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Hawaiians urged to renounce citizenship

ANAHOLA — Supporters of the Lawful Hawaiian Government urged Native Hawaiians

to renounce their American citizenship and to join the ranks of the kanaka

maoli – the indigenous people of Hawaii – to restore the Hawaiian

nation.

“The only way they are going to have self-determination is to

repatriate with the nation” Kane Pa said.

The kanaka maoli would not be

subject to American laws and would be able to determine their political future,

Pa said.

Pa spoke at a meeting of the Lawful Hawaiian Government held at

the Anahola Club house.

The meeting was held in part to solicit comments

after last week’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down Hawaiian-only voting in

the Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections.

The high court ruled the

restriction violated the 15th Amendment ban on racial discrimination in

voting.

About 20 individuals attended the meeting.

Keo Kauihana said

the future of Native Hawaiians would be more secure if more people join the

Lawful Hawaiian Government.

“There is no sitting on the fence and hiding

which side you are on,” Kauihana said. “You have got to take care of yourself.

And it starts with repatriating.”

Many Native Hawaiians won’t take the

first step in that direction because “they don’t know what is on the other

side,” Kauihana said.

As American citizens, Native Hawaiians qualify for

Social Security and welfare benefits, Kauihana said. As kanaka maoli, they

might not be eligible for them, he said.

Gilbert Medeiros Jr, a member of

the sovereignty movement, contended the kanaka maoli will continue to receive

the benefits if they currently have contracts with the federal government for

such services.

A massive public education program has to be launched to

convince more Native Hawaiians to join the movement to restore the Hawaiian

nation, Kauihana said.

“We need to make the kanaka maoli attractive to

the Hawaiian people so they know they aren’t going backwards and that they are

going forward,” Kauihana said.

Sovereignty advocate Keoki Puaoi said he

holds meetings regularly to pass on information about the movement.

Leaders

of the Lawful Hawaiian Government will hold a constitutional convention in

Waimea on the Big Island from March 10 to 12.

Once the constitution is

approved, it will be sent to the kanaka maoli statewide for ratification,

opening the way for the beginnings of the new Hawaiian nation, Puaoi

said.

Pa, Medeiros and Kauihana said the establishment of the nation would

remove the need for OHA.

“OHA is pau,” Pa said. “OHA has no power, we don’t

need them anymore.”

The OHA board, he said, should facilitate the process

so that Hawaiians , outside of the state’s jurisdiction, can begin moving

toward self- determination.

Hee said the OHA trustees don’t intend to step

down despite Gov. Ben Cayetano’s announced intent to replace them.

Hee

said the matter will be remanded to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and to the

Federal District Court and that a final decision is pending.

In the

meantime, Cayetano has announced he will appoint eight trustees in the

interim until new OHA trustees are seated after this year’s

election.

Deputy Attorney General Clarence Lum has said that once the high

court issued its opinion in Rice v Cayetano, saying that the trustees were

elected by an unconstitutional process, they no longer had legal trustee

status.

Kauihana voiced concerns the high court ruling could spark legal

challenges against other programs serving Hawaiian beneficiaries.

Trust

obligations for Native Hawaiians should be left in the hands of the kanaka

maoli, Medeiros said.

“It would be in the best hands,” he said.

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