by Brudda Hank Fergerstrom
Ka'u Landing, December 1997
Hawaiians never cease to amaze me. Their pursuit and demand for justicecontinues to echo throughout this land. Many don't understand the thrust ofthe Hawaiian or the circumstances surrounding the illegal overthrow oftheir Constitutional Monarchy, Hawaiians continue to make "Pono" the illsof the past..
The past few years the sovereignty movement appeared to be left inlimbo..... With the arrest of Bumpy Kanahele of the Independent NationState of Hawaii, his trial...to the State's push for the plebiscite vote,the sovereignty movement had the appearance of stagnation. Not sonoticeable is the work being done in the background.
In December last year, Hawaiians gathered on Oahu to express theiropposition to the process the State had outlined, dictating how theHawaiian would gain his independence. Running into a staggering amount ofopposition, the State quickly reorganized and renamed the then HawaiianSovereignty Advisory Commission to Ha Hawaii in an effort to disguise theState's involvement. The whole point of the opposition was the wide spreadconcern of the State's position to be involved with the process. In thatmeeting, Hawaiians made it clear they did not want, nor did theyappreciate, the. State's insistence on their involvement. Although HaHawaii was the new boy, it became very apparent this was simply HSAC indisguise. However the most memorable part of this session was the leadersof the various sovereignty components standing up in public and committedto an attempt to work together.
A meeting was scheduled for February at the "Wahi Pana 0 Kualoa" or KualoaState Park, Chinaman's Hat. Here the first of a series of meetings tookplace. The first meeting had good response; some three to five hundredattended. Ha Hawaii was working the background, representatives of theHawaiian Civic Clubs, the State association of Hawaiian Homes had largecontingents...front runners of the sovereignty movement were ever sopresent. Positions were discussed and challenged, points of agreement werenoted. On the third day division became apparent and erupted as the mediacame to report on the progress the Hawaiians were making. Dividing lineswere drawn as the front runners conflicted with the Civic Club's and theAssociation's support for Ha Hawaii.
The second meeting produced a smaller turn out. They formed committees andset agendas.
The first workshops started on Hawaii at Keaukaha. Traditional andCustomary Rights. We were blessed with the presence of Aunty Abbie Napeahi,Aunty Maile Akimsue, Aunty Pua Kanaele, Papa Auwai, to mention a few. Itwas heart warming to hear our Kupuna speak of the spiritual essence ofHawaii, of the practices of the past that would help so much today, therichness of our culture....But the heart of it all was the expression andmeaning of "PONO".
The second on Sovereignty and Self Determination held on Oahu At Punaluu (Queen Lilioukalani's Children's Center) where many of the varioussovereignty groups shared their organization's structure, political agendaand position, as well as their process. With timeline discussions on theKingdom, the progression of laws, decolonization and related subjects.
The third on Cultural Retrieval, regarding the protection of sacredobjects, protection and care of ancestral bones and sacred Wahi Pana, WahiKapu. Discussions on Anthropology vs the rights of Hawaiians. Deep,interesting discussions and testimonials on the walk back into time,returning to the Aina.
The forth on Land, Entitlements, Trust and Ahi Trust. Speakers like Dr.Lilikala of the Center for Hawaiian Studies, Mililani Trask of Ka LahuiHawaii, to mention a few. This workshop went on a tour of the Archives, theland courts, and the Bureau of Conveyances.
Last month we met at Kualoa again to share with all the outcome of themeetings and subsequent position papers that were drafted. Greatinformation, well compiled, delivered to way too few. It was clear thisinformation needed to reach the people; the agreed upon joint documentshowed an alliance to protect the last vestiges of the inherent HawaiianRights. The State is moving fast to enact laws that would severelyjeopardize the rights of the Hawaiian to practice his own culture withoutpermission and regulation of the State. It becomes apparent that there area number of things that need addressing . ...too few hands . so muchwork...so much duplication. We decided there was a need to set up a workingcommittee to find a way to gather our people. To get them to realize theimportance of one another and share the common grounds, to combine ourefforts and quit acting with personal agendas as our people are fightingfor their very right to exist as a people, as a culture. The IndependentNation State of Hawaii planned an Aha Kupuna (Gathering of Elders) on November 7-9 at QLC in Punaluu. An invitation was extended to all groups.
We met different group members in Kalihi where we were allowed to share theMana'o of Kualoa. Most groups were in the process of setting up theirKupuna Councils ...Bodies of Authority pro-tem governmental structures.Friday, groups of people started to arrive from the different islands.Kupuna and more Kupuna, front line activists on all levels of the struggle.Ka Lahui...Nation State of Hawaii...Kingdom of Hawaii, KaPakaukau, ThePeoples Society, another Kingdom of Hawaii...and representatives of othersovereign groups.. all together, all wanting the same thing...to establisha body of Authority. In Hawaii, we all know who the ultimate authority is....THE KUPUNA.
Interesting, our Kupuna . . ..They do not see flags when they get together..they see other Kupuna...the wise...the beautiful...the acquired strengthof survival in the midst of oppression. They see the anger, the anguish oftheir own people, striving to hold on to their own unique way of thinking,their highly evolved spirituality and their intrinsic connection with theAina.
The Kupuna declared that for us to proceed there must be unity, we can nolonger work as factions, the work of the past led us here, from today weare to work as one. The Kupuna declare they will no longer dividethemselves as Kupuna of certain groups, they will stand together forHawaii.
A Summit is being planned for February after the Makahiki season when weleave the period of Lono and enter into the period of Ku. The Kupuna extenda call for all Kupuna to come no matter what the racial background so longas they have the wisdom of Hawaii in heart, mind and spirit. Now is thetime to prepare for this monumental event. ..save through the holidays...plan...make sure your families are represented ...come prepared as weintend to walk out as one Nation!!!
For more information or if you can help organizing.. .if you wanna work tohelp raise funds...whatever... Call me ...I'm Brudda Hank in Kona@808-322-7138, email firstname.lastname@example.org ...I'm compiling a list of contact points throughout the islands.
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