Articles

Wrapping-up 2016

Congratulations to all of the candidates who were elected to office in 2016.  Campaigning is a grueling process but the real work is about to begin.  I look forward to working with all of you in the 2017 Legislative Session to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians.

The Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation

On February 26, 2016, the majority of the Na‘i Aupuni ‘aha participants voted to adopt The Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation.  As one of 154 individuals that participated in the ‘aha, it is very difficult to put into words what an awesome experience this was for me.  Not only was this an important historical turning point in our history, but it was moving to see people who were often on opposite sides of an issue come together for the good of the whole and finally draft the governing documents needed to restore our nation.

Forced Land Sales Bills

During the 2016 legislative session, Kamehameha Schools led the charge against legislation that would have forced Hawai‘i’s landowners to sell leasehold lands to their lessees.  If HB 1635 or HB 2173 had become law, private land developers could have moved in to condemn and redevelop historical lands that were passed down from generation to generation of Hawaiians.

Thankfully, on February 8th, KS announced that the House cancelled the hearing for HB 1635 and HB 2173, which effectively killed the bills.  However, 2017 brings a new legislative session with new legislators who are unfamiliar with the issue.  Let us all be makaꞌala (watchful).

Wishing our dear Princess a very happy 90th birthday

It was with great admiration and respect that I dedicated this column to honoring Her Royal Highness Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa who celebrated her 90th birthday on April 26th.  Age has not slowed her efforts to help the Hawaiian people and to preserve and protect in perpetuity the legacy passed down to the present generation.

One Voice, One Message

On August 24th, the BAE Committee and OHA’s CEO proposed a new policy called “One Voice, One Message,” which required that all external communications be submitted to the CEO for review and approval prior to execution or engagement.

If this policy were to be approved, Trustees will no longer be able to publically voice their opposition to any board decision without facing severe sanctions for speaking out against the majority.  Thankfully, the proposal was deferred due to concerns about it being unconstitutional.  I will continue to strongly oppose this undemocratic policy if it returns to the board table.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announces a pathway to nationhood

On September 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a “final rule to create a pathway for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.”  It is now time for all of us to work together for the cause of recognition.  While the board has NOT voted to accept the rules as written, let us begin to agree on the things that we can agree to and set aside the things we differ on and move forward together for the future generations of Hawaiians yet to come.

Merry Christmas

May each of you have a joyful and merry Christmas surrounded by family and friends.  Stay safe out there.  Aloha Ke Akua.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announces a pathway to nationhood

`Ano`ai kakou…  Let me begin by expressing my warmest aloha to all the candidates who had the courage and commitment to participate in this year’s election.  Campaigning can be a blood sport, but now it is time to put aside our differences and get back to bettering the lives of our constituents.

On Friday, September 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a “final rule to create a pathway for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.”  “The final rule sets out an administrative procedure and criteria that the U.S. Secretary of the Interior would use if the Native Hawaiian community forms a unified government that then seeks a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States.”

According the DOI, “The final rule builds on more than 150 Federal statutes that Congress enacted over the last century to recognize and implement the special political and trust relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. It also considered and addressed extensive public comments during the rulemaking process, which included public meetings in Hawaii and the mainland United States.”

The time has come for all us to come together in spirit and put some meaningful effort into re-establishing the political relationship between Native Hawaiians and the Federal government to re-organize our Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.  Once done, we will be able to protect all of our Hawaiian trust assets from the constant threat of lawsuits.  This is why I have always supported state and federal recognition.

As I traveled around the state, I spoke to many people who were confused about the process towards nationhood.  I can only conclude that OHA has not done enough to educate the public.  This situation has to change.  Trustees are going to have to speak up about the many positive results that Hawaiian Nationhood would bring for both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians.  I assure all of you that, after listening to your mana’o, I will do everything that is humanly possible to address your concerns.

What is also needed is your participation.  You must challenge EACH Trustee to be accountable to you.  It is unfortunate that you cannot assume that Trustees will do this on their own.  Like any organization, from time to time, especially when one faction has been in power for too long like it has been at OHA, “the people” need to become actively involved.  Otherwise we will risk having to deal with complacency and the abuse of power.

What we face today as Hawaiians is no different than what has occurred over the past 100 years.  We are still fighting off assaults on our culture, the deterioration of our rights to our lands, and attacks from racist organizations.

Let us begin to work together for the cause of recognition.  Let us begin to agree on the things that we can agree to and set aside the things we differ on and move forward together for the future generations of Hawaiians yet to come.

As we approach the close of 2016, I would like to wish each of you a very safe and happy holiday season, and may the Lord in his grace bless each of you and your families and take you safely into 2017.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Aloha pumehana.

Gagging Dissenters

`Ano`ai kakou…  This could be the last time you read any hard truths about OHA in my columns.  On August 24th, the BAE Committee and OHA’s CEO proposed a new policy called “One Voice, One Message,” which requires that all external communications be submitted to the CEO for review and approval prior to execution or engagement.

If this policy is approved, Trustees will no longer be able to publically voice their opposition to any board decision without facing severe sanctions for speaking out against the majority.  So if five Trustees vote to approve a position, the remaining four Trustees will be forced to go along with the majority.

While it should be forehead slapping obvious why this is a terrible idea, allow me to list some of the reasons why:

  • WE ARE A DEMOCRACY. The First Amendment guarantees we can express our opinions.  Beneficiaries and voters who put us in office demand it.  Only petty Dictators in third world countries gag dissent.  First world democracies allow full and free discussions to take place.  Just imagine if Democrats had tried to gag Republicans after Obama Care was passed.  They wouldn’t stand for it!
  • WHY IS A PR FIRM WRITING OHA POLICY? – The proposed “One Voice, One Message” policy was prepared by Neal Yokota, President and CEO of Stryker Wiener & Yokota Public Relations, Inc. OHA policy must always be written in-house with the input and review of OHA attorneys.
  • TRUSTEES ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO VOICE THEIR DISSENT. According to The Uniform Custodial Trust Act (HRS §554A-6), if we don’t express our dissent in writing before a vote is taken, we will be liable for the illegal or negative actions taken by the majority.
  • THE POLICY IS SHORT SIGHTED. Future Trustees could use “One Voice, One Message” to stifle dissent while they funnel millions in Trust dollars (grants, contracts, high-paying positions, leases) to their family and friends.
  • WHISTLE BLOWERS.One Voice, One Message” conflicts with HRS 378-62, which protects employees who report violations of law by their employers.
  • THE MAJORITY IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. If you had a vote on the mainland, I am sure that the majority would vote to outlaw interracial marriage.  Does that mean dissenters should just go along with the majority?  Hell no!  Wrong is wrong no matter what the majority says.
  • IT’S MISLEADING.One Voice, One Message” sounds like Orwellian doublethink.  It’s not about unity at all; it’s really about eliminating all dissenters, whether they are OHA Trustees or employees.

It’s clear this is all part of a greater scheme by the Board Chair and the CEO.  They recently passed another policy on sanctioning Trustees who go against any OHA policy.  Now it’s painfully obvious they did that to give serious teeth to this new policy gagging dissenters.  “One Voice, One Message” is the final piece they need to empower the CEO at the expense of the Board of Trustees.

Thankfully, due to controversy, the proposal was deferred to the next BAE meeting.  I will continue to strongly oppose it and I pray my fellow Trustees won’t go along with such foolishness.

Bring back the Land Committee

`Ano`ai kakou…  By the time you read this article you will have voted in the Primary Election.  I hope you took my advice and voted for new people.  Let me tell you why this is important, especially in the OHA races.

About a year ago, at the urging of the current Board Chair, two committees were collapsed into one.  The Budget Committee and the Land Committee became the Committee on Resource Management chaired by Trustee Colette Machado.   The excuse was to save time and effort, but the real reason was to consolidate power.

Since that time very little, if anything, has happened in the new combined committee.  Trustees have received little or no information on our land negotiations.  For instance:

  • MAUNA KEA: On May 26, 2015, Governor David Ige announced that he asked UH, which subleases the Mauna Kea summit area from the state, to make ten changes to improve its stewardship of Mauna Kea.  One of the changes included UH voluntarily returning to the state more than 10,000 acres that are not specifically needed for astronomy.  I believe UH should turn the lands over to OHA, since all 11,300 acres of land within the Mauna Kea Science Reserve are public land trust lands classified under section 5(b) of the Admissions Act.  What better solution could there be than to put Hawaiian lands in Hawaiian hands?  OHA has now put the State and UH on notice that we are considering legal action against both.
  • KAKAAKO MAKAI: In 2012, when OHA received Kakaako lands in our settlement with the State over past-due ceded land revenues, none of us knew that the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA), which has jurisdiction over development in the area, planned to lease the harbor in Kakaako.  OHA has been negotiating with the HCDA to get them to compromise on their plans to put “finger piers” in front of our Fisherman’s Wharf property.
  • LEGISLATIVE THREATS: Earlier in the year, the legislature tried to pass a “forced land sales” bills.  If HB 1635 and HB 2173 had become law, developers could use it to forced Hawai‘i’s landowners to sell leasehold lands to their lessees.  Kamehameha Schools led the charge against the legislation since nearly 80 percent of their commercial properties are leased.  Also, our ceded lands controlled by DLNR could have been threatened and it would have also hurt the ability of Native Hawaiian organizations and trusts to fulfill their missions.

No matter what explanation is given for all of the missed opportunities that OHA has had this past year to fulfill its mission, it all comes down to leadership and the lack of it.  To top all of this off, a five to four vote is hardly a vote of confidence to hire back an OHA Administrator who many Trustees feel lacks the business and economic development experience to move OHA forward in the black column instead of the steady red.

These are the reasons OHA needs a breath of fresh air.  VOTE FOR CHANGE.  IMUA!

Are you satisfied with the status quo?

`Ano`ai kakou…  After serving on legendary boards that worked hard to build OHA and strengthen its ability to serve our beneficiaries, it frustrates me that we’ve become so stagnated in the last few years.  If you don’t agree that OHA is standing still, ask yourself this – When’s the last time you’ve seen OHA in the news?

In the past, OHA accomplished big things with less staff and less money.  OHA was frequently in the news doing important things that mattered like establishing a state-wide property tax exemption for Native Hawaiians living on Kuleana lands (an effort which I spearheaded); providing $4.4 million in grants to Hawaiian Focused Public Charter Schools; preserving 25,000 acres of Native Hawaiian rainforest known as Wao Kele o Puna on Hawaii Island; and saving the 1,875-acre Waimea Valley.

We also haven’t been getting anywhere at the state legislature.  This was one of the first years I can think of that none of the bills in the OHA legislative package passed.  This should be a cause for concern that OHA’s clout at the legislature is waning.

OHA is the only advocate at the legislature for all Native Hawaiian issues, such as water rights, gathering rights, or land rights.  Few organizations have the resources, staff and expertise to speak to legislators on our beneficiaries’ behalf.  If OHA doesn’t do something fast to reverse its shrinking clout at the legislature, caused in no small part by inconsistent decisions and our Administration making decisions for Trustees, we will be in danger of becoming inconsequential, insignificant and insolvent.

There is so much we can do to help our beneficiaries who are suffering under the lack of affordable housing, the high cost of living, lack of fresh local produce, and the continuing degradation of our fragile environment.  We just seem to lack the will to do anything.  I miss the passion and drive that previous Trustees had in years past.  Sure we got into a few scraps with each other, but we got things done and our hearts were always in the right place.  Everything we did was for the benefit of our people.

The Board of Trustees needs new energy

We must not be content with just sitting back and letting the Administration plod along without any direction.  We need to get the fire back in our bellies and go back to doing big things.  If we don’t, we will no longer be relevant to our beneficiaries and the state might decide to get rid of us by transferring all of our assets to the general fund.

So this election, seek change and elect new blood!  Don’t be satisfied with the status quo.  Elect New People!  Electing the same Trustees will not bring any meaningful change to OHA!  Aloha Ke Akua.

Help OHA reach its full potential: Look for Change

`Ano`ai kakou…  As the longest serving Trustee, it saddens me that OHA is no longer the proactive advocate for our beneficiaries that it once was.  When I was first elected to the board in 1990, OHA was at the forefront of many issues involving native rights, housing, education, and health.

Past Trustees were actively involved, spearheading major projects, and holding OHA’s Administration accountable.  Now everything seems, for want of a better term, “stagnant.”  While I’m sure the Board Chair can produce a long list of “great” things happening at OHA, to me it’s just all public relations fluff.  Make no mistake – This is not the OHA of old that used to get results.  I’m sure that every Trustee would agree that OHA could do more for our beneficiaries.  Much more.

So what’s the solution?  It’s simple: Restore the Board’s oversight over the Administration.  Right now, there are only THREE Trustees that are holding the Administration accountable:

  • The Asset & Resource Management Committee Chair, who oversees all of OHA’s fiscal, policy, economic development, land, and administrative matters;
  • The Beneficiary Advocacy & Empowerment Committee Chair, who has responsibility over federal and state legislation, on-going programs in health, housing, and education; and
  • Last, but not least, the Board Chair, who basically just acts as the liaison between the Administration and the Board instead of providing oversight and direction. In fact, the CEO has BANNED Trustees without committees from having direct contact with Administrative staff. All requests for information must go through the Chair’s office.

So basically, the rest of the Trustees have to depend on the three Trustees above for updates and reports at the board table – There are no other opportunities for us to get information.

We could easily increase the amount of Trustees providing oversight over the Administration by going back the five committee system.  Subject matters included (1) Land, (2) Policy & Planning, (3) Program Management, (4) Legislative & Government Affairs, and (5) Budget & Finance.  Bringing back these five committees would instantly double the amount of Trustees overseeing the Administration from three to six.

The increased oversight over the Administration would finally put an end to the frequent complaints by Trustees that they are not being kept in the loop or getting regular updates on important issues.

As many of my long time readers know, this is not a new proposal.  I pushed for this change last year but the current Board Chair decided to go in the opposite direction.  He actually got rid of the Land and Property committee!

OHA is simply too big for three Trustees to control the organization.  And, as a result, crucial information is able to stay hidden.  For example, under the old five committee structure, the Budget & Finance committee chair actually had the time to take our budget out to the community for comments and suggestions.  Every line litem of the budget was presented and none were hidden in “cost centers.”  Nothing could stay hidden in the budget with that much scrutiny.

So this election, seek change and elect new blood!  Ask OHA candidates what they think about how OHA is run.  Question them on their ideas to improve the office and the services we provide.  Vote wisely or we’ll continue to be stuck in the same stagnation for years to come.  Our beneficiaries deserve better!  Aloha Ke Akua.

Wishing our dear Princess a very happy 90th birthday

`Ano`ai kakou…  Before the Kingdom of Hawaii was illegally overthrown in 1893 it was a thriving, internationally recognized nation with a royal family that was beloved by the people.  While many of the institutions of the Kingdom of Hawaii may be gone, the royal family continues to live on and flourish to this day.

It is with great admiration and respect that I dedicate this column to honoring Her Royal Highness Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa who celebrated her 90th birthday on April 26th.

The great grandniece of King David Kalakaua and Queen Kapi‘olani, Princess Kawananakoa was born in Honolulu and was adopted by her grandmother, Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, who was the widow of Prince David.  She grew up learning from the keepers of our traditions – many of whom had served the monarchy.

Princess Kawananakoa is best known as a philanthropist who has helped sustain authentic Hawaiian history, music, hula, literature, and language.  As president of the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace for nearly 30 years, she was the moving force behind the palace’s monumental and historic restoration project.  The palace operates as a “living restoration” that tells the story of Hawaii’s monarchy.  Visitors leave understanding how advanced a society Hawaiians had created before the overthrow.

Princess Kawananakoa has supported many projects throughout the state, from the first Hawaiian language immersion schools to the historic renovation of the Hawaiian Hall at Bishop Museum which named the kahili room in her honor.  She nurtured the Merrie Monarch from its earliest days and continues to be a faithful and generous sponsor of halau.

In 1978, she established the Abigail K. Kawananakoa Foundation to continue her commitment to the preservation of Hawaiian culture and a wide range of charities throughout the world, and she later formed Na Lei Ali‘i Kawananakoa, which serves and represents the interests of Native Hawaiians and has preserved many Hawaiian artifacts.

Known globally for her love of horses and her support of animal rights, Princess Kawananakoa endowed a university chair for research on equine orthopedics at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University from which more than 160 Hawai‘i students have graduated.  She has been a pioneer in the use of advanced veterinary science with her horses.  These successes have led to her becoming an advocate for translating breakthroughs in veterinary medicine into techniques and therapies that would assist humans.

In 2009, the University of Hawaii conferred an Honorary Doctorate and in 2016, Colorado State University did as well, both recognizing her extraordinary commitment and contributions to civic life.

As holder of the largest share of the Estate of James Campbell, she has encouraged its support of important community programs throughout Ewa.  Her dedication of land to create the UH West Oahu campus is another important contribution our Princess has made to education.

Age has not slowed her efforts to help the Hawaiian people and to preserve and protect in perpetuity the legacy passed down to the present generation.  She has used her persuasive voice to seek proper stewardship of our natural resources including Mauna Kea and Haleakala.

A matter of common knowledge, but never revealed, is her personal assistance to literally thousands of individual Hawaiians and Hawaii groups in times of distress.  Much of what we take for granted as part of the “Hawaiian Renaissance” only exists because of her devotion to seeing that our true heritage is not lost.  Aloha Ke Akua.

The Road to Self-Governance is Rocky and Long

`Ano`ai kakou…  During the last of the President Bill Clinton’s years in the White House, I served as the Chair of the OHA Board of Trustees.  When Clinton first took office in 1993, many positive things happened for Hawaiians and Hawaii.  It was during Clinton’s his first term that he signed the Apology Resolution submitted by then-US Senator Dan Akaka in 1993.  There was also a great friendship that developed between President Clinton and then-Governor John Waihee III.

During those eight years, Hawaii’s Native people were treated as equals to the Native Americans and Native Alaskans.  We were included in the Native Education Act and Hawaiian health took on a new focus with lots of funding coming from Washington, D.C.  The Administration for Native Americans’ funding was also great for us and we still use money from that program today to fund our OHA loans.

Before President Clinton left office, his cabinet created the federal Office of Native Hawaiian Relations within the Department of the Interior so that Hawaiians did not have to go through the Bureau of Indian Affairs to seek monies or recognition the same way that American Indians do.

Also done was a study by the Departments of Interior and Justice on the overthrow and the taking of Hawaiian lands and how Hawaii became a territory and eventually a state.  Public hearings were held all over the 50th state and after all the information was gathered they came out with a book called “Mauka to Makai.”  Its final recommendation was for the federal government to begin a dialogue with Native Hawaiians to resolve Native claims and issues that were unresolved.

At the time, it was hoped that Democratic Vice-President Al Gore would succeed President Clinton and the work to resolve all of our issues would continue.  As we all know, this did not occur and for eight years during the Bush Administration all of our efforts were squashed.

During the Obama Administration, it has been very difficult as well with the Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate.  Before the current president leaves office, I believe he would like to see something done for our Native people.  That is why we are currently going through the federal “rules” process.

My point to all of this is that, as a Democrat, choosing the right candidate who I believe will help Native peoples the most is my highest priority.  To my knowledge, Bernie Sanders has no track record as a champion for Native people, let alone Native Hawaiians.  Throughout his campaign, he has not articulated a clear plan to help Native peoples nor has he received any strong endorsements from Native organizations that I am aware of.

Our road to sovereignty is very difficult.  I have been in this struggle since 1999.  Having people in Congress and certainly the White House that support our efforts is critical to our success.  Mahalo nui for your patience and for listening to my voice.  Aloha Ke Akua.

The Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation

`Ano`ai kakou…  On February 26, 2016, the majority of the Na‘i Aupuni ‘aha participants voted to adopt The Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation by a vote of 88 to 30 and one abstention.

There were 10 to 15 participants that were absent and a few sat outside when the vote took place.  All of them were given every opportunity to return and vote if they had missed their turn for whatever reason.

It is very difficult to put into words the awesome experience this was for me.  Not only was this an important historical turning point in our history, but it was also at times a very emotional for me to experience.

In the room sat kupuna, makua, and our young warriors.  Among them our leaders who have been at the forefront of the movement to reunify our people and restore our nation’s sovereignty.

They included Emmett Aluli, Lilikala Kameꞌeleihiwa, Poka Laenui, Aꞌo Pohaku, Keoni Agard, Melody MacKenzie, Devianna McGregor, Dr. Claire Hughes, Mahealani Cypher, Bumpy Kanahele, and, in spirit, Uncle Buzzy Agard, Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, and Peggy Hao Ross.

Unfortunately missing from this auspicious occasion were two sisters who should be credited with helping to drive the sovereignty movement to where it is today.  They are, of course, the Trask sisters, Haunani K. and Mililani.

This constitution is in honor of all of those warriors who came before us and who could not be there.

It was moving to see people who were often on opposite sides of an issue come together for the good of the whole.  There were several participants that frequently came to OHA to protest our positions on nationhood and yet we were all able to put those differences aside and finally draft the governing documents needed to restore our nation.

I guess the most amazing aspect of the ‘Aha was to see our young people so energized and ready to take our efforts to the next level.  I have no doubt that they will make our dreams to form a new Hawaiian nation a reality.

The next step is to ratify the Constitution by taking it out to our people.  I encourage all of our ꞌohana to give the Constitution serious consideration.  While it is not a perfect document, it is a beginning.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance in understand the document.  If you are would like a copy of the Constitution, please visit my website at www.rowenaakana.org or e-mail me at rowenaa@oha.org to request a copy.  Aloha Ke Akua.

We need nationhood to protect our lands

`Ano`ai kakou…  Throughout the month of February, I was privileged to participated in the Na‘i Aupuni ‘aha to discuss self-governance.  I believe that calling for an ‘aha is an excellent opportunity to provide an open and democratic forum to discuss possible governing documents of our new nation.  This is where the ultimate form of the Hawaiian government can be debated and considered.

I have always advocated that gaining federal recognition as a native people would finally allow Hawaiians to negotiate with the state and federal governments for the return of some of our ceded lands that the state holds in trust.  Federal recognition would also put us in a stronger position to protect our lands and trust assets.

The three key elements of nationhood are sovereignty, self-determination and self-sufficiency.  In order for Hawaiians to exercise control over their lands and lives, they must achieve self-determination by organizing a mechanism for self-governance.  Hawaiians must create a government which provides for democratic representation before they can begin to interrelate with the State and the Federal governments who control their lands and trust assets. The ultimate goal of nationhood is to become self-sufficient and self-supporting.

My hope is that, as a result of the ‘aha, we will be able to draft the articles or provisions of our constitution for the new Hawaiian nation, whatever form it ultimately takes.  It is important to remember these documents can be changed or annulled.  This is only the beginning.  Once these governing documents are ratified by the Hawaiian people, they can be implemented to protect our lands and trust resources.  We would then be able to care for our people without assistance from anyone.

The window of opportunity for us to act on controlling our lands is closing.  For those who think we have lots of time to talk about this, they only need to look at all of the laws that have been passed in the last ten years to realize time is running out.

A good example of why nationhood is so critical for our people is the recent attempt in the legislature to pass the “forced land sales bills.”  Kamehameha Schools (KS) recently led the charge against legislation that would have forced Hawai‘i’s landowners to sell leasehold lands to their lessees.

If HB 1635 and HB 2173 had become law, all commercial, agriculture, conservation and industrial lands would have been put under threat to be forcibly sold.  KS would have been hurt by these bills since nearly 80 percent of their commercial properties are ground leased.  Our ceded lands controlled by DLNR would also be threatened.

Private land developers could have moved in to condemn and remove historical lands that were passed from generation to generation of Hawaiians.  This would have also negatively impacted the ability of Native Hawaiian organizations and trusts to fulfill their missions.  HB 1635 and HB 2173 represent yet another example of the government’s shameful history of removing Native Hawaiians from their ancestral lands.

Thankfully, on February 8th, KS announced that the House cancelled the hearing for HB 1635 and HB 2173, which effectively killed the bills.  However, there are other land bills in the legislature we need to be concerned about such as DLNR selling off remnants and the transfer of land to the military.  Let us be makaꞌala (watchful).  Aloha Ke Akua.