Reconnecting with the Pacific...
One of the greatest tragedies of being under the rule of the United States has been the loss of connection to the larger ʻohana of Moana Nui, our Pacific family. Yes, we have connections through our language, culture, customs, genealogies, canoe traditions, and we have people to people relations. But, what about nation-to-nation relations? What about the issues we face as nations of this vast ocean?
While the rest of the nations of Moana Nui interact and work with each other on crucial matters through organizations such as the Pacific Islands Forum, the Polynesian Leaders Group, the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the UN Pacific SIDS, and so forth, sadly, Hawaiʻi is glaringly absent from the picture.
Yes, some of our people engage as experts and contribute to the discourse on Pacific Islands issues. But, because Hawaiʻi is regarded as a ʻstateʻ of the United States, and not an independent nation, Hawaiʻi has no significant voice, and certainly no decision-making role in the Pacific. Unfortunately, the one that presumes to speak for us in international matters (as well as domestic policy) is the United States — and we know how clueless they are about what’s in our best interest and the nature of our island ways.
Over the years, as I have attended Pacific regional meetings and conversed with heads of states, diplomats and parliamentarians, they invariably mention they would be very happy if Hawaiʻi (as the Hawaiian nation, not the U.S.'state') was to become an active member of the Pacific family of nations to help with the critical issues facing our islands.
It was the intent of several of our Kings, especially Kalākaua, to bring together our ʻohana of Moana Nui to work for the betterment of our peoples and nations. This great vision was rudely dashed by the assault and abduction of our nation by the United States. Fortunately, we are on the verge of overturning that wrongful taking and restoring the Hawaiian Islands as a sovereign, independent nation.
The irony is that Hawai’i, which was recognized as a sovereign nation long before anyone else in the Pacific, will be the last to reclaim our place in this extraordinary family of nations and join the voyage, as our wayfinding ancestors did, to navigate the path for our future.
Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono. The sovereignty (life) of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.
For the latest news and developments about our progress at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva, tune in to Free Hawaii News at 6 PM the first Friday of each month on ʻŌlelo Television, Channel 53.
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