Hawaiian Sovereignty. Why you should Care.

If you are not of the Hawaiian race and live in Hawaii, you will surely be affected in some way if the Separatists get their way. There are several models being bandied about by the principles of the movement. Below you will find the responses of leaders to just one of the questions.

“What is the status of non-Hawaiians who are not citizens of the Hawaiian nation? Can they reside in Hawai’i, vote, own homes, land or businesses?”

Answers, underlining added.

Cruz sees a total paradigm shift in Hawaiian governance and in the global multi-state system in the near future. She sees the international state system of government falling. An independent Hawai’i will be less of a nation and more of a cultural lifestyle based upon community and cultural awareness. She believes those who do not wish to adapt to this change in lifestyle will not want to live in Hawai’i. Voting assumes democracy, which she does not support. The traditional Hawaiian consensus decision making process called Puwalu, where members of groups all have to agree upon decisions and make compromises for the good of the entire group, is culturally appropriate for indigenous Hawaiians and once more being practiced. Non-Hawaiians can also participate in the process, Cruz said. Non-Hawaiian non-citizens could own homes, land and businesses assuming the current state system of governance remains in place. She believes the concept of private ownership will change to a more communal based system centered on human values, such as sharing and personal responsibility.

Laenui said Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian non-citizens would have the right to live in Hawai’i provided certain qualifications are met: 1) they are not preparing to overthrow the government; and 2) the non-citizen foreign population does not exceed one-third of the total population. Non-citizens could not vote and participate in the political life of Hawai’i. They could own homes but not land, other than their home plots. According to Laenui, non-citizen residents could own businesses which would come under the jurisdiction of the nation. He adds:

Their ownership of homes and land . . . should be only for their actual residence and not for investment purposes. Their transaction of business would be permissible provided they fell within the allowable foreign activities and quotas. Disengaging non-citizens from their investment properties should be over a period of time in which they would be afforded ample notice and opportunity to relinquish such properties to citizens or Hawaii business entities.16
For Blaisdell, non-citizens residing in Hawai’i would be considered foreigners, as in any other country. They could not vote. Non-citizen ownership of homes, land and businesses would depend on the laws of the Kanaka Maoli nation. He added the primary responsibility of the new nation, as with all nations, is to its own citizens, first.
Gomes replied non-citizens residing in Hawai’i would be considered resident aliens. They would need a visa to reside in Hawai’i. Non-citizens could not vote or own homes and land. She cited the Vanuatu model where only citizens are allowed to own land. Non-citizens could establish businesses but would be screened by the government or district councils and have to obtain a special operating license. Taxes would assessed and paid to the government and district councils, Gomes indicated.

Crawford said the Nation of Hawai’i has not completely established standards for non-citizens in an independent nation. She indicated people could probably stay in Hawai’i on visas, but a Hawaiian convention would eventually determine regulations and standards for non-citizens. The bottom line for the Nation of Hawai’i is an inclusive policy for everyone. Crawford said, “We don’t want to say you can’t live here because you are not a citizen.” We need progressive policies in line with other progressive nations, she noted. Non-Hawaiian non-citizens would not own homes and land in fee simple title under the Nation’s present constitution, which calls for communal land tenure. In terms of non-Hawaiian non-citizen ownership of businesses, she replied this decision has not been determined yet. Crawford personally sees non-Hawaiian non-citizens being able to maintain small businesses, abiding by the laws of the nation. But they would probably pay higher taxes. Taxes could depend on whether a business is importing or exporting, with the former paying higher rates.

Dudley indicates:
Non-citizen residents who have lived within the territorial bounds of the new nation before the date of restoration can continue to live in the nation and to own property and businesses until the day they die. They may not vote. Children born to them after restoration may be citizens if they (or their parents for them) relinquish all citizenship elsewhere. A ratio of 20 % non-citizen residents to 80 % citizens will be the goal of the nation, however. Non-citizen residents will not be allowed to reside permanently in the nation until this ratio has been reached by attrition.17
Non-Hawaiian non-citizens would be able to own businesses as “we live in an international economic situation.” But Dudley said part of the reason for having a Hawaiian nation is “to preserve the environment and to try to get control back into local hands. . . . We need to have more control over our destiny, economically, and the only way to do that is to get land control back.”18
For Kauahi, non-Kanaka Maoli non-citizens would not be able to reside in Hawai’i, unless on work or student visas. They could not vote or own homes, land or businesses.

Agard indicated that as before 1893, non-Hawaiian non-citizens would be able to reside in Hawai’i and own homes, land and businesses. They could not vote.

Keppeler said non-Hawaiian non-citizens living within the boundaries of the independent nation would be considered resident aliens. Non-citizens could own homes, land and businesses to the extent allowed by the Hawaiian citizenry. Keppeler stressed some important attributes of gaining independence would be the ability of the citizenry to control immigration into Hawai’i, limit foreign ownership of land, and to keep profits from businesses within the Hawaiian economy, rather than off to the homes offices of multi-national corporations.

Kame’eleihiwa responded non-Hawaiian non-citizens, as well as Hawaiians who do not swear allegiance to the new constitution and are happy with their American citizenship, would be treated as foreigners, taxed accordingly and could not vote. Non-citizens would be able to own homes, land and businesses outside of Ka Lahui Hawai’i’s National Land Trust. She believes indigenous Hawaiians living outside of Hawai’i should always have the right to return home and become citizens.

What If The U.S. Had Not Annexed Hawaii?

Hawaiian protesters insist that the annexation of Hawaii by the United States in 1898 was illegal. The remedies they demand are many, including the recognition of Hawaiians as an indian tribe or a separate independent nation.

Assuming the US did not annex Hawaii, it helpful to understand that several international powers had their eyes on Hawaii. Due to its strategic location in the middle of the Pacific it would have been impossible to maintain an independent Hawaii. It is entirely possible that any takeover of Hawaii by a nation other than the United Stares would have been accomplished by far more violent means. You will note that even the threat of military action was enough to cause capitulation. Below are historical incidents which demonstrate the fragility of Hawaii’s independence.

Russia

In 1815 the Russian empire affected the islands when Georg Anton Schäffer, agent of the Russian-American Company, came to retrieve goods seized by Kaumualiʻi, chief of Kauaʻi island. Kaumualiʻi signed a treaty making Tsar Alexander I protectorate over Kauaʻi. From 1817 to 1853 Fort Elizabeth, near the Waimea River, was one of three Russian forts on the island.

France

In 1839 Captain Laplace of the French frigate Artémise sailed to Hawaii under orders to: Destroy the malevolent impression which you find established to the detriment of the French name; to rectify the erroneous opinion which has been created as to the power of France; and to make it well understood that it would be to the advantage of the chiefs of those islands of the Ocean to conduct themselves in such a manner as not to incur the wrath of France. You will exact, if necessary with all the force that is yours to use, complete reparation for the wrongs which have been committed, and you will not quit those places until you have left in all minds a solid and lasting impression. Under the threat of war, King Kamehameha III signed the Edict of Toleration on July 17, 1839 and paid the $20,000 in compensation for the deportation of the priests and the incarceration and torture of converts, agreeing to Laplace’s demands. The kingdom proclaimed: That the Catholic worship be declared free, throughout all the dominions subject to the King of the Sandwich Islands; the members of this religious faith shall enjoy in them the privileges granted to Protestants. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu returned unpersecuted and as reparation Kamehameha III donated land for them to build a church upon.

Britain

In January 1843 Lord George Paulet on the Royal Navy warship HMS Carysfort entered Honolulu Harbor and demanded that King Kamehameha III cede the Hawaiian Islands to the British Crown. Under the guns of the frigate, Kamehameha stepped down under protest. Surely this meant that the islands were British? but how, why and when did the Brits lose the islands to America. Later Paulet’s commanding officer, Admiral Thomas. apologized to Kamehameha III for Paulet’s actions, and restored Hawaiian sovereignty on July 31, 1843

France

In 1849 French admiral Louis Tromelin arrived in Honolulu Harbor with the La Poursuivante and Gassendi. De Tromelin made ten demands to King Kamehameha III on August 22, mainly demanding that full religious rights be given to Catholics, (a decade earlier, during the French Incident the ban on Catholicism had been lifted, but Catholics still enjoyed only partial religious rights). On August 25 the demands had not been met. After a second warning was made to the civilians, French troops overwhelmed the skeleton force and captured Honolulu Fort, spiked the coastal guns and destroyed all other weapons they found (mainly muskets and ammunition). They raided government buildings and general property in Honolulu, causing damage that amounted to $100,000. After the raids the invasion force withdrew to the fort. De Tromelin eventually recalled his men and left Hawaii on September 5.

Japan

In 1897 Empire of Japan sent warships to Hawaii to oppose annexation