WAIMEA, KAUAI >> Supporters of an independent Native Hawaiian nation were out in force Monday night to reject the possibility of federal recognition of a native government in the first of two meetings on the Garden Isle.
Nearly 200 people filled the Waimea High School cafeteria after the meeting was relocated from the smaller Waimea Neighborhood Center to accommodate a larger crowd.
The U.S. Department of the Interior hearing featured deep emotions, anger, yelling, cheering and booing as speaker after speaker lashed out at the United States and reached into history to support the Native Hawaiian kingdom, which was overthrown in 1893.
Kekuni Pa blasted those who would propose such a concept, saying federal recognition is merely a deceptive way to deny Hawaiian rights and continue American “lies, deceptions, death and fraud.”
“I tell you, if you give them federal recognition, they’re going to take your land,” Pa said angrily. “It’s about your land and your money.”
Kelanikumai Hanohano told the federal officials to take this message back to America: “Our nationality is Hawaiian. Hawaiians are not a race. We are not a tribe. We are not indigenous Americans. We are Hawaiian.”