The Native Hawaiian constitutional convention this afternoon adopted a governing document that will go out to a vote for ratification.
The constitution, approved by an 88 to 30 vote with one abstention, apparently allows room for federal recognition by the U.S. government while holding out for the possibility of independence.
“We reaffirm the National Sovereignty of the Nation,” the preamble says. “We reserve all rights for Sovereignty and self-determination, including the pursuit of independence.”
Under the constitution, citizens of the nation are any descendents of the indigenous people who lived in Hawaii prior to 1778. It also says citizenship in the Native Hawaiian nation shall not affect one’s citizenship in the United States.
The government would be composed of an executive branch — led by a president and vice president and advised by an island council, plus a legislature with 43 members representing the islands and Native Hawaiians, as well as a judicial authority.
Opponents of the four-week-long convention, or aha, claim the event was predetermined to allow for federal recognition, or the nation within a nation model of government.