Hawaiian Self-Governance Meetings start Monday

Steven Pagano, Reporter

A group of people in Hawai’i is urging people to protest a gathering of Hawaiian natives to set up the possibility of a self governing Hawai’i. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that court disputes led organizing the group known as Nai Aupuni to shorten their gathering and allow them to open it to 151 participants with closed door sessions starting on Monday, February 1st.

Participant  Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa said that she’s in favor of federal recognition that will allow Native Hawaiians to stake first claims on decommissioned military bases as other American tribes and native nations can. Shes also for pro independence. “People’s desires and political opinions make for political change, and laws and constitutions are rewritten,” said the director of the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. “That is how the world really works” Lilikala said in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser article.

Protest Nai Aupuni supporter Sweet Matthew believes that people should be able to chose their leaders and type of government. The group said that the gathering is an attempt to weaken the movement towards independence. “This is not true self-determination as defined by the United Nations,” Matthews said in a press release. “Under international law, self-determination is a legal and human right, something the Hawaiian people have been consistently denied by the United States. We, as a people, are supposed to determine who our leaders are and what form of government we want.”