throne
Grasping For More Power She Fell

This front page story shows the stilted media spin of the US Government's overthrow and the well funded propaganda machine framing the relevance of US Empire. The story's tagline "grasping for more power she fell" says it all, but please do read the story.

Ceded Lands
Hawaiian history, sovereignty, nationhood, interviews, debates, videos and current events including a case that was presented February 26, 2009 to the Supreme Court over the selling of ceded Hawaiian lands.
Click here to read the article

Some of My Favorite Music/Sources: Some of My Favorite Books:
  • From a Native Daughter: Colonialism & Sovereignty in Hawai‘i (Common Courage Press) by Haunani-Kay Trask
  • Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen (Charles E. Tuttle Company) by Lili‘uokalani
  • Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants (Bishop Museum Press) by Isabella Aiona Abbott
  • Nation Within: The History of the American Occupation of Hawai'i - 2009 revised edition (KOA Books) by Tom Coffman

    Lani's mother at home in Japan (1927).
    She was born in Yokahama and lived in Kobe.
Hawaiian Facts from the Early 1990s:
(Please send me recent statistics if you have them.)
  • The tourism industry is controlled by non-Hawaiians. Hawaiians are hired primarily as maids and groundskeepers. Managers are usually brought in from the continental United States.
  • The gross consumption of resources by the tourist industry is the reason for the destruction of the rain forest as a Wyoming-based company drills for geothermal power.
  • There are almost monthly dumps of untreated or partially treated waste into the ocean as sewage systems are overburdened by the tourist industry.
  • Native Hawaiians have the highest rate of unemployment in Hawai'i.
  • Native Hawaiians have the highest rate of infant mortality in Hawai'i.
  • Native Hawaiians comprise the largest percentage of the population living below the poverty line.
  • Native Hawaiians have the highest rate of homelessness in Hawai'i.
  • Nearly one-fifth of Hawai'i's resident population is classified as near - homeless - that is, those for whom any mishap will result in immediate on-the-street homelessness. (1990 testimony, State Legislature)
  • At statehood in 1950, Hawai'i residents outnumbered tourists by more than 2 to 1. By 1990, tourists outnumbered residents by 6 to 1, and outnumbered Native Hawaiians 30 to 1.

    Lani's mother at home in Japan (1927). .............Aunty Madge my maternal grandfather's sister

Hawaiian Resources:

Mom plays bit part in 1930s movie Hurricane

GOOGLE launches Hawaiian Language Translation
Go to: http://www.google.com/intl/haw/
Or select Hawaiian language in the Language Tools link or as an interface language in the Preferences link on www.google.com

The translation was done by the same group of researchers who brought Hawaiian language back from the brink of extinction 25 years ago. A quote from a member of the team:

"From a symbolic standpoint, this development is a source of deep pride for us. It tells us and our children that our language stands as an equal with English, other major European and Asian languages, and the many other indigenous languages that Google supports internally and through GiYL.

[mahalo nui to Tom Limoncelli for the head's up]

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