Friday, June 27, 2014

Musings: Better Than That

New moon day brings vast expanse of blue mountains, all their rough edges smoothed away, rolling beneath a canvas streaked with clouds — puffy, streaky, wispy — in shades of pearl and dove gray, raising the ever-present desert question: is it going to rain?

Traveling north along U.S. 285, through some of New Mexico's Native American reservations, I got to thinking about how the feds are in Hawaii now, asking kanaka maoli about self-determination. Independence, which many of those testifying really want to talk about, isn't on the table.

Instead, the Department of Interior has much more specific consultation goals:

Should the Secretary propose an administrative rule that would facilitate the reestablishment of a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community?


Should the Secretary assist the Native Hawaiian community in reorganizing its government, with which the United States could reestablish a government-to-government relationship?

If so, what process should be established for drafting and ratifying a reorganized Native Hawaiian government’s constitution or other governing document?


Should the Secretary instead rely on the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government through a process established by the Native Hawaiian community and facilitated by the State of Hawaii, to the extent such a process is consistent with Federal law?

If so, what conditions should the Secretary establish as prerequisites to Federal acknowledgment of a government-to-government relationship with the reorganized Native Hawaiian government?

In other words, do kanaka want a version of the Akaka bill dished up entirely by the feds, or the state/OHA dominated process launched by the Hawaiian Roll Commission?

It's odd the DOI should be asking about a process for drafting a native Hawaiian government constitution when a perfectly good one already exists — the one that was in place when the independent Hawaiian nation was illegally overthrown and colonized by the United States.

And it's telling that the feds are interested in dealing only with a reorganized Hawaiian government, as opposed to one that is reinstated, which apparently would require an admission of wrong-doing well beyond the Apology Act.

But cutting through the rhetoric, the long and short of it all is this: how shall the colonizers dictate the terms by which they recognize the colonized?

I pondered the “value” of federal recognition as I drove past gaudy billboards hawking 24-hour casinos, smoke shops selling tax-free cigarettes, liquor stores peddling cheap booze. Yes, those are the goodies the feds have handed down to Native Americans as paltry payment for land theft, cultural annihilation.

Federally recognized tribes have the right to cater to the lowest possible human vibration, to invite onto their reservations the destructive substances and elements that can help complete the process of genocide.

Oh, and as a further salute, their tribal names and traditional designs are painted onto the overpasses of highways that cut through their reservations.

Where is the value in federal recognition for kanaka maoli, especially when it means permanently extinguishing the hope and promise of an independent nation? Surely they can do better than that.

The DOI meetings on Kauai will be held form 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, June 30, at Waimea Neighborhood Center and Tuesday, July 1, at Kapaa Elementary School.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mahalo Joan for your thoughts while you travel in the USA. Josephine

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan for covering this very important subject for Hawaiians. Whats really messed up is when NON- HAWAIIANS go around telling Hawaiians what to do and how to think and claiming to be Hawaiian. For example Dustin Barca, who is running for Mayor, posting on his instagram feed "Dont fall for the tricks!! KANAKA ARE NOT A TRIBE! WE are a stolen Nation and a Nation WE will Become!! Will settle for NOTHING Less!!" First of all what does he mean "WE". Everyone should know that He is not Kanaka. He misleads people to believe he is but he isnt. He uses other peoples family to give him Hawaiian credit but he has no Hawaiian blood. Thats the truth. Then he goes on to say "OHA and other Coconuts (dark on the outside, White on the inside) Are doing their best to push the final OVERTHROW!!..." Im surprised more people dont find this insulting. Calling Hawaiians who dont agree with his world view "coconuts" especially when he himself is NOT HAWAIIAN. THis is not his issue. And unless you are Hawaiian its not your issue either. I hope the meetings coming up will be blood Hawaiians (because thats the only kind of Hawaiian there is and there is no such thing as a "new hawaiian" or "hawaiian at heart") giving their testimony and not a bunch of opinionated, know it all, NONs taking up the time. Have some respect people! Hawaiians, as do all people, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and mind sets. Some are Doctors, some politicians, some living on welfare, some farmers but none are Dustin Barca.

Anonymous said...

Great clear concepts to understand the issue, your writing is superb. Mahalo for your talent in distilling the issues that matter time and time again.

Anonymous said...

Federal recognition is akin to Apartheid and not the way to go. Then there is the whole consent of the governed thing. Ten percent of the population (or any world court) does not get to decide for the rest of us as to wether or not Hawaii should remain the 50th State. The kanaka are not going to get their kingdom back or any other kind of nation. The tide of time (and migration) is running against them.

Anonymous said...

Nā nā i koko.

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's pretty shame for Dustin to pretend he's Hawaiian. Doesn't say much for his ethics.

Anonymous said...

As a Native Hawaiian I go back and forth with my feelings regarding this issue. Ultimately, I know that we will NEVER be given our Kingdom back… Its fact, Hawaii is too big of a strategic place in this troubled world to ever give up. And again being a realists, if we were to ever get back our Kingdom we’d be an easy target for another world power to invade us. It is very sad that our very own people cannot come to a mutual respect for one another regarding our differences on this issues, it has gotten us nowhere in the last 20 years. With that being said I say it is time to move forward to begin the process and see what the future holds for our people.

Anonymous said...

So well said, Joan.

" It's odd the DOI should be asking about a process for drafting a native Hawaiian government constitution when a perfectly good one already exists — the one that was in place when the independent Hawaiian nation was illegally overthrown and colonized by the United States."

Tawdry is the word that comes to mind of what americans would cheapen the Hawaiian culture to.

Anonymous said...

I thought he had some Hawaiian too. Misleading, Iʻd say. I donʻt like the idea that Babbles for Biotics will be the new administration and it appears they will be at his side. Someone else has to write all the words down on paper for him, right but come on.

I mean, Iʻm sick of Carvalho and all of them already but is it possible to foresee a viable candidate anywhere?

Anonymous said...

June 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM,
I agree with several things you mentioned and understand what you say.

But, to tell non Hawaiians that this is a hearing [DOI] for only kanaka to voice their concern is wrong; it implies that you are buying into the racist mindset that is the precursor to Federal Recognition.

True advocacy for independence is for a nation of which the citizens are defined by their nationality not race.

Anonymous said...

It's about Hawaiian recognition absolutely not recognition of everyone who lives in Hawaii. Support what you want, but leave the Hawaiian independence issue to those with the koko.

Anonymous said...

If the nation was never extinguished then all of the descendents of its citizenry should be included; not only some of them who are Polynesian. Blood was not the sole qualification for citizenship in the Kingdom then and it should not be now. Descendency should be the deciding factor.

Anonymous said...

June 28, 2014 at 5:03 AM, you may think youʻre noble by stating that, but you do everyone a big disservice.

You advocate what the STATE and FEDS are trying to do; which is transform the Hawaiiansʻ identity.

Please educate yourself before you go off on rants because youʻre not helping kanaka with your suggestion.

You donʻt seem to get ʻitʻ so the ignorance and false conceptions get perpetuated and why this has never been resolved.

Anonymous said...

June 28, 2014 at 7:05 AM, the criteria for whomever wants to be included in the Hawaiian Nation is: Citizenry.

How many times does it have to be re-stated that blood and ancestry are not the qualifiers. Granted of course that in the Hawaiian government someone who has no koko cannot be elected as Noble nor the high offices.

If someone chooses to be a citizen of the Hawaiian Nation, they can naturalize.

Again you and June 28, 2014 at 5:03 AM, are buying into OHAʻs so-called manufactured, racist method of nation-building. Try to unlock that kind of thinking.

I hope you donʻt believe any of the Indian tribes actually have ʻnationsʻ because they do not. How does one claim they have a nation when the federal government tells you what you can and cannot do?

Anonymous said...

When you say descendency should be the deciding factor arenʻt you discriminating and excluding?

Anonymous said...

"I hope you donʻt believe any of the Indian tribes actually have ʻnationsʻ because they do not. How does one claim they have a nation when the federal government tells you what you can and cannot do?"

The tribes are understood to be "domestic dependent nations." the US Supreme Court that held this is called Cherokee Nation v. Georgia.

This is the case Henry Noa and the Reinstated Hawaiian Government attempted to use in the Kahoolawe case. There is an HRS statute in Hawaii that promises management and control of Kahoolawe will be returned to "the sovereign Hawaiian entity."

Noa argued that having the US create another quasi sovereign - domestic dependent nation - was inconsistent with the promise of returning Kahoolawe to a truly sovereign nation.

The Court sidestepped the issue and dismissed the case against Noa on a technicality, but all of these case are fostering dialogue. Hopefully there will be a big turnout Monday.

There does seem to be a disconnect between those on the OHA payroll who are seeking a tribe model, and many Native Hawaiians, seeking real sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

Once again, the facts have been twisted and propaganda spread with false information. The tribes run the casinos, not the federal govt. All income goes the tribes. Corruption occurs within the tribe when the elders don't pass on all profits to the tribal members. There are literally hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on water projects for the Navajo Nation. One running from Farmington to Gallup and also from Cutter Reservoir connecting to this larger one. You make it sound like the feds are just killing them off. Yes they are individual nations. The laws and regs on reservations are VERY different than off of them with the tribes being in control. Try to go hunting or fishing on tribal land without permission from their "nation". You will be in their jail VERY quickly. Indians LOVE the casinos because it brings in income and jobs to the tribe. Many states would kill for the rights that they have. And finally, a few days ago you comment on "pesticides" on the flora. The tribes of northern AZ selectively cut their forests to prevent the massive wildfires that destroy huge amounts of their natural resources. The forests are beautiful with grass forest floors due to light being able to get in with wildlife thriving and NATURAL flora thriving. Pesticides? I laugh - again one would end up in the Tribal jail and face unbelievable penalties. Joan, go back to Kauai because your driving through a part of the western country with your single minded biases is getting foolish. You might be able to get away with this on Kauai some of the time, but, to be constructive, I will recommend that you present all sides to your "investigations". And as for these opinions of yours during this trip... go home. You are looking more and more out of your element. I will go away after this because I am seeing how misleading you are. I know you provide a lot of good information and attention to issues, but your one-sidedness is only for your fans and not those who may know other perspectives than yours.

Anonymous said...

I have to add that gaining the status of becoming a independent nation like the Native Americans have would be a HUGE step in gaining the power and say that so many of you want. Think about natural resources on tribal lands - LARGE source of income for tribes. Water resources are under jurisdiction of the tribe/nation - and water is key to Kauai. Tribal recognition would mean that those resorts are sitting on "your land". Which means part of profits might (who really knows) go to the tribe/nation. I don't think many on Kauai have any real idea as to the power the Indian nations have. It is considerable. Some of the tribes have managed their resources/govt well and thrive. Others are more corrupt and self destructive. One of the tribal members in northern AZ once told me that the feds were necessary (BIA) because giving all the funding and help directly to the tribe would be "like giving kids the key to the candy store with no supervision". Again, your opinion pisses me off because you speak of things you know nothing about.

Anonymous said...

June 28, 2014 at 2:34 PM, you are dreaming or uninformed.

Anonymous said...

And you do? Sounds you, a non Hawaiian, want fed rec really really bad.
You insult the Hawaiian people with your stupid metaphor. I think that you would be one of the parasites at the candy store?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:11 AM Anonymous said...
"When you say descendency should be the deciding factor arenʻt you discriminating and excluding?"


Absolutely! Do you really think the reinstated kingdom should give the same rights of citizenry to every person who has landed here since the overthrow? Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

I work for Interior and have nothing but hope that Kauai and Hawaiian people get the best thing for them. While you decry the status of the Native American situation, you choose to fight, just like they did... and that didn't turn out well. Status quo is one of the world's worst meth problems with your children, voicing anger at your tourists and anyone not from there causing greater rift, corruption in your local government (many of which are of "native" blood ironically)and a leaderless movement to do what? Secede from the U.S. That's great fodder for sitting around stoned on the beach, but it will never, ever, EVER happen. So the alternative is to find a way to regain as much power and control of your destiny as possible. Maybe it's because our current president is a Hawaii born person who just maybe wants to accomplish something for his home state before he leaves office? Better cease the opportunity now because he is gone in a few years. But I have watched how Kauai is slowly self destructing. Huge growth is coming whether you like it or not - really - it just IS. And if you don't want to end up like some southern Florida tropical tourist haven with zero planning and run solely on $$$ and not by the people, another tact needs to be taken. This relationship with the feds is a possibility - not a recommendation - but yelling "hell no - we won't go" and doing nothing is just what the tourist/economic planners want. The more the resistance, the easier to justify their motives and plans for Kauai. If you truly take pride in your native roots, then it seems you want as big and loud a voice at the table as possible. Dissent and prideful rebellion will likely end badly. I am informed about the Indian Nations and how they function - first hand. It is far from perfect and ideal, but they have gained more power and control over their destinies in the past 20 years and some have accomplished incredibly good things for their culture and preservation of their history. Don't fight angrily and stubbornly until the culture has disappeared - look for ways to gain back your power and control. 5:19 said it best - I am just trying to add some details and suggest that this decision with DOI might be empowering and NOT destructive. Many Native Americans (not all) have done very well by having representatives from the tribes work with those in D.C. I am coming from a place where I would love to see Kauai maintain it's cultural history and roots so that they never disappear. I also see the changes coming soon that it has escaped due to size, locale,etc Now is the time to attempt to get involved in these decisions - the higher the level of participation, the better the chance at success. I truly am rooting for you. And thank you Joan for letting me post what is often dissenting comments. I wish I had a larger forum to convey what I know about the BIA, U.S. tribal nations and the good, the bad and the ugly. But big change is ahead - take care.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell this subject is near and dear to my heart? I care deeply about what happens to Kauai and as George Martin says, "Winter is coming". Here is one last piece that demonstrates the good, the bad and ugly of being a "nation" within a nation. The Indians got screwed out of billions of $$ from oil and mineral rights and went to D.C. and brought a lawsuit against Gayle Norton - who was DOI Secretary (repug) at the time. Salazar inherited DOI under Obama and at the time was a huge proponent in making sure Indian tribal agreements and historic commitments were met. Norton snubbed them and thought she could bury it and get rid of them but the tribes hired Native American attorneys and essentially refused to leave D.C. and it is an incredible story (books written) about how the tribes won - land rights returned from the Dawes act and over $3 billion compensation!!!! To say that being recognized as an independent "nation" means nothing is crazy - look what they accomplished - the largest class action suit in the history of the U.S. Don't you wonder what the GMO issues might be like if the "Hawaiin nation" took it to the U.S. courts with that status instead of as scattered grass roots groups with little voice? There are just as many bad examples too, so who knows. But don't let pride and history dictate decisions that exist today.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobell_v._Salazar

Anonymous said...

June 29, 2014 at 6:54 AM: "
Absolutely! Do you really think the reinstated kingdom should give the same rights of citizenry to every person who has landed here since the overthrow? Good luck with that.".


I guess you arenʻt familiar with the definition of citizenship nor with the Kingdomʻs national protocol in accordance with International Law.

Anonymous said...

June 29, 2014 at 7:11 AM, if you really for Interior, I can understand why the US and Hawaii is so fukked up.

You canʻt even spell. You sound like an old meddler, like an OHA trustee.

Anonymous said...

Who knows what events or phenomena will impact this debate? Climate change, sea level rise, another energy crisis, another economic shock wave, another terrorist attack, hurricanes, tsunamis, even advances in technology that determine how our military functions. Like most everything that happened post-contact to Hawaii, it will be something external. Most people in Hawaii, native or not, will have little effect on the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Thatʻs your opinion.

Anonymous said...

Oh Joan...instead of recognizing how "paltry" the reparations were, perhaps you should recognize that America is the first, and to my knowledge only example of a conqueror to ever even make the effort.

From the moment we learned to pick up a rock, we've been bashing our fellow man over the head with it. All of our history is built on conquest in every corner of the world

Anonymous said...

America is the 1st to make reparations? Because they caused the suffering and the world is watching so they have to make an ʻeffortʻ at making good?

They were also the 1st to drop nuclear bombs on human beings (3X) and the 1st to use chemical weapons (continuously) on human beings.

Any more 1stʻs?

Anonymous said...

And meanwhile as Hawaiians all over Kauai are mobilizing for independence and "paltry" reparations, Kauai's own Hawaiian Representative James Kunane Tokioka is raising his campaign not so paltry stash by selling $1,000 fundraising tickets to the Kahala resort executives in Honolulu. http://ags.hawaii.gov/campaign/files/2014/06/FundraiserTokioka062714.pdf "

Anonymous said...

Mobilizing for independence and "paltry" reparations are two very different things.

7:19 -- New Zealand and Australia made reparations and many European nations relinquished their colonies entirely.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really think the "we found it first" claim of right to land is valid on this planet? The only claim of right to a piece of land that has ever held against those that would take it away is the ability to hold it against force.

Russia just took land from the Ukraine by force. Nobody stopped them. It's Russia now. That's just the way this world is and always has been. The people of the world can say "hey, Crimea was part of the Ukraine!" till they're blue in the face, but nobody, not even the Ukraine, is willing to fight and die for it.

You may wish that Hawaii had put up more of a fight back then, but that window of opportunity closed about a century ago. It is long past time to move on.

Go watch Braveheart, and understand that Scotland is independent because William Wallace was willing to fight, and die, for freedom. When Hawaii was faced with that choice, they signed a treaty. Am I oversimplifying? Yes, but that's basically what it came down to.

Anonymous said...

Using 1:18's logic, if you want something, whether you're a kid in elementary school or a junkie looking for money or something to pawn, take it and if they don't put up a fight and win, it's yours. Might makes right. Fuck the law, international or otherwise. Good message.

Anonymous said...

Just look at history moron. Why do you think the United Nations is so weak? International law? LOL. Every nation quotes international law when it helps them and ignores it when it doesnt.

Lets look at your examples: A kid in elementary...there have always been bullies and the bullied in elementary. A junkie in the street...well they rob, steal, whore their bodies out, they'll do anything for a fix. I didn't say it was right, just that it happens and that's the way it is. In school you have teachers to tell. In the street you have cops. Nations have neither.

Natural selection is a ruthless, heartless rule of this Earth. Still, it is a rule of this Earth. Jogging on the bike path last weekend, I saw a rooster pecking a baby chick to death. Why? Because it wasn't his baby chick, and natural selection dictates he eliminate competition to his offspring. Good message? No. Truth? Yep.

You may not like the truth but it still is the truth. And nations on this world have always acted like roosters, and so they always shall.

Anonymous said...

7:55 You begin writing about a "claim of right", not some Darwinian theory of the history. If you went to college, ask for a refund. Please continue to post anonymously, as it would be unfair for Joan to be accused of exposing you to public ridicule.

Anonymous said...

And because you are too incredibly stupid to put the two together, I'll stop wasting words on you.

Anonymous said...

Thank God! Wouldn't want you to have an aneurism coming up with another banal comment.

KamaKele said...

1:55 why not try make an argument against what he says. He make more sense then u