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Posts Tagged ‘Native Hawaiian’

 

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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Just click on the arrow and watch. It’s classic Jon. We show a clip from 1982, when he and Randy Borden were playing on the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace where he and scholar/poet/athlete/daughter Jamaica will be playing tomorrow. And thanks, Jamaica, for coming up with the “Hawaiian Dumbledore” sobriquet.

Jon reflects on the gains won through steadfast commitment and sacrifice by generations of Native Hawaiian activists and their supporters. He asserts the preeminent role of artists in animating humanity to embrace the changes required for our survival. Then he shows us how it’s done, by playing beautiful music.

Join us at ‘Iolani Palace Saturday May 14th, 2016  around 1 pm to hear Jon and Jamaica muse and music.  Arrive at 11 am to get in on all the activities of the first Manu o Kū festival. Wear a nature costume. Bring a picnic, or purchase freshly baked pizza from The Garden Oven food truck. It’s one of those events you’ll still be smiling about next week, and next year.

Manu o Kū Festival

 

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It made me cry.  Katie Kamelamela articulates her experience of the recent ‘Aha, a four week long constitutional convention process for Native Hawaiians last month. Approximately 150 Native Hawaiians created a fifteen page constitution based on their understanding of our history.  As groundbreaking as that accomplishment was, the process itself was one of deep transformation for Kamelamela (see video at about 34:00.) To come away  with profound insight into her own being-a way forward as a leader (not something she sought,) recognizing that above all, unity among Hawaiians is the foundation of sovereignty-fully warrants the fraught with hakakā  genesis of this ‘Aha.  Kamelamela’s message of acceptance and courageous embrace of change adds a new stanza to Meleanna Meyer‘s kāhea so beautifully presented last fall.

I thank the Grassroots Institute of Hawaii , and likeminded, for their steadfast efforts to induce Hawaiians to play by rules foisted on our ancestors in a series of opportunistic, unlawful and cruelly hypocritical events.  It is the pain of that injustice gestating over a century, now manifest as kuakoko, which is birthing something of such pure beauty I am moved to tears.

All who love Hawai’i, not just those of Hawaiian ancestry,  will benefit from greater understanding and participation.

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TODAY ONLY Hawai’i is My MainLand at 11AM ON Think Tech Hawaii.  Sunday marks the 123 anniversary of the overthrow of the  Kingdom of Hawai’i.  My guests, David Keanu Sai Ph.D. and Kau’i Sai Dudoit discuss educating the public, and a suite of materials titled Ua Mau Ke Ea Sovereignty Endures: An Overview of the Political and Legal History of the Hawaiian Islands.  Trailer:

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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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Today’s guests; Meleanna Meyer presents the newest phase of this groundbreaking healing work, an interactive installation at the Arts at Mark’s Garage.  Part of the Kuʻu ‘Āina Aloha project, a muti-modality approach to addressing the lingering impacts of cultural trauma birthed by the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Absent a Truth and Reconciliation process, the legacy of the overthrow continues to wreak havoc in the lives of  all who live in Hawaiʻi.  From incarceration, houselessness, chronic illness, and the usual post-colonial social ills in the Hawaiian community, to the Maunakea TMT debacle, the greater community of all who live here are in need of a healing process.  Meyer shares her journey.  Tune in at 3pm HST to Think Tech Hawaii.com

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What a day Friday was, from the tribute at Magic Island for kumu hula Leinaʻala Kalama Heine, to Think Tech Hawaii’s studio for premier of Hawaiʻi Is My MainLand.  Hula sister Mary Osorio, with whom I had the honor of being haumana to Leinaʻala, is married to Jon Osorio, the beloved musician, composer, author, scholar, and professor at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, at the University of Hawaiʻi.

The theme of the day was the recent Department of the Interior announcement regarding Native Hawaiians.  Jon and I discussed the convoluted issues around nation building within and without the carefully constructed box the proposed DOI rules have made to contain the government Native Hawaiian’s choose to create, 1) if they choose to create one, and 2) if the one they create meets the standards set by DOI. If you really want to do some homework here’s a link to the document, including instructions for submitting comments. It’s only 73 pages, and the summary is only a paragraph.

The pronoun “they” is used although I am part Native Hawaiian, because I don’t have official documents that “prove” it. Jon discussed Naʻi Aupuni‘s  complicated and conflicted role.  I admit after being a conscientious roll objector for decades I had a weak moment a couple of weeks ago when all the announcements about the up coming ʻAha  elections started getting louder. I called Naʻi Aupuni. “Why doesn’t your mother’s birth certificate say Part-Hawaiian? ” the nice Naʻi Aupuni staffer asked.
“Because in 1923 no one wanted to be Hawaiian,” was my too honest answer.

He thought I had an “unusual case,” and should try contacting OHA, which is also still enrolling Hawaiians. Last time I counted I had 50 some relatives within a 1 mile radius. We have lived, loved, and died in Hawai’i generation after generation, since before Captain Cook was a sparkle in his parent’s eyes. Tant pis that my great-grandmother’s handwritten family genealogy, in ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i just isn’t good enough for the agents of the United States, the State of Hawaii, OHA, Kau Inoa, Kanaʻiolowalu and Naʻi Aupuni.

The biggest takeaway is that this whole DOI process is a red herring, and Jon needs to come back and continue de-mystifying the issues around Native Hawaiians and sovereignty.

Mary P.Bannister Lucasʻs Handwritten Geneaology

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