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The testimony that you have presented, together with that of Mr. Keale, Mrs. DeSoto, and Mr. Burgess, will be extremely helpful, believe me. We will take steps to begin drafting legislation to carry out some of your suggestions.
However, Mr. Burgess, I have just been advised that the property that you have mentioned is not ceded land. It is land that the United States Government happens to own in fee. They must have purchased it somehow.
However, I will call upon the GSA to hold up the auction so that we may look into it. It could be exchanged for other property and then turned over to you.
Mr. BURGESS. We're aware of that, but there have been other dispositions of ceded land status. (Laughter and applause.)
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to at this time, before I call on further witnesses, it should be noted that under any circumstance, the committee has to leave here by 8 o'clock in order to make the plane. Otherwise, we will not get back and people on Molokai will get mad at us. We cannot let that happen.
This morning Mr. Walter Smith wanted to appear, but he was not able to be with us. I am calling Mr. Smith at this time. He is a commissioner of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
I hate to place any limitation on witnesses, but if you can be considerate and summarize your statement, it would help immensely.
Would you prefer to take the podium? More people can see you. STATEMENT OF WALTER FRECKLES SMITH, JR., COMMISSIONER,
DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS Mr. SMITH. I'm sorry about this morning. I had my eyes operated and I needed someone to drive me. I have a little hard time read
but please bear with me. I am Walter Smith, Jr., a Kauai businessman who operates a Wailua River tour family operation since 1946. I was recently privileged to receive the 1989 Small Businessman of the Year Award by the SBA. It is an honor I acknowledge most humbly and take pride in because I am most proud of my Hawaiian heritage.
I am equally proud to serve my fellow Hawaiians as a commissioner from Kauai on the Hawaiian Homes Commission. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously and I was pleased to have been recently reappointed by Governor Waihe'e to serve a second term.
My experience on the commission began with the Padeken administration. Hence, I have seen tremendous changes, all for the better, take place during the past 6 years.
You know, when I think of all the obstacles and barriers placed before the commission since its inception, I am proud of the many positive accomplishments that our Hawaiian homesteaders have achieved.
Welcome, Senator. A Federal presence, save for the brief contact during the Federal-State task force involvement, has been very minimal, especially in terms of providing the necessary funds sorely needed in order to achieve placing our people on the land.
While we appreciate the efforts of our congressional delegation in securing funds for various Native American programs, the trusts
with the land base has long been ignored. This hearing, planned by the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, ignored members of the Hawaiian Homes Commission from the start, and has concentrated instead on communicating with Hawaiians who take great delight in rapping the commission. Welcome, Senator; we have
Senator, we commissioners-
The CHAIRMAN. Before you proceed, I hate to differ with you, but we have been in constant communication with the commission. We have been meeting constantly. We have had meetings with commissioners on every island, and I have heard this said. I do not know where this began, but I can assure you—now maybe we did not communicate every day with each individual member, but when we communicate with OHA, we communicate with Tommy Kaulukukui. We don't write to all the trustees. When we write to the State of Hawaii, we write to the Governor.
Mr. SMITH. Well, I haven't been informed.
Senator, we commissioners are very proud Hawaiians. We do not enjoy having our motives or actions subjected to intimations of indifference or deliberate breaches in serving our people. We consider ourselves as people of " 'oiai’o” or integrity and humble in our desire to serve.
We understand that you are the first Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs to visit the various Indian nations throughout America. We know that you have described the changes you brought in seeing that the committee is now staffed by Indians and the offices and equipment upgraded during your chairmanship. Our Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has long been headed by Native Hawaiians who serve as Chair, as commissioners, and as staff members.
We can readily agree that there is much to be done. We have had several Senate hearings in Hawaii that have long described our needs. The Federal-State task force has made many recommendations that have long needed your assistance. These recommendations have been public since 1976, Senator, and we have heard little from you on these important regards.
You can all marvel at how patient, how “ho'omanawanui” we Hawaiians are in facing the many barriers that can easily discourage less patient people. We commissioners are people of compassion. We do not commit breaches. To even hint that our dedication and aloha is compromised hurts not just us, but all who are part of our "lahui."
Our shared valued of "aloha i kekahi i kekahi and hana like' are the very essence of our proud culture. We Hawaiians, like your people, served in the U.S. military. We gave our lives, too, in the defense of our country that allows us to have the freedom to criticize it and to make it better, and we have made a Hawaii better by including all of you whose ancestors migrated to our shores.
Tell me, Senator, do our sincere acts of aloha cause breaches to our cultural integrity as proud people and as children of a special aina?
We urge your assistance in providing real dollars that are necessary if we are to enable placing our people on the land without The sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii included the entire Hawaiian archipelago. It was one unified whole and not bits and pieces here and there, and certainly not a confederation. “Ua pau, ua hala lakou, our ali'i"' have gone. That day has passed.
We have seen your Indian reservations. They are not models of self-sufficiency despite their paper sovereignties. Furthermore, we do not appreciate being directed by American Indians on your staff, all whatever good intentions they have. It seems to us that they should concentrate on helping to improve the appalling conditions of their own people throughout the land.
Tell us, Senator, how their sovereign relationships have made significant changes in their lives. How do the Indians contribute to the life of their States? How many Indians help in directing their State administrations on behalf of the people of their entire States? How many Indian Governors have been elected?
We are pleased to acknowledge Governor Waihe'e and our State legislature's providing significant moneys that will help us to place infrastructure on 2,000 lots. Now that you are here, Senator, tell us how the Federal Government can support our efforts. How will the Federal-State task force recommendations be carried out by our responsible Federal agencies?
The majority of our people, despite the setbacks, are very much a part of the whole Hawaiian community. Please do not characterize us as totally negative and anti-American.
Of course we acknowledge the historical wrongs, but we keep faith, Senator, as we honor the words of our Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole who said, “Try to forget those things that have passed on behind you and return to embrace the brotherly love and seek those things which will make the honor of our land be eternal."
Senator, the Prince died penniless. He had a right to the sovereign lands, indeed, the first claim. Yet, he labored to insure the dream of the land for his people. He, too, was an example of his own words. He forgot his own needs and concentrated instead on providing for his people. That, Senator, is the spirit of aloha he so exemplified.
Mahalo for this opportunity to share my manao.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much for sharing your “mana’o” with us.
I cannot just stay silent on some of these issues. I have never characterized any Hawaiian as “totally negative and anti-American." I do not know where that came from.
Second, Indians are not my people; they are Americans like the rest of us. I realize that the staff of this committee is primarily Indian, and for that I am proud, but I can assure you that they not only work hard, but their hearts are in the right place.
The CHAIRMAN. I very seldom talk about myself, but unless I have committed a grave fraud on the people or the Hawaiians here have bad eyesight, just recently the Hawaiian civic clubs throughout the State gave me the highest award. Not too long ago, the Kamehaneha schools gave me the Order of Hawaii, and I am the first non-Hawaiian to receive that, and I am proud of that.
I have received many other awards from Hawaiian organizations, and I would like to believe that it was done because I have done my best. Believe me, I have done my best and, notwithstanding criticism, I will continue to do so.
Dr. Blaisdell, could you favor us by summarizing your statement? I can assure you that all the statements will be made part of the record, but I want to be able to hear the testimony of the homesteaders also.
STATEMENT OF KEKUNI BLAISDELL, M.D., PRO-HAWAIIAN
SOVEREIGNTY WORKING GROUP, HONOLULU, HI Dr. BLAISDELL. Mr. Chairman and other members of the committees, [remarks given in native tongue).
I am Kekuni Blaisdell, the spokesperson for the Pro-Hawaiian Sovereignty Working Group, a nonprofit hui devoted to research and public education through news letters and workshops for all Hawaiian sovereignty organizations.
My 10-page written testimony is before you. I shall summarize it at this time.
We, the first people of Hawaii, declare that numerous Hawaiian Home Lands and ceded lands Pilikia and our other health, education, unemployment, and crime problems among our Native Hawaiian people in our own homeland are the result of one basic wrong. Those in power who persist in, First, depriving us Native Hawaiians of our culture, nationhood, and lands and, second, maintaining us as dependent wards of their Government, not ours. These Pilikia can be relieved only by correcting that basic wrong.
Oia hoʻi, by first, recognition of our inherit birthright of sovereignty and special right as the first people indigenous to these islands, continuing claims which we have never relinquished and which we intend to pass on to our descendants intact and undiminished.
Second, support of our right to self-determination so that a selfgovernment can be designed and developed by us, the Native Hawaiian people, not by OHA, not by Washington attorneys, but by us in our own culturally-appropriate way, with all due respect, not as American Indians, not as Alaskan Natives.
The CHAIRMAN. If I may interrupt at this point, Doctor, I have said this many, many times. The question of sovereignty and selfdetermination will have to be determined by Native Hawaiian people, and I would be the last one to impose anything upon you.
Dr. BLAISDELL. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I have said this many times, so let us not create the impression that I am trying to impose my will on you. If you do not want it, that is fine with me.
Dr. BLAISDELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
By airing and assessing all possible options, not just one "Blueprint,” evolving consensus through education and the open democratic processes, not secret deals, toward a structure of self-government separate from the State and the U.S. Government in whatever form it may take, and however long it may take to evolve.
Third, revitalization of our Hawaiian culture, language, and religion of our noble ancestors. Through our self-government, we can assert dignity, pride, confidence, responsibility, self-reliance, discipline, and control of ourselves, our lands, and other assets in our own culturally-appropriate way to relieve the plight of our people.
As a first step, on behalf of our people, as we assert our sovereignty, we invite you to work with us on three specific, constructive actions:
First, repeal or dissolve the Hawaiian Home Lands and ceded lands trust since the current trustees, the State and the U.S. Government, have failed to fulfill this fiduciary responsibilities to us, the Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. Administration of these trusts will be assumed by a Native Hawaiian governing entity to be determined by the Hawaiian people, not by OHA, the illegal “State," or the United States.
Second, a bill of accounting, herewith presented to the United States Government not for reparations, but for "back rent” for the United States retroactive occupancy and use of Native Hawaiian lands and other assets in the Hawaiian archipelago since 1867 when Midway was taken, 1893 and 1898.
This bill, long overdue, is in accordance with the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment which calls for just compensation for the use of other's property. The down payment may be computed at about 6 percent return of the fair market value of the lands in use all of the ceded lands. The precise terms and method of payment will be negotiated by a Native Hawaiian governing entity to be determined by the Hawaiian people.
Third, a new treaty with the United States Government to replace the Reciprocity Treaty of 1887 which expired in 1894. This is necessary if the use of the limited resources of our homeland by non-Native immigrants continues for commercial exploitation which is injurious to our native people, our health, our culture, our land, our religion, and our future.
The terms of the new treaty will be adopted by a Native Hawaiian governing entity to be determined by the Hawaiian people.
As our Queen in 1897 said to America, “Just as you love and honor your country, so do we love and honor our country.” We add, "Just as we respect your nation, we ask you to respect our nation. Just as you may be willing to die for your country, we stand ready to die for our country.”
E. Hawai'i loa, kulike kakou.
The CHAIRMAN. I have received a memo advising me that on the matter of the OHA suit with the State of Hawaii, it was not the State's position to question the constitutionality of OHA. It was one of the items discussed in a memo submitted by a deputy. The position of the State rejected that. So I am offering the State an opportunity to submit a memo that can be attached at that point in the testimony.
Our next witness is Kawehi-Kanui Gill of Anahola.