Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Hawaiian Kingdom

• The Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands is actually a sovereign, independent country. The
Hawaiian Islands is not part of the United States… and never was! The Hawaiian Kingdom
never surrendered its sovereignty and the United States never lawfully acquired either the
sovereignty or any territory comprising the Hawaiian Islands.
• Knowing the Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands lawfully continues to exist, Hawaiian
patriots reactivated their government and a growing number of people are embracing their
identity as Hawaiian nationals and carrying on a vigorous campaign to reestablish Hawaii’s
rightful standing as a sovereign, independent nation-state in continuity.
• Hawaiians call on the international community to support the campaign to free Hawaii and
invite countries from around the world to honor their historic treaties, agreements and other
international obligations with the Hawaiian Kingdom, so the Hawaiian people can again live
in peace and harmony as part of the family of nations.
During the Nineteenth Century, the Hawaiian Kingdom was a fully recognized sovereign
nation, with bilateral and multi-lateral treaties with 46 other sovereign nations and with over
130 embassies and consulates posted around the world.
Beginning in 1893, the United States of America committed a series of unlawful acts,
violating the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom, causing regime change and installing
puppet governments, resulting in what is now the US-occupied Hawaiian Islands, purported
to be “Hawaii, the 50th State of the United States of America.”
In 1893 and again in 1993 the United States formally apologized for its wrongful actions,
admitting that the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom was never extinguished, nor was it
ever lawfully relinquished, nor was it lawfully acquired by the U.S.
Nevertheless, the United States continues to falsely claim that Hawaii is part of the United
States; refuses to acknowledge Hawaii’s true international standing; and avoids its legal and
moral obligation to end the illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands. Instead, the U.S. in
recent years has endeavored to fortify its grip on the islands by trying to create a Native-
Hawaiian tribal government to act as a proxy “nation” with whom the U.S. Federal
Government could contrive a sham settlement for the wrongful taking — yet remain in
control of the Hawaiian Islands.
In 1946, the United States of America submitted “Hawaii” (the Hawaiian Islands) for
placement on the United Nations list of “Non-Self-Governing Territories” under Article 73 of
the UN Charter, indicating Hawaii was eligible for decolonization. It is now apparent by the
events that followed that this was a scheme to exploit the UN’s decolonization procedure to
promote the United States’ false claim to the Hawaiian Islands and create the appearance of
legitimacy. In 1959, the United States conducted a snap plebiscite for Hawaii residents to
give their approval for “statehood”; the integration of Hawaii into the United States.
However, no effort was made to inform the public of other possible choices, such as
independence, and no explanation was provided regarding the ramifications of the vote. The
only option presented on the ballot was: ‘yes’ to statehood. Despite this and other forms of
flagrant voter-manipulation, the United States’ submitted report A4226 to the UN General
Assembly which falsely claimed that the Hawaiian People had consented to become
integrated into the United States.
Without monitoring, review or verification of the vote by neutral observers or a competent
UN agency, the United States’ report was accepted. The UN General Assembly adopted
Resolution 1469 on 12 December 1959, indicating that because the Hawaiian people had
apparently exercised their right to self-determination and given their consent to become a
state of the United States, the matter of the political status of the Hawaiian Islands was settled
and the U.S. was no longer required to report to the General Assembly on Hawaii’s status as
a non-self-governing territory.
Using this misleading report, the U.S. perpetrated fraud by hijacking the UN’s decolonization
process, causing the UN itself to become complicit in the fraud. Even though it is based on
fraud, UNGA Resolution 1469 upholds the official stance of the United Nations and its
member states: that the political status of the Hawaiian Islands has been settled; and that
Hawaii is an integral part of the United States.
Over the past 20 years, Hawaiians have filed numerous petitions, reports, complaints and
appeals to various bodies of the UN, protesting the United States’ false claim to the Hawaiian
Islands. Communications to the UN include: appeals to the Secretary General, various
Presidents of the General Assembly, the Decolonization Committee, the Fourth Committee,
the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Human Rights Committee, the
Human Rights Council, the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples and others.
Following are a few indications of international concern for the Hawaii situation:
• In 2008, members of the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination asked the
United States to explain the procedure used to make Hawaii a state of the United States.
The US did not respond.
• In 2010 at a side event of the Universal Periodic Review of the USA, the US representative
dodged the question about the procedure used to induct Hawaii into the United States. He
said, “The political question has been settled.”
• In 2013, Dr. Alfred M. deZayas, the UN independent expert for the promotion of a
democratic and equitable international order, in paragraph 69 (n) of document A/68/284 of
his Report to the UN General Assembly, cited Hawaii among the places that should be
considered by the United Nations decolonization procedures. This indicated that the
Independent Expert regarded the question of the political status Hawaii is not settled.
• In 2015 at the Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America, the Islamic
Republic of Pakistan requested that the United States respond to the recommendation of
paragraph 69 (n) from Dr. deZayas’ 2013 report to the UN General Assembly, with regard
to the situations of Alaska, Hawaii and the Dakotas. This query by Pakistan suggested that
these matters of political status under international law have not been properly settled.
• In 2017 the Hawaiian Islands filed petitions with both the Fourth Committee and the
Committee of 24, calling for a review of GA Resolution 1469 and, upon finding it resulted
from false information, declare GA Resolution 1469 null and void.
• In 2017 a complaint was filed with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
by heirs and descendants, titleholders to lands in Hawaii, who have had lands unlawfully
seized and sold to foreign entities, in collusion with the courts of the puppet State of Hawaii
government. Since these are private titles granted by the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom,
they require ajudication under Hawaiian Kingdom laws or Hawaiian Kingdom treaties.
• In 2019 a Shadow Report by the Koani Foundation NGO was filed to address the Universal
Periodic Review of the United States of America. The report enumerated multiple human
rights violations in the Hawaiian Islands resulting from the illegal occupation of the
Hawaiian Islands by the United States.
We call upon the Human Rights Committee and other pertinent bodies of the United Nations
to affirm that the political status of the Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a
sovereign nation in continuity; and that the United States claim of sovereignty over the
Hawaiian Islands is disingenuous and fraudulent.
We call upon the UN General Assembly to review the circumstances that led to the adoption
of UNGA Resolution 1469 of 12 December 1959. Upon reviewing the resolution and
discovering its error, the UN would be obligated by its Charter to correct the error by
revoking UNGA Resolution 1469. Thus, the United States’ claim that “the political question
has been settled,” will be invalid. Likewise, the United States’ claim of sovereignty over the
Hawaiian Islands will be invalid. The inherent sovereignty of the Hawaiian Islands would
become apparent and indisputable. Thus, the illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands
would come to an end, under international law, the U.S. will be required to withdraw its
claim and its presence from the Hawaiian Islands and the Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands
as a sovereign, independent state would be affirmed and reinstated.
A simple review by the General Assembly of UNGA Resolution 1469 would trigger the
return of the Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands to its proper standing as a sovereign,
independent, neutral country.



I examine here and set out for your consideration a proposal of a truly national security system for the Hawaiian nation. This national security system is not merely a military plan addressing the issues of armed combat, but a total system of national security.

We are continually haunted by an unexplored fear of foreign attack and believe that the safest place to be is under the armpit of the biggest of all bullies. This is partly the result of propaganda during the pre-Statehood period following the Japan attack of the U.S. in Hawaii in 1941. As a result, we have failed to really understand the structure of national security and the appropriate role of a military force.
Let us step away from that old paradigm of national security being big guns, large number of soldiers, huge ships, and ABC weapons (Atomic, Biological and Chemical). Let us keep an open mind and drop the stumbling blocks of false loyalties to a rogue state which is in constant violation of international law.
We really do not need the U.S. military. In fact, we are far better off without them in Hawaii. What does the U.S. military represent? A target. A bait in the Pacific for others to look at with disdain.
The U.S. military has used Hawaii to fulfill its tactic of “out basing”, i.e. find bases outside its internal borders to place troops and to attract an attack, or as an early warning system. Perfect example, Japan’s attack on Dec. 7, 1941!
For the sake of Hawaii’s security, it would be far better that we had no U.S. military in Hawaii. We can survive in a defensive defense mode with the Hawaii National Guard and by adopting policies of simply protecting Hawaii from aggression but having no capability to aggress against another.
While we move to a different system of national security, what happens with the U.S. Military?
Under an independent nation status, the U.S. military would exist in Hawaii, if at all, upon Hawaii’s terms. That is not the case today. Presently the U.S. military has taken up such a gigantic portion of our lands and pay almost nothing for it. ($1 for 65 years for the Valleys of Makua and Kahanahaiki, nothing for Kaho`olawe, nothing for Lualualei, Schofield, Wheeler, Hickam-Pearl Harbor, Ka`ena, Pohakuloa, etc.) They have been polluting our waters and land such that Lualualei ammunition depot was listed as the most polluted of the U.S. military lands in the world, followed soon after by Pearl Harbor! Now they also pollute our aquifer at Red Hill, in flagrant disregard to our Board of Water Supply! How is this protecting us, or does it mean protecting the U.S. and to hell with the Hawaiian people?
The U.S. military is said to bring in lots of Federal spending into Hawai, but the numbers are manipulated by politicians and bankers tied into the military propaganda. The measure used is the amount of Federal taxes paid by Hawaii residents compared to the amount spent by the Federal government in Hawaii, to a large extent for military service.
This is a bogus equation. All Federal dollars spent by the military, including for civilian services, goes for goods and services for the military. Those transaction cancel each other out! It’s a “quid pro quo.” They pay for services or goods and they receive them. It is never a gift or a hand-out.
Federal spending for highways should also consider the fuel taxes paid by Hawaii highway users, and by Hawaii residents paying in Federal tax dollars. In return, the U.S. government can use Hawaii’s airports, road systems and seaports and lanes as part of the U.S. national defense system. There’s no gift or windfall here from the Federal government!
U.S. military personnel spends a lot of money in Hawaii. True. But they get the goods and services they pay for. Meanwhile, they also avoid State income taxes, avoid State General Excise Tax when they purchase from the military commissaries. They contribute to the cost of educating military dependents, true. But the cost of such contribution is between 40-60% of the true cost for the State to educate them. And they bring in the brown tree snake and the Covid 19 Virus while Hawaii has no oversight!
The U.S. colonizers, including the Federal and State governments, politicians, bankers, real estate developers, economists who works for them, and major business entities have been feeding the Hawaii public with a bogus equation of value received by the Federal government compared with costs to Hawaii. But they are the folks with the sharp pencil and calculators. More important, they design the economic equations to spew out their colonial tainted results.
What should a balanced equation look like?
It would include the value of the stolen lands currently used by the U.S. and State governments, originally the property owned by the Hawaiian Nation and its citizens. These are the lands considered “ceded” by those governments, land to a large extent, the Hawaii State government has refused to give an accounting to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. These include the ocean waters between these islands and should be considered to include the 200 miles designated exclusive economic zone by the Law of the Seas Convention. This would also include the land and sea area around other islands along the Hawaiian archipelago as well as Kalama atoll, Christmas islands and all other territories considered part of the Hawaiian nation prior to the U.S. invasion in 1893.
Into that equation should be added the past usage of these lands and waters since 1898 in which Hawaii was declared by the U.S. an American territory. Those many years in which Hawaiian assets were in the hands of the U.S. or its colonial place holders, the Territory of Hawaii and the State of Hawai, should be accounted for and a payment plan should be drawn up so that within 1 generation (about 25 years), the back debt would be caught up. The rent is overdue.
That equation should also consider the hijack cost assessed against the people of Hawaii. That is the cost of Federal taxation and State taxation, called a “voluntary system” but followed by threats of imprisonment, confiscation of various properties, and limited liberties should one choose not to volunteer parts of their assets to the government trough. These were payments wrought out of the hands or the accounts of the people of Hawaii, largely unwillingly, and paid over to the U.S. or its colonial creation.
But what of the benefits and values one received in return by the U.S. presence in Hawaii, one would ask? Was there no value there? There may have been value while the U.S. remained colonizers, but it cannot be properly accounted for because such “values” were part and parcel of the U.S. colonization. It is remarkably like a comparison to slavery and the argument by the slave owner that the slave received value while under slavery! Slavery and colonization is so grand a violation of human rights.
A people under colonization, like a people under slavery, cannot be charged for “value” they received if these people had no control over their colonization or their slavery. As long as the colonizer or the slave master controlled the equation, and held the pencil and computer to account for the “value” received, there will be no accurate accounting and the only response is to treat the colonizer/slave owner’s account as a trustee who co-mingled his assets with that of the beneficiary under his trust. (Note that the U.S. undertook a “sacred trust” obligation to bring the people of Hawaii to self-government under U.N. Charter Chapter XI, Article 73 with respect to non-self- governing territories.) The trustee is to lose the full amount of his claimed benefit!
Let us now turn our attention to the design of a national security system based on peace by peaceful means, an aloha security plan built on respect for ourselves and others, on life affirming attitudes, on cultural strength, on openness, and on friendship building.
We must be far wiser in our plans for National Security than simply military force. I suggest we create a four- part front for Hawaii’s National Security, each one being an integral part of the overall program. These parts are 1) Defensive Defense, 2) Outer Usefulness, 3) Inner Strength and 4) Non-Alliance with international “defense” pacts. I credit Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, Johan Galtung, for introducing this approach of national security to me. He has been a scholar in the field and has consulted with many countries as well as the United Nations. He had been a guest on my radio shows both at Hawaii Public Radio (A Second Glance) and KWAI (Hawaiian Potpourri) as well as on several of my `Olelo T.V. programs. We both taught together at the University of Hawaii in International Relations.
1. Defensive Defense: In an earlier day, the U.S. had called it the War Department since 1789, a name aptly identifying the department’s nature and purpose. In 1824, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was formed in the War Department to battle the Indians, switching over to the Department of the Interior in 1849. Its name was converted to the Department of Defense in 1949. The name changed, the posture of the Department did not.
In the area of military operations, there are a variety of postures a military can take. They should be divided into two general categories, Offense and Defense. To undertake a defensive posture, a country would not be the aggressor, nor the instigator of a war. Its posture should essentially be one of defending its borders and territories if attacked. We could call this a Defensive – Defense posture.
The second posture is one in which the nation takes an attitude that in order to remain in a Defensive posture, we need to keep our enemies at bay, and assure that the enemies will not aggress against us. Therefore, we need to be pro-active in our defense. In fact, we need to go into other territories surreptitiously, to be certain that no other country is preparing to aggress against us. This mentality begins to unwind itself into that “slippery slope” of aggression under a concept of offensive defense, i.e. the only reason we are invading other countries is to be able to defend ourselves. Soon that excuse becomes one of defending our “national interest” or our nationals. A “sneak attack” now changes into a “pre-emptive strike.” We find very rapidly, this type of “silly talk” get out of hand.
Under that offensive defense posture, we find a plethora (over 600 bases overseas, over 5,000 bases total) of U.S. military bases across the world threatening every corner of the world not only with troops and spies but with the delivery capacity of ABC (Atomic, Biological and Chemical) weapons.
This type of military in Hawaii does not give us any greater assurance of security. It only increases the tension simply because other nations can act in kind. They develop approaches of being offensive to the U.S. and its military bases in Hawaii. They too can turn their ABC weapons toward Hawaii as their defensive measure. Who wins? Nobody. Who loses? Us in Hawaii. Is this really security?
Hawaii’s military posture should instead be one of strictly Defensive Defense. Our position should be, “WE WILL NOT ATTACK ANY OTHER COUNTRY. WE WILL ONLY DEFEND OUR TERRITORY FROM ALL ATTACKS.’ We should build up a limited National Guard with the same high efficiency as the current National Guard to effectuate this policy.
As part of this defensive posture, we should also say, “WE WILL REMOVE ALL STRIKE CAPACITY BEYOND A PROTECTIVE UMBRELLA OF 200 MILES FROM OUR SHORES. BUT WE WILL HAVE NO CAPACITY TO EXTEND WITH OFFENSIVE WEAPONS BEYOND THAT RANGE. We should extend an invitation to all nations to visit and verify our weapons capability. We could expect not only verification but the turning away of other countries weapons pointed at Hawaii.
We should take all savings from excessive military spending and use this peace dividend for peace purposes in the other three areas:
2. OUTER USEFULNESS. As a central aspect of Hawaii’s national security, Hawaii should create itself into a place of usefulness to the rest of the world, a special or even a sacred place where other nations would not want to attack Hawaii. Just as Switzerland has demonstrated its outer usefulness by acting as the hub of international financial transactions as well as the home of international organizations such as the WTO, WHO, ILO, World Council of Churches, International Red Crescent/Cross, and the United Nations, such that it would be a national shame for another nation to attempt to invade this neutral country.
For Hawaii, outer usefulness could be achieved in a number of areas:
-Education centers of the world’s present and future leaders in peace development, in cultural understanding, in science, technology. medicine, oceanography, navigation, astronomy, etc. We could showcase the extensive cultures of Asia, the Middle East, of Europe, of Africa, of the Pacific
-Entertainment in which the exhibitions of cultures of the world could be showcased here in Hawaii operating under well controlled management, catering to an international audience from around the world, not only limited to an audience controlled by U.S. immigration policies.
-Food production developing high quality and nutritious food sources which carry the distinction of being made in Hawaii, such as Hawaii’s poi, so nutritious that it can be used to feed babies when they are unable to even take their mother’s milk! Hawaii could be exporters of many other food products, just as we had once been. The specialty food we produced should be aimed at targeted audiences so that we do not enter simply an agriculture production market where we would be overrun by other large national agricultural products. Hawaii’s products should aim at the specialty markets.
– Center for religious tolerance, accepting as it does today of all religious faiths, giving us a unique ability to demonstrate a society of aloha in which not only are there the existence of many religious practices as well as a wide variety of cultural practices within a particular religion as well as the practice of multiple religions within a person, family or cultural group. For example, a family of multiple generations may have a mother ordained a Zen Buddhist priest while daughter is a lay minister of a Christian Pentecostal church and the grand-father who tolerates all but follows no practice as preferred above another. Yet the family remains whole, functional, supportive of one-another and thriving.
There could be many other aspects of Hawaii’s “outer usefulness” characteristic. The purpose here is not to attempt to define how the Hawaii society is to operate but how it may demonstrate to the world its usefulness as an example of world peace. Through such demonstration, Hawaii would build its “strength” around its moral-cultural-tolerance character and becomes highly respected by other nations, far more than if it attempts to develop into an aggressive militarized nation.
3) INNER STRENGTH. Hawaii’s inner strength is exhibited not necessarily in its military strength, although it’s national guard will be, as the State’s current national guard system is today, a highly efficient, technologically most proficient, and effective in the military defense of the nation. This inner strength will be exhibited in the sense of the society’s understanding of civil service and how its society could be turned into an efficient operational defense force in the event of military invasion or by groups or individuals who threaten the health or welfare of the society. Very similar to Switzerland, the Hawaii society would be organized in a structure where each household and each able-bodied person would have a role in this inner strength, each person having been properly trained physically, mentally, and emotionally for that role and to be able to see the overall community role of self-defense.
The core of the development of this inner strength for Hawaii is built around pride and protection. This is formed by a high degree of cultural pride among the people, often a multiple sense of cultural pride melded into a common core of identity. We already see much of this in our local society in which a family of mixed ethnicity takes pride in each of their inheritance, and willing to defend the integrity of that inheritance.
One example is the role Hula has been transformed into today. It is still an especially important expression of spirituality which reaches far into Hawaii’s past. But it is also a unifying identity with Hawaii, today open to participants from all ethnicities, religious beliefs, cultural practices, economic levels, or educational training. It is that same cultural pride which adds to the discipline, mental development, and regimentation which is also transferrable to individual as well as organized self-defense, ready to be turned on at any time against an invading force.
There is a wealth of many other forms of cultural expressions which contain those ingredients which the art of Hula has. There is Lua, huna, karate, jujitsu, tai chi, hopkido, boxing, wrestling, swimming, aikido and a multitude of other forms which have excelled at various times in Hawaii. As one’s age or interest changes or matures, the art form may also change or mature. But the period of engagement would be extended throughout one’s life. The “book end” generations, the elders and the very young would also be actively engaged, each interacting with the other to assure an exchange of generational conversation and preservation of knowledge in these arts and in life.
Economic and resource strength of Hawaii speaks not of the military strength but points out even further the inner strength of Hawaii. As a fundamental part of Hawaii’s national security, Hawaii would have a strong and self-sufficient economy. That is achieved by the protection, preservation, reclamation and increase of its agriculture and aquaculture base. Hawaii’s economy would transform itself to a state of being able to meet all its essential needs such as food, clothing, health care, from within. In this way, Hawaii will not be susceptible to economic embargoes or other trade pressures by other nations, often a form of invasion of Hawaii’s independence stature.
4. NON-ALLIANCE There are “defense” pacts tying and locking nations into a “security” agreement which works its way into giving away one’s control over its own security. Generally, the largest, most powerful military nation controls such pacts and determines what a member nation’s contribution and use of its military is to be, according to the alliance’s decision. For example, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization obligates all nations which are part of NATO to defend a member country, even if that country is the aggressor into a third nation. The direction of NATO is essentially determined by one of the many countries of that pact, the United States of America, and that direction has been driven not by the protection and defense of the member countries but for the protection of the American interest, translated as oil and multi-national corporations.
NATO is just an example of such war pacts. In the Pacific, there is RIMPAC, a gathering of military forces from various nations in coordinated exercises around the Rim of the Pacific, supposedly acting as a defense training but actually working its way into threatening the waters of other countries, such as in the China Seas, the North Korean waters, etc. These trainings have flooded small nations including Guam, Hawaii, Okinawa, and other places, using these islands as bombing targets and other abuse of local cultures and historic sites
Becoming a member of a war alliance opens the Hawaii society to all of the enemies of other members of such an alliance. Hawaii would then be subject to various attacks, not only militarily, but in the form of trade, business relations, migration practices, etc.
A far better policy would be to join no military alliance which commits Hawaii to engage in a war to help an “ally’ out. Such alliance can become that slippery slope which pulls us into a fight rather than keep us out. The only alliances we should join are in trade or assistance in natural disasters or in the exporting of medical aid, food, and education.
Hawaii’s security should rest not on military armament operated by the United State whose first and only objective is to assure the furtherance of the interest of the United States. Instead, Hawaii should convert to a four-part national security system which incorporates Defensive Defense (and a promise of non-aggression), Outer Usefulness in which Hawaii shows itself useful and worthy of the good graces of other nation, Inner Strength in the development of a civil society which will commit to the protection of our shores, with a strong economy, healthy environment, and a pride in self, and Non-alignment pacts to keep out of other countries’ wars.
The benefits of this converted system of national security will reward Hawaii not only by a measure of its security, but would enrich our natural environment, increase our economic value for all of our lands and oceans, uplift the cultural and education treasures that still persist in Hawaii, and return a sense of self-control over our future of Hawaii.
The first step toward this vision is to question our self-doubt about the need for the U.S. military in Hawaii and begin the planning and structuring of this four-part national security system that is far more representative of our character and more inclusive in all sectors of Hawaii. This is our Aloha national security plan for Hawai`i.
Aloha `Aina
Poka Laenui

On the Ocean or in the Garden, the Key Is Nurturing the Soul

Bruce Blankenfeld is initiated „pwo“ master navigator. Sam Low

Re-post from Sam Low ; Thursday, June 9, 2016 – 4:22pm

Sam Low

When Hokule’a sails into Vineyard Haven on Tuesday, June 28 the captain and navigator Bruce Blankenfeld will guide her to Tisbury Wharf. Bruce stands over six feet tall and he weighs under 180 pounds. He is well built but not showy. Thick black hair caps a long handsome face. His eyes are set deep under full lids. His shoulders are large, his waist is slim and his forearms are those of an outrigger canoe paddler.

Bruce became involved with Hokule’a in 1977 by volunteering on training sails, along with working on construction and repair of the canoe in drydock. Since then, he has voyaged more then 70,000 miles throughout Polynesia and Micronesia and on voyages to Vancouver, Alaska and Japan. In 2007, in a sacred ceremony on the tiny Micronesian island of Satawal, he was initiated into the rank of pwo (master) navigator by Mau Piailug, the man who taught all of Hokule’a’s navigators the ancient art of navigating without instruments by following signs in nature.

Bruce Blankenfeld

“Bruce is the most natural ocean person I think I have ever met,” said Nainoa Thompson, navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “When he leaves the land and goes to sea there is no adjustment time. No nothing. Bruce changes from the land to the ocean by becoming completely relaxed. He calms people down because he’s so calm and relaxed himself. If you took the ocean away from Bruce, you would take away half his life. He is just so innately inclined to the ocean.”

When Bruce is on land, which is not often now that Hokule’a is sailing around the world on a voyage to malama honua (care for the planet), he is often found in his garden tending taro, a plant that was at the center of ancient Hawaiian farming and remains so today.

“For Bruce growing taro is in his genes,” said Nainoa. “Caring for the land nurtures his soul. Whenever he’s in his taro, I don’t bug him. I walk right on by. It’s his soul that is being nurtured along with the taro.”

“In the old days,” Bruce said, “Hawaiians all worked together on the taro patches. Of course the life style was totally different. It wasn’t based on economics, it was based on mutual understanding and working together. It was based on the Hawaiian concept of malama, caring for each other. Everybody got together, they worked on farming and they reaped the benefits from it. And everybody also had their own little plots, their own little farm. In the old days people worked together in the fish ponds, the taro fields and the sweet potato gardens for the basic sustenance of everyone.”

Hawaiians like Bruce have learned from their ancestors that all life is tied together in a seamless web, a concept that scientists today might refer to as ecology. The Hawaiian landscape inhabited by Hawaiians — which they called an ahupua’a — grades from mountaintop to ocean with each of the separate ecological zones providing food and all the basic resources to sustain life. Hawaiians of old believed the ocean and the sea were not separate; they were part of a much larger natural whole.

“Every plant and animal in the sea has a counterpart on land,” Bruce said. “A mana opelu is a kind of taro named after the opelu fish, the spots on the stock of the taro are the same as the spots on the belly of the opelu. The Kumu fish and the aholehole fish have their counterpart on land as taro and also as a pig. The pig was often used as an offering to the gods but when there was no pig available you could use either a kumu or an aholehole from the sea in the offering. Everything that you see on land is tied to something in the sea.”

The Hawaiian concept of malama which underlies the voyage of Hokule’a emerges from this basic idea of the unity of all life.

“When they used to go to the mountains and cut down trees for the canoes, our ancestors didn’t think that they were taking the tree’s life. There were ceremonies for cutting the trees and addressing the appropriate spirits. They were not taking the tree’s life, they were just altering its essence, taking it from the forest and putting it into the sea. And in Hawaii the sea and the land are tied together. The sea and the land rely on each other for life just like a woman and a man rely on each other to bring forth new life. You pollute your ocean and you hurt the land. You pollute your land and the ocean is going to feel it. Everything relies on each other for life. Animals, fish, birds deserve the respect that you treat all life with. That’s basic. Everything that is living deserves your respect. That’s why you don’t go cut down forests or pollute your environment, everybody and everything is related somehow.”

To learn more about Hokule’a and her voyage around the world, visit Hokule’a will visit Martha’s Vineyard from June 28 to July 1 at Tisbury Wharf. Mr. Low is a former Hokule’a crewmember and the author of Hawaiki Rising – Hokule’a, Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian Renaissance. He lives in Oak Bluffs.


Mahalo to:

Update to Ending Discrimination Against Hawaiian Nationals – 01.07.2020

Below is the just published update of the situation of SR 159
First I want to express my own thoughts:
Personally, I find it a shame that the „State legislature“ did not notice this particular change, or even wasted it! They were not aware of the importance and took it on the light shoulder. I wonder what’s really behind it? Didn’t the people who had to make the decision see the big picture? What are the motivations or facts that these people disagreed? Have they been manipulated by other „people“ or more? Why didn’t they want it? Questions come to me. So next week I’m trying to arrange an interview with Leon Siu and Poka Laenui to get more information and to discuss it.

Well, the State legislature had its chance to do the right thing, but the Senate Hawaiian Affairs committee chose kill SR 159, thus allowing discrimination against Hawaiian nationals.

The discussion showed again that these Hawaiian-American legislators are profoundly deaf, dumb and blind about the issue of NATIONALITY. No matter what we say, they think we’re asking them to create a new protected class or gain some kind of special privilege. They say this is not their kuleana, which is actually correct… they have no authority to create a new protected class or to recognize a sovereign nation. But that was not what we were asking them to do. What we very nicely saying is that your own laws say you’re not supposed to discriminate against a Hawaiian because of his/her nationality, just like you’re not supposed to discriminate against any other person because of his/her nationality. How hard is that?

The good thing is, the cat’s out of the bag. Just because the legislators chose ignore it, doesn’t make the problem go away. They can’t claim didn’t know about discrimination. We told them. Thus, they are now knowingly and willingly aiding and abetting discrimination.

Now that they blew their chance to make this right, it’s time to play hardball… CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUITS! … stay tuned.

Comments and Questions:
  • Thk u Leon, this is showing how they dominate any legislation… mention it but drop it like a fly!
    You still was heard!
  • Why isnt the UN and NLG doing anything about it? Just curious.
  • This is the year we change the game. We need heirs to claim their ancestors lands and take
    control of the buildings that sit on those lands then activate our government and stop the fake state from carrying on their American ways.
  • Holllld up….if Hawaiian language is ok to use in court with a translator, then they recognize and are cognizant of our existence…so, what exactly is the problem? Because if the Corporation had <employment opportunities> with Filipino **nationals** on their military installations as civil jobs…why not extend that same diplomacy over to Hawaiian Kingdom Subjects? Oh…because we are not obligated to have any contracts with nuclear powers…
  • Mahalo Uncle Leon for everything you do for us and our future.
  • Leon Siu The legislators are acting deaf, dumb and blind so they don’t have to do anything about this huge problem of Hawaiian Nationality. The very presence of Hawaiian nationals is an existential threat to the State of Hawaii. The fact that Hawaiian nationals exist and are growing in numbers, is demolishing any U.S. claim to our Hawaii… Even with years of harassment, persecution, deprivation, strangulation and suffocation, they couldn’t make us go away… In fact, hardship has made us stronger and more determined. Sister Haunani Kay Trask in 1993 cut right to the chase when she declared at ʻIolani Palace, „We are not Americans“… „We will never be Americans“ … „We will die Hawaiians“… and I say, before we die… „WE WILL LIVE AS HAWAIIANS!“ EO! Aloha ʻĀina!
  • this legisloter not fm hawaii most of them from other state
  • That’s what I dont get she proposed it yet went backwards. It’s like waiving candy in front a keiki teasing them. Disgusted and now I mahalo them so much more because we rise higher! In stronger opposition mode! Still why isnt the UN and NLG stepping up more?
    Mahalo uncle Leon Siu
  • How was the vote broken down? Did they comment? What did they say?
    Mahalo for this important work, Leon Siu. In many ways, this is a good outcome, as it shows that a goodwill appeal was proactively made to the State for basic, decent recognition – and it was denied. This is a great addition to the list, to back up the position that we are trying our best to work toward peaceful resolution, in asking for international backup. Mahalo nui for doing all of this!
  • Leon Siu I watched their comments online. They tried to sound thoughtful and profound but were pretty inane. They were clueless about what the resolution was asking them to do. But itʻs okay because the resolution was like a trick question. No matter what the outcome, it establishes that discrimination is going on and the only question was how are you going to stop it? Itʻs like asking a public official, „Can you tell us, when did you stop beating your wife?“
  • Who’s on the SenateHawaiian Affairs Committee? Could be Asian colonial (local) attitudes prevail among them! Therefore, they would not or will (can) not understand the discrimination that exists toward na lahui!

Ending Discrimination Against Hawaiian Nationals – 28.06.2020

SR No. 159

“[U.S.] Federal laws prohibit discrimination based on a person’s national origin, race, color, religion, disability, sex, and familial status. …[Thus, it is] illegal to discriminate because of a person’s birthplace, ancestry, culture or language. This means people cannot be denied equal opportunity because they or their family are from another country, because they have a name or accent associated with a national origin group, because they participate in certain customs associated with a national origin group, or because they are married to or associated with people of a certain national origin.” — The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division

In violation of their own Federal laws, the State of Hawaii has been constantly harassing, persecuting, arresting, prosecuting and jailing Hawaiian nationals, treating us as if we are criminals or illegal aliens and preventing us from leading normal, ordinary lives. The State denies Hawaiian nationals services that are otherwise available to anyone else living in the Hawaiian Islands — unless we say we are “U.S. citizens” and that we reside in the “State of Hawaii.” Thus, the State has been forcing us Hawaiian nationals, through coercion, to assume U.S. citizenship in order to be able to live and function normally in our own country. Forced citizenship is a huge violation of international law.

Senate Resolution 159 on Hawaiian Nationality is being heard at the State Legislature. It is a rude awakening for lawmakers. It had never occurred to them that this shocking form of discrimination is going on, imbedded throughout the State government system. Senate Resolution 159 not only brings the violation to their attention, it forces them to create a remedy. SR 159 is predicated on the presumption that we Hawaiian nationals already exist and as such, have the right to live freely in our own country. The fact of Hawaiian nationality is yielded. All the State has to do is figure out how to make way for us.

The resolution calls upon the State to form a commission to recommend what the State should implement to treat Hawaiian nationals (and Hawaiian nationality) with proper respect and fairness under their own law. The good thing is, whether Senate Resolution 159 passes or not, the cat’s already out of the bag… This means the State’s discriminatory acts against Hawaiian nationals have to stop immediately, even before they figure out how they are going to adjust to us.

Mahalo for the interest in SR 159. In a nutshell: First of all: the State of Hawaii can (and should) stop treating us Hawaiian nationals as if we are criminals or illegal aliens. The State can (and should) stop forcing Hawaiians to be U.S. citizens in order to live and function freely in our own country. This resolution is predicated on the premise that we Hawaiian nationals already exist and have the right to live freely in our own country. The action the resolution calls for is: for the State to form a commission to point out what the State has to do to treat Hawaiian nationals (and Hawaiian nationality) with proper respect.

Hawaiian Nationality Forum

Hawaiian Nationality Forum
Liberary of Congress
Public Law 103-150


Celebrating the Hawaiian Kingdom
If you are (or if you know of someone who is) interested in helping facilitate any aspect of “Celebrating the Hawaiian Kingdom,” please contact:

The campaign to Free Hawaii continues to gain momentum … we expect significant movement soon in gaining support from the global community. Your kōkua, large or small, is vital to this effort…To contribute, go to:

To contribute in other ways (airline miles, travel vouchers, clerical help, etc…) email us at
Check out the great FREE HAWAII products you can purchase at…
All proceeds go to help the cause.

Mahalo Nui Loa!
Malama Pono,
Leon Siu
Hawaiian National

Hail the Hokule’a, Twin Hulls of Heaven

Sam Law

By Sam Low  (Thursday, February 4, 2016 )

Four years ago today, Hokule’a, a faithful replica of an ancient sailing vessel used by the Polynesians to explore and settle the entire Pacific a thousand years before Europeans even knew that vast ocean existed, was sailing toward Martha’s Vineyard for a three-day visit. As I was involved with planning that visit, I will be celebrating this fourth year anniversary on this page with a variety of posts.



To a modern sailor’s eye, she appears strange. Her twin hulls are joined by laminated wooden crossbeams and fastened to them by six miles of rope lashings woven into complex patterns reminiscent of the art of M.C. Escher. A deck is lashed over the crossbeams. The hulls rise up sharply at bow and stern and terminate in a graceful arc, called a manu, where wooden figures with high foreheads and protruding eyes, the aumakua or guardian spirits, stare out over an empty sea. Viewed from above, the canoe’s strangeness is dispelled. She looks like a catamaran.

Hokule’a is a replica of the vessels used by Polynesians to settle one-third of our planet a thousand years before Europeans knew the Pacific Ocean existed. Launched in 1975, she has sailed 150,000 miles, following the routes taken by intrepid Polynesian explorers, navigated always as they would have done — without instruments or charts — by relying instead on signs in the stars, waves and flight of birds. In July, Hokule’a will visit Martha’s Vineyard on a voyage around the world to malama honua, care for Planet Earth.

Hokule’a’s shape is ancient but her construction is not. A thousand years ago, her sails would have been woven from Pandanus fronds, but no one knows how to do that today, so they are made of Dacron. Her hulls are fiberglassed marine plywood because the art of carving such canoes from live wood has vanished along with the ancient canoe makers, the kahuna kalai wa’a. She is a performance replica, designed to perform like an ancient vessel by using plans made by European explorers of the canoes they encountered in the 18th century.

“We wanted to test the theory that such canoes could have carried Polynesian navigators on long voyages of exploration throughout the Polynesian triangle,” said navigator Nainoa Thompson, “We wanted to see how she sailed into the wind, off the wind, how much cargo she could carry, how she stood up to storms. Could we navigate her without instruments? Could we endure the rigors of long voyages ourselves? Frankly, that was enough of a challenge. It didn’t matter if the canoe was made of modern materials as long as she performed like an ancient vessel.”

Hokule’a is 62 feet long, displaces about eight tons and carries a cargo, including her crew, of six tons. Sailing with a strong wind behind her, she rockets along at 15 knots. Sailing into the wind, on a voyage between Hawaii and Tahiti, she averages about five knots and a 2,400-mile journey usually takes about 25 days.

We sleep in the hulls, in small compartments about four feet wide and six long, covered by a tent stretched over the handrails. We cook on deck using a two-burner propane stove encased in a waterproof box. To go to the bathroom you walk aft, crawl under the handrails, stand on a narrow catwalk and hang on.

I first sailed aboard Hokule’a in 2000, on a voyage from Tahiti to Hawaii. Five years earlier, I had made the same voyage on a 40-foot sloop of impeccable modern design. The voyage turned out to be a severe test of endurance and patience. The sloop heeled over in the trade winds — about 30 degrees from vertical — and thrashed her way through heavy swells. We lived in a canted, pitching world for three weeks, emerging from that experience thrilled but exhausted.

My voyage aboard Hokule’a was quite different. A sailing vessel with a single hull like the sloop heels away from the wind, but Hokule’a distributes the wind’s torque across two hulls so she does not heel, providing a stable and comfortable living platform in even the most terrific of winds. And her hulls are lean and narrow, so she does not pound into the waves. She slices through them with what can only be described as grace. The contrast in oceangoing comfort between the modern sloop and the Hokule’a is like that on land between a truck and a Cadillac.

There are other advantages as well. Our navigators steer the canoe by the rising and setting stars and find their latitude by measuring a star’s altitude with their hands, or observing pairs of stars whirling together across the meridian over the north or south celestial poles. The open deck of the canoe, uncluttered by superstructure, permits clear sightlines all around — an open-air observatory. Her twin hulls also provide an opportunity for her crew to deploy other subtle human senses to determine direction at sea. Hokule’a invites her crew to dance and she dances one way if she’s encountering swells from forward and another way in swells from abeam. Her motion differs if she’s running with the wind or sailing into it. The possible combinations are infinite, so the choreography is complex. Hokule’a demands attention from her human partners. If they falter, she reminds them. If they turn off course and into the wind she slows and shakes her sails. “Listen to me,” she says, “Can you hear it?” An alert helmsman knows to push the canoe’s steering paddle down to help her fall off. If the helmsman turns downwind she speeds up and pulls at her tiller. “Pay attention,” she says. All these are clues to maintaining a steady course, an important task for any navigator but particularly so for one finding his way without instruments. Determining longitude depends on dead reckoning, and dead reckoning, in turn, depends on keeping track of your course.

Catamarans are considered a recent innovation inspired by racing sailors seeking speed. But in Polynesia, such craft were invented thousands of years ago. Limited by stone and shell tools and the lack of iron fastenings, Polynesians could not fashion large European style plank-on-frame ships. Small outrigger canoes would not be seaworthy for long voyages, nor could they carry the cargo and people necessary to settle new islands. Large outrigger canoes would be unwieldy. So someone, thousands of years ago, thought of bridging two canoes with a solid deck. An advanced sailing craft was born out of necessity confronting the limits of a primitive technology.

Part three of a series. To learn more about Hokule’a and her voyage around the world, visit To learn more about her visit to Martha’s Vineyard you may contact Sam Low at


Cost of living in Hawaii


Cost of living in Hawaii is a major concern. Let’s take a look at how housing investments affect this concern.

There is embedded within the psyche of our community a theory generally expressed by the term, “Free Country.” Around that concept we have seen wound the principle of contract, of capitalism, of economic principles of investments and return on investments. We have been led to a belief that these principles, if we just leave them alone and let them work themselves out, there will be an “invisible hand” which will swoop down on the society and make everything right.

Yet, we are constantly reminded of the misery which our population continually experiences, which has gone on for at least 40 years that I am aware of. This misery is the sickness of homelessness, where we see a growing population of individuals and now families, forced to live without proper shelter, and in that life-style they are tossed into, often being tagged with criminal violations and treated in the society with deep prejudices because of those houseless conditions. Those homeless cases are the extremes. There are many more individuals and families hiding in places away from public notice and police detection. And there are those in our population who are simply unable to afford the cost of owning their own home, or renting a home.

The ills of a homeless condition reach far beyond the matter of shelter for an individual or a family. From such a condition flows the impact on a deteriorating health, loss of employment, a personal sense of loss of self-worth, a break-up of the family unit, fear, alcoholism and drug abuse, shame. Homeless communities are forming and being chased out of public areas of hiding, to seek other hiding places. Some have even gone under freeways, under bridges, up into mountains, along crevices at the seashore, in abandoned vehicles, etc.

We have a tyranny of the market that has gone berserk. Hawaii’s housing sales have become a world-wide competition such that foreigners and aliens are free to transport their monies across our Hawai`i borders with little resistance. That world capital investment game can see a large flow of money entering our shores and purchasing as many housing units including condominiums, tying up the market and sitting on these units till the next buyer decides to invest and a trade-off occurs. The State government says nothing of it because they are happy to tax these transactions and the counties too profit by the increase in “property values” determined by the increase sale transactions, which only goes to fill up the counties’ coffers. Our banks and other financial institutions say nothing about it because they too are tied into this affair, profiting from the economic activities of lending and collecting for the increased construction and the increased services they produce.

Let us be mindful that it is not only foreigners (those living in the U.S.A. mainland) and aliens (those living outside of U.S.A. mainland, but not of Hawai`i) who are important aspects of our problem of housing shortage, but they also include residents of Hawai`i who also see Hawai`i housing as investment opportunities. Many of these investors see the increasing housing demand as favorable for their investments, giving little or no attention to the social ills which they contribute to by this investment!

The other part of this economic cycle lacking the proper social consciousness are sellers of such real property, whose general interest is found in a profit motive and will naturally sell to the highest buyer.

The government, generally expected to act as the watchdog over the social and economic wellness of the society, have not connected the economic activity adequately with the social impact such activity is having and is engaged in supporting these economic activities.

We need to call for a new public policy aimed at making homes available to our residents. One way of doing this is to limit to 1 resident an individual is entitled. There should no longer be any hording of real property for investment purposes. If a buyer is not going to use said property as his/her primary residence, there will be a penalty to pay for the purchase and for the continuing annual retention of such residence to assist in the housing shortage which exist in Hawaii.

Any person owning more than one residential unit in Hawaii will be prohibited from purchasing another unless and until that person has relinquished his current residence to a local buyer in Hawaii who will use said residence as his/her home.

There will be attempts by some individuals to disperse their real property residential ownerships to members of their family who may not actually use such other real property as their residence. There may be attempts to name children still living in the same family household as residence of another home which the investor wishes to retain.

Laws will have to be adjusted to meet those attempts to circumvent the policy, including investigations and penalties whenever a person claims to reside in a property and it is found not to be the case. Any transfer of title to real property to a person who does not truly reside on said property, or if the transfer is merely a sham covered over with a title transfer, but with a side agreement or understanding that the property will be returned or managed under the instruction of the transferring person, if found out, the “side agreement or understanding” should be considered an attempt to defraud the government and such a side agreement could be set aside or declared null and void and the transfer will be recognized as valid without any such side agreement.

There may be other attempts to circumvent the law and such attempts will have to be dealt with by the courts or the legislature after the initial policy and the guidelines and legal codes adopted to carry out the policy is made. There are other experiences in Pacific Island nations which follow somewhat similar prohibitions against certain types of investments, and although there have been attempts to circumvent the law, the legal systems have dealt with such situations.

Real estate in Hawaii is too important to be used with such a negative impact as the type of homelessness which we suffer today. We should not have to continue under the present condition which sees the incoming flight of capital to Hawai`i while at the same time, we witness the outgoing flight of our local population because they can’t even afford to have a home in Hawai`i.

Yes, the adoption and practice of this policy of limiting investing families only one residential unit will take time to become a practice. But if we are serious about controlling Hawaii’s future for Hawaii’s people, this is certainly one place where we need to begin that control.

Poka Laenui for the Hawaii National Transitional Authority Working Group


Hawaiian Perspectives


Choose Federal Recognition or Free Hawaiian Kingdom


This is a re-post on another page, (Aha Aloha Aina). I am re-posting believing it important to be shared here as well.

A woman writes, “Why would you choose federal recognition when you can have a free Hawaiian Kingdom with reparations for the illegal occupation?”

1st, she presents the question as either one or the other, i.e. one automatically eliminates the other! Federal Recognition OR Independence. I challenge that limited view of the fight for Hawaiian Sovereignty. As a Hawaiian National, I will not limit my fight for Hawaiian Sovereignty by sticking my head in the sand and pretend that there is no other reality. As I stand in the U.S. Courts and challenge the jurisdiction of the courts over myself or my clients, I also prepare to use the laws of the United States, of Hawaii, of the applicable rules of court, of the U.S. & Hawaii Constitutions, the Ordinance of the various counties, etc. in defense of my clients. I will also use international laws and principles to assert such defense. The fact that I declare myself a Hawaiian national in no way foreclose my right and responsibility to my clients, to raise all appropriate defenses, wherever found.

Of course, those who do not want the Hawaiians to have sovereignty are glad to see this all or nothing approach. It means there will be no trouble with Hawaiian nationals who will not fight but just complain about lack of U.S. jurisdiction as they are marched (defiantly) off to jail!

There is also the other extreme side of Federal Recognition. Those are the folks who do not want Hawaiian independence, wants to stay now and forever, a part of the United States. At most, they can go along with a degree of reparation – ala the Native Alaskan Settlement Claims Act, or the Aloha bill with an attached extermination clause! They see Hawaiian rights only to the extent of Indigenous people’s rights to autonomy within a U.S. colonial regime.

As for me, I choose to use whatever tool, weapon, device, tactic, or advocacy that is appropriate to the fight for Hawaiian sovereignty. As I’ve said before, “The quest is not to walk the straight path, but to learn to walk the crooked path straight!” To the extent Federal Recognition can provide advantages which can be used to advance our education, the protection of Hawaiian trusts, loan programs, etc., I say use those advantages. To the extent Federal Recognition will give greater assurance to the protection of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, to the protection of the Hawaiian Homestead programs, to the protection of and recovery of Native Hawaiian burial and other sacred sites, to the protection and practice of our traditional religious forms, to secure the perpetuation of our environment, I believe we should champion those provisions.

Any time any program within Federal Recognition calls for the extinguishment of our right to self-determination or any other right established in international law, we should fight against it and always stand firm that any declaration of such extinguishment made by the colonial administration is legally and morally invalid. We need not wait to see that call for extinguishment when Federal Recognition comes into effect. Even today, without Federal Recognition, the State and Federal government’s agents carry on a pretense that we must accept extinguishment of our National claims in order to work within the U.S. systems. We need to be vigilant to those attempts and stop it in its tracts.

An example of this practice was employed against me by Federal Judge Sam King who insisted that I could not practice law in the Federal Court if I refuse to say I was a U.S. citizen. He found me in contempt of court. I challenged that determination and the result is that I continue to be authorized to practice law in all the Federal and State courts in Hawaii, without having to declare U.S. citizenship. There are many other examples of such tactics to erase our identity as Hawaiian nationals. Many of our public schools continue to practice the morning American pledge of allegiance as part of the school day. My daughter, when in the 1st grade at Wai`anae, told her teacher she would not join in because the American government stole the Hawaiian nation from our Queen. The next day, a boy in her class said that if Pua`Ena need not say that pledge, he was not going to say it as well. Within a month, the full class refused to join in that pledge. Our vigilance in protecting our national identity must be a constant alert, regardless of whether Federal Recognition is accorded us by the U.S. government.

Progress has been made. You may recall the State/OHA attempt to call a Native Hawaiian Convention, sometimes called the Na`i Aupuni convention in 2016. Three significant things occurred there. 1 – the State/OHA did not require one be a U.S. citizen in order to be nominated or vote for delegate in that election process. 2 – the U.S. government’s Department of the Interior changed course in its final rule, dropping the requirement that a member of a Federally Recognized Hawaiian nation must be a U.S. citizen! 3 – the members of that congregation agreed that we should continue to strive for our full rights of self-determination as understood in international law! The failures of that gathering were numerous but let us not also observe those positive aspects of that aha. (My full evaluation is scheduled to be published soon.)

Hawaiian Independence and Federal Recognition contain numerous common attributes. We need to see the potential for both pathways to unite our people as we continue to strive to bring about our sovereignty. A nation divided against itself cannot stand.

A hui hou. Poka Laenui


Eddie Aikau is one of the most famous of all Hawaiian big wave surfers and watermen. During the ten years he served as head lifeguard at Oahu’s Waimea Bay, his supervisors credited him with over a thousand rescues. In 1971, because of his daring and disarmingly humble demeanor, he was voted “Life Guard of the Year” by his peers. In 1977, he won the prestigious Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship. A year later Kālepa Baybayan (now a pwo navigator) met Eddie for the first time at a Hōkūle’a crew training session – and was introduced to a man that he will never forget.

“In 1978, when the canoe was going to go back to Tahiti, I got to try out for the crew. That was a big experience in my life, and the whole richness of the experience was the guy I met in crew training. When I walked into the room for the first meeting I saw that they were looking for big-time lifeguards and I felt kind of intimidated. I was from the neighbor islands and I was real shy. I didn’t know anybody and I thought that my chances probably weren’t real good. I walked into the room and there was this big wave surfer that had just won a surf contest on Oahu and I kind of didn’t want to hang around in that crowd. I just wanted to leave right away, so as soon as the meeting got done I rushed up to the elevator and as I got into the elevator, that big wave surfer got in with me. It was just me and him and I remember standing in the corner and trying to blend into the walls and that guy looks me in the eyes and in this real Hawaiian way he walks over and looks at me and he says, ‘Hey brother, we’re going to be trying out for this crew together, hey, more better we start out by being friends.’ And I still remember those words, ‘more better we start out by being friends.’ And he stuck his hand out and he says, ‘Hi, my name is Eddie Aikau.’ And that’s how I met Eddie Aikau.
Eddie Aikau was probably the most different guy I ever knew. He was this big wave surfer but he was just so humble, just so pleasant to be around, so befriending, you know?
He gave me a ride back to school that night and he drove this old beat-up bug and I remember that his car was like bussup on all sides, but inside it was immaculate. And he said he had a rule that no one could smoke in his car. And then, he said, ‘hey, call me up if you ever need a ride or if you ever want to come over and hang out.” He took me over to where he lived and I met his family and I just found out how really different was this guy. He was really healthy. He told me ‘I have to be healthy because of my job as a lifeguard. It requires that I don’t do drugs or anything like that. I just can’t. If you are going to surf big waves,’ he said, ‘if you want to survive you got to be strong.’ Here was a guy that to me recognized the things he wanted to do in life – which was to surf big waves and be a lifeguard – and he also recognized that to do that and survive there were certain things that he couldn’t do, so he was really disciplined. He was in great shape. He lived next door to his parents. He had his own house. His house was the same way like his car – immaculate. You walk into his house and there are all these surfboards in the rafters of the ceiling but it was just so neat. And you know he used to go to church on Sundays. He would take his parents to church, which I found really unique. Most guys, if the surf was up, they would go surfing but Eddie had a commitment to his parents. He cared for them that way.
His middle name was Makua Hanai, which means “raised by parents” or “caring for parents” – both ways – your parents care for you and you care for your parents. Meeting Eddie just changed my whole attitude toward how you treat people. I still remember those words, ‘more better we start off by being friends.’
My esteem – my evaluation of myself – was not very high and here was a guy that really just wanted to be my friend. He was just a humble guy and he just – that was all he wanted to do, He was a famous big wave surfer but so what? What it changed was my attitude towards treating people when they step on the canoe. You know, we are going to start off by being friends. I am going to treat you like family because that is what you deserve. Anybody that steps on the canoe, or anybody that becomes involved in my life deserves that kind of respect.
I had never been recognized that way – that I had something valid, and some kind of potential to offer – anything. In the Voyaging Society I soon realized that I had a lot to offer but part of that was recognizing that when you get on the canoe you gotta treat each other like friends, like friends.”
The above is from an interview in February 1999 by Sam Low. He hopes that the insights captured in this interview will last through all time…
Eddie Aikau perished at sea in March of 1978 after Hōkūle’a capsized while on a voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti. He heroically attempted to paddle to land to alert rescuers of the peril of his crew clinging to the overturned canoe drifting in high winds and seas.
His memory is carried aboard Hōkūle’a on all of her voyages in the hearts of her crewmembers. The “Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau” event was established in 1984 in his honor.
Inspired by Eddie’s treatment of him at that crew meeting, Chad Kālepa Baybayan has come a long way. In 2007, Mau Piailug initiated him and four other Hawaiian navigators into the order of Pwo, the two-thousand-year-old society of deep-sea navigators. He has sailed on all major Hōkūleʻa voyages and has served as captain on Hōkūleʻa as well as voyaging canoes Hawai‘iloa and Hōkūalaka‘i. Kālepa currently is the Navigator in Residence at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i developing wayfinding activities, curriculum materials, and conducting outreach.

Sam Low repostet this in The Navigators – Pathfinders of the Pacific 11.06.2020

Economic fairness in tourism in Hawaii


Earlier, I addressed one aspect of economic fairness in tourism in Hawaii, and elsewhere. There are many other concerns but this is just a sample of the type of equity or pono we need to infuse with all of our activities.
The next area which I did not address is the humanity aspect of tourism, what’s good and what’s bad. Tourism or visiting is not good or bad in and of itself. People’s curiosity, wonderment, and discovery are wonderful things for the human spirit. Exchange of understandings, appreciation and friendliness are traits we should all support. But when that exchange of humanity is turned into an economic commodity within a run-away capitalist system, we degrade the beauty in this exchange and degrade the people who are used as pawns and “economic factors”. We somehow lose the essence of human interaction with a pretend sense of “Aloha” which cheapens the tourist experience and ourselves who engage in it merely for economic profit. We can compare it to fresh flower leis picked and sewn by human hands and plastic leis manufactured in chemical laboratories and mass produced on conveyor belts.
We need to reassess tourism as an exchange, first and foremost, of humanity and for Hawaii, Aloha. In all interactions among guests and hosts, we must cherish those interactions as valued cultural expressions of ourselves. Guests should come to our shores with some understanding of who they are, where they come from and what values they have. They need to explore what’s in their own baggage and what they can share with people they will interact with. Money is not the only commodity of trade on their end. They could also commit to learning of the history and cultures of Hawaii and return to their homelands as ambassadors of pono.
On our part, we must see tourism as people wanting to fulfill a part of their human spirit to explore, to understand, to experience, to learn of the vast treasures in this prism called Hawaii, which somehow is a window into many other parts of the world. We should be proud of our Hawaii, yet be frank about the challenges we face, in our environment, in our economic system, in our colonization by the U.S., and in our hopes and dreams of a future for Hawaii and the world.
In this fair treatment of Tourism from a humanities perspective, we can convert this important economic activity into a boon for Hawaiian political rights, for cultural rights of our multiple cultures, for religious tolerance and appreciation, for environmental protection, and many more things of great value to our society.
Aloha `aina, Poka Laenui