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A Tribute to Kahale Smith

By Kawehiokalaninui-I-amamao Kanui, Hilo Office, Nation of Hawaii

The State of Hawai'i Department of Hawaiian Homelands is responsible for the death of Kahale Smith. Although he is gone, his spirit will always be remembered in our hearts as a gentle giant who enjoyed more than anything in his life, were moments that allowed him an opportunity, to swim with his grandson in the Anahola Bay.

Kahale Smith, a soft spoken intelligent Hawaiian was one among 65 other native Hawaiian families who waited many years on the deadly State of Hawaii's Department of Hawaiian Homelands "waiting list" only to get the shaft instead.

After waiting many years he finally got a lot. Billie Beamer who served as the chairperson, awarded Kahale his lot during a groundbreaking ceremony on the Anahola subdivision and was responsible for allowing shoddy construction; poor electrical wiring, termite eaten lumber and poor plumbing that prompted a suit filed by Kahale and the 65 families. Beamer has since done nothing to make right the wrongs she is responsible for in this situation, she serves a trustee with the OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS.

After years of litigation, mitigation and finally intimidation by the department and the State's Sheriff's department forced many to "settle-out-of-court" for less than they deserved. Kahale was a researcher, creative and very patient he went for the long haul and put his money into escrow, hoping that the department would in good faith someday repair his home. We believe that they are in clear violation of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 in the situation of Kahale Smith because he was not "back in his mortgage" as they would like the public to believe and they did nothing to repair his termite eaten, shoddy constructed home he continued to live in, as he waited for 18 years.

The State's Department of Hawaiian Homelands has a bad record for 75 years that included; losing applications, leasing lands to non-Hawaiians before the native Hawaiians, favoritism, fraud, neglect, conflict of interest and ammending the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 without the consent or input of the beneficiaries. No one has a clear idea of what those 52 ammendments means in terms of the pros and cons, more importantly what affect they may have had in the Kahale Smith's case.

For 18 years this situation has caused economic, physical, mental and spiritual stress on Kahale. His wife left him because she couldn't take the pressure. His children moved with his wife, leaving him alone to battle the department that led to the straw that broke the camel's back.

We know how humiliating this all has been, we have seen the department and the State's Sheriffs office come with the John Wayne attitude and saying, "we're just doing our job" with no feelings what so ever, committing Genocide.

There is no doubt in our minds that the State of Hawaii's Department of Hawaiian Homelands, sheriff's office and the attorney general are all responsible for Kahale's death. One day, all of you will be called to stand trial for the death of this man.

Our heart felt love and aloha goes out to his wife and children for whom this lesson was meant for. We will miss this gentle giant who was loved by his friends, family and children.

Kahale Smith was a dear friend of mine and where ever you are, you will be missed in the Anahola Bay and we will continue to struggle for justice, your death my friend was not in vain.

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