« AnteriorContinuar »
These people of Hawaii who have that much Hawaiian, as Auntie Lovey said, "in the toenails,” it is not their fault, but it is their right to claim that they are Hawaiians. Today we all want to be Hawaiians.
If we only can get together and try to work out the 1920 act, I think the purpose and goals of the Hawaiian people can be great.
I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Now we come to the final segment of the Kauai hearing, the homestead testimony. May I now call upon representatives of the Kekaha Hawaiian Homestead Association. STATEMENT OF JUDITH NAUMU-STEWART, KEKAHA HAWAIIAN
HOMESTEAD ASSOCIATION Ms. NAUMU-STEWART. Senator Inouye and Representative Daniel Akaka, Representative Blaz, and joint committees, we welcome you to the island of Kauai, the garden island.
Because time is limited here, I had a speech ready for about 1 hour and 20 minutes which was allotted to me, but hearing Senator Inouye's plea that they've got to get home early, I've cut mine down to about three pages.
The CHAIRMAN. You are a good woman. [Laughter.] Ms. NAUMU-STEWART. Like our predecessors on the program today have stated, we have a lot of Hawaiians with Hawaiian blood out there who are not lessees who would like to express themselves. Also, we have those who are not Hawaiian with the Hawaiian blood who would also like to speak. So, on behalf of my time allotted and the Kekaha Hawaiian Homestead Association, I would like to first call on Mr. Charles Trembath who will be followed by Dr. Wayne Fukino, M.D. at the Waimea clinic who represents the-I've got to get this right-Hoola Lahui Hawaii. [Applause.]
STATEMENT OF CHARLES TREMBATH Mr. TREMBATH. Senator Inouye, Representative Akaka, Representative Blaz, thank you very much for coming to Kauai to find out firsthand what's happened to Hawaiian home lands and to hear related testimony.
I am not Hawaiian in the sense of 'i'o and koko—that's "flesh and blood,” but I am Hawaiian at heart. My wife is Hawaiian; my family is Hawaiian.
I'm deeply concerned about the plight of Hawaiians in their own land. I have a few brief comments, some of which are not under jurisdiction of your committee but are of great concern to all the Hawaiians I know.
Of course you have heard, as they have, horror stories of beneficiaries of Hawaiian home lands floundering for years on the waiting list. They have seen the Bishop Trust Kamehameha School endowment for the education of Hawaiian children become a political plum for already-wealthy individuals, trustees, to fatten their bank accounts with exorbitant salaries at the expense of all Hawaiian children.
They have seen their land taken away by all sorts of legal gimmicks, adverse possession, quiet title, and so forth, with little or no recourse, notwithstanding the help from organizations like Alu
ciales of Hawai and theian Home Lan
They have seen their beaches closed off and their access to ancestral fishing grounds fenced off and closed. They have been chased off ancestral lands at Sand Island, Kahoolawe Makua Beach, Kukailimoku, just to name a few.
They have seen their pristine beaches overrun and become private enclaves for development. They have seen pieces of their land bought and sold over and over for profit by investors and speculators, bringing the price of housing and land out of the reach of practically all Hawaiians.
But the issues aren't all about land. It also involves water because, without water, what good is the land? The most recent insult was the use of our ocean resources. Native and ancestral ocean water rights have been usurped by the State through last year's ocean recreation management plan where traditional and Native Hawaiian rights and fishing and gathering rights were given no priority in favor of commercial enterprise of tourism and simply more and more people.
Obviously, the Hawaiian Home Land situation needs lots of help. With Congress and the State working together with the beneficiaries of Hawaiian Home Land, progress, hopefully, will come, especially related to the trust status which must include self-determination, the issue of sovereignty and what is considered in self-government for Hawaiians.
Mr. Chairman, you led the efforts in the Congress to study the issue of reparations, and many people felt that money would satisfy many people's needs for reparations, but money is nothing if you don't have the land. If you don't have the water rights, then the land is not too useful, either.
That's all I have. Thank you. [Applause.]
HAWAII Mr. FUKINO. Senator Inouye, Representative Blaz, and Representative Akaka, it's honor to be able to speak today to the question of Hawaiian home lands and the problems that Native Hawaiians face.
My name is Wayne Fukino, for those of you who don't know me. I'm the president of Hoola Lahui Hawaii. Hoola Lahui Hawaii was started in 1985. It is a group of health care providers and lay people who reside on Kauai. Our stated objectives are to: Identify the health care needs of the Native Hawaiians on Kauai; to develop health care programs that will assist in meeting those needs; to improve through education the provision of health and the health status of Native Hawaiians; to insure the availability, accessibility, and acceptability of the health care provided to Native Hawaiians.
For the purposes of health, Native Hawaiians are defined as any individual who has ancestors that were natives prior to 1778 of the area that now comprises the State of Hawaii.
nd the prospeak tolaz, and
Hoola Lahui Hawaii undertook and completed a health needs assessment of the west side of Kauai in 1988. Several accomplishments were derived from this.
The project clearly demonstrated that a Native Hawaiian community-based organization could successfully and efficiently manage a health research study in its own community from start to finish.
It involved Native Hawaiians in all phases of the project, and an expertise in the community was developed that could carry on other projects.
Senator Inouye, Representative Akaka, and the staff members of the committee that helped in the passage of the Native Hawaiian Health Act, please accept our deep appreciation. While this health act is significant for the impact that will have on the health status of Native Hawaiians, it is even more significant in that it is the first such legislation that recognizes the ability of the Native Hawaiian people to plan health programs for themselves and empowers them to carry out those programs. I am confident that you will not be disappointed in our efforts.
I should add-and it's not written here—that, through Senator Inouye's urging, this is the first bill of its kind because it also recognizes native health practitioners. It recognizes their place in the delivery of health care to Native Hawaiians. This is a first. It's not found in any other legislation.
I will now speak as a Native Hawaiian, although not a 50 percenter. I'm a 48 percenter, like the person before me. But my wife and my children are; they are 50 percent.
Over these days of testimony you will hear a litany of the inefficiency, the bureaucracy that is the Hawaiian Homes Commission. You will hear of the many applicants who have waited a lifetime for awards. There are many others who will never receive an award because they are no longer with us.
It appears to those not schooled in the intricacies of politics and regulation that the Hawaiian Homes Commission has been intent on keeping the land uninhabited. This generalization is perhaps unfair, but it is saying that the Hawaiian Homes Commission, in essence the State of Hawaii, has not always acted in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust.
Perhaps the time has come for a commission elected by the beneficiaries of the trust who then select the commissioners. This scenario would eliminate a conflict of interest that the Hawaiian Homes commissioners have always faced, and that is to decide exactly who they serve. Then perhaps the beneficiaries will have the advocate that they deserve.
This is not included in my written statement, but I would like to support LaFrance and the WIFFA project. I understand and know what she has done on that side as far as trying to re-establish the food chain for Native Hawaiians by trying to restore the balance and restore native fish, and also her recent work with children who are having difficulties at home and working with them in a Hawaiian manner.
As a physician, I feel like the little Dutch boy, and I don't know if you all know the story of the leak in the dike. He put his finger there and he held back the water. The leak to me is diabetes, heart
award because There harmany applicbe Hawaiian a lita
attack, and premature death that I see every day. For me, the statistics that are quoted are not statistics; they have names and they have faces and they are friends.
I ask that you examine the patient and you will see that the causes for the sickness we see are poverty, poor education, and loss of land. With these things, there is a loss of social, economic, and political power..
The Native Hawaiian Health Act is a start. It is a finger in the dike. It also sets a precedence in that it recognizes the ability of the grassroots to plan, to develop, and then to empower and to act.
Perhaps that leap of faith is again required. I hope that you can take back the message. Perhaps we can look and listen to what is being said by the grassroots and perhaps if the plans are formulated by the people in the communities, again within each of the Hawaiian homestead communities, and they present a plan, rather than having it come from on high, perhaps that plan may be more effective and we may realize the dreams that the original Hawaiian Homes Act had.
Thank you. [Prepared statement of Mr. Fukino appears in appendix.] [Applause.] The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Doctor. STATEMENT OF JUDITH NAUMU-STEWART, KEKAHA HAWAIIAN
HOMESTEAD ASSOCIATION Ms. NAUMU-STEWART. Honorable Chairman and committee, my name is Judith Naumu-Stewart. I'm a lessee at the Kekaha Homestead Association on Ineepaulinea Road, Lot 14, and also the caretaker of a pastoral land up at Poolpai for Alice Moha Akitasanger.
Before I start my testimony, Senator Inouye, I would like to thank you for making this hearing possible. I remember last year in September we heard about you coming to Waianae Academy School-that's Alice Ang and I-and it was a last-minute thing, but we made it a point to be there because we felt that this hearing was necessary.
I can say, Senator, you put your money where your mouth is. We're finally having the hearing today, and I'm grateful for that opportunity.
There's too much tears so I have to go this way. As spokesperson for the Kekaha Hawaiian Homestead Association, we would like to have an audit of the Waimea, Kona District on the island of Kauai. This audit is very important to the Native Hawaiians on the island of Kauai. In the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, certain lands were designated for the use by Native Hawaiians. We feel there is a discrepancy in the meets and bounds of the original allocation and the meets and bounds as they exist today. We request an audit of these lands by the Federal Government to clear up these discrepancies and put in order the land allotments as they were originally allotted.
Right now, of all the homesteads in the State of Hawaii, Kekaha Homestead has only 46 homes and 2 pastoral leases. In the near future there will be 21 additional homes, bringing the total to 67 homes in the Kekaha Homestead Association, and, Senator Inouye,
live on the in the Kevins on the
opmee hope this partian Hopractice
I was told you were responsible for getting the money for the infrastructure. Thank you.
From Koloa to Polihale and Niihau, we have the greatest concentration of Native Hawaiians residing on Kauai. And, yet, in this area there has been allocated an allocation of only 67 homestead tracts.
We have many Native Hawaiians on the application list waiting for homestead lands in the Kekaha area. We need more tracts for them to live on. The Kekaha Sugar Company's current lease of 15,000 acres of land will expire on December 31, 1993. The Kekaha Hawaiian Homestead Association has gone on record with the Department of Hawaiian Homelands as of May 25, 1989, stating that we would like to lease this parcel of land to be used to take these Native Hawaiians off the waiting list and put them onto the land. This land will also be used by the association for economical development.
We hope that at the expiration of this lease with Kekaha Sugar Company this parcel will be restored to the inventory of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
The 99-year lease, as is practiced today by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, is that if there is a qualified successor, transferee, or new lessee, this person assumes the remaining years of the original lease. When the 99-year lease expires, there is no guarantee that the present lessee can renew the lease for another 99 years. We would like to have every qualified successor, transferee, or new lessee begin their own, new 99-year lease upon succession.
We feel that the present practice does not give every qualified Native Hawaiian their right to the 99-year lease as stated in the Hawaiian Home Lands Act of 1920, as amended. We would like to have the original lessee be able to pass his or her lease to their blood heirs in perpetuity.
We would like to see the blood quantum lowered to anyone who can prove on their birth certificate that they have Hawaiian ancestry. But before this occurs, people who are not less than one-half part Native Hawaiian have to be taken care of. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 has been in existence for nearly 70 years and the true beneficiaries of this act have not yet been taken care of.
If the Hawaiians would get the full 20 percent of the revenues they are entitled to from the 5(f) lands, these resources could be used to solve many of the problems now facing the Hawaiian people, such as poor infrastructure, inadequate housing, and rising health costs.
We wholeheartedly support the efforts of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in its efforts to secure our entitlement to those revenues. The true beneficiaries should have what is rightfully theirs without any strings attached. It has been too long for the Native Hawaiians to have to wait for what is rightfully theirs. Many of the true beneficiaries have died without benefits, and there are still many more who will not see these benefits if the wrong is not righted.
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands had an acceleration program and many Native Hawaiians were given leases to lands and are still waiting to get on those lands. What happened to the money allotted for the necessary infrastructure? Over the years