175th Anniversary Celebration!
Lā Kūʻokoʻa, or Independence Day, is the most important national holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom. On November 28, 1843, the independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom was formally recognized by joint proclamation of Great Britain and France, making the sovereign archipelago the first non-Western member of the Family of Nations. The annual celebration continues throughout the Hawaiian Islands today—2018 marks the 175th anniversary!
E komo mai! Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas welcomes the local community to the Program Room at Green Valley Library on December 1st, 2018, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, to learn more about the history of Lā Kūʻokoʻa. The event will begin with a short documentary video, "The History of Hawaiʻi: An Uncomfortable Truth," to provide historical context for understanding why the holiday celebration endures. This will be followed by a slide presentation giving an historical overview of the event, and conclude with a question and answer period.
Event is part of "Around the World at Henderson Libraries," a celebration of countries and cultures.
Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas gave an outstanding presentation this year, at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, about Lā Kūʻokoa, the most important holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Celebrated annually since November 28, 1843, this is the day when Great Britain and France, by joint proclamation, formally recognized the independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign State. Thus, becoming the first non-European member of the Family of Nations.
by Keokani Kipona Marciel, MS, Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP)
Pelekikena, Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas
Every ethnic group that has migrated to Hawaiʻi has a culture and a nationality that they can connect to in the homelands that they came from. Descendants of Hawaiian Kingdom subjects, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, are the only group in Hawaiʻi that that has been arbitrarily deprived of its nationality. This began with the insurgency in 1887, followed by unlawful seizure of the Hawaiian government in 1893.
Kalākaua was instrumental in sparking the revitalization of Hawaiian culture that continues to this day. However, the Hawaiian nationality that went with it has been dismantled through a systematic process of denationalization. The hālau hula movement has internalized this separation of Hawaiian culture from nationality, so that denationalization is perpetuated through a self-imposed process.
Decades of this socialization make it a challenge for Hawaiian cultural practitioners to snap out of this culture-only trap. In other words, Hawaiian society has largely been reduced to a culture without its nationality. There is a resurgence in Hawaiian nationality, but we have to avoid the danger of letting it develop separately from Hawaiian culture. By reducing us to a culture without a nationality, the world has been trained into perceiving us merely as a group akin to an indigenous tribe.
Why do Hawaiians have a nationality today? Because there is no treaty of cession transferring the sovereignty and territory of the Hawaiian Islands to another country. Historically, there have been two attempts to obtain a bilateral annexation treaty, in 1893 and 1897, both of which failed. Consequently, Hawaiian nationality remains intact and is undergoing a process of rediscovery.
Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas (HAALV)--Hawaiian Patriotic League of Las Vegas--was organized on 3/5/2016, inspired by the historic Aloha ʻĀina gathering in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign on 4/8/2015 in support of Mauna Kea. For the first Annual Convention of its parent association, Ka ʻAhahui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina (KAHAA), in more than 100 years, HAALV is proud to submit the following 6 resolutions for consideration by the entire League. Theses were written by a Hawaiian patriot and Registered Parliamentarian.
We are the one and only Aloha ʻĀina organization in Las Vegas, dedicated to celebrating Hawaiian identity as both a nationality and a culture. If you love Hawaiʻi, or would like to learn about its correct history, we welcome you to attend our monthly meetups or quarterly business meetings. We are a chartered member of a grassroots Hawaiian civic association founded on 3/4/1893, and restored on 3/4/2017, The Hawaiian Patriotic League of the Hawaiian Islands. Be a part of this renaissance in aloha for Kō Hawaiʻi Pae ʻĀina--the Country of the Hawaiian Islands. E komo mai!
by Keokani Kipona Marciel, MS
Pelekikena, Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas
On July 7th, 1898, following two failed attempts to ratify an annexation treaty, U.S. Congress enacted the Newlands Resolution, a joint resolution claiming to annex the Hawaiian territory, which it defines in 6 words, “the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies.”
On April 30th, 1900, U.S. Congress enacted the so-called “Hawaiian Organic Act,” which defines the Hawaiian territory as the islands allegedly acquired by the Newlands Resolution.
On March 18th, 1959, U.S. Congress enacted the alleged statehood admission act, which defines the Hawaiian territory as the islands inherited from the Hawaiian Organic Act.
On June 27th, 1959, 35% of “eligible” voters chose American statehood admission for Hawaiʻi through a false plebiscite that excluded independence options. The ballot used for the statehood question defines the Hawaiian territory as that allegedly acquired by the American act for statehood admission.
Notwithstanding the inability of a congressional enactment to unilaterally annex a foreign country, each act in the above series of U.S. domestic laws refers back to the Newlands Resolution to define the Hawaiian territory. However, defining the territory in just six words, without specifying which of the 137 Hawaiian Islands would be included, and without describing boundaries in terms of metes and bounds, latitude and longitude, is a conspicuous historical anomaly contrary to customary practice. To demonstrate, it is instructive to look at the most recent territories annexed by the United States before and after the Newlands Resolution.
In 1867, the United States annexed Alaska through a treaty of cession with Russia. The defined territory was inherited from the 1825 treaty of cession between Russia and Great Britain, as follows.
Commencing from the southernmost point of the island called Prince of Wales Island, which point lies in the parallel of 54 degrees 40 minutes north latitude, and between the 131st and the 133d degree of west longitude, (meridian of Greenwich,) the said line shall ascend to the north along the channel called Portland channel, as far as the point of the continent where it strikes the 56th degree of north latitude; from this last-mentioned point, the line of demarcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the coast as far as the point of intersection of the 141st degreee of west longitude, (of the same meridian;) and finally, from the said point of intersection, the said meridian line of the 141st degree, in its prolongation as far as the Frozen ocean.
Five months after the Newlands Resolution, the United States acquired Guam, Philippines and Puerto Rico through a treaty of cession with Spain. The treaty defines the territory of the Philippines as follows.
A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of Bachi, from the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) to the one hundred and twenty-seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the one hundred and twenty seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of four degrees and forty five minutes (4° 45']) north latitude, thence along the parallel of four degrees and forty five minutes (4° 45') north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119° 35') east of Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119° 35') east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7° 40') north, thence along the parallel of latitude of seven degrees and forty minutes (7 [degree symbol] 40') north to its intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth (116th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to the intersection of the tenth (10th) degree parallel of north latitude with the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.
The only official means by which the United States has ever claimed Hawaiian sovereignty is by unilateral declaration through a congressional joint resolution that it enacted in 1898, called the Newlands Resolution. However, there is no evidence in the U.S. Constitution, nor is there any evidence in American history, that the enumerated congressional power to admit states can be used to annex a foreign country unilaterally. Customary international law also does not support unilateral annexation by enactment of domestic legislation in lieu of a treaty.
Defining the territory of an archipelago in just six words, without listing the islands by name, and without describing geographical boundaries, is contrary to both U.S. history and customary international law. For example, 467 words are used to define the territory of Alaska in 1825 and 1867; and 233 words are used to define the territory of the Philippines in 1898—the same year as the infamous Newlands Resolution. Sandwiched in time between those two annexations is the alleged annexation of Hawaiʻi by joint resolution, following the two historical failures, in 1893 and 1897, to lawfully and constitutionally annex Hawaiʻi by treaty. Only one of the 90 U.S. Senators in 1898 maintained that this was possible.
The evidence examined in this investigation does not support the claim that the Hawaiian Islands were annexed by the United States through a congressional joint resolution in 1898. In the absence of annexation, the inescapable conclusion is that Hawaiʻi today remains under a prolonged illegal occupation by the United States. This began on June 14th, 1900, when the United States seized full governmental control over the Hawaiian Islands, making it the longest occupation in modern history.
by Keokani Kipona Marciel, MS
Pelekikena, Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas
On February 27th, 2016, the Associated Press reported on the so-called “Native Hawaiian Constitution.” The last sentence of the report states:
The United States annexed Hawaii five years after the overthrow. Hawaii became a state in 1959.
Territorial annexation by treaty is a constitutional prerequisite for American statehood admission. This has been verified 49 times during the first 176 years of U.S. history. Under the U.S. Constitution, the power to negotiate treaties is reserved for the President. In turn, the power to ratify treaties is reserved for the Senate and requires a two-thirds supermajority. These enumerated powers do not belong to Congress. No congressional enactment of the United States has ever annexed the Hawaiian territory, because domestic laws cannot unilaterally acquire a foreign country.
Texas Precedent Invalid
Following two failed attempts to obtain an annexation treaty for Texas in 1837 and 1844, the statehood admission of Texas in 1845, by a joint resolution of U.S. Congress, was premature and conditional. The annexation of Texas was not constitutional and unequivocal until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. The preliminary admission of Texas as a U.S. state in 1845, by a joint resolution, does not qualify as a precedent for the alleged annexation of the Hawaiian Islands as a U.S. territory in 1898, by a joint resolution. The former relies on the domestic power of U.S. Congress to admit states. The latter relies on the foreign affairs power, reserved for the U.S. President and Senate, to annex foreign territory by treaty.
Furthermore, unlike Hawaiʻi, the statehood agreement between the U.S. and Texas in 1845 was bilateral. Statehood admission was approved by Texas through both a congressional majority and a voter majority, neither of which were the case for the alleged annexation of Hawaiʻi by joint resolution in 1898.
The alleged statehood admission vote of 1959 followed six decades of occupation, during which the U.S. systematically denationalized and Americanized Hawaiian subjects. Simultaneously, the U.S. transferred settlers from its military and civilian population into the occupied territory, then allowed them to vote in the invalid plebiscite, essentially stuffing the ballot box. This is considered a war crime under occupation law, including a grave breach of the Geneva Convention IV. These international treaties apply to Hawaiʻi, because the U.S. occupation actually commenced with the “Admission Day” ceremony held on June 14th, 1900, after those conventions had already taken effect.
35% vs. 94%
Fact: 35% of Hawaiʻi residents (who were “eligible” to vote) voted for American statehood in 1959. By excluding those who abstained from the vote, the figure is artificially increased to 77%. By excluding those who voted, but abstained from the statehood question, the number is artificially increased even further to 94%. This is how the revisionist history of Hawaiʻi lies with statistics to pretend that Hawaiʻi is annexed rather than occupied.
Fact: 65% of Hawaiʻi residents (who were “eligible” to vote) DID NOT vote for American statehood in 1959, through a false plebiscite that excluded an independence option.
Source: The Statehood Plebiscite
Plebiscite Criteria Under Customary International Law
Under customary international law, an independence option must be offered by a plebiscite. Consequently, the 1959 vote does not qualify as a plebiscite, which means that it is nothing more than a joint enactment of United States Congress, being a domestic law restricted to the continental U.S. borders.
Under customary international law, abstentions are not excluded from a plebiscite outcome, and 35% is too low to be considered a mandate. By comparison, the 85% voter turnout for the Scotland referendum of 2016 is considered a mandate. In 2014, Greece had a 70% voter turnout for its referendum regarding the country’s economic future.
Unlike domestic elections, abstentions cannot be excluded from the outcome of a plebiscite to determine a political relationship between states. Furthermore, since the U.S. Senate does not exclude abstentions when voting to ratify a treaty, then the 1959 vote must be held to the same standard of non-exclusion to allege territorial annexation.
Chain of No Title
Of the 90 U.S. Senators in 1898, only one maintained that territorial annexation by joint resolution was constitutional. The other senators who debated the issue said that annexation by joint resolution was not only unlawful and unconstitutional, but that it was logically impossible. If countries could unilaterally acquire each other through domestic legislation, the world would be chaos, and there would be no such thing as occupied states and colonized territories.
The title of U.S. Joint Resolution no. 55, enacted on July 7th, 1898, “To provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States,” is an explicit upfront disclaimer that it was not itself the intended instrument for territorial annexation of Hawaiʻi. Instead, it effectively defers that responsibility to the subsequent “organic act” of 1900.
Contrary to established custom of detailed description, the joint resolution of 1898 simply defines the territory as “the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies.” By not itemizing any islands by name, nor including metes and bounds, nor lines of latitude and longitude, the joint resolution further admits that it acquired no territory.
Chapter 339, also known as the so-called “Hawaiian Organic Act,” was enacted by the U.S. Congress on April 30th, 1900. It defines the Hawaiian territory as follows:
That the islands acquired by the United States of America under an Act of Congress entitled "Joint resolution to provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States," approved July seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, shall be known as the Territory of Hawaii
Instead of providing a territorial description absent in the joint resolution of 1898, it passes the buck back to that resolution, which itself admits that it acquired no territory. In other words, both of these laws point to each other for defining a territory, meaning that neither one takes any responsibility for defining or acquiring the Hawaiian territory. Therefore, by their own futile admission, separately and in combination, these two laws did not annex the Hawaiian Islands.
U.S. Public Law 86-3, the alleged statehood admission act for Hawaiʻi, was enacted by U.S. Congress on March 18th, 1959. Its territorial description is as follows:
The State of Hawaii shall consist of all the islands, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial waters, included in the Territory of Hawaii on the date of enactment of this Act, except the atoll known as Palmyra Island, together with its appurtenant reefs and territorial waters, but said State shall not be deemed to include the Midway Islands, Johnston Island, Sand Island (off-shore from Johnston Island), or Kingman Reef, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial waters.
Instead of defining which islands the territory includes, it only adds which islands are excluded. Once again, furthermore, no metes, bounds, latitude, or longitude are used to describe boundaries according to the established custom. It claims its territory to be the islands acquired by the the “organic act” of 1900, which in turn claims its territory as that inherited from the joint resolution of 1898, which delegates the task of defining and acquiring the territory to the “organic act” of 1900.
On June 27th, 1959, not only did 35% of “eligible” voters agree to American statehood admission, the ballot also required them to accept the following territorial description:
The boundaries of the State of Hawaiʻi shall be as prescribed in the Act of Congress approved March 18, 1959, and all claims of this State to any areas of land or sea outside the boundaries so prescribed are hereby irrevocably relinquished to the United States.
Therefore, it cannot be concluded that this statehood vote resulted in territorial annexation, which means that the statehood admission of 1959 is without a territory.
Taken separately or in combination, none of the aforementioned legislation takes responsibility for defining and acquiring the Hawaiian territory, which means that nothing was annexed. Therefore, it is not only incorrect to say that Hawaiʻi is legally annexed, but it is also incorrect to say that it is illegally annexed. Neither is true. The so-called “50th State” legally exists, but like an empty container, it has no territory. In the absence of annexation, legal or illegal, the only logical conclusion is that Hawaiʻi is occupied by the United States.
Source: A Rope of Sand
Colonization within an Occupation
With no annexation treaty, and two failed attempts to ratify an annexation treaty, in 1893 and 1897, the United States is in the Hawaiian Islands and not the other way around. Therefore, referring to the U.S. as the “Mainland” of Hawaiʻi is a misnomer. The notion of a “nation within a nation” is likewise a misnomer. It is time for the Hawaiian community to take an objective look at historical facts and begin using accurate terminology.
by Keokani Kipona Marciel, MS
Founder, Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas
What do enduring Hawaiian institutions today all have in common? They each have a rich history tied to the legacy of one or more historical figures, most of whom were members of royalty having chiefly lineage. Each of these institutions was created for the people of Hawaiʻi, with particular emphasis on reversing the decline of Kānaka Maoli. Several of these institutions are for the exclusive benefit of Kānaka Maoli.
The Queen's Medical Center was founded by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho ʻIolani) in 1859. Today, it is a major healthcare provider in the State of Hawaiʻi and the chief facility for medical referrals from the Pacific Basin.
The Royal Order of Kamehameha I was founded by Kamehameha V (Lot Kapuāiwa) in 1859 to defend Hawaiian sovereignty. This society was driven underground after the haole insurgency, relying on protection by U.S. Marines, usurped the Hawaiian government in 1893, A decade later, the Royal Order was publicly restored by Prince Kūhiō, reorganized as a faith-based fraternal society with membership exclusively for Kānaka Maoli.
Kamehameha Schools were established in 1887 from the will and estate of Princess Pauahi, great-granddaughter and last direct descendant of Kamehameha the Great. Today, the institution provides K-12 education for nearly 7,000 Kānaka Maoli on Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi, and operates 31 preschools statewide. An additional 40,000 learners are reached every year through their community programs.
In 1917, Prince Kūhiō, along with John Lane, John Wise, and Noah Aluli, conceived of a Hawaiian Civic Club to offset the decline of Kānaka Maoli. In 1918, Prince Kūhiō organized the first Hawaiian Civic Club, located in Honolulu. It's mission was to provide organized leadership and educational support for Kānaka Maoli, while also preserving their cultural heritage. In 1959, having grown to 13 Hawaiian Civic Clubs on 5 islands, their first annual convention brought together 83 delegates in Honolulu. Today, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs maintains 68 chartered clubs in 16 states. Resolutions passed at their annual convention have an influence on public policy affecting Kānaka Maoli at the State and U.S. federal levels.
In 1987, Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi (The Hawaiian Nation) was established as a grassroots initiative for self-determination by Kānaka Maoli. Mililani Trask was its first elected Kiaʻāina (Governor), and she is also recognized as the primary founder of Ka Lāhui, She is an attorney with a pedigree for politics. Ka Lāhui became famous for leading a march, estimated at 10,000 strong, to ʻIolani Palace on January 17th, 1993, to mark the centennial of the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. By 1997, Ka Lāhui boasted 21,000 citizens and 33 districts throughout the archipelago.
After completing two constitutional terms as Kiaʻāina, two consecutive successors followed, before Ka Lāhui eventually phased out of existence. More than a decade later, in 2016, Ka Lāhui has begun a process of reactivation. This comeback can be attributed to nostalgia for its legacy of grassroots organization and education for Kanaka Maoli self-determination. Relatively recent in history as a Hawaiian institution, many of its founders continue to actively provide leadership in our lāhui today. The Constitution (1987) and Master Plan (1995) of Ka Lāhui remain cherished sources of guidance for Hawaiian self-determination today.
Love of Country
In 1887, Hui Kālaiʻāina (Hawaiian Political Association) was formed to support restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution of 1864. In March of 1893, less than two months after the illegal overthrow, Ka Hui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina (Hawaiian Patriotic League) was founded by Joseph Nāwahī to support Queen Liliʻuokalani and oppose annexation to the United States. Within another two months, Hui Aloha ʻĀina had 37 District Branches on 5 islands.
By 1897, Hui Aloha ʻĀina had 18,500 members, which was nearly half of the Kanaka Maoli population at that time. Within a single month that year, they collected more than 21,000 signatures opposed to annexation by the United States. Delegates from the Central Body of Hui Aloha ʻĀina, hand-delivered this "monster petition" to Washington D.C., which succeeded in defeating the annexation treaty in the U.S. Senate.
After two failed attempts to ratify an annexation treaty in the U.S. Senate, the "Admission Day" ceremony at ʻIolani Palace on June 14th, 1900, marked the beginning of illegal occupation by the United States, prolonged to the present. Less than five months later, Hui Aloha ʻĀina and Hui Kālaiʻāina merged to become the political party, Kūʻokoa Home Rula (Independent Home Rule Party).
The strategy of the Independent Home Rule Party was to regain control of the occupied Hawaiian government through electoral politics. The party succeeded in getting Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox elected to Washington D.C. as the first representative of the so-called "Territory of Hawaiʻi." In 1903, many members followed Prince Kūhiō out of the Home Rule Party, and into the Republican Party backed by the oligarchy. This split the Hawaiian vote. Eroded, the Home Rule Party continued until it was disbanded in 1912.
From 1918 to the present, albeit with a different kind of legacy, the Hawaiian Civic Clubs have largely filled the organizational vacuum left by the disappearance of permanent Hawaiian societies such as Hui Aloha ʻĀina and Hui Kālaiʻāina.
Love of Country Continued
The defeat of the annexation treaty in 1897, led by Queen Liliʻuokalani and Hui Aloha ʻĀina, represents one of the greatest feats of grassroots organization in Hawaiian history. It is no accident that the term "Aloha ʻĀina" is so ubiquitous in our Lāhui today. The legacy of Hui Aloha ʻĀina therefore lives on in the names of organizations and initiatives created since 1900, particularly since the rediscovery of the Kūʻē Petitions by Noenoe Silva in 1996.
The newly formed Aloha ʻĀina Party, founded by three members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, has until February 25th, 2016, to collect the 700+ signatures of registered voters required to register a new political party in occupied Hawaiʻi. On that same date, an ʻAha Aloha ʻĀina will be conducted on each island as a pro-independence alternative to the controversial Naʻi Aupuni ʻaha that is in progress this month. Set into motion by American laws, Naʻi Aupuni is notoriously partial toward U.S. federal recognition of Kānaka Maoli as a "Native Hawaiian Tribe" similar to the status of American Indians.
Also on the rise is a growing desire by Hawaiian patriots to bring back Hui Aloha ʻĀina itself. The virtue of this patriotic initiative lies in the refreshing alternative that it provides to the phenomenon of reinventing the wheel, which has characterized the Hawaiian movement since 1900. The seemingly exponential proliferation of new Hawaiian sovereignty groups and initiatives—which continues on a daily basis both offline and online—has become a compounding liability for our Lāhui. Consequently, there is a growing awareness of this detrimental dilution in our Lāhui, along with a sense that we are exceeding our carrying capacity for new entities aimed at the same overall objectives.
Since our lands and population are finite, so too is the number of replicated efforts that we can support for optimal effectiveness. Because of its rich history and unsurpassed legacy of grassroots organization, Hui Aloha ʻĀina is perhaps the only group capable of uniting all Hawaiian independence groups under a single banner. This may seem like a novel concept for so many in our Lāhui today, who are deeply scripted by 5 generations of perpetually reinventing the wheel. However, it is actually one of the most original ideas.
Back to the Future
We are not resigned to the instant gratification and futility of creating new groups. Having swung in that direction for more than a century, the pendulum now has more potential energy than ever to bring us back to the legacy which worked best for us to begin with. History shows us that the most durable Hawaiian institutions today are those with a rich history that is also tied to the legacies of historical figures from before our time.
The newer a group is, the more resistance it faces for widespread acceptance, and the longer it will take to be embraced by the Lāhui at large. Perhaps the time has come for our Lāhui to become more effective by placing a kapu on any further creation of new Hawaiian sovereignty groups.
by Keokani Kipona Marciel, MS
Founder, Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas
People in the Hawaiian movement today are increasingly identifying themselves as “patriots.” The term for “patriot” in the Hawaiian language is aloha ʻāina. The popularity of this term traces back to Ka Hui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina (Hawaiian Patriotic League), founded by one of the most storied patriots in Hawaiian history, Joseph Nāwahī, less than two months after the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government in 1893.
Within two months of its debut, Hui Aloha ʻĀina (shortened version of its full name) had 37 District Branches on 5 islands, and a Central Body in Honolulu with at least 31 elected officers. In 1897, with a membership of about 18,500, Hui Aloha ʻĀina amassed more than 21,000 signatures on a petition opposed to annexation of the Hawaiian Islands by the United States. Upon the arrival of this “Kūʻē Petition” in Washington D.C., on December 6th, 1897, 58 out of the 90 U.S. Senators were in favor of ratifying the annexation treaty, introduced by the puppet regime of insurgents that usurped the Hawaiian Kingdom government.
By February 27th, 1898, the number of U.S. Senators in support of the annexation treaty had dropped to 46, which was short of the 60 votes needed for a two-thirds supermajority, as required by the U.S. Constitution to ratify a treaty. Knowing that they did not have enough votes, the U.S. Senate did not even take a vote on the proposed annexation treaty. It is because of this heroic effort of Hui Aloha ʻĀina that the United States, to this day, does not have an annexation treaty to substantiate its claim to Hawaiian sovereignty.
Consistent with the notorious suppression of Hawaiian culture and history by foreigners, it wasn’t until 1996 that the anti-annexation petition of 1897 surfaced in the U.S. National Archives. Since then, Hui Aloha ʻĀina and the Kūʻē Petitions have become household names beloved by our Lāhui, contributing to a resurgence of Hawaiian national identity being experienced today.
Recent years have also seen the emergence of Hawaiian history that has been locked away in Hawaiian language newspapers. Rediscovered on June 23rd, 2014, the Constitution of the Hawaiian Patriotic League was printed in both Hawaiian and English, in Leo o ka Lāhui, on March 22nd, 1893. Hidden from us for 121 years, this historical document is barely beginning to filter its way through our Lāhui today.
The 1893 constitution of Hui Aloha ʻĀina is so relevant to Hawaiian patriots today, that many of us would like to be organized under that constitution again. Its second article reads:
The object of this Association is to preserve and maintain, by all legal and peaceful means and measures, the Independent Autonomy of the Islands of Hawaii nei; and, if the preservation of our Independence be rendered impossible, our object shall then be to exert all peaceful and legal efforts to secure for the Hawaiian People and Citizens the continuance of their Civil Rights.
This epiphany has catalyzed the formation of Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Las Vegas—Hawaiian Patriotic League of Las Vegas. The first organizational meeting of this local hui was held on January 9th, 2016, and a committee has been formed to draft its bylaws. Announced simultaneously to the Lāhui on social media, Hawaiian patriots back home are already inspired by this aloha ʻāina initiative from Las Vegas:
The pieces are all here. Let's put this Hui back together and get off this sinking pirate ship.
—William Chang, Hāna, Maui
Let's not reinvent the wheel people...I would jump on this. I wanna know who organized this Hui? Anybody wanna take the lead in Kapolei? Nanakuli? Kealoha Kahunaʻāina Iona
—Shannon Denning, Mākaha, Oʻahu
Love of country is the essence of patriotism. Hawaiians have just as much right to love of country as any other people in the world. Indentification as a Hawaiian patriot is a postive expression of love toward the country of the Hawaiian Islands. Rediscovering this identity allows Hawaiian people to dissociate from inaccurate labels such as “activist,” “nationalist,” “protester,” or “sovereignty group,” which have plagued our Lāhui for decades.
The term aloha ʻāina, or “Hawaiian patriot,” is preferrable to the term “Hawaiian national,” because the latter implies someone who is seeking nationhood. Ever since the Hawaiian Kingdom formally entered the Family of Nations on November 28th, 1843, the continuity of its sovereignty and independence as a State has been presumed under international law.
In 1993, the United States formally acknowledged that it does not have a claim to Hawaiian sovereignty by way of treaty, plebiscite, or referendum. In fact, the only official claim that the United States has ever made to Hawaiian sovereignty is by its joint resolution of 1898, known as the “Newlands Resolution.” In 1988, however, the U.S. Department of State, through its Office of Legal Counsel, failed to verify the constitutionality of annexation by joint resolution.
Hui Aloha ʻĀina is a feat of grassroots organization that is unsurpassed in Hawaiian history. This association was disbanded in 1900, when it merged with Hui Kalaiʻāina to become Kūʻokoa Home Rula (Independent Home Rule Party). However, its legacy is so beloved, and its constitution so compelling, that there is growing interest in reviving this important institution today.
If our Lāhui today had the grassroots infrastucture that Hui Aloha ʻĀina provided us from 1893 to 1900, we could have already had an ʻaha by now, free from co-optation and judicial interference by the occupier. Consider that we sent a petition with more than 21,000 signatures to Washington D.C. in 1897, which defeated the annexation treaty. The petition succeeded without being initiated by an American law (Act 195), without funding from OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs), without a “Native Hawaiian” roll commission (Kanaʻiolowalu) appointed by an American governor (Neil Abercrombie), without a committee (Naʻi Aupuni) appointed by OHA, without outsourcing to an American company (Elections-America), and without rulemaking by the DOI (U.S. Department of Interior).
We can return to our grassroots today.
Blog of the Hawaiian Patriotic League of Las Vegas, Nevada