Keli'i Akina Is Only OHA Candidate to Reject Independent Hawaiian Nation-Affirms US Citizenship as Best Solution for Hawaiians
News Release from Akina Campaign July 21, 2014
Of the 22 candidates running in the 2014 election to become trustees in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, only Dr. Keli'i Akina rejects the idea of an independent Hawaiian nation and affirms that United States citizenship is the best solution for the needs of Native Hawaiians and all people of Hawaii. This information is now on record as part of several candidate surveys, including one published in the online edition of Ka Wai Ola, the official newspaper of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (http://www.oha.org/primaryelection2014/).*
According to the OHA survey, candidates' views vary but most include support for federal recognition of Hawaiians as a Native American Indian tribe, State of Hawaii recognition of a Hawaiian government via the Native Hawaiian Roll, or international recognition of "un-relinquished" Hawaiian sovereignty via the United Nations. With the exception of Keli'i Akina, none of the OHA Trustee candidates definitively rejects plans to create a separate Hawaiian political entity.
According to Dr. Akina, "Hawaii residents, both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians, are tired of OHA's effort to divide people on the basis of race. This effort is both un-American, as it violates the United States Constitution, and it is un-Hawaiian in that it violates the Aloha Spirit. It's time to stop dividing and start uniting Hawaii's people. Furthermore, OHA needs to stop wasting the millions of dollars it is spending on its push for sovereignty and redirect its funds to meeting the real needs of Hawaiians for housing, employment, education, and health care."
Dr. Akina points out that the vast majority of Hawaii's people have rejected programs to organize an independent Hawaiian governing entity. The public has expressed overwhelming opposition to the Department of Interior's initiatives to recognize Hawaiians as a Native American Indian tribe, and only a fraction of the Hawaiian population has enrolled in OHA's nation-building effort, Kana'iolowalu (the Native Hawaiian Roll).
Akina says, "Most Hawaiians, like me, are proud to be Hawaiian and also proud to be United States citizens. We're not a perfect country, but we have the finest record guaranteeing civil liberties and equal opportunities for all people. OHA needs to stop its plans to create a race-based Hawaiian nation because Hawaiians clearly do not want one and it's wasting funds that could be meeting real human needs. The vast majority of Hawaiians are productive, contributing, and loyal United States citizens who see great opportunities as Americans."
* Note: The views of the 2 candidates for Maui Island Trustee are not included in the OHA survey as their names will not appear on the Primary Election ballot, and one candidate did not participate in the survey.
ABOUT KELI'I AKINA: Keli’i Akina, Ph.D. 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.