Frustrating inquiry

o the Forum:In 1993 Congress adopted the Apology Resolution authored by

Sen. Daniel Akaka in which America expressed regrets to the Native Hawaiians

for its role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

After an

unexplained interlude of six years, in early December of last year the federal

government sent a delegation in pursuance of the Resolution to meet with Native

Hawaiians for the announced purpose of seeking a reconciliation between them

and the federal government.

At the meeting held on Kaua’i, a good many of

the Native Hawaiians present stated that they wanted the end of American rule

and the restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom or some other form of Hawaiian self


The federal delegation advised that they were not authorized to

discuss this subject and the meeting ended without any real achievement.


is fundamental to the reconciliation process that each party must be willing to

respond to the concerns of the other party. Progress can only be made if there

is a dialogue in which a party is able to understand the viewpoint of the other

and ultimately find an avenue which will bridge the differences which


By closing the door to any discussion of America’s ongoing rule of

the Islands, the doom of the reconciliation overture was effectively


Being interested in why the federal delegation took the rigid

position they did, I wrote to the three persons Kauaians have chosen to

represent them in Congress and inquired who determined that the delegation

would not be authorized to discuss America’s sovereignty and why that

determination was made.

Sen. Inouye did not choose to answer my letter.

Sen. Akaka offered background on the resolution, but did not answer my

inquiries. Rep. Patsy Mink thoughtfully responded to my letter to her and

suggested that I might pursue my inquiries with Mr. John Berry, the head of the


I wrote Mr. Berry and I received from him a form letter which

thanked me for my interest in the reconciliation process but did not answer

either of my questions.

With this sort of arrogance, it is readily apparent

why the Native Hawaiians are frustrated and angered by federal actions and


For my part, I am left with the thought that some higher ranking

government official erred and the administration is again engaged in a cover up


Wouldn’t it be better if our government dealt openly and

honestly with all of us?

Walter Lewis



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