Images of the day
On Monday, January 16, 1995, a new Constitution was signed and ratified for the independent and sovereign Nation of Hawai`i.
Supporters of the Nation, including many Kupuna (elders), gathered at the front steps of the `Iolani Palace, the seat of the Hawaiian government, in a Celebration of Restoration.
The first to sign the Constitution was the Head of State, Pu`uhonua Kanahele, who was selected by the Kupuna in March, 1994, to guide the Nation to independence. After an address to the crowd calling for forgiveness and Aloha, he placed his signature to the page. As a symbol of Peace in the Pacific, the pen used was the same pen used by Japanese Emperor Hirohito to sign the surrender that ended World War II.
Following the Head of State, each Island Po`o (Head) gave an address and signed the document, and then each island's delegation presented a cultural ho`okupu (gift) and added their names. Finally, the signing was opened to the general public as music written by Queen Lili`uokalani played. A press conference was held, in which Pu`uhonua Kanahele placed the state of Hawai`i on notice to end its illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Archipelago and end the crimes against humanity continuously being committed upon the Hawaiian people.
The new Constitution is the result of a year of work since the Proclamation of Restoration of the Independence of the Sovereign Nation State of Hawai`i, which was also delivered at `Iolani Palace on January 16, 1994. This followed the United States' official apology to Hawai`i in 1993, for the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai`i in 1893.
Delegates representing districts from all the main islands created an organic document to restore the inherent sovereignty of na Kanaka Maoli, the Native Hawaiian people, while at the same time including those inhabitants of Hawai`i from all nationalities who call Hawai`i home, so that they can become citizens, enjoy protection of their rights, and participate in the new government.
As the backdrop to the event, the `Iolani Palace was draped in black bunting, in commemoration of the arrest of Hawai`i's last sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Lili`uokalani, exactly one hundred years ago, by the illegitimate government which had overthrown her two years prior, for attempting to promulgate a new constitution. At the time of her arrest, documents calling for a new constitution, containing signatures of two-thirds of the registered voters of Hawai`i, were stolen from her home by the chief justice of the illegal government.
After her overthrow, Queen Lili`uokalani appealed to the good faith and justice of the American people, that their government would right the wrongs that had been done and reinstate her as the legitimate constitutional sovereign of Hawai`i. She was not to see Hawai`i's independence restored in her lifetime, but she prophesied that it would be restored after one hundred years. For those present on this day, the event was a highly emotional one, as the dreams and prophesies of the Queen were fulfilled with the ratification of a new Constitution for the independent and sovereign Nation of Hawai`i.
Now the Nation of Hawai`i will continue to develop comprehensive educational programs for the people of Hawai`i, develop its legislative, executive, and judicial infrastructure, begin to implement home rule on each of the islands, engage the illegitimate state of Hawai`i in a smooth and peaceful transition, and seek formal international recognition to rejoin the world community of nations.
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Head of State Pu`uhonua Kanahele examines his seal on the Constitution
Chanter Kaua`i`iki performs traditional protocol
Pu`uhonua Kanahele and Na Kupuna hold a press conference
Na Kupuna and Delegates gathered for press conference
Flyer announcing the Jan. 16 `Iolani Palace event
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