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Ka Pae`aina o Hawai`i Loa
United Independence Statement

December 9, 1999
Kaumakapili Church

We, individuals, organizations, and representatives of the nation of Hawai`i, though diverse in our various opinions of strategies and pathways to the achievement of Hawaiian sovereignty, hereby unite in our common voice for the independence of this Pae`aina O Hawai`i Loa. We have faith that our nation continues to live as long as we remain steadfast in support of our national life, regardless of the years of colonization, the massive military occupation, the economic domination and the many other efforts to wipe out our national memory and resistance to this occupation.

The United States of America (U.S.) which committed an act of aggression against our sovereign national territory on January 17, 1893 has itself confessed to its delinquent act through the person of U.S. President Grover Cleveland in his joint message to the Congress of the United States on December 18, 1893. The U.S. has confirmed the message of President Cleveland, confessing to its delinquency, by apologizing to the "Native Hawaiian people," declaring on November 23, 1993 in Public Law 103-150:

The indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum.

U.S. Public Law 103-150 echoes the Memorial adopted by Kanaka Hawai`i (Hawaiian citizens) on October 8, 1897, who met in mass rally at Palace Square, Honolulu, protesting contemplated annexation of the United States, by stating in part:

That your memorialists humbly but fervently protest against the consummation of this invasion of their political rights; and they earnestly appeal to the President, the Congress and the People of the United States, to refrain from further participating in the wrong so proposed; and they invoke in support of this memorial the spirit of that immortal Instrument, the Declaration of American Independence; and especially the truth there in expressed, that Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed - and here repeat, that the consent of the people of the Hawaiian Islands to the forms of Government imposed by the so-called Republic of Hawaii, and to said proposed Treaty of Annexation, has never been asked by and is not accorded, either to said Government or to said project of Annexation.

That the consummation of the project of Annexation dealt with in said Treaty would be subversive of the personal and political rights of these memorialists, and of the Hawaiian people and Nation, and would be a negation of the rights and principles proclaimed in the Declaration of American Independence, in the Constitution of the United States, and in schemes of government of all other civilized and representative Governments.

Wherefore your memorialists respectfully submit that they, no less than the citizens of any American Commonwealth, are entitled to select, ordain and establish for themselves, such forms of Government as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness; and that questions of such moment to the Hawaiian people as are proposed to be settled by said Treaty, are questions upon which people have the right, in the form of Conscience, to be heard; and that said Hawaiian people have thus far been denied the privilege of being heard upon said questions.

As our ancestors of a century ago also joined together asserting their unified devotion to their Pae`aina o Hawai`i Loa (Hawaiian nation), we too gather, in the steps of our ancestors, firmly devoted to our human rights and fundamental freedom to self-determination and self-governance.

As the Commission on Reconciliation visits our Hawaiian Islands, taking testimonies of the depth of the injuries we suffer, asking us to submit our views for proper remedy and consideration, we present the following united statement:

  1. No submission to jurisdiction. We come before this commission as Kanaka Hawai`i (Hawaiian nationals) and not as citizens of the United States of America. We do not admit to jurisdiction of this commission or the United States of America as being the final arbiter of the depth of our injury or the recourse appropriate to the injuries.

  2. Proper alignment of parties. Hawai`i, a sovereign nation recognized in the international community of nations, has been invaded and occupied for over a century by the United States of America, a sovereign nation equally recognized. International violations have occurred. The U.S. Congress and two presidents have so confessed. The proper parties to a process of reconciliation for these illegal acts are the representatives of these two nations. The current U.S. commission attempting to take testimonies of the Kanaka Hawai`i Maoli (Native Hawaiian people) does not arise to the appropriate process for a true reconciliation of the delinquent acts against Ka Pae`aina O Hawai`i Loa. At most, this process can only address a partial attempt to relieve the current distress of the people's day to day plight.

  3. Diminished status of commission. The members of the current commission coming from the Departments of Interior and Justice have competence only over the internal affairs of the United States of America. They have declared as much. The appropriate department to sit over matters of these international affairs should be the U.S. State Department.

  4. No extinguishment of our right to Self-Determination. Whatever the outcome of the current commission's hearings, including legislation which may arise therefrom, should not be construed as a concession by us or an extinguishment of our right to Self-Determination. We reserve the right to seek proper redress to our self-determining rights before an appropriate, impartial international forum.

Reconciliation may properly occur only when certain basic requirements have been met. The overthrow injured Ka Pae`aina o Hawai`i Loa (Hawaiian nation), not simply individual Kanaka Hawai`i Maoli ("Native Hawaiians"). Therefore, a precondition for reconciliation must be the restoration of the sovereign Pae`aina O Hawai`i Loa (Hawaiian nation), after which proper reconciliation between the United States and the Pae`aina O Hawai`i Loa (Hawaiian nation) may proceed. We call on the United States to remove all impediments to Kanaka Hawaii (Hawaiian nationals') free exercise of their nationality, and to cooperate in a peaceful and rational process for restoring the governing powers of a sovereign Pae`aina o Hawai i Loa (Hawaiian nation.)

The above statements concur with the position of the United States Secretary of State, W. Q. Gresham, when he wrote to President Grover Cleveland on October 18, 1893:

The Government of Hawaii surrendered its authority under a threat of war, until such time only as the Government of the United States, upon the facts being presented to it, should reinstate the constitutional sovereign ...

Should not the great wrong done to an ... independent State by an abuse of the authority of the United States be undone by restoring the legitimate government? Anything short of that will not, I respectfully submit, satisfy the demands of justice.

Can the United States consistently insist that other nations shall respect the independence of Hawaii while not respecting it ourselves? Our Government was the first to recognize the independence of the Islands, and it should be the last to acquire sovereignty over them by force and fraud.

We demand the United States honor its own laws, as well as international and customary laws, and begin the process of restoration of the independent and sovereign Pae`aina o Hawai`i Loa (nation of Hawai`i). We stand united and steadfast in our commitment to Independence for Ka Pae`aina o Hawai`i Loa.

E mau ke ea o ka `aina i ka pono.
E `onipa`a kakou e na pua o Hawai`i.
Aloha `aina.

In response to Rice v. Cayetano and the federal "reconciliation" hearings,Kanaka United for Action, a network of maka`ainana Kanaka Maoliorganizations, with the support of the Hawai`i Ecumenical Coalition and KeKia`i convened a series of three meetings with leaders of various Hawaiianindependence organizations and entities from the different islands. Thepurpose was to unite the proponents of Hawaiian independence and put forth ajoint position on independence. This statement on independence was theproduct of these meetings. We invite others who support this statement tosign on. Contact: Hawai`i Ecumenical Coalition c/o 766 N. King Street,Honolulu, Hawai`i 96817. (808) 845-0908.

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