OHA Trustee Rowena Akana says Hawaiian Nation Not for Asians or Haole
-She disputes Keli'i Akina's call for racial inclusiveness
News Release from Akina for OHA Campaign November 1, 2014
Honolulu, HI -- In a debate forum of candidates for Trustee in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Trustee Rowena Akana rejected Keli'i Akina's call for the practice of the Hawaiian value of racial inclusiveness. Both Rowena Akana and Keli'i Akina are 2014 General Election candidates for OHA Trustee-at-Large. The two participated along with three other at-large candidates in a debate forum on October 31st sponsored by OHA and the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at the Marriott Waikoloa on the Big Island.
During the debate, Keli'i Akina cited the racially inclusive use of the word "koko" (blood) in the 1840 Hawaiian Constitution and said "Sovereignty efforts that attempt to divide people by race are very much at odds with the Hawaiian Kingdom."
Rowena Akana responded to him by saying: "I do not think that what he [Keli'i Akina] is talking about is what we're talking about. It is clear when we talk about 'koko' we mean the blood, the people, the Hawaiian - not the Asians, not the po'e [people] Haole. No offense please, but we're talking about the Native, and that's what the nation is going to be about."
The debate is currently posted on the OHA website at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/54753011, and the comments cited here start at 2 hrs. 11 min. mark.
Dr. Akina's complete statement was: "I believe we need to return to Hawaiian values. Long before the United States spoke of human rights or had the Emancipation Proclamation, King Kamehameha III articulated. in the 1840 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, that God has made from one 'koko' (blood) all the nations of the earth to live in harmony. Sovereignty efforts that attempt to divide people by race are very much at odds with the Hawaiian Kingdom in which Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Caucasian, and others were extended citizenship. And when that premise is not at the heart, one 'koko' from which all people come, we begin to divide."
Dr. Keli’i Akina is an educator, public policy spokesperson and community leader. He is running for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs position of Trustee-at-Large on a platform of “Uniting Hawaii.” All registered voters are eligible to vote in the election of OHA Trustees. Akina’s positions on issues can be found at www.TeamAkina.com.
Dr. Akina is available for interviews.