Background development of Native Hawaiian Convention
Pōkā Laenui, Chair
`Aha Hawai`i `Ōiwi
86-226 Farrington Hwy.
Wai`anae, HI 96792
October 8, 2010
A brief introduction to the `Aha Hawai`i `Ōiwi (AHO)
A series of events led to the election of delegates to the AHO delegates. Here is a quick summary.
Hui Na`auao in mid-1991 organized and pulled together a multiplicity of individuals and organizations under a broad umbrella of Hawaiian rights especially as it regarded issues of historical injustice in the overthrow of the Hawaiian nation. One of the major events it spearheaded in 1993 was the reenactment of the overthrow 100 years previously.
The Sovereignty Advisory Council (SAC) was formed by the State Legislature, circa 1992, appointing a handful of organizational representatives or individuals, charged with the mandate “to develop a plan to discuss and study the sovereignty issue”. This council submitted a report to the State Legislature detailing the events of the overthrow, the remaining issues still unresolved, and made suggestions on the State’s taking further action on this issue.
The Legislature subsequently created the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Council (HSAC), naming several organizations to sit on the council and authorizing the Governor to appoint additional individuals, nominated by Hawaiian organizations or individuals. HSAC was charged with advising the Legislature on the next step to take in moving ahead on the matter of Hawaiian self-governance. This council visited the communities in Hawai`i and in America, trying to obtain the opinions of the people on how to proceed with moving forward on self-governance. HSAC concluded that a plebiscite should be called asking the native Hawaiian population if an election of delegates should be held to propose a form of native Hawaiian governance. The legislature received the report, adopted the recommendations and followed by the appointment of an elections commission.
The Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Commission was subsequently formed to pose the question to the general population. The balloting was done by mail. The question on the ballot was, “Shall the Hawaiian people elect delegates to propose a native Hawaiian form of government?” The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of such an election.
The Native Hawaiian Convention (AHO) was subsequently constituted through an Islands wide elective process in which each of the sections of these islands, divided into moku, elected their delegates, and began their deliberations in July 1999. The work of the convention is shown in the associate brochure produced. The convention continues to exist, but has not been able to function due primarily to lack of funds and a support system.
Hui Na`auao’s Objectives:
a. To promote an awareness and understanding of Hawaiian sovereignty and self-determination;
b. To promote and increase an awareness of Hawaiian cultural values, heritage, history and current events;
c. To enable Native Hawaiian descendants to understand and exercise their explicit and implicit rights;
d. To develop expertise and leadership skills amongst Hawaiian people;
e. To provide training and technical assistance to Hawaiians in areas of concern to the Hawaiian community;
f. To gather historic and current information regarding Hawaiian concerns for public dissemination;
g. To promote continuity of consciousness of the people of Hawaii in all of its many aspects.