Native Hawaiian Roll Commission
Kanaʻiolowalu Launches Online Registry for Native Hawaiians
The following is a press release from the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.
HONOLULU (July 20, 2012) - In a ceremony filled with a spirit of hope, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC) began its public effort to reinvigorate the building of a sovereign Hawaiian nation.
Kanaʻiolowalu is a year-long effort to create a base roll of Native Hawaiians – a registry of individuals who will then be eligible to participate in the formation of a sovereign government, and also gather signatures from Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians on petitions declaring support for the reunification of Native Hawaiians and recognition of Native Hawaiians’ un-relinquished sovereignty.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held at Washington Place today, NHRC chair, former Hawaiʻi governor John D. Waiheʻe, said Hawaiʻi’s spirit of aloha and our history of interwoven cultures make building the Hawaiian nation not only possible, but imperative.
“We are collectively a people who are driven to do what is right, what is pono,” said Waiheʻe. “This work only serves to formalize what Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians know intuitively – Hawaiian sovereignty while dormant at times, has been un-relinquished, and does not harm our community at large but rather enriches us all.”
Governor Neil Abercrombie, a steadfast supporter of Hawaiian self-determination created the roll commission and spoke today of his personal commitment and his hope for the future.
“I proudly proclaim today the start of the Year of Kanaʻiolowalu and encourage all people of our Aloha State to join us in celebrating the work and goals of the roll commission,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “This is about building a better future for all of us with respect to the continuing development of a reorganized Native Hawaiian governing entity.”
United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka was the first person to join the roll and sign the petition, in honor of his efforts on behalf of Hawaiian self-governance.
“Native Hawaiians are on a long and difficult journey to regain control of our collective future, and transmit our culture, knowledge and values to future generations. Signing this petition affirms that as a state, we recognize the rights of Native Hawaiians, as the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi, to perpetuate the culture of our island home. It is time to holomua, to move forward together, and to express our commitment to the future of Hawaiʻi and her indigenous people,” Akaka said.
Others included in today’s ceremony included U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz and NHRC members Nāʻālehu Anthony, Lei Kihoi, Robin Danner and Mahealani Wendt.
Kanaʻiolowalu contains an ambitious media component to share information with the public via broadcast, print and social media. The effort also relies on another, more traditional way of communicating – music. Palani Vaughn, Brickwood Galuteria, Kapono Ka‘aihue and Willie K are among those who composed original music played today in support of the reunification of Hawaiians.
Kanaʻiolowalu runs through July 19, 2013 with a goal to register 200,000 Native Hawaiians. Registration and signing of the petition can be done on paper or electronically. For more information and to access all of the Kanaʻiolowalu media visit the project website at www.kanaiolowalu.org.
In 2011, the Hawai‘i State Legislature passed SB1520, which was signed into law as Act 195 by Governor Abercrombie, recognizing Native Hawaiians as the indigenous population of the Hawaiian Islands. The law establishes the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, with unpaid commissioners appointed by the Governor, to certify and publish a roll of Qualified Native Hawaiians. Act 195 calls for the roll to be used to organize a Native Hawaiian governing entity that is recognized by the State of Hawai‘i, and can be recognized by the United States.
Act 195 specifically requires a report to be submitted by the Commission at least twenty days before the opening of the Hawai‘i State Legislative session which begins on January 18, 2012. This report is mandated to include expenditures, and may include any concerns and/or recommendations by the Commission.
To view a PDF of the Report to Governor Abercrombie and the Hawai‘i State Legislature click here.