Historical Issues

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Overthrow, Annexation, Indigenous Status, Etc.

(c) Copyright 2000 - 2005 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

The following items focus on the history of Hawai’i as related to Hawaiian sovereignty. Items are listed here in an order that historians might find appealing. Some items are informal, while some are heavily footnoted legal articles.

Overview of the Sovereignty Issue for Newcomers

Hawaiian sovereignty: framing the problem. An introduction to the issues for newcomers.

History of the Struggle to Achieve Statehood

HAWAI'I STATEHOOD: The History of the Struggle to Achieve Statehood, and Current Challenges

Hawai'i's Great Statehood Petition

Hawai’i’s Great Statehood Petition of February 1954 had 120,000 signatures gathered in 2 weeks on a petition for statehood for Hawai'i. A huge roll of newsprint was unrolled for a block in downtown Honolulu for people to sign the petition. Two weeks later a sendoff celebration was held at ‘Iolani Palace including chants, hula, kahili, and torch bearers before sending the 250 pound petition to Congress. Quotes are provided from 1954 newspaper articles, and photo captions, describing the events of those two weeks. Information is provided about what has happened to the petition and where it is stored today. The contents of one signature page are provided including 32 names and addresses.

Hawai'i Statehood Day 2005

Hawaii Statehood Day 2005 -- No Celebration on Any Island, But An Anti-Statehood Attempted Rally on Maui

Hawaiian Sovereignty: A Brief Overview


Hawaiian Sovereignty: A Brief Overview (1993 Essay by Robert Midkiff, outlining the history of Hawai'i and his views on the sovereignty movement)

Are kanaka maoli indigenous to Hawai'i?

Are kanaka maoli indigenous to Hawai'i? Would the status of being indigenous give them special rights?

Are kanaka maoli an Indian Tribe?


Are Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) an Indian Tribe? Open letter to State legislators. Federal Criteria for Recognition of Tribal Status.

Was the 1893 overthrow illegal?


Was the 1893 overthrow of the monarchy illegal? Was it a theft of a nation owned by kanaka maoli and stolen by non-kanaka maoli?

Was the 1898 annexation illegal?


“Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter?”

Thurston Twigg-Smith, “Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter?” (Honolulu, HI: Goodale Publishing, 1998). This book focuses on the overthrow of the monarchy (1893) and the annexation of Hawai’i to the United States (1898), but other topics are also covered, including the role of the missionaries. Mr Twigg-Smith is grandson of Lorin A. Thurston, a leader of the overthrow; and his great-great grandparents were Asa and Lucy Thurston who were in the first company of missionaries to arrive in Hawai’i in 1820. Mr. Twigg-Smith’s entire book, including historical photos, can be downloaded free of charge, or individual chapters can also be downloaded, from his website at: http://www.hawaiimatters.com

To download the entire book, click here (might take about 7 minutes with a 56 K modem): http://www.hawaiimatters.com/book/HawnSov.pdf

Sandford Ballard Dole


Elected Legislator and Appointed Supreme Court Justice of the Kingdom of Hawai'i; President of the Provisional Government and of the Republic of Hawai'i; Governor of the Territory of Hawai'i, and Presiding Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Territory of Hawai'i

Were non-kanaka maoli full partners in Hawai'i?


Were non-kanaka maoli historically full partners in Hawai'i, or only second-class guests?

Kamehameha v. Akaka

Kamehameha unified Hawai'i 200 years ago; Akaka bill's main purpose is to divide Hawai'i (includes history of Kamehameha Day holiday; lack of certainty about Kamehameha’s birthdate within a range of 25 years; Battle of Nu'uanu Pali and Herb Kane's painting of it and Adair's political cartoon based on it; newspaper advertisement comparing Kamehameha's unification of a multiracial Hawai'i against divisiveness of Akaka bill)

Haole collective guilt


Haole Collective Guilt for Hawaiian Grievances and Pain -- Major essay book review of "Then There Were None" by Martha H. Noyes (based on Elizabeth Lindsey Buyers TV docudrama). The book is a tear-jerker, tracing the constant decline in the number of "pure Hawaiians" and blaming it on Euro-Americans.

Critique of "Forced assimilation may hurt Hawaiians"


"Forced assimilation may hurt Hawaiians" -- A typical combination of junk history and junk science fueling the Hawaiian grievance industry. An in-depth analysis of a short newspaper report which claimed that today's ethnic Hawaiians have the worst statistics for lifespan and tobacco smoking, and the blame goes to "cultural trauma syndrome" stemming from the forced assimilation of ethnic Hawaiians to Western ways.

Book Review Noenoe Silva, "Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism"


Henry Opukaha’ia


Henry Opukaha’ia (Obookiah) -- Native Hawaiian Travels to New England in 1809, Converts to Christianity, and Persuades Yale Divinity Students to Come to Hawai’i as Missionaries in 1820 to Rescue His People From Their Heathen Beliefs and Lifestyle

Did kanaka maoli exercise self-determination?

Were the lands stolen?

Do the ceded lands rightfully belong to kanaka maoli alone?

Are kanaka maoli entitled to reparations?

(a lengthy legal argument by attorney Patrick Hanifin)

Does the U.S. Owe Hawaiians Anything?

What kind of sovereignty?


What kind of sovereignty might be historically and morally justifiable, as well as politically possible?

A Brief History of Citizenship and Voting Rights in Hawai'i

A Brief History of Citizenship and Voting Rights in Hawai'i (Kingdom, Republic, Territory, and State) by attorney Patrick W. Hanifin.

Charles Reed Bishop


Charles Reed Bishop, philanthropist who donated far more money to found Kamehameha School than the value of the land donated by his wife (Bernice Pauahi Bishop)

King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III


St. Patrick’s Day was chosen by King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III to be his “official birthday.” But why was it that neither he nor anybody else knew his actual biological birthdate?

Was Hawaiian Language Illegal?

Was Hawaiian language ever illegal in Hawai’i? Was Hawaiian language illegal in the schools? The truth about this malicious claim.

The Outrageously Racist Demands of the Hawaiian Supremacists

Voting Rights, Property Rights, and Hawaiian Sovereignty: The Outrageously Racist Demands of the Hawaiian Supremacists

Aren't we all sovereign now?

Aren't we all sovereign now? (an informal essay by attorney Patrick Hanifin)

Sovereignty Restoration Day


Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea: Sovereignty Restoration Day. The Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd was a patriot of the Hawaiian Kingdom and a hero in restoring sovereignty to the Kingdom on July 31, 1843. But today's sovereignty activists ignore him when they commemorate this holiday, because he was not kanaka maoli.

Ethnic cleansing of holidays


Hawaiian sovereignty activists have also engaged in ethnic cleansing of other historical holidays from the multiracial Hawaiian Kingdom, and sometimes try to hijack American holidays for ethnic purposes.

Dr. Martin Luther King v. Queen Lili'uokalani


Dr. Martin Luther King and Queen Lili'uokalani: Hawaiian sovereignty activists like to compare them, but such comparisons are bogus.

A Second Dialog on Sovereignty


We Need A Second Dialog on Sovereignty Where All Can Participate Without Predetermined Conclusions.

Local Pride


How It Is Different in Hawai’i From Elsewhere; How “Local People” Get to be “American Idols”; The Role of the Aloha Spirit in Local Pride. (this essay has a historical aspect in describing why Asians and whites came to Hawai’i and how Asians have achieved parity with whites today)

Book Review - "Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors: Reviving Polynesian Voyaging"

"Polynesian" Voyaging -- Political Agenda, Ethnic Dominance, Cultural Authenticity, and Blood Nationalism. An extended book review of Ben Finney, "Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors: Reviving Polynesian Voyaging.” Is “Polynesian” voyaging really Polynesian? How does ancestral knowledge get transmitted to today’s Hawaiians after centuries of being forgotten? Theories of racial memory, or deep culture. The importance of having ethnic Hawaiians as leaders and as a majority of crew members for perceptions of cultural authenticity. The role of Hokule’a as a logo or icon for an ethnic Hawaiian tribe or nation.

The Word 'Ohana Is A Modern Invention

The word "'ohana" is only about 50 years old. The cultural concept it names has been cobbled together from ancient customs that varied widely from place to place. Today's concept was invented for political purposes. “’Ohana” is a buzzword, neither historically authentic nor descriptive of current practices.




Lili'uokalani Loses A Big One

Lili'uokalani Loses a Big One (The Crown Lands) Lili'uokalani v. United States, 45 Ct Cl. 418, 1910

Ceded Lands Belong to All the People of Hawai'i


Ceded Lands Belong to All the People of Hawai’i; There Should Be No Racial Allocation of Ceded Lands or Their Revenues. Extensive analysis of the origins of the ceded lands in the government and crown lands of the Mahele (1848), Annexation (1898), and Statehood Act (1959). Detailed explanation why there is no historical, legal, or moral basis for racial claims to ceded lands or their revenues. A shorter, simplified version is provided in an open letter to the Legislature (see above).

Bellows Air Force Station


Bellows Air Force Station -- 1995 Environmental Impact Statement considers and rejects typical sovereignty activists' claims that ethnic Hawaiians have a racial right to own the ceded lands or to determine public policy for the use of ceded lands.

Native(?) Hawaiian Gathering Rights(?)


Native(?) Hawaiian Gathering Rights(?) Attorney Paul M. Sullivan's extensive legal analysis of the underlying issues in the PASH case, with 371 hot-linked footnotes.

Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights - The General Theory, and Why It Does Not Apply in Hawai’i

Rice v. Cayetano


Supreme Court Prohibits Racially Segregated Voting in OHA Elections: The Rice v. Cayetano Decision

Arakaki v. Cayetano


ARAKAKI V. CAYETANO -- also known informally as ARAKAKI #2 -- A multiethnic group of 16 Hawai'i citizens file suit March 4, 2002 challenging the Constitutionality of both the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. This large webpage includes a press release, timeline of the ceded lands dispute, and major legal documents filed in the Arakaki #2 lawsuit.

Analogy of the Stolen House

Analogy of the Stolen House and its mutation, Analogy of the Stolen Car. Around the turn of the century (2000, not 1900!) an analogy became popular among some Hawaiian sovereignty activists. They said Hawaiian history was like the history of a house that got overwhelmed by guests. A few guests were welcomed but then moved in permanently. The guests then invited more guests of their own. All the guests then began making new house rules. Soon the original (and still rightful) homeowners were forced to live in a small rear bedroom, and perhaps even forced to live in a tent in the backyard. The original homeowners finally got angry and are trying to reassert their rights. They might even call the cops to help them take back what is rightfully theirs.



Are there books and other websites which support the concept that kanaka maoli are not entitled to race-based sovereignty?