Aloha kakou, Now is the time, if you're inclined, to tell US Progressives just exactly what you want from them in terms of support and collaboration for Hawaiian sovereignty. They need to hear this. Here on Maoliworld, we can collect these suggestions and responses in a forum and get them -- quickly -- to The Nation, which has just published the "Famous are the Flowers" essay by Elinor Langer (April 28, 2008). The Nation is an influential magazine with a long progressive history. Serious minded lefties take note of it. Also, letters responding to the article and to the open letter (see below) can be sent directly to They need an avalanche of mail and email... This issue of course also included the open letter to "US progressive movements" which was signed by our Maoliworld founder, Ikaika Hussey, as well as Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell and Kai'opua Fyfe of the Koani Foundation, who are represented here on Maoliworld. (And perhaps some of the other authors of the letter are Maoliworld members too, but I don't know that myself.) Ikaika of course has the text of this letter, and the mention of this issue, on his blog. The letter asks for support from US progressive activists and mentions the Akaka bill as one of the real dangers facing Hawai'i, along with accelerating militarization. Unfortunately the last portion of Elinor Langer's essay, which was mostly excellent, gives very little coverage or analysis of the real dangers of the Akaka bill. Langer's understanding, otherwise quite good, seems to falter here. She admits "the bill is so open-ended that no one knows where it will lead," but this is not quite true. Some people do have a pretty good idea of where the bill will lead! As a respected (and clearly sympathetic) journalist, she should have made this point clearly. If only she had spoken to one of the many people who do know, such as the Koani Foundation folks, or to Ku Ching (a former OHA trustee and lawyer), or to David Ingham, who has patiently dissected the various versions of the bill and thus revealed it for what it is -- an insidious and final way to rip off the remnants of the Kingdom once and for all, adding insult to injury by putting "Native Hawaiians" under the thumb of notoriously corrupt government agencies that have already ripped off the "Native Americans" in such a spectacular and costly fashion. The "can of worms" represented by the existence of descendents of Hawaiian Nationals isn't addressed by this bill either. Uninformed liberal and progressive readers are left thinking it might be the vehicle to redress the wrongs described so faithfully in the article. Langer mentions the Akaka bill as being "opposed by peculiar bedfellows" -- which she identifies as "many sovereignty activists" and conservatives such as the Grassroots Institute in Honolulu. The problem with this spin in the article is that US mainland liberal and progressives -- by their nature -- are suspicious of any situation where a deserving movement has to make common cause with conservatives. Don't underestimate this reaction! You do not want The Nation article to result in many well meaning US activists suddenly supporting the Akaka bill (and thereby giving the front-running Democratic candidates more "reason" to support the bill, which they've said they support already.) So, the Langer article was a good beginning. But let it be a beginning and not an end or a final word on the subject in the progressive press. The Nation needs to hear more directly and more often from Maoli, and less from folks like Langer (and like me) who can only "interpret" what we understand of the situation in Hawai'i through the lenses of our own distant perspective. I hope that The Nation will receive several detailed and informative articles from people actually involved in the movement, such as the people who authored the open letter. Okay, I've said enough. What do you all think? Malama pono, Amy

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  • Lana wrote:

    >if our keiki cannot find a job and choose to serve in the armed forces would you oki them? It would not surprise me if you condemn for doing so but understand that some people choose what they choose in order to survive and I commend them for doing so.

    While many of us have spent some time in the u.s. military - when we didn't know what we know now - we know a lot more now than we did then.

    As for me - I did spend a little less than 4 years in the u.s. military - however, I suppose that I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I wasted nearly 4 years of my life supporting the biggest warmonger in existence, on the other hand - the G.I. Bill paid for some of my university schooling - and helped to make me the "Hawaiian National that I am.

    However, as Lana stated - sometimes we are caught up in the economics of things - and the military is one way to help things work out - for a better future. On the other hand, one also risks one's life and, therefore, one's future.

    On "Huaka'i" - our cultural hiking group - that does a super hike every year - about 3 years ago we adopted the late Lt. Nainoa Hoe - and paid tribute to him - among other things in a ceremony at the summit of Mauna Kea - his father Allen joining us for this ritual.

    Since then, we have "remembered" Nainoa every year - as we put many footsteps on the 'aina - following in the footsteps of our forebears.

    Nainoa was a great Hawaiian warrior. It's too bad he chose to "serve" with the military of our enemy. I suppose he had a choice - and he made it. However, he left behind a proud family and a new wife.

    I sometimes wonder - Why is it that our young men and women are willing to sacrifice their lives for "the enemy" yet there is very little thought to do the same for our Kingdom, our culture and our way of life.

    In essence, however, many of us -by following the present path towards regaining our independence have chosen to dedicate our lives for our culture and our government.

    I think this is the pono thing to do. Others, however, may not see things our way. I suppose that their choice may be as rational, or irrational, as ours is - for making our choice.

    That we breathe life into our Kingdom every day of our lives is pono. May we all live very long and do a lot of breathing.

    • Aloha Ku, Just wanted to comment on your statement:

      "I sometimes wonder - Why is it that our young men and women are willing to sacrifice their lives for "the enemy" yet there is very little thought to do the same for our Kingdom, our culture and our way of life."

      That's a good question and I never thought of that. To me it's because they might not be aware that there's anything left to sacrifice themselves for. All this discussion here though I believe is opening the eyes of many of the young people that are our future.

      Yesterday, our class had almost 200 people attending. Within a few months we went from about 5-7 people to almost 200 people. It lifts my heart to see young ones with their parents, grand parents, aunties and uncles alike. Some know the truth others are just learning. I'm just learning and I'm continuously learning.

      2 of the young ones attending are my children. One is 9yrs. old and one is 12yrs. old and that is part of their homeschooling curriculum. Our keiki will be learning in all different ways and each way has it's place in the whole picture. I truly believe that. Just like each part of our body has a function for our whole body.

      I've never been so excited in my life about everything that's happening now for Kanaka oiwi in the Nation of Ko HawaiI (loa) Pae Aina and I'm proud to be a part of it.

      Have A Great Day Ku! Yolanda
      • No matter what one does in life; it should be with integrity. It's understandable that they chose to go into the military service for various reasons. I've known of foreign nationals that joined the US military; especially from the Phillipines. It's an occupation that has good benefits and for those with the interest in political science and military strategic science.

        Then again, some suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome or just plain don't know or comprehend the truth. The bottomline is whether we like it or not; it's the only option afforded to them and they bring honor to their family and themselves.

        The only problem I have with it would be that it's a US violation of the laws of occupation; but so has the US violated majority of the other quidelines/conditions under said laws.

  • Aloha kakou,
    I think it comes down to interweaving, complementary gut feelings about the work we all have to do in the world. No reason why all approaches can't be different (like those branches on the tree) because we all have different gifts and experiences. But everything that people do can still nourish and support the main work. Some of us are like leaves, gathering "what's out there" and trying to bring it in from the air, some are like the roots, and trunk, gathering nourishment from way down deep, being connected, and supporting the structure. Some are like flowers, wafting the essence to others.

    People are looking at how to deal with what's going on from so many different views and types of work, and it's all good. Cultural work, working with kids, working with the land, dealing with incarceration issues, international law, land title, sustainability, and even reworking tourism so that it's not so harmful. All these may seem like futile things -- even trying to educate the outsiders, tourists, and U.S. mainlanders -- but still something has to be done.

    Might as well do it, whatever seems most right.

    I realized a long time ago that getting involved in this issue is probably incredibly futile and not likely to get me "anywhere" in any sense of the word -- that I'll always be an outsider and an oddball gadfly with this topic, even here in Berkeley and certainly as a haole in Hawai'i -- but I can't bear to go back to blindness now that my eyes have been opened. I'm still learning, still making mistakes, but got no other choice. My object is not to do this stuff for "me," anyway. It has to do with giving back to the 'aina, which gave me back my life in a very real and substantial way. (But that's another story.)
  • Hi e Dominic.

    I'm not sure if I have offended you? If I did that was not my intention but I think it's important that our keiki survive. I have so many reasons why I state that probably because I was crushed by a car when I was six years old then attended Kamehameha Schools on full financial aid. I almost fell through the cracks but some people cared about me so that is where I write, speak, and think out of. Some people cared about me. Likewise, I care about Hawaiian children so that is why I wrote what I wrote because some people and I mean some non-oiwi do not give a damn about us nor about our keiki. Nothing and no one can change that because sadly they have already made up their minds.

    "You are obviously missing the bigger picture. Although I probably won’t be able to convince you otherwise, here is my opinion. Please keep in mind, that these are my opinions alone, and I do not speak for everyone else."

    Actually no. Thinking about our keiki and their lives is the big picture. Not my life. I have a great life now and have everything I could possible want or need. What about the keiki? Has always been concerned ever since I was a little girl. Granted some people speak about the past and I have no problem with that because without the past there is no present or future but discussing the past does not change the status quo of Hawaiians nor will it ever. Granted the oiwi way is to discuss but if we look at how the Latvians and Scots have overcome their plights then perhaps we can learn that it's not a bad thing to IMUA. They did it despite their respective nations being disrespected. SImilarly with Hawaiians... how does discussing our history help our keiki?

    As recently as 2003 Hawaiians composed of one of the top two groups at 38.7% of homeless people in Hawai'i:

    see page 24

    In the U.S. 2000 census 239,655 Hawaiians lived in Hawai'i while 161,407 or so Hawaiians lived beyond Hawai'i which means that an astounding forty percent of Hawaiians are HOMELESS where "home" = "Hawai'i":

    So as you can see... I do see the big picture. I have seen it since I was six years old.

    As for the people speaking for other Hawaiians... sorry I didn't mean you. I meant others and other entities like the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

    I could go on but I won't.

    "So why would one encourage their children to do the same in regards to our past? Please give our children the credit they deserve! They say that the mind is a terrible thing to waste. Why limit their range of knowledge?"

    How is advocating that our keiki learn from a variety of sources of knowledge not giving them the credit they deserve?

    If anything our keiki are very intelligent and are able to learn. One of my nieces, Mahinaokalani, is an example of this. She attends school in Virginia and goes to a special school for gifted children. Does that mean she rejects her kupuna? Of course not. However a result (one of many) is that our keiki acquire knowledge from a variety of sources of knowledge. This way we have the next generations of kumu hula, kumu, Hawaiian language immersion teachers, doctors, lawyers, professors, etc. How is that "not giving them the credit that they deserve?"

    I just think it's unrealistic to expect some non-oiwi to care about our history when they do not care about us nor about our keiki and they never will. Sorry but it's the truth and I am not the type to lie to a Hawaiian child's face. Instead I want them to be the best they can be. I want them to survive, thrive, and live.
    • In order to survive they have to adapt. If they don't they will die and if they die we ALL die. How is advocating that our keiki learn from a variety of sources of knowledge "not giving them the credit they deserve." How is advocating that we help to create the next generations of kumu hula, kumu, kumu in Hawaiian language immersion schools, lawyers, doctors, janitors, etc "not giving them the credit they deserve" which is what I am advocating.

      I am NOT advocating that they forget about the past because without the past there would be no present nor future. However for some it's easy to say because sometimes some people get pensions or they have a great job. I know there are many keiki who will not be able to attend a certain school due to no fault on their part. Perhaps they weren't born into wealth. Perhaps they are poor. Perhaps they have poor parents but advocating that our keiki learn does not mean to forget about the past nor does it mean that they stop talking about the past. I never stated that they do but some people keep talking about the past without resolving the present in order to plan for the future. I also stated that some people focus on our past and they do not look at our present or our future. Some people are stuck in the past... which (unfortunately) conditions our keiki to do the same which ultimately results in another generation of limbo which I would never want them to live. Ever.

      As for what I wrote about them not caring about us here are some stats:

      According to the 2006 HVB stats about 7.56 million visitors (page 10) visited the aina in 2006 and an additional 100,012 or so by cruise ship (page 15):

      Obviously some of these people (as in some non-oiwi) do not care about us nor do they care about our history. Some people do not give a damn about us or about our keiki. This is what I meant and no matter what some people (oiwi) say about our history to some others (non-oiwi) they still do not give a damn. This is evidence that they do not give a damn about us (oiwi) but if some people (oiwi) want to discuss our history or try to "educate" the "un-educated" then that's their prerogative. I would keep in mind though that over 7.56 million people do not give a damn about US which is key. Some of whom know our history yet still stomp on the aina anyway with little to no regard to its effects on the land, people, air, and water. Good luck to those who want to try to "educate" others (non-oiwi) about our history though it is obviously falling on deaf ears.

      More importantly I would want our keiki to know that. That is, the truth. That some people do not and will not give a damn about them. That way they will be able to protect themselves when we are no longer around which is key.

      • "Don't get me wrong, I am all for giving them a variety of sources of knowledge as you put it. Re-read my statement which asks why limit their range of knowledge? Let me clarify my statement to give them the credit they deserve. Our keiki are much more resilient and intelligent than most give them credit for. I hardly think that including accurate facts surrounding our political history of our nation will cause them to "focus" on the past and make them unable to adapt. We have scores of descendants of Hawaiian Nationals who hold prestigious positions in society to attest to that."

        Hi e Dominic.

        I ended up differentiating between oiwi and non-oiwi above because I was not referring to not educating our keiki about our history. That is a given and I personally know how some people can try to brainwash us against our kupuna. I mean educating some people who STILL visit Hawai'i which shows they do not give a damn about us and they don't. I am also referring to some who immigrate to the aina and end up increasing tax assessed values. Do they care about us? No.

        "Who cares what other people think or whether they give a damn or not about our history, the whole goal is for the personal development of future generations in order to maximize their potential."

        I have shown some stats which show how some Hawaiians are drowning.
        Tell me how "educating" those who are obviously still visiting Hawai'i is helping those 40% of Hawaiians left in this world from drowning as in they are dying.

        "My objective may be different from yours."

        I am curious what your objective is? I know you mentioned that you served some time with the armed forces so what is your objective? Are you trying to discount your choice to serve? Are you doing it for yourself? Or are doing it for all Hawaiians?

        "But my hope is that with the proper guidance and education which includes historical and cultural facts, that a sense of giving back will be implanted in the hearts and minds of a few, with knowledge of the truth which has been obscured for so many years."

        I agree with this but with non-oiwi some do not care. What you tell them is falling on deaf ears. It is clear when over seven million visitors are still stomping on the island. Are they listening? Clearly they are not.

        "Sure it has been over a hundred years since the overthrow, but in the scope of history, it has only been a short time since the resurgence of cultural pride and identity."

        Yes and nearly 40% of Hawaiians are still drowning. I posit to you... why not save these people from drowning instead of trying to "educate" those non-oiwi who do not give a damn about us?

        "Realistically, not everyone wants to be a doctor, lawyer or professor, but we should be able to give them all of the tools necessary to have them be the best they can be in what ever they choose."

        I also mentioned kumu and janitors. My point is that our keiki are able to learn but some people wanna keep them down. Some of their parents are drowning yet what... some people focus on "educating" some non-oiwi about our history when again they do not give a damn about us.

        "I have a niece right now who graduated from Kamehameha Schools a few years ago and who has changed her career choice to the medical field after hearing us "discuss our history". She wants to contribute to resolving some of the issues which affects Kanaka Maoli. No negative impact there! She knows the truth, and is destined to survive."

        Educating our keiki is significantly different from educating some non-oiwi who do not care about us. I advocate teaching our keiki the truth. That is why I say... some people do not give a damn about us which they should know. Meanwhile some of their parents are drowning.

        "No worries, you like everyone else are entitled to your own opinions, after what I've been through in life, there is no way you can offend me. I will always respect you and oth
        • ers regardless of our difference of opinions. All the branches of a tree head off in different directions though all are connected to the same root, why expect anything less of mere humans..."

          I agree because we are all cousins. However I wish those people who are trying to "educate" some non-oiwi much luck because it's still falling on deaf ears. I know you do a lot but 1) people are still moving to Hawai'i and increasing tax assessed values which affect our keiki where chances are they WILL flee one day and 2) millions of people are still visiting Hawai'i and stomping on the aina. That is why I posit how "educating" some non-oiwi helps our keiki. The numbers clearly show these people do not give a damn and they never will. Even with the Internet and how it has globalized communication... there are many websites that describe our history yet they are still coming to stomp on the aina. (Some even immigrating to Hawai'i despite being able to access some information about our history online.) Meanwhile they are planning when they will be visiting Waikiki and Lahaina while some people try to "educate" them. They are excited about their vacation and as the latest stats show... they're continuing to look forward to it and I don't mean to be so blunt but they are not listening.

  • Aloha Dominic,

    I've been pondering this statement:

    "My biggest challenge, is to get others to assist me in designing an educational lesson plan geared to educate my kids, grandkids and everyone elses too so that they can also make their own decisions based on accurate historical facts.

    I'm going to do it, and I hope that I can count on members of our Maoli World ohana to support me."

    My immediate response is what I, as an individual personal choice, am doing to educate my children not thinking that you may have been talking about something different.

    I was wondering if you could start another thread with the subject specific to designing an education lesson plan where we can all brainstorm ideas. You can use what you like and save the rest for future references.

    I am pro education of our history, language, culture, politics and fully concentrate on those very subjects in my own children's education.

    When taking cross cultural psychology I learned that the first thing that is taken away from a people's culture is their language. From there the oppressor starts to take away other parts of the culture that is relevant to the maintenance of a peoples solid foundation. Once they can take the solid foundation away from under a human beings feet they can proceed to make one feel less (self esteem issues and such). With the resurgence of our language, our history, our culture you can see a rise of pride in Kanaka Maoli, even if there are differences, it makes no difference. As the pride (I think that's the word please help me if there's a better word to use) of Kanaka rises you can see that we are beginning to take back land.

    From a solid foundation of knowing who we are, what our language is, what our history is, what our culture is, we can now go forth and learn other languages, other culture's, other history. For the gifted maybe they have the ability to learn all at once.

    Studies were done that showed that individuals who knew their language, culture, history from bebe time learned other languages, cultures and history at a faster rate. Pls. don't ask me which study, this was awhile ago.

    So yea, please start another thread with this as I believe it's so important what you're doing.

    Mahalo, Yolanda
  • ALoha Dominic,

    Mahalo for replying to the last discussion. It seems that I have opened a can of worms with the homeschool/charter issue. All I wanted to do is share my mana'o and I wasn't expecting the response that is being discussed.

    First of all, keeping respectful of everyone mana'o I would like to reiterate that homeschooling is NOT for everyone. Neither is Charter. IF people have an idea of how the school systems on the island of Kauai (to be particular) are being ran and their curriculum (particularly Hawaiian History) than, please....contribute to a healthy conversation with the respect of others(not you in particular). Volunteer at a local charter or go directly in to your local high school and see what they are teaching.....this will definately be an eye opener. And don't just sit there like an observer, volunteer to be on the BOARD of Directors, so you know for sure the nitty-gritty details.

    Secondly, on a local level....charter schools are being required now to produce proof that their teachers, although DOE qualified and certified NOW have to be "Highly Qualified". WHY?????? Because it's part of the game. So, say for example you jumped through the hoops of the system for years and have your credentials, NOW you have to again, prove that you've taken a specialty exam that qualifies you to teach ie....high school math, but the Praxis exam for this can be barely passed by professors at the college level. You do the math.

    Third, my overall point is that instead of teaching our keiki a wide range of valuable information of our whatever venue YOU and your family choose, we continue the cycle of colonizers. Push keiki into school. Fill them with info until they burst (regradless of what they want to learn). Some succeed, some fail. Push them into the next level of study (college) so they can get "good" jobs. Again some succeed, some fail. We treat those that go into the workforce sometimes as failers, because why???? They didn't continue their education. Is education not learned through experience?

    Anyway, Dominic...I have so much to say and of course this is an emotinal issue as well as just sharing mana'o. Mahalo again for your replies, please feel free to check out my maoliworld page and perhaps the Kauaians can kukakuka together for some maika'i ia 'oe.. Lorilani
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