Monday, January 18, 2021
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, June 21, 2014
OHA Trustee Stender and Former AG Lilly question current efforts to create a sovereign Hawaiian nation
By Grassroot Institute @ 3:41 PM :: 5172 Views :: Akaka Bill, DHHL, OHA

Experts Cast Doubt on the Viability of Hawaiian Nation-Building

At Grassroot Institute forum OHA Trustee Stender and Former AG Lilly question current efforts to create a sovereign Hawaiian nation

News Release from Grassroot Institute

HONOLULU, Hawaii—June 20, 2014—The feasibility of both the state and federal push to create a sovereign Native Hawaiian nation was brought into sharp question today as two authorities with very different perspectives on the issue expressed their doubts as to whether either plan would come to fruition.

At a panel on Native Hawaiian issues sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and moderated by the think tank's president Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., OHA Trustee Oswald Stender and former State Attorney General Michael Lilly fielded questions about the need to help Native Hawaiians, the justifications for Hawaiian sovereignty, and the probable results of the nation-building efforts.

Trustee Stender stressed the importance of providing Native Hawaiians with the tools necessary to improve their quality of life--especially in education and economic advancement. Stressing his belief that it was important to allow the people to determine whether they wished to form a Hawaiian nation, he expressed his private doubts as to whether it was practical or even likely to happen.  Trustee Stender clarified that his comments on the panel were not on behalf of the OHA Trustee board, but as a private individual.

Former AG Lilly agreed with Mr. Stender that there is a real value to organizations like OHA in their potential to help Native Hawaiians, but found the millions spent pursuing the Akaka Bill and nation-building process to be, "wasteful." In addition, Mr. Lilly questioned the historical grounds for a race-based Hawaiian nation, pointing out that his own background (his ancestors were citizens of the Kingdom of Hawaii and loyalists to the Queen) highlights the inherent contradiction in creating a tribe from what was formerly a multi-racial government.

In reference to the effort by the Department of the Interior to recognize a Native Hawaiian government via administrative rule, Mr. Lilly noted that, "There never was a Hawaiian tribe with whom the United States entered into a treaty relationship. If there was such a tribe, then all the multi-ethnic peoples who were citizens of the Hawaiian Monarchy would be members of that tribe.  For the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a 'tribe' is a political and not a racial entity. The current effort to recognize a separate ethnic tribe by the Dept. of the Interior is unconstitutional because, under the Constitution, it is the Congress that has the plenary power to recognize tribes and ratify treaties. That power does not reside in the Executive branch of the federal government or with the various states. So the current effort aimed at creating a tribe of Hawaiians has no legal basis." He then went on to express doubt that there exists sufficient support even among Native Hawaiians for the DOI's effort to succeed.

Trustee Stender agreed with Mr. Lilly that pursuit of a "another government" is a waste of valuable financial resources that could be better used to meet the needs of Hawaiians.  He also expressed frustration that the federal discussion of Hawaiians as a tribe unnecessarily confuses the basic issue of protecting entitlements for Native Hawaiians, an issue unrelated to creating a tribe or government.

"Time and again, we see evidence that the nation-building process reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what both Native Hawaiians and the citizens of this state really want," stated Keli'i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. "We look to recognize the contributions of Native Hawaiians and demonstrate our respect for that culture. And we wish to help Native Hawaiians succeed, as we do with all citizens of Hawaii. However, the support simply isn't there for the creation of divisive, race-based government. It is unconstitutional and counter to the spirit and history of our islands.  The money, time and energy spent pursuing political sovereignty could be better spent improving education and economic opportunities for Native Hawaiians. It is time that the federal government and the state stop trying to strong-arm us into supporting an unconstitutional Hawaiian nation and accept that there are better ways to advance the interests of the people of Hawaii."

###

About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region.  Read more about us at http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/

Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GrassrootInstitute

Donate to help us grow: http://tinyurl.com/GrassrootDonate

Tweet us at http://twitter.com/grassroothawaii

About Grassroot President:

Dr. Akina is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader. In 2012, he was a candidate for the non-partisan position of Trustee in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  Akina has decades-long experience leading non-profit organizations including Youth for Christ Hawai`i and the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders. An expert in East-West Philosophy, he has taught at universities in China and the United States, and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawai`i Pacific University and the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. Read more: http://bit.ly/AkinaBioInfo

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT