The Keiki of Kua O Ka La. © 2006
Rev. Leila Kealoha, 2angels.net Minister, for our Big Island Weddings.
She is also a school teacher at the Kua O Ka La
Public Charter School
next to 'Ahalanui Park in lower Puna
The True Story of Hawai'i
I believe the way to start
this long complicated story
is to start with
to the Hawai'ians from Congress.
UNITED STATES PUBLIC LAW 103-150
103d Congress Joint Resolution 19
Nov. 23, 1993
To acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom
of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for
the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Whereas, prior to the arrival of the first Europeans in 1778, the Native Hawaiian people
lived in a highly organized, self-sufficient, subsistent social system based on communal land
tenure with a sophisticated language, culture, and religion;
Whereas, a unified monarchical government of the Hawaiian Islands was established in
1810 under Kamehameha I, the first King of Hawaii;
Whereas, from 1826 until 1893, the United States recognized the independence of the
Kingdom of Hawaii, extended full and complete diplomatic recognition to the Hawaiian
Government, and entered into treaties and conventions with the Hawaiian monarchs to
govern commerce and navigation in 1826, 1842, 1849, 1875, and 1887;
Whereas, the Congregational Church (now known as the United Church of Christ), through
its American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, sponsored and sent more than
100 missionaries to the Kingdom of Hawaii between 1820 and 1850;
Whereas, on January 14, 1893, John L. Stevens (hereafter referred to in this Resolution as
the "United States Minister"), the United States Minister assigned to the sovereign and
independent Kingdom of Hawaii conspired with a small group of non-Hawaiian residents of
the Kingdom of Hawaii, including citizens of the United States, to overthrow the indigenous
and lawful Government of Hawaii;
Whereas, in pursuance of the conspiracy to overthrow the Government of Hawaii, the
United States Minister and the naval representatives of the United States caused armed
naval forces of the United States to invade the sovereign Hawaiian nation on January 16,
1893, and to position themselves near the Hawaiian Government buildings and the
Iolani Palace to intimidate Queen Liliuokalani and her Government;
Whereas, on the afternoon of January 17,1893, a Committee of Safety that represented the
American and European sugar planters, descendants of missionaries, and financiers
deposed the Hawaiian monarchy and proclaimed the establishment of a Provisional
Whereas, the United States Minister thereupon extended diplomatic recognition to the
Provisional Government that was formed by the conspirators without the consent of the
Native Hawaiian people or the lawful Government of Hawaii and in violation of treaties
between the two nations and of international law;
Whereas, soon thereafter, when informed of the risk of bloodshed with resistance, Queen
Liliuokalani issued the following statement yielding her authority to the United States
Government rather than to the Provisional Government:
"I Liliuokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom,
Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the
Constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have
established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom. "That I yield to the superior
force of the United States of America whose Minister Plenipotentiary, His Excellency John
L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed a Honolulu and declared that he
would support the Provisional Government.
"Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do this under
protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such time as the Government of
the United States shall, upon facts being presented to it, undo the action of its
representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the Constitutional
Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.".
Done at Honolulu this 17th day of January, A.D.
Whereas, without the active support and intervention by the United States diplomatic and
military representatives, the insurrection against the Government of Queen Liliuokalani
would have failed for lack of popular support and insufficient arms;
Whereas, on February 1, 1893, the United States Minister raised the American flag and
proclaimed Hawaii to be a protectorate of the United States;
Whereas, the report of a Presidentially established investigation conducted by former
Congressman James Blount into the events surrounding the insurrection and overthrow of
January 17, 1893, concluded that the United States diplomatic and military representatives
had abused their authority and were responsible for the change in government;
Whereas, as a result of this investigation, the United States Minister to Hawaii was recalled
from his diplomatic post and the military commander of the United States armed forces
stationed in Hawaii was disciplined and forced to resign his commission;
Whereas, in a message to Congress on December 18, 1893, President Grover Cleveland
reported fully and accurately on the illegal acts of the conspirators, described such acts as
an "act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United
States and without authority of Congress", and acknowledged that by such acts the
government of a peaceful and friendly people was overthrown;
Whereas, President Cleveland further concluded that a "substantial wrong has thus been
done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured
people requires we should endeavor to repair" and called for the restoration of the
Whereas, the Provisional Government protested President Cleveland's call for the
restoration of the monarchy and continued to hold state power and pursue annexation to the
Whereas, the Provisional Government successfully lobbied the Committee on Foreign
Relations of the Senate (hereafter referred to in this Resolution as the "Committee") to
conduct a new investigation into the events surrounding the overthrow of the monarchy;
Whereas, the Committee and its chairman, Senator John Morgan, conducted hearings in
Washington, D.C., from December 27,1893, through February 26, 1894, in which
members of the Provisional Government justified and condoned the actions of the United
States Minister and recommended annexation of Hawaii;
Whereas, although the Provisional Government was able to obscure the role of the United
States in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, it was unable to rally the support
from two-thirds of the Senate needed to ratify a treaty of annexation;
Whereas, on July 4, 1894, the Provisional Government declared itself to be the Republic of
Whereas, on January 24, 1895, while imprisoned in Iolani Palace, Queen Liliuokalani was
forced by representatives of the Republic of Hawaii to officially abdicate her throne;
Whereas, in the 1896 United States Presidential election, William McKinley replaced
Whereas, on July 7, 1898, as a consequence of the Spanish-American War, President
McKinley signed the Newlands Joint Resolution that provided for the annexation of Hawaii;
Whereas, through the Newlands Resolution, the self-declared Republic of Hawaii ceded
sovereignty over the Hawaiian Islands to the United States;
Whereas, the Republic of Hawaii also ceded 1,800,000 acres of crown, government and
public lands of the Kingdom of Hawaii, without the consent of or compensation to the
Native Hawaiian people of Hawaii or their sovereign government;
Whereas, the Congress, through the Newlands Resolution, ratified the cession, annexed
Hawaii as part of the United States, and vested title to the lands in Hawaii in the United
Whereas, the Newlands Resolution also specified that treaties existing between Hawaii and
foreign nations were to immediately cease and be replaced by United States treaties with
Whereas, the Newlands Resolution effected the transaction between the Republic of
Hawaii and the United States Government;
Whereas, the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their
inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either
through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum;
Whereas, on April 30, 1900, President McKinley signed the Organic Act that provided a
government for the territory of Hawaii and defined the political structure and powers of the
newly established Territorial Government and its relationship to the United States;
Whereas, on August 21,1959, Hawaii became the 50th State of the United States;
Whereas, the health and well-being of the Native Hawaiian people is intrinsically tied to
their deep feelings and attachment to the land;
Whereas, the long-range economic and social changes in Hawaii over the nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries have been devastating to the population and to the health and
well-being of the Hawaiian people;
Whereas, the Native Hawaiian people are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to
future generations their ancestral territory, and their cultural identity in accordance with their
own spiritual and traditional beliefs, customs, practices, language, and social institutions;
Whereas, in order to promote racial harmony and cultural understanding, the Legislature of
the State of Hawaii has determined that the year 1993, should serve Hawaii as a year of
special reflection on the rights and dignities of the Native Hawaiians in the Hawaiian and the
Whereas, the Eighteenth General Synod of the United Church of Christ in recognition of the
denomination's historical complicity in the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in
1893 directed the Office of the President of the United Church of Christ to offer a public
apology to the Native Hawaiian people and to initiate the process of reconciliation between
the United Church of Christ and the Native Hawaiians; and
Whereas, it is proper and timely for the Congress on the occasion of the impending one
hundredth anniversary of the event, to acknowledge the historic significance of the illegal
overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, to express its deep regret to the Native Hawaiian
people, and to support the reconciliation efforts of the State of Hawaii and the United
Church of Christ with Native Hawaiians; Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and
House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND APOLOGY.
The Congress -
(1) on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of
Hawaii on January 17, 1893, acknowledges the historical significance of this event which
resulted in the suppression of the inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people;
(2) recognizes and commends efforts of reconciliation initiated by the State of Hawaii and
the United Church of Christ with Native Hawaiians;
(3) apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the
overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893 with the participation of agents
and citizens of the United States, and the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to
(4) expresses its commitment to acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the
Kingdom of Hawaii, in order to provide a proper foundation for reconciliation between the
United States and the Native Hawaiian people; and
(5) urges the President of the United States to also acknowledge the ramifications of the
overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and to support reconciliation efforts between the
United States and the Native Hawaiian people.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
As used in this Joint Resolution, the term "Native Hawaiians" means any individual who is a
descendent of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised
sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii.
SEC. 3. DISCLAIMER.
Nothing in this Joint Resolution is intended to serve as a settlement of any claims against the
Approved November 23, 1993
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY - S. J. Res. 19:
SENATE REPORTS: No. 103-125 (Select Comm. on Indian Affairs)
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 139 (1993):
Oct. 27, 1993 considered and passed Senate.
Nov. 15, 1993 considered and passed House
Next about The Akaka Bill
which some Hawai'ians support
and as many don't.
It continues to remain pending in the congress...
Akaka Bill Faces Critical Congressional Vote
Critics, Supporters To Attend Washington Hearing
POSTED: 5:11 pm HST July 13, 2005
HONOLULU -- Proponents and opponents of the controversial Native Hawaiian recognition bill are preparing for a showdown in Washington. A critical vote in Congress happens next week.
"This is the closest we've come with this bill in six or seven years," Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said. "This is the closest. It's like walking into the arena. You know?"
Apoliona leaves for Washington this weekend. She is one of many who plan to testify on the Native Hawaiian recognition act, which has been called the Akaka Bill after U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.
The bill would give Native Hawaiians the same rights as Native Americans and Native Alaskans.
The Justice Department Wednesday said it wants to make sure the bill doesn't affect military bases, doesn't allow gaming and doesn't affect the enforcement of criminal laws on Native Hawaiian lands.
"Up to this point, they hadn't said anything really. So, it helps," Apoliona said.
Both Gov. Linda Lingle and Akaka said they are encouraged that the President George W. Bush's administration seems willing to work with Congress on the issue.
A number of floor amendments are expected to be added to the bill, including one by Arizona Sen. Jon Kyle, who opposes the bill. He is expected to offer up to five floor amendments, including a call for a referendum on the issue by Hawaii residents. Debate on the issue begins on Monday.
July 7, 2005: Hawaiian Group Wants OHA To Air Ads Against Akaka Bill
March 31, 2005: Hawaii Congressional Leaders Optimistic About Akaka Bill
March 2, 2005: Lingle, Groups Lobby Congress On Hawaiian Recognition
January 25, 2005: Akaka Reintroduces Hawaiian Rights Bill
October 11, 2004: Senators Abandon Hawaiian Recognition Bill For 2004
September 15, 2004: Akaka Bill Passes Out Of Congressional Committee
July 9, 2004: Hawaii Senators Battle To Keep Akaka Bill Alive
July 8, 2004: Akaka Bill Suffers Setback
February 24, 2003: Hawaiians Rally Against Akaka Bill
December 13, 2000: Akaka Expects Hawaiian Bill To Die
from... Senator Akaka's Website
Thursday May 5, 2005, 9:56 am Hawaii time
S. 147, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005I introduced this legislation with Hawaii’s Congressional delegation to extend the federal policy of self-governance and self-determination to Native Hawaiians. We have been working to enact this legislation since 1999. I have made clear to my colleagues in Washington, D.C. that this is a nonpartisan issue. This is a team effort and we greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved who is working to enact this bill.
S. 147, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, was introduced on January 25, 2005, and was referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. On March 1, 2005, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on the legislation. Witnesses included Governor Linda Lingle, who was accompanied by Hawaii State Attorney General Mark Bennett and Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair Micah Kane; Haunani Apoliona, Chair, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees; Jade Danner, Vice-President, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement; Tex Hall, President, National Congress of American Indians; and Julie Kitka, President, Alaska Federation of Natives.
On March 9, 2005, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs voted to adopt a substitute amendment offered by myself, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, and Senator John McCain. The Committee also voted to favorably report the bill as amended. On March 18, 2005, Senator Inouye and I wrote to the Majority Leader Bill Frist and Democratic Leader Harry Reid to request that S. 147 be brought before the Senate for debate and a roll call vote at the earliest opportunity.
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act does three things. It establishes the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations in the Department of the Interior to serve as a liaison between Native Hawaiians and the United States. It establishes the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group to be composed of federal officials from agencies which administer Native Hawaiian programs. Both of these provisions are intended to increase coordination between the Native Hawaiians and the federal government. And third, the bill provides a process of reorganization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. I am very proud of the fact that while the bill provides structure to the process, it also provides the Native Hawaiian community with the flexibility to truly reorganize its governing entity.
The substitute amendment, which was adopted by the Committee on March 9, 2005, further clarified that the enactment of the bill does not establish eligibility for Native Hawaiians in Indian programs and services, unless Native Hawaiians are otherwise eligible for such services. The substitute amendment clearly states that Native Hawaiians have federal programs that are established to benefit Native Hawaiians and are appropriated separately from Indian programs and services. We have never intended to “cut into the pie” of funding for Indian programs and services and had previously believed that the language in the bill was sufficient to alleviate the concerns of Members of Congress. We clarified the bill further and successfully addressed the concerns expressed by Tex Hall, President, National Congress of American Indians, and certain Members of Congress who were still concerned that the language in S. 147 did not adequately protect Indian programs and services.
NEXT STEPS FOR S. 147
As for the “prognosis” of the bill, I remain cautiously optimistic that given the opportunity for a roll call vote on the passage of S. 147, we have the necessary votes in the United States Senate to pass the bill. Senator Inouye and I have been meeting with our colleagues to talk about the legislation and to address any concerns that they may have about the bill. We have had the full support of our Democratic colleagues for the past six years. In addition, we have support from a number of our colleagues across the aisle. I continue to meet with my colleagues on the legislation and will do so until the bill is considered by the Senate. Our biggest challenge in the enactment of this bill remains with the Executive Branch. The White House wields a tremendous amount of authority over the Legislative Branch in terms of which bills are allowed to be considered in the House and Senate. This is due to the majority that the Republican party currently wields in the House and Senate. This is why I greatly value the efforts of Governor Linda Lingle who has reached out to her contacts in the Executive Branch regarding the importance of this bill for the State of Hawaii.
At the end of the last session, Senator Inouye and I were able to reach an agreement with Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and the Senate Leadership, that the bill would be considered for debate and a roll call vote in the U.S. Senate no later than August 7, 2005. I am confident that this agreement will be honored. For far too long, a few members have used Senate rules to prevent this legislation from being considered by the full Senate. I believe these actions were based on the knowledge that we have the necessary votes to enact this bill. I am pleased that the Senate will finally have the opportunity to consider this legislation during the 109th Congress. While we continue to press for immediate consideration of the bill, we do not yet have a firm date for its consideration in the Senate.
ROLE OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE UPON ENACTMENT OF S. 147
The Committees’ second question dealt with what the Hawaii State Legislature should be doing to assist with the implementation of the bill upon enactment. As you know, section 8( provides that once federal recognition is granted to the Native Hawaiian governing entity, the entity then will begin negotiations with the State of Hawaii and the federal government to resolve a number of matters, most specifically, the exercise of any governmental powers by the Native Hawaiian governing entity. Until that time, the bill does not provide a clear role for the State of Hawaii.
What I see as one of the biggest challenges in implementation will be the establishment of the roll. The roll identifies the Native Hawaiians who meet the definition of Native Hawaiian in the bill and choose to participate in the reorganization of the Native Hawaiian government. The bill establishes a certification commission to be composed of Native Hawaiians with expertise in genealogy to certify that those individuals who are applying to be on the roll meet the definition of Native Hawaiian. I anticipate that this process will have a tremendous impact on the state offices that handle birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. The Hawaii State Legislature may be helpful in providing resources to address the increase in demand that these offices will face once Native Hawaiians begin to apply to be listed on the roll.
RECONCILIATION AND RECOGNITION
S. 147 is not about redress and it never was. This bill is about process and opportunity. I am proud of the balance this bill achieves between structure and flexibility for Native Hawaiians to reorganize their governing entity for the purposes of a federally recognized government-to-government relationship. This is just one of many steps that we will take as we move forward as a people to provide a better future for our children.
The claims section in this bill is intended to protect any claims that anyone may have. This bill has always contained language stating that “Nothing in this Act is intended to settle any claims.” This is the same language that I included in the Apology Resolution to protect any claims as it has never been my intent to address claims in the legislation I have drafted to date. My intent with the Apology Resolution was to educate members of Congress about the history of Hawaii in an effort to lay the foundation for the process of reconciliation.
My intent in drafting this bill is to provide Native Hawaiians with the opportunity to reorganize their governing entity for the purposes of a federally recognized government-to-government relationship with the United States. This is important because it provides parity in the way the federal government deals with the indigenous peoples who inhabited the lands which have become the United States. There are many, many more steps that we will take as a people. I believe it is wrong to predetermine the outcome of these longstanding matters in legislation. For that reason, I have deliberately not sought to resolve longstanding issues, such as land conflicts, in this bill. I believe that once the entity is reorganized, it will be in a position to negotiate these issues for its citizens with Native Hawaiians controlling the outcome of the process.