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Excerpt from Governor Benjamin Cayetano's State of the State Address given Monday, January 26, 1998, regarding Hawaiian Sovereignty.

Governor Cayetano. . .


During the summer of 1998, we will observe the 100th anniversary of America's annexation of Hawaii. Nineteen ninety-eight can be a year in which we advance the education process regarding the complex issues surrounding the history of Native Hawaiians. We can develop a greater shared understanding, and we can search for approaches to resolution.

To those who are thinking, "Enough! Let's wrap this all up," I want to choose my words very carefully. I agree that resolving the status of native Hawaiians is absolutely an overriding priority. But this process cannot be rushed.

Discussion of annexing the nation of Hawaii began in the middle of the 19th Century. It was brought about in 1898 against the will of the vast majority of the Hawaiian people. Therefore, we cannot realistically hope to neatly wrap up all the issues resulting from a hundred-plus years of history, after only a few years of discussion.

Broadly-based efforts are now under way within the Hawaiian community to develop a model for Hawaiian sovereignty. Today I urge the full spectrum of the Hawaiian community to join in this unique and historic undertaking.

As governor, I do not possess the answer, nor should I. But as governor, I am steadfastly committed to a process that is full, that hears all opinions and educates all people. We should allow this process to take its course.

The recovery of Hawaiian self-determination is not only an issue for Hawaii, but for America. As we pursue this process of education and dialogue, let all of us, Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian, work toward a common goal. Let us resolve that, in the future, we will all stand together, shoulder to shoulder, in Washington D.C., to advance a plan for Hawaiian sovereignty.
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