Response to Letter to the Editor on Akaka Bill

By: Trustee Rowena Akana

Source:  Letter sent to the Editor of the Honolulu Advertiser

Response to Tom Macdonald’s Letter to the Editor, ” HAWAIIAN SECESSION HASN’T BEEN ABANDONED” – Monday, July 18, 2005

I am outraged that my comments to the anti-Akaka bill group Hui Pu were grossly taken out of context by Tom Macdonald in his July 18th letter to the editor.  For the record, I have never encouraged Hawaiians to use the Akaka bill as a “steppingstone” to secede from the United States.  If Mr. Macdonald had bothered to read the Akaka bill, he would have known that nothing in it even remotely allows for secession.

What I actually shared with the members of Hui Pu was the fact that if they wanted to form an independent Hawaiian nation, they could – even if the Akaka bill were passed into law.  Nothing in the Akaka bill prevents them from doing so.  Of course, they would face the daunting task of convincing a majority of the 400,000 Native Hawaiians living in the U.S. to support them.

In my view, the Akaka Bill, and I have read the bill over and over; does not give any position on the ultimate form of Native Hawaiian governance.  It only requires the Federal Government to recognize a trust relationship with Hawaiians.  It will also give Native Hawaiians the ability to protect their trust assets until a Hawaiian governing entity is formed.

We cannot build a nation without assets.  All of our Hawaiian trusts are under constant threat of lawsuits from those who want to destroy the last remaining resources that Native Hawaiians have left, but there can be no judgment in the courts if Congress shows their support by passing the Akaka bill.  That is why I strongly support the bill.