Personal Statement

My name is Moanike'ala Akaka, a candidate for the Na'i Aupuni Delegation of Hawai'i Island.

My commitment is to Aloha ‘Aina: our relationship to nature and our environment, and to obtain justice through peaceful means for Native Hawaiians for the theft of our Hawaiian lands.

Born on the 4th of July, I believe in democracy and pragmatism for finding solutions to contemporary problems.

The philosophy of Aloha ‘Aina is international and all-inclusive, changing humanity's attitude toward its place in nature and the universe.

A small group of us started the Native Hawaiian Aloha 'Aina Movement in 1970 in Kalama Valley on O'ahu.

That was the beginning of the first Kanaka Maoli of modern times.

Locals and supporters were questioning the direction our Islands were going, wondering whether it was in the best interest of "we the people" and 'Aina.

At that time, O'ahu was fast becoming urbanized, with our rural lifestyle and environment being threatened.

We knew there was an obligation owed to Native Hawaiians for the theft of our Hawaiian Nation when our Queen Lili'uokalani was overthrown and imprisoned.

Over the past 45 years, I have been active in every way as an advocate for our people and 'Aina.

I was a founding member of "Protect Kaho'olawe Ohana", bringing an end to the bombing of that sacred 'Aina; we remember the tragedy we suffered with the loss of George Helm and Kimo Mitchell in March, 1977.

Although Kaho'olawe will become a part of our Hawaiian Nation once re-established, we are still owed hundreds of thousands more acres of ceded lands.

(In Hawai'i, the term "ceded lands" refers to 1.8 million acres of land that were the crown lands of the Hawaiian monarchy prior to January 17, 1893, lotted out by Kamehameha III during the Great Mahele.)

We aim to re-established the lands of our Hawaiian Nation, not just a few parcels as is Kaka'ako.

We closed the Hilo Airport on Labor Day in 1978 because we the people were the "landlords come to collect the rent!"

As a result of this action, $600,000,000 (six hundred million dollars) has been paid to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) for the use of the Hilo, Waimea, and Moloka'i airports.

(DHHL, a federal program, has been paid $30 million a year for the past twenty years.)

Included in this payment are other DHHL lands that past Hawai'i governors, even as a Territory since the 1930's, have been ceded; meanwhile, 26,000 Native Hawaiians remain on the waiting list for this Reservation Land.

We should not need to risk our lives as we did on the Hilo Airport runway in 1978 in order to receive the justice our people rightly deserve.

I was elected Trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) from Hawai'i Island between 1984 and 1996.

I was there to serve our people and their needs; this has always been and always will be my purpose.

As Trustee, I negotiated with the Waihe'e and Cayetano Administrations for the ceded land revenues the OHA now receives.

Before these negotiations, OHA was receiving 1.5% of the 20% owed us by the State between 1980 and 1990.

This 18.5% increase in revenues generated from our ceded lands is a significant financial increase for us.

What about the rest owed us?

This past April, I was among the first to be arrested on sacred Mauna Awakea to halt further desecration by construction of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope.

This is conservation zoned land, where "least possible damage" is a stated priority.

How can a footprint the size of four football fields and 18 stories tall be considered "least possible damage?"

I will remain forever a protector of our 'Aina and Po'e.

Although I see flaws in the formation and process of Na'i Aupuni, I believe this election is an opportunity for Native Hawaiians to gain more transparency, independence, and a means to improve our quality of life on our Motherland.

I consider this work serious business; our most experienced and best minds must serve as our elected delegates.

In the name of Aloha 'Aina, Malama Pono.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina i ka Pono!

Moanike'ala Akaka

Hawaiian Ancestry

Rebecca Mellish Mossman Akaka, three quarters native Hawaiian
Mother descended from Abner Paki
Father of Bernice Pauahi Bishop
Abner’s father was Kalani Hele Mai Iluna

Academic Background

Attended Kamehameha School
City College of San Francisco
University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Employment and Professional Activities

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee, Hawaiʻi Island, elected statewide, from 1984 to 1996

Founding member of the first advocate movement of modern times for Native Hawaiians to protect and preserve traditional lifestyles, Kokua Hawaiʻi, Kalama Valley, Oʻahu, 1970

Founding member of Protect Kaho’olawe Aloha ‘Aina Ohana

Nuclear Free Pacific movement, making Hawai’i County the first and largest nuclear free zone in America

Formed a prisoners’ rights group in the early 1970s

Testified before the Congress of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, 1995

President and Board of Directors of four Bay Health Clinics

President and Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity, Hilo

President, Democratic Party District Precinct 1, 2012

Green Peace, active member

Kukailimoku Village in Kona, active member

Protect Mauna Awakea Ohana

this is the root of the problem ...

With all due respect,
we are not an Indian tribe!

After an analysis of the Department of Interior’s (DOI) seventy page report on the proposed rules for a Hawaiian Nation, I submit the following commentary.

These proposed DOI rules now in circulation for public commentary must be rejected by the Native Hawaiian community!

These rules were already overwhelmingly rejected in June of 2014 by over 95% of the Native Hawaiians who testified throughout these Islands.

The DOI is promoting a postcard campaign to overshadow the forty hours of personal, heartfelt testimony of thousands of working class and professional Hawaiians who have spoken out publicly against these rules.

The release of these rules at this time is an attempt to cut off the legs, stifle and emasculate the 40 delegate Aha that will result from the Na’i Aupuni election.

With all due respect to our Native American Brothers and Sisters, we are not, nor will we ever be, satisfied to be classified as an Indian Tribe.

Looking at the dismal treatment of Native American tribes by the United States government, why would we want to follow that example?

Our Hawaiian Nation was recognized Internationally by over forty nations since the mid-nineteenth century.

Yet the proposed DOI rules state:

Section 50.44 (f) "The government to government relationship with the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity is the same as the federally recognized tribes in the continental United States ... but Native Hawaiians would be ineligible for Federal Indian programs."

What are we to think of this?

These proposed DOI rules further state the government to government relationship will not affect title or jurisdiction to Federal or State (stolen Hawaiian Nation) lands.

In other words, no transfer of our ceded (seized) lands to our Hawaiian people would be possible.

The proposed rules further state that the Federal and State government has Sovereign Immunity; in other words, they cannot be sued by us Native Hawaiians for the theft of our Hawaiian Nation.

The proposed rules state that Native Hawaiians of less than 50% blood quantum may be excluded from any benefits at all.

What we are witnessing is more divide and conquer trickery that has plagued us for over a century since the loss of our Nation.

There is a standing Federal proposal that bombed-out, long-suffering, denuded Kaho’olawe will be designated our Hawaiian Nation.

This is as absurd as it is totally unacceptable!

Better yet, we’ll take back ‘Oahu and they can have Kaho’olawe!

As we all know, Hawaiians should be getting hundreds of thousands of acres of the 1.6 million acres of ceded (seized) land the State now controls.

Kaho’olawe and Department of Hawaiian Homelands does not make a Hawaiian Nation; we need a land base worthy of our dominion.

These are only a few reasons why we must reject the DOI rules for Federal recognition.

We must accept only those parts of the American Experience that benefit our future Nation and our People.

Maka Ala! Vote wisely!

Those Na’i Aupuni candidates who are for Federal recognition are wrong and they do us an injustice.

We will not settle for "Nation within a Nation" status, making us another American Indian tribe.

Only through International recognition will the United States of America and the Hawaiian people be brought to a just settlement.

Aloha 'Aina,
Moanike’ala Akaka
Na'i Aupuni candidate for Hawai'i Island

Nai Aupuni

Published: 10 December 2015

Keli’i Akina and his Grassroots Institute has opposed justice for Native Hawaiians since before Rice vs. Cayetano (2000).

The Na’i Aupuni election is a political issue relating to the theft of our Hawaiian Nation; not a racial issue.

Akina cries justice will destroy the Aloha Spirit.

Many Kanaka-Maoli, who give us the Aloha Spirit, endure dismal social conditions – with a sky-rocketing cost of living amidst a tsunami of multi-millionaires.

The Na’i Aupuni election is NOT publicly funded!

As OHA trustee (1984-1996), I negotiated with the Waihe’e and Cayetano Administrations for a percentage of the Ceded (seized) Land revenues.

Consequently, 20% earned from seized Hawaiian Lands now goes to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs which funded the Na’i Aupuni election.

Na’i Aupuni is funded by us Hawaiians.

Na’i Aupuni is flawed, but Truth remains: the issue is not race, but political – and this election is not publicly funded.

Moanike’ala Akaka
Hilo – 935-7981

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