Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 3178

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, April 6, 2014


Anna Cariaga spoke her mind last night when OHA came to Ka`u to kick off gathering more names for an Official Roll for
Native Hawaiians. Photo by Julia Neal
URGING HAWAIIANS TO SIGN UP for the Official Roll, representatives of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs began in Ka`u where the Polynesians first landed to live in Hawai`i. Last night in Pahala, OHA kicked off its first of 18 meetings around the state to help move forward the process of nation building. The deadline to sign up for anyone of any percentage Hawaiian blood be be included on the Official Roll is May 1. Details are on OHA's website www.oha.org/nationbuilding.
     "Rise. Be Heard. Ho'olu Lahui," - raise a beloved nation, said the image beamed on the wall of Pahala Communitty Center. "Native Hawaiians are encouraged to register with the Official Roll during this special open enrollment period if they have not already done so," said a poster provided to attendees.
     What is the process? A brochure put forth, "The nation building process will begin and end with our people. Native Hawaiians on the Official Roll may choose to elect delegates to an 'aha or convention. Delegates to the 'aha would draft a governing entity. Those on the Official Roll would then vote in a referendum to approve or disapprove of the draft governing document. If approved, the governing document would determine the next steps."
Pua`ena Ahn lectures about Hawaiian sovereignty issues as Jeanette Howard,
Hannah Uribes and Dr. Kehaunani Abad listen. Photo by Julia Neal
     Kawika Riley, whose OHA title is Ka Pou Kihi Ko, Chief Advocate, said that OHA, which is governed by a board chosen through State of Hawai`i general elections, plans to serve as a facilitator for the process for Native Hawaiians to form a governing entity. A third party would oversee elections.
    Dr. Kehaunani Abad, whose OHA title is Ka Poukihi, Director of Ka Paia Lono, Community Engagement, said the move toward self governance "is about the seizure of 1.8 million acres from our queen." She was referring to the lands absorbed by the U.S. government when Hawa'i became a territory in 1898. Almost two million of the 4.1 million acres that make up the Hawaiian Islands were under the stewardship of Queen Lili'uokalani when she was overthrown. The queen's image is depicted on the Official Roll poster with her words, "Never cease to act because you fear you may fail."
    Abad talked about the Hawaiian people having been a sophisticated nation. The literacy rate of Hawaiians in the 1800s was very high. There was hydroelectric on O'ahu. The palace, the seat of government, was lit up with electricity five years before the White House. There was health care and a hospital, she said.
    Lili'uokalani stated that President Grover Cleveland recognized the Hawaiian people's right to sovereignty. "The President acknowledges the right of the Hawaiian people to choose their own form of government. Were that one sentence carried out...that's all that either the people or I could ask," wrote the queen.
    With more independence, Abad said, a new Hawaiian government could have more control over land use and could help improve health care, education, and management of resources. "What we are trying to do today is to take up the Queen's cause." 
Kuhio Lewis
Kawika Riley
Kehaunani Abad, Phd. is the Community
Engagement Director for OHA
  Abad pointed to efforts to better manage resources. They have won in court with little results, she said, giving the example of 90 percent of the streams in Hawai'i being diverted for sugar in the past and now new development. She reported that OHA and Earth Justice "won a huge case" in 2012 on Maui to return streams to their natural flow. However, the win resulted in no additional water going back into the streams, which is needed for growing taro and other farming and to provide for native hunting and gathering and to protect native species "so that the o'opu (freshwater fish) and hihiwai (freshwater shrimp) can thrive," she said. "So if we don't take a more active roll, how can we malama the 'aina?" she asked.
     A number of Hawaiians attending the meeting last night weighed in. Anna Cariaga, of Pahala, who retired from managing the Office of Economic Opportunity Council here, pointed out that millions of dollars have already been spent on trying to encourage Hawaiians to sign up for the roll. She said she worries that Hawaiian people will be used for the cause and then top-down government will still rule them. 
    "We are not big enough, powerful enough. The U.S. is still going to be the bigger government and we are going to be shoved under it." On the other hand, Cariaga said, she worries that advocating for a new Hawaiian government could result in losing benefits that come with being part of the United States and State of Hawai'i. Cariaga said, however, that she knows of people who could be good delegates for the Hawaiian government convention and thanked the OHA representatives for helping to bring the plan to the Ka'u community. 
Rep. Faye Hanahano said all cultures,
ethnicities should be welcomed.
Photo by Julia Neal
    OHA's Community Outreach Manager Kuhio Lewis noted that Hawaiians have many points of view. "Most Hawaiians would prefer not to be bothered with this conversation. They are concerned about how to pay for their kids' school." He warned Hawaiians, however, "As time goes on we get further apart," and urged coming together for the Official Roll.
    Cariaga said, "We Hawaiians have hard time working together. The government made us like this, but we would be better with one namunamu (rumbling, concerned voice)."
    Pauahi Pulham, another Native Hawaiian and member of the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka`u, who lives on a ranch near Hwy 11 and South Point Road, asked whether people who grew up here but have no Hawaiian blood would be left out.
   Alan Stafford, not Hawaiian by blood, but a member of the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka`u, asked about Hawaiian children adopted into non-Hawaiian homes. 
   The Chief Advocate explained that any Hawaiians who can show a Hawaiian ancestor can sign up for the Official Roll, whether they live in the U.S. or France or anywhere else. The voting would not be handled by state elections officials so the voters would include everyone Hawaiian, not just U.S. citizens, he said. "It's not the State of Hawai'i,  the governor, the federal government telling us how to vote." He said that signing up for the Roll does not have anything to do with individual citizenships with the U.S. or Hawaiian governing entities.
    Kumu Hula Hannah Uribes, another Hawaiian Civic Club member from Ocean View, said that she has seen that her children and grandchildren have signed up for the Roll. OHA representatives explained that anyone who signed up earlier can leave their names on or take them off.
    Pua'ena Ahn, of Volcano, who works with Lawful Hawaiian Government and Aloha Uprising, gave a talk about Hawaiian sovereignty after the OHA portion of the meeting was over. He questioned the authority of OHA, as a state funded entity, to carry out the mission of the Hawaiian Kingdom.  A Kingdom of Hawai`i advocate, Thomas Anthony, of Mountain View, also questioned OHA's funding and motives in organizing the Roll.
    State Rep. Faye Hanohano attended the meeting and spoke at the end, encouraging participation of people from all cultures and races in the governance of Hawai'i. Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka'u President Blossom DeSilva agreed and pointed to the multi-racial and multi-cultural makeup of the organization.
     The meeting was hosted by the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka'u, providing the attendees with food, including ohi'a 'ai - mountain apples brought by kupuna Jeanette Howard from her yard. Mountain Apples were first brought to Hawai`i by early Polynesian settlers.
     To contact the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka`u, call DeSilva at 929-9731.
     For more on the OHA Official Roll Call, see www.oha.org/nationbuilding
For an online, page-turning version, 
see The Directory at
  To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

THE CANNABIS CONUNDRUM is taken up by the Hawai`i Journal of Medicine & Public Health in its April edition. In his editorial, Dr. Michael J. Meagher writes, “There is little that engenders more argument and polemic than a discussion of the legalization of Marijuana usage. As of this writing 21 states allow use of Cannabinoids for medical use and two states allow recreational use. In 2000, the State of Hawai‘i passed Bill 862, allowing the medical use of Marijuana for patients possessing a signed statement from their physician stating that he/she suffers from a debilitating condition and the “potential benefits of the use of Marijuana would likely exceed the health risks.” The law underwent minor amendment in 2013.”
    The physician presents two views of two other Hawai`i  based doctors, with “opposing perspectives on the use of this drug.” Meagher concludes that “the data is insufficiently clear to render a single, evidence based position and considerably more research is needed.”
   Download the Hawai`i Journal of Medicine and Public Health at www.hjmph.org 
  To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S NIAULANI CAMPUS in Volcano Village presents Multi-Media Monday tomorrow and every Monday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Lisa Louise Adams’ students experiment using drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking and more to find their inner voices and personal styles. $50 per month/$45 VAC members, plus a $30 per month materials fee. Call 967-8222.



Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 3178

Latest Images

Trending Articles

click here for Latest and Popular articles on Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Latest Images