Friday, January 22, 2016

Kanaka Māoli: I Support Native Hawaiian Inheritance

I'm involved in a process for Hawaiian rights, where I mean Native Hawaiian -- descendants of the indigenous Hawaiian people. I feel part of an ancient & sacred inheritance. Welcome support for our effort may be offered & received by temporary visitors, American soldiers billeted in Hawaii, recent immigrants, and the families of naturalized Hawaiian Kingdom citizens, etc. But I'm not working for them.

Sorry to be a naysayer, and appear disrespectful.

I'm tempted to say "the more the merrier" because a larger group might have more success. But I believe the core constituency should define ourselves as the descendants and heirs of Hawaii's indigenous or aboriginal people, Kanaka Māoli.

We can hope many social groups will call for the recovery of Native Hawaiian lands. I hope people in other nations will also care about and work for our welfare. We've been very accommodating, with reason to hope others have noticed. Aloha is a well-known reflection of Hawaiian values.

Native Hawaiians worked for centuries on the islands. Naturalized newcomers to the Hawaiian Kingdom joined at a time of great disturbance and cultural genocide. They brought help and new ideas, and many have been great neighbors. But some worked to destroy the Hawaiian Kingdom:

The US 1910 Census (at least in Hawaii) intrusively required answers to "Color or race" and "Place of Birth" as well as places of birth for mother and father, and two questions on Citizenship (Year of immigration to Hawaii or other part of United States) (Whether naturalized or alien). A dozen years before, and since 1893, heavily armed paramilitary groups had commandeered all major streets around Honolulu to discourage uppity or defiant natives resisting the overthrow. Should we divisively examine the community at the time of overthrow and make decisions about treason or saintliness, clouded by time and generation gaps? No naturalized citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom remain alive. We've no possibilities to cross-examine. What are appropriate penalties? Could we be fair?

Many descendants of Hawaiian Kingdom naturalized citizens now have a "place at the table" through intermarriage with da kine. Kindly requesting others to wait seems not terribly cruel when the glaring status quo alternative is we recover nothing of our inheritance. Of course, we can share freely, and show aloha to anyone (or everyone). But that approach has not proven wholly successful...

Our Native Hawaiian constituency has claims as indigenous people that receive separate scrutiny in the global community and at the United Nations. We share solidarity with native peoples elsewhere. We've been robbed of ancestral lands & our inheritance by extravagant military occupation... a resonant story worldwide.