`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 firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy. Aloha Ke Akua.