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Posts Tagged ‘Hawaiian politics’

 

Depending on your lens, the proposed TMT on Mauna Kea is a likely-to-be-lost opportunity for western style astronomy, or another expression of the unresolved legacy of Hawai’i’s colonization seeking justice.  My guests were Camille Kalama, Staff Attorney at Native Hawaii Legal Corporation, and Dr. Julia Morgan Ph.D, Kauai Community College. Morgan’s father, Dr. Donald Morgan taught physics and astronomy at St. Mary’s University in Winona Minnesota; she grew up with, and loves science, as well as her dad.

Instead of trying to frame the discussion, I’m recommending an extraordinarily well written essay, “Maunakea, technology, and kuleana” by board members and staff of PurpleMaia.org: Donavan Kealoha, Olin Lagon, Kelsey Amos, Kamuela Enos, Nāpali Souza, Forest Frizzell, and Marion Ano.  My description of Poli’au was anemic, this is a good primer: Poliahu, Goddess of Mauna Kea.

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Camille Kalama, second from left, was one of the official legal observers on Mauna Kea.

 

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Still weeks behind in blog entries, but catching up. The goal is one every couple of days until my favorite four letter word: done! It’s not just because it takes so much time to research and organize a program, I’m also applying and interviewing for paid work, to support my volunteer habit. FYI, Think Tech Hawaii is a 501 (c)(3), all hosts are volunteers, and donations/sponsorship  are hugely appreciated.

The day after we livestreamed, I watched my interview with  Na’i Aupuni candidate Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa on ThinkTech Hawaii’s YouTube channel  — and was horrified!  During the first break, the promo was for the veteran Think Tech Hawaii program,  E Hana Kakou hosted by Keli’i Akina, who spoke of his affiliation with. . . the Grassroot Institute of Hawai’i!  I’ve watched Akina’s show before, and he’s got plenty of  good stuff, about the Jones Act, for instance.  It wasn’t until I saw this clip that I realized he is THE Keli’i Akina, of the GIH, which was attempting to halt the Na’i Aupuni Elections. AWKWARD.  After their motion was denied by the lower courts, as one of the Plaintiffs in Akina v. State of Hawai`i,  he filed an appeal to The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to halt the elections. And by now we know, they succeeded.

It wasn’t until the following Friday that I was able to talk to Think Tech Hawaii’s Tech Goddess, Zuri Bender, that I had an answer: completely random chance. She had NO idea about the lawsuit, or even that GIH had issues with the election.  Of course I don’t really believe in random chance, but I do believe that Zuri clicked on that “next” video file in complete innocence. Even if that startling transition from a really interesting, energizing discussion with Kameʻeleihiwa about the elections to a promo for the GHI hadn’t happened, this was going to be a challenging post.

I support most of what Dr. Kame’eleihiwa has to say, but not all.  We’ve never exchanged more than a few sentences at a time before; it was great fun to engage with such a charming and wickedly quick wit. The best parts of our interaction happened off camera. Before the show, I explained to her (she knows my family) that I couldn’t vote because I don’t have official documents which would qualify me, as described in an earlier post.

Knowing that she is one of, if not the greatest, living Hawaiian genealogists, I brought along great-grandmother Mary Lucas’s journal with handwritten moʻokūʻauhau. We only had a couple of minutes, but I learned that I have acestors from Maui and Hawai’i Island as well as O’ahu.   She started telling me stories about them, as she recognized the names, WOW.  That kind of information is precious and I would love to learn more.  She suggested I take her genealogy class next Spring.  I just need to find a paying job that allows me to take Friday afternoons off and attend HWST 341 Hawaiian Genealogies.

The reservations about Na’i Aupuni which Jon Osorio articulated so eloquently during an EXCELLENT panel  discussion (Jon’s portion starts at 29:00) on the Na’i Aupuni, I share.

There was an interesting follow up on another Think Tech Hawaii program with Jay Fidell’s (Executive Director of TTH) brother, Professor Gene Fidell and his students of Indigenous Law at Yale.

The truly remarkable thing was that Dr. Kalamaoka’aina Niheu M.D., philosophically aligned with Osorio, and Michael Lilly, Esq. of the Grassroots Institute of Hawai’i’, AGREED on nearly every point. I kid you not. I was in the studio, and as point after point Niheu and Lilly explained the flaws in the Na’i Aupuni process, I saw historically opposing ‘ike finding common ground. And THAT is what it’s going to take to ensure the Hawaiian Archipelago  finds environmental, economic and sociocultural thrivelyhood.

A joint Skype program between the ThinkTech studio in Honolulu and Yale Law School with guests Dr. Kalamaoka’aina Niheu and Michael Lilly, Esq. Counterpart guests at Yale are Gene Fidell and his class in Native American Law

A joint Skype program between the ThinkTech studio in Honolulu and Yale Law School with guests Dr. Kalamaoka’aina Niheu and Michael Lilly, Esq. Counterpart guests at Yale are Gene Fidell and his class in Native American Law

My desire that the discussion happen, but that the official process be reworked has partially come to pass with GIH’s opposition to the Na’i Aupuni elections being upheld,  As per a press release by Na‘i Aupuni, “it . . . will go forward with a four-week-long ‘Aha in February. All 196 Hawaiians who ran as candidates were offered seats, [152 have agreed to be delegates] to the ‘Aha to learn about, discuss and hopefully reach a consensus on a process to achieve self-governance.” Dr. Kame’eleihiwa is on the list, and already one of her desires has been fulfilled; that of a shorter process.

Convening the ‘Aha  without an election further strengthens arguments about the legitimacy  of Na’i Aupuni as a body representative. However, this ‘Aha could well lead to some substantive discussions and decisions which could then be vetted in a process which actually does have credibility, after the fact.

The process of Na’i Aupuni has already brought forth many new  voices willing to take leadership roles in the Hawaiian community, as well as galvanizing those who disagreed with the process, like Dr. Niheu M.D., and Osorio. A stand out among these young voices is Katie Kamelamela.  I had the distinct honor of spending five days on Kaho’olawe with this fine scholar, a doctoral candidate with degrees in Hawaiian Studies and Botany.  The above link to her candidate profile articulates in concise language a positive  vision for  Native Hawaiians and Hawai’i, including transition to reinstating an independent Hawaiian Nation. Go ahead, here it is again: Katie Kamelamela. While you’re there, take a look at some of the other profiles.

We still have to figure out the mechanics of vetting the ‘Aha, but we do have the advantage of technology.  My cell phone reads my fingerprint, measures my blood oxygen level, and can send photos of my driver’s license anywhere in the world. It is possible to have a secure on-line self-registry of Native Hawaiians, so those who live in Argentina and Tokyo as well as Missouri can participate.  There is no ha’ina ‘ia mai ana kapuana yet for this story. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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writes from an endemic locavore

January 17, 1893 was the date of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy.  I wasn’t thinking about that when I started this blog, but it does seem appropriate. Some of us can’t thrive anywhere but Hawai’i. This blog is for us, You don’t have to live here to feel that way.

As Hawai’i Is My Mainland grows, you will find resources for: sustainability,  buying local, living local; fine arts, music, dance, sports, written and spoken word; politics, and culture. OK, I admit it’s ambitious, and probably a run on sentence. But the idea is everyone adds to the lists of resources and opinions.

Hawai’i Is My Mainland introduces the Blook Club.  The first blook is The COLONY the Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai (sic)  by John Tayman.  It just happens to be the book I’m reading at the moment. It just happens to be the only book with a story I could find on the bookshelf (long story.) It is unusual for me to read harrowing stories.  It does have the advantages of historical edification and being well written. Is this an alliterative paragraph?
Must be getting later.


pau for now,
Kaui

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