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The Reality of Sovereignty

Open letter to the People of Hawaii
by Pu`uhonua "Bumpy" Kanahele

from Halawa Prison

Honolulu Advertiser
October 11, 1995

Aloha to all people of Hawaii:

You may be aware that I am probably the most politically aggressive and outspoken activist in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement today. In a free society everyone has a right to express their political voice. My political voice and truth are founded in a deep respect for freedom, justice, and non-violence, and are not intended to harm or defame anyone. I am simply attempting to educate the Hawaii general public, state and federal government officials, and interested international organizations regarding solutions to the grave historic and contemporary injustices suffered by native Hawaiians. The time has come to understand and embrace the reality of sovereignty in Hawaii.

"Conventional politics" have been the major roadblock deterring the natural process of self-determination for native Hawaiians. As God is my witness, there is no doubt in my heart and mind that my imprisonment is a "political issue." One of my respected kupuna "elders" recently told me, "Some people keep banging their heads against the door, when all they have to do is turn the door knob." I am peacefully and patiently reaching for that door knob. Will that door now open?

In July 1993 I was appointed by the Governor and served on the Sovereignty Advisory Commission. I was elected by my peers to chair the committee titled "Visioning Beyond the Legislative Mandate." This committee's purpose was to find the best possible solutions for self-determination beyond the scope of state and federal laws. In addressing this task my committee discovered that it was the international arena of law that required further exploration and definition. The Commission decided to bring in two qualified experts on international law to educate ourselves as well as the general public.

The second expert was Professor Francis A. Boyle, who gave his opinion on "The Apology Resolution" (Public Law 103-150), signed by President Clinton on Nov. 23, 1993, apologizing to the Native Hawaiian people for the U.S. participation in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarch in 1893.

Professor Boyle stated, " the United States government, after one hundred years, has finally and officially conceded, as a matter of United States law, that Native Hawaiian people have the right to restore the Independent nation State that you had in 1893..."

Also that, "...remember, it's important when reading through this act, the so-called whereas clauses, these are official findings of fact and law, by the Congress of the United States. These findings bind all state and federal courts here in Hawaii." These findings of fact and law can no longer be contested or denied.

The nation of Hawaii bases its legal constitutional foundation on customary and international law as well as U.S. Public law 103-150 passed by the U.S. Congress. The inherent rights of native Hawaiian people must be respected. This is the fruit of the 1993 Sovereignty Advisory Commission's committee called "Visioning Beyond the Legislative Mandate."

We are all now challenged to rise above the history of disregard of international law and flagrant human rights violations in Hawaii. As we educate ourselves and understand the findings and facts of U.S. Public law 103-150, we can heal the past and begin to face our common future with dignity. Please open your hearts and your minds to the prayers and politics of independence. Please stand together for truth and justice.

We can and we will show the world there is a way to overcome colonization without violence and to establish equality and equity for native Hawaiians without disenfranchisement of the status quo. To be successful in ending the oppression and forced occupation of Hawaii's people and lands by the American government, we must learn to be self reliant, to trust one another, rise above racism, and above all to know that we the people of Hawaii have the capacity and authority to determine our own best possible future.

Aloha Ke Akua,

Pu`uhouna Bumpy Kanahele
Halawa Prison

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