Maui Meeting Planned in Protest of Naʻi Aupuni
The Hawaiian Studies program at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College sponsors a community meeting on Oct. 29, in opposition to the Naʻi Aupuni group, which was established to create a path toward Hawaiian self-determination.
The Naʻi Aupuni group has solicited nominations for candidates to represent the various islands as delegates in an upcoming Native Hawaiian Constitutional Convention or ʻAha.
It came about following the passage of Act 195, which recognizes Native Hawaiians as the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi, and also created the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to develop the process for enrolling Native Hawaiians to organize a sovereign entity.
In a similar opposition meeting held on Oʻahu earlier this month, longtime cultural advocate Andre Perez said, “The majority of our people have been disassociated from this process and we’re here to acknowledge those feelings and be sincere about it. Many of us didn’t know where Act 195 came from… We were never part of our own self determination design. Therein lies the problem,” Perez said during the Oct. 9, 2015 meeting at the Center for Hawaiian Studies at Mānoa. (Video made possible by Scotty Wong of Kingdom Media Hawai`i.)
Perez said it is important that the public understand the impacts, implications, risks and take a critical analysis of the process. In a video of the meeting he said the discussion is not about trying to argue the merits of participation in Naʻi Aupuni or re-hasing Hawaiian history.
“Most of us believe that we will not be able to control this process and so we are very concerned about it… We want to get into the meat of understanding Naʻi Aupuni; how it’s going to work; what the potential implications are; and also understanding how has it violated principles of self determination. The highest standards of human rights have not been met. That is our belief and that is why we are holding this hālāwai (meeting),” said Perez during the Oʻahu meeting.
The Maui meeting, entitled “Protest Naʻi Aupuni. Choose Aloha ʻĀina,” will include information and strategy discussion. The Protest Naʻi Aupuni website expresses opposition to the group with material that reads, “Hawaiian Sovereignty is not for sale.”
The site urges signatures for an online petition that was drafted with the following assertion: “I am an indigenous/aboriginal Hawaiian. I did not give my free, prior, informed consent to be on the Kanaʻiolowalu Rolls and protest Naʻi Aupuni which is the Office of Hawaiian Affairsʻ/State of Hawaiʻiʻs attempt to relinquish my peoplesʻ cultural and political rights to sovereignty over our national lands and our human right to self-determination.”
The petition, which went live on Sept. 13, is seeking 5,000 signatures and had garnered 367 signatures by Friday afternoon, Oct. 23, 2015.
The upcoming Maui meeting runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, at the UHMC Pilina Building.