COVID-19: What is the Difference Between Anecdotal Evidence and Scientific Evidence

As Hawai‘i’s people begin to awake to the reality of their country, the Hawaiian Kingdom, having been under an illegal and prolonged occupation by the United States since January 17, 1893, they have to contend with conflicting information on a daily basis. It is like walking down the hallway of a house in the dark. Every door that opens is someone telling “their” story with evidence “they” gathered that “they” say supports “their” conclusion. Which story is accurate and which story is not? There needs to be some sort of standard to discern fact from fiction whether it is about the Hawaiian Kingdom or COVID-19 that is in the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Stories are called anecdotes, and information that someone may use to tell the story could be anecdotal evidence. “Anecdotal Evidence is information you obtain from a subjective report, an observation, or some kind of example that may or may not be reliable. In addition, anecdotal evidence is not scientifically valid or representative of a larger group or of conditions in another location.” In academic research, anecdotal evidence is considered a fallacy. The anecdote is the story to be told and the evidence is selectively chosen by the storyteller to support the story. This is commonly referred to as “confirmation bias” or “cherry picking” because the storyteller would ignore evidence that would undermine the story being told.

Anecdotal evidence is on the opposite spectrum of science, which is “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” In political science, which is social science, it is “the systematic study of governance by the application of empirical and generally scientific methods of analysis. As traditionally defined and studied, political science examines the state and its organs and institutions.”

In both the hard sciences and the social sciences, there is a reliance on theory, which is an explanation of a set of known facts. A simple way to think of it is that the theory of football exists to explain the facts of a football game. Both sciences have a critical component called research and research relies on theories and evidence.

One of the ways to discern a person using anecdotal evidence from a person using scientific evidence is to first see their credentials, whether professional or academic, that would indicate that they have a particular expertise in the subject area. You should not prefer a golf coach to explain to you a football game. Second, does the person have published articles on the subject that has been peer-reviewed. This is very important because peer-review is a form of a vetting process that qualifies a person’s explanation and conclusions of a particular subject.

The way peer-review works is a journal’s editorial board will receive a manuscript that represents the author’s research and findings. If the manuscript satisfies the editorial board’s criteria of topic and form, the editorial board will seek out academics that are recognized as experts in certain fields that are covered in the manuscript. A peer-review journal can have up to 4 referees to review and provide comment on the manuscript. Peer-review is usually double blind where the referees do not know who the author is, and the author does not know who the referees are. All the author knows is that the referees are experts in certain fields that the editorial board reached out to.

After the reviews by the referees are submitted to the editorial board, the board will go over the comments made by the referees and determine whether the manuscript is suitable for publication. Some manuscripts would be rejected, while others would be conditionally accepted with adjustments as recommended by the referees. A manuscript based on anecdotal evidence would not be accepted for publication from the start.

In the case of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the vetting process was the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom. Larsen sought to hold the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom legally accountable for allowing the unlawful imposition of American municipal laws over him that caused him to have an unfair trial and be subsequently incarcerated. However, before the PCA could form an arbitration tribunal to resolve the dispute, it had to ensure that the institution had jurisdiction or authority to do so in the first place.

Article 47 of the 1907 Hague Convention (PCA) only allows access to the PCA if one of the parties is a “State” recognized under international law. The proceedings were instituted on November 8, 1999, and after the PCA verified the Hawaiian Kingdom to be a “State” an arbitration tribunal was formed on June 9, 2000. The Secretariat of the PCA, also known as the International Bureau, served as a vetting institution, and after its due diligence in reviewing the evidence through the legal theory of international law, it concluded that the Hawaiian Kingdom is an independent State.

This finding by an intergovernmental institution, falsifies the storytellers using anecdotal evidence. Since then, academics have published peer-review journal articles and publications that speak to the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State in continuity that has been under a prolonged belligerent occupation by the United States since January 17, 1893.

In this time of the pandemic, it is crucial to distinguish anecdotal evidence from scientific evidence. Dr. Anthony Fauci is an expert in this field, and he does have the credentials. More importantly, Dr. Fauci has publications on the topic of COVID-19 in peer-review journals. If Dr. Fauci lived in nineteenth century, the Hawaiian Kingdom Government’s Board of Health would have relied on his opinions and recommendations regarding COVID-19 if it arrived in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Hawaiian Crime of Common Nuisance and COVID-19

As an occupied State, international humanitarian law and the law of occupation mandate that the occupying State—the United States and its proxy the State of Hawai‘i must administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Since the occupation is prolonged, which has now lasted for over a century, Hawaiian Kingdom laws needed to be brought up to date. This is what prompted the Council of Regency to decree, by proclamation on October 10, 2014, the provisional laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Now, therefore, We, the acting Council of Regency of the Hawaiian Kingdom, serving in the absence of the Monarch and temporarily exercising the Royal Power of the Kingdom, do hereby acknowledge that acts necessary to peace and good order among the citizenry and residents of the Hawaiian Kingdom, such for example, as acts sanctioning and protecting marriage and the domestic relations, governing the course of descents, regulating the conveyance and transfer of property, real and persona, and providing remedies for injuries to person and estate, and other similar acts, which would be valid if emanating from a lawful government, must be regarded in general as valid when proceeding an actual, though unlawful government, but acts in furtherance or in support of rebellion or collaborating against the Hawaiian Kingdom, or intended to defeat the just rights of the citizenry and residents under the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and other acts of like nature, must, in general, be regarded as invalid and void.

And, We do hereby proclaim that from the date of this proclamation all laws that have emanated from an unlawful legislature since the insurrection began on July 6, 1887 to the present, to include United States legislation, shall be the provisional laws of the Realm subject to ratification by the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian Kingdom once assemble, with the express proviso that these provisional laws do not run contrary to the express, reason and spirit of the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom prior to July 6, 1887, the international laws of occupation and international humanitarian law, and if it be the case they shall be regarded as invalid and void.

In a letter from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) to dated November 20, 2020, the NLG urged:

Governor Ige to proclaim the transformation of the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties into an occupying government pursuant to the Council of Regency’s proclamation of June 3, 2019 in order to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This would include carrying into effect the Council of Regency October 10, 2014 Proclamation that brings Hawaiian Kingdom laws up to date. We further urge you and other officials of the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties to become familiar with the contents of the recent eBook published by the [Royal Commission of Inquiry] and its reports that comprehensively explain the current situation of the Hawaiian Islands and the impact that international humanitarian law and human rights law have on the State of Hawai‘i and its inhabitants.

The following year, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) passed a resolution dated February 7, 2021, that supports the NLG’s November 10, 2020 letter to State of Hawai‘i Governor David Ige urging him to “proclaim the transformation of the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties into an occupying government pursuant to the Council of Regency’s proclamation of June 3, 2019, in order to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This would include carrying into effect the Council of Regency’s proclamation of October 10, 2014 that bring the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the nineteenth century up to date.”

The United States and the State of Hawai‘i have not transformed themselves into an occupying government in order to provisionally administer Hawaiian Kingdom law. This is what prompted the filing of a complaint on May 20, 2020 with the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i in Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden. The IADL and NLG filed a amicus brief in the case, and the proceedings led to the closure of the Czech Republic Consulate in Hawai‘i. If they had transformed themselves into an occupying government before the pandemic hit the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaiian quarantine regulations would have secured Hawai‘i’s borders.

Hawaiian Kingdom laws include the Hawaiian Penal Code, which makes the intentional spreading of an “infectious disease,” such as COVID-19, a felony crime.

Hawaiian Penal Code
Chapter XXXVI—Common Nuisances

1. The offense of common nuisance is the endangering of the public personal safety or health. As, for example, the…spreading or endangering the spreading of the small pox, or other infectious disease.

9. Whoever is guilty of the offense of common nuisance in the first degree, for which punishment is not otherwise expressly provided by statute, shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labor not more than six months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars (inflation calculator in 1893 is $14,605.43 in 2020).

10. Whoever is guilty of the offense of common nuisance in the second degree, for which punishment is not otherwise expressly provided by statute, shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labor not more than two months, or by fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars (inflation calculator in 1893 is $730.27 in 2020).

To commit the crime of common nuisance in the first degree, the perpetrator had premeditation with a plan to spread the infectious disease of COVID-19. Second degree is where the perpetrator intended to spread the infectious disease of COVID-19 but had no plan to commit the spreading.

To combat the spreading of infectious diseases, the Hawaiian Kingdom Board of Health would utilize vaccines and quarantine as was the case with smallpox, or if there were no vaccines for an infectious disease such as measles, the defense would be quarantine, isolation and medical care. A vaccine for measles was not available until 1963.

Hawaiian Penal Code
Chapter LIX—The Public Health

1. There shall be appointed by the King in privy council, upon nomination of the minister of the interior, a board of health for the kingdom, consisting of three persons, who shall serve during the King’s pleasure, and be charged with the general oversight and care of the public health.

2. It shall not be lawful for any foreigner, whether naturalized or otherwise, to practice in this kingdom as a physician or surgeon, for compensation or reward, unless he shall have first presented to the board of health, or to such examiners as said board may appoint for that purpose, satisfactory evidence of his professional qualifications and good moral character, and obtained a certificate of approval from said board, and a license from the minister of the interior. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to a penalty of one hundred dollars for each offense. (Civil Code, Section 279.)

3. Said board of health may appoint suitable agents in such localities as it may deem necessary, to carry into effect all regulations for the public health; and its shall hold such agents accountable for all moneys received and disbursed by them, on account of the public health, and also for the manner in which they may discharge their several duties. (Civil Code, Sec. 280.)

4. The board of health shall make such regulations respecting nuisances, sources of filth, and causes of sickness, within the respective districts of the kingdom, and on board of any vessels, as it shall judge necessary for the public health and safety. (Civil Code, Section 281.)

5. Said board shall also make such regulations as it may judge necessary for the public health and safety, respecting any articles which are capable of containing, or conveying any infection or contagion, or of creating any sickness, when such articles shall be brought into, or conveyed from any district, or into or from any vessel.

The Hawaiian Kingdom took public health very seriously given the devastating toll that infectious diseases took on the aboriginal Hawaiian population, whether smallpox, whooping cough, measles, or influenza. The Hawaiian crime of common nuisance cuts through any belief of Americanism that people have a choice to spread or not spread an infectious disease to the public. Some Americans claim that they have a personal right to decide whether to take the vaccine and/or not wear masks with complete disregard for the health of the public. They claim that they are sovereign citizens and government cannot take their liberties away to decide. THIS IS NOT AMERICA.

People that are not Hawaiian subjects are also subject to the crime of common nuisance. Section 1, Chapter III—Local Jurisdiction of Offenses states, “All persons, whether subjects of this kingdom, or citizens or subjects of any foreign state, government or country, are, while within the limits of this kingdom, subject to its laws, except so far as exception is made by the law of nations in respect to ambassadors or others.” And Chapter IV—Capacity and Responsibility for Offenses, states:

4. Any person acting under mental derangement, rendering him incompetent to discern the nature and criminality of an act done by him, shall not be subject to punishment thereof: Provided, however, that if any such person, while capable of discerning the nature and criminality of any act, entertained the intent to do the same, and subsequently does it in pursuance and execution of such intent, he shall be held responsible therefore, though the same be done in such state of mental derangement; and so also if any person voluntarily or heedlessly induce the mental derangement by intoxication or otherwise.

5. No person shall be held criminally responsible for any act, to the doing of which he is compelled by force which he cannot resist, or from which he cannot escape: Provided, however, that no compulsion shall be presumed without evidence; and no one shall be able to justify himself against a charge of his doing an injury to another, by showing the threat or imminent danger of an equal or less injury to himself.

Section 5, Chapter I—Definitions of Some of the Terms used in this Code, provides, “Words in the masculine gender, signify both the masculine and feminine gender, and those in the singular or plural number signify both the singular or plural number, and words importing adults, signify youths or children, where, from the subject matter, the sense, and the connection in which the words are used, such construction appears to be intended.”

Yesterday, the Star-Advertiser reported that Cedric Gates stated, “I think what has been going on in our community is an issue of mistrust with government and miscommunication, and just misinformation in general being spread through the masses, through social media and these different platforms.” He also stated that many have been susceptible to their Instagram or Facebook feeds, or what they heard from their cousin’s cousin.

Not everything you read on the internet is true. Here’s a State Farm Insurance ad that first aired 9 years ago. It’s more relevant now than it was then.

Renowned Hawaiian Historian Kamakau Explains in 1867 How Diseases Ravaged the Population of Aboriginal Hawaiians in the Kingdom

The practical value of history, is that it is a film of the “past,” run through the projector of “today,” onto the screen of “tomorrow.” The film can never change, but a projector can be updated to process the film, which will change your view of the future. I ke au i hala ka lamaku o ke ala i ke kupukupu—the past is the beacon that will guide us into the future.

The past is very important to Hawaiians. So much so where the Hawaiian word for future is “ka wā ma hope,” which is literally translated to the time of the past. In the past that begins from a second ago to three hundred years ago are the stories or mo‘olelo of our people. This is where one can learn from past mistakes and capitalize on past successes.

Samuel Kamakau

Respected and renowned Hawaiian historian, Samuel Kamakau, wrote an article about deadly diseases that caused the decline of the aboriginal Hawaiian race. It was published in Ka Nupepa Ku‘oko‘a on December 7, 1867, in the Hawaiian language. Here is the translation provided by Awaiaulu, Inc.

The Time of Foreigners Arriving Here in Hawai‘i,
it Being the Time That the Native Race Stopped Flourishing

There are many conflicting ideas about the reasons that the decline of the Hawaiians was so resolute here in Hawai‘i. The terrible wars of slaughter were finished, robbers were done with, kidnapping was ended, and unfair deaths and other deadly entanglements that befell the people were over. What, then, was the most potent force in the decline of the Hawaiians?

[1] There was the frequent arrival of deadly sicknesses from foreigners, contagious illnesses, bitter ailments, scorpions, centipedes, wasps, mosquitos, biting flies, and the new bitter elements of these times.

[2] Germs passed from prostitutes, and there were deadly diseases, conta-gions, and cancers. The reign of Kamehameha III was a time when frequent epidemics came in from foreign ships.

In 1826, an epidemic arrived, and it came to be referred to as “cough, wheeze, phlegm, and sore throat.” Thousands perished from Hawai‘i to Kaua‘i, and many in the rural lands died. Luanu‘ukāhalai‘a and George Humehume, along with other chiefs, died from that sickness. In February of 1839, the ship Kai (Qukoke) came, with Henry Pecka as the captain, but he died at sea. It brought widespread illness from Valparaiso, Chile, including stiff neck, swollen throat, and melting scrotum, respectively. Many died in that epidemic. Chiefess Kīna‘u died, as did some lesser-ranking chiefs. In September of 1848, an American man-o-war anchored at Hilo, and it brought an epidemic and a deadly illness called “‘ulāli‘i” and “lepo hehe‘e,” measles and dysentery. Thousands of people died. One-third of the entire nation died from that spread of illness. Many high chiefs and lesser chiefs were lost, including Mose Kekūāiwa, W. P. Leleiōhoku, and Ka‘imina‘auao. There were two houses I saw in Kīpahulu, one being the house of Ilimaihealani at Kukui‘ula with fourteen people inside, most of whom were dead, and only three survivors. The same was true of Kapule’s home at Papauluana, where there were thirteen of them, nine dead and four remaining. If that was the death rate elsewhere in these islands, there would be far more dead than surviving in this kingdom.

An epidemic came in the year 1844, called “painful forehead,” “breaking head,” and yet another name was “tightness.” Many died from this epidemic. The same happened in March and April of 1853 when a deadly illness called “plague,” “smallpox,” or “branding fire” arrived. The foreigners who had contracted this terrible illness were brought ashore at Kahaka‘aulana by Dr. Potter; then, in the month of May, it spread throughout the royal city of Honolulu. The island of O‘ahu was the one most intensely drawn into the flames of this fire, the sparks of which flew to all of our other islands. Thousands died in this epi-demic. Ka‘aione’s place at Kīkīhale was its source, where it was contracted by a black-faced woman. This was a disease that devastated the common people.

In the year 1857, another devastating illness arrived, called “headcold,” “pounding head,” “sore throat,” or “deaf ears.” Many people died, as did some chiefs, including Keoniana and Konia.

Leprosy is a contagious cancer found among people now. Those from the pious to the skeptics catch this consuming disease. Some have died, and though some are now being treated, there is no cure. These epidemics and devastations have been the reason for the spreading desolation and death of the native people. Death from any other illness is very rare, but the number of deaths from the scourges and epidemics were far greater than those deaths from the wars and plunderings of ancient times.

The reason that this misfortune and demise has befallen the Hawaiian people is clear: the foreigners are nation killers. The love of glory and wealth are the companions of deadly illness. Submission to other races makes hospitable offices for contagions and cancers, and these have spread desolation upon this people, bringing on fear and terror and making the whole race shudder and tremble from the impact of fatal illnesses, epidemics, contagions, and cancers that cannot be cured by native healers. These are doses of poison that will decimate this people and allow the people to be easily swept away by death. The decrease in birth rates is another reason for the demise of the native race here in Hawai‘i. The reasons for the decrease in births among the whole race come from many causes, but there are many who give birth to numerous children now, just as in ancient times. Some women bear many children today, up to ten or even twenty, but it is a blessing for even one or two to survive, since most die. At Kīpahulu on Maui, there is a woman who has borne numerous children, ten children so far, each raised up, then dying, and it goes on like that without a single child left surviving; they all died. That is how it is for most of the mothers now living throughout the land. This is not due to bad conduct on the part of the parents, for the lives of families in the countryside are peaceful, nor is there any connection with the places of prostitution, yet they are all dead.

Princess Regent Lili‘uokalani Urged Mass Vaccinations in 1881 to Combat Smallpox Virus

“I am strongly asking everyone to assist me in doing everything to defend against this disease by obeying the directives of those in power along with the medical doctors, and I am strongly urging that people go in large numbers to vaccination sites and to stop gathering in places where there are large amounts of people, and to report those infected with the disease to government officials.”—Princess Regent Lili‘uokalani

Princess Regent Liliʻuokalani

On January 20, 1881, King Kalākaua and his royal suite left Honolulu for a journey around the world. He designated his sister and heir apparent, Princess Liliʻuokalani, as Regent. Article 33 of the 1864 Constitution provides, “It shall be lawful for the King at any time when he may be about to absent himself from the Kingdom, to appoint a Regent or Council of Regency, who shall administer the Government in His name.”

The year 1881 marked the fifth instance that the smallpox virus entered the Hawaiian Kingdom. Its first encounter was in Honolulu in 1853 where 16,500 people were infected and 5,000 died. This national crisis prompted the Hawaiian Legislature to pass An Act to Make Compulsory the Practice of Vaccination Throughout the Hawaiian Islands on August 10, 1854.

When smallpox was detected, fear rippled throughout the native Hawaiian community in Honolulu bringing back memories of the ravage it caused in 1853. This prompted a meeting at Kaumakapili Church on Saturday February 5, 1881, comprised mainly of aboriginal Hawaiian subjects. On February 12th, the Saturday Press reported:

On Saturday last a meeting was convened at Kaumakapili to discuss particularly the present action of the Board of Health regarding the smallpox that has been recently introduced into Honolulu. Early in the afternoon, Mr. John Sheldon, and the Honorable S.K. Kaai mounted the rostrum at the fish market, inciting the natives to flock together and join in the demonstration. Shortly after seven o’clock the church began to fill. Mr. Kaulukoa was appointed chairman. Mr. John Sheldon read the resolutions which had been drawn up, and Mr. Kaai seconded them. The whole of the proceedings were conducted in the Hawaiian language, and frequent bursts of applause, emanating from interested parties, amongst whom were the ex-Minister of Finance, Rev. Kuaea, and the Honorable J. Keau, greeted the speakers when denouncing the present Ministry and the Board of Health. A Committee of twelve was appointed to wait upon H.R.H. the Princess Regent…

On February 16th, the Princess Regent Lili‘uokalani very eloquently responded to the committee’s concerns, which was published by the Ka Elele Poakolu newspaper. Her response was in the Hawaiian language but an English translation has been provided by Awaiaulu, Inc., on Instagram. The Ka Elele Poakolu wrote:

(Here below is the response of the Princess Regent to the Resolutions that the Citizens presented before her through their Committee of Thirteen, calling for her royal compassion to heed the citizens’ humble and heartfelt cry. We are asking for this to be carefully read and for this royal sentiment to be clearly understood.)


You have presented before me some resolutions made at a citizens’ meeting regarding the smallpox that is being seen amongst us, which is something which stirs worries within us all.

This disease has devastated nations in ancient eras past, and it is something that we cannot presume to avoid in all instances. The first time this disease arrived to us was in 1853, and at that time people did not realize the terrible nature of this disease, and a great deal of suffering was witnessed. However, when it arrived again in 1863 and 1872, the nation was spared because some of them had contracted the disease in 1853, and so they were more agreeable in obeying the advice to act to fend it off; it did not spread extensively, and it also did not spread very much during its last arrival in 1877.

This past December, a ship arrived from San Francisco, not realizing there was an infected person aboard; a passenger disembarked, and afterward, his smallpox came about.

Even through cautious safeguards, this type of unfortunate coincidence cannot be avoided, and it is evidence that we are to be stricken by this disease just as other nations are. The disease did not spread further from this person.

The second instance was the steamship Cassandra from China, and from this ship a person with smallpox was smuggled ashore even though the captain reported that no one aboard the ship was sick. This person was concealed aboard the ship and not reported to our officials, and he was brought ashore in the night. There were strong steps taken to protect the health of the public, and because of those actions, there was no tragedy resulting from this person.

All of the infected people that we have recently seen have been confirmed to be from the steamship Quinta that arrived on the 12th of January, reporting that there was no disease on board. There were four people who had died while at sea, and after carefully questioning the captain, he reported that they had not died from any contagious disease, and there was no source of disease at that time that would lead one to think that his report was false.

Only after this ship departed, some of the people who had deserted that ship reported that the people who had died had succumbed to smallpox, and that there were two Chinese on King Street who had mild symptoms of this disease. In my understanding, the disease was not seen among the Chinese passengers of this ship outside of these two Chinese, and the disease spread to our nation from the crew of that ship.

So, as all of you may realize, the false reports of the ships’ captains cannot be defended against by the careful guardianship of our security officials.

I am strongly asking everyone to assist me in doing everything to defend against this disease by obeying the directives of those in power along with the medical doctors, and I am strongly urging that people go in large numbers to vaccination sites and to stop gathering in places where there are large amounts of people, and to report those infected with the disease to government officials.

Know that my heart is filled with sadness, and that I am hopeful that this disease will not spread amongst us. I am doing, and will continue to do, everything within my power to prevent its spread, and I am strongly asking everyone to assist me in doing everything to defend against this disease by obeying the directives of those in power along with the medical doctors, and I am strongly urging that people go in large numbers to vaccination sites and to stop gathering in places where there are large amounts of people, and to report those infected with the disease to government officials.

In this matter, I want it to be clearly understood. I know for a fact, that in these past days, some people have attempted to, and successfully taken people and hidden them in outer districts where they cannot be aided by doctors, and those places have become areas where the disease is spread amongst those who might not have otherwise been infected by the disease.

I ask all of you, my friends, what is the benefit of taking careful guard, if this ignorant offense of concealing people who are infected with this disease is committed?

I again ask all of you, and I encourage all of you, to urge everyone to report every person who is infected with this disease, to assist those who have been assigned to guard the nation, and to know that I am doing everything that I can so that everyone can receive the fine help that I am receiving.


Liliʻuokalani, Princess Regent

Would the Hawaiian Kingdom Compel Everyone to Take the COVID-19 Vaccine? The Answer is “YES”

On May 19, 2020, a lengthy article was published on this Blog titled, Can Hawai‘i Successfully Live with COVID-19 Without a Vaccine? The Answer is Yes But Under the International Law of Occupation. At the time, there was no vaccine for COVID-19. However, since December 11, 2020, Pfizer was authorized by the U.S. FDA for emergency use and on August 23, 2021, it was grated full approval.

A question has been circulating throughout the Islands asking whether the Hawaiian Kingdom would require vaccinations for all people within its territory. The answer is “YES.” Smallpox and COVID-19 are viruses and both cause death on a massive scale. In 1853, the Hawaiian Kingdom had a serious bout with the smallpox virus in the city of Honolulu. A total of 16,500 infections with 5,000 deaths.

Hawaiian historian, Samuel Kamakau, who witnessed the ravage, wrote, “From the last week in June until September the disease raged in Honolulu. The dead fell like dried kukui twigs tossed down by the wind. Day by day from morning till night horse-drawn carts went about from street to street of the town, and the dead were stacked up like a load of wood, some in coffins, but most of them just piled in, wrapped in cloth with heads and legs sticking out.”

The government reported, “No new cases of smallpox has been reported. Those already existing are doing well. The health of the city is otherwise generally good.” After two-months the epidemic passed and Honolulu was virus free. After the outbreak, the Hawaiian Legislature enacted the following statute making vaccinations compulsory:

An Act to Make Compulsory the Practice of Vaccination Throughout the Hawaiian Islands

Whereas, the late mortality caused by the Small Pox has shown the necessity of compelling a general and effective vaccination of the subjects of this Kingdom; Therefore,

Be it Enacted by the King, the Nobles and Representatives of the Hawaiian Islands, in Legislative Council assembled:

Section 1. As soon as may be convenient after the passage of this act, the Minister of the Interior shall appoint four suitable persons as Vaccinating Officers, viz:

One for the Island of Hawaii.
” ” ” Islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.
” ” ” Island of Oahu.
” ” ” Islands of Kauai and Niihau,

who shall receive such salaries as may be provided in the annual appropriation bills.

Section 2. Each vaccinating officer shall elect, within his respective district, a number of convenient places, not less than three in each school district, for the performance of vaccination; and from time to time give public notice of the day and hour at which he will attend at such places, to vaccinate all persons not already successfully vaccinated, who may then and there appear; and also of the time at which he will attend at such place, to inspect the progress of such vaccination in the persons so vaccinated.

Section 3. The father or mother of every child born on the Hawaiian Islands, after the first day of June, 1854, shall, within six calendar months after the birth of such child, or in the event of the death, illness, or absence of the father or mother, then the guardian, nurse or person having charge of the said child, shall, within six months after the birth of said child, or at the earliest opportunity after, take the said child to the vaccinating officer of the district in which the said child is resident, for the purpose of being vaccinated.

Section 4. Upon the eight day following the day on which any child has been vaccinated, as aforesaid, the father, mother, or the person having charge or custody of the said child shall again take the said child to the vaccinating officer, by whom the operation was performed in order that he may ascertain by inspection, the result of such operation.

Section 5. Upon the ascertained successful vaccination of any child the vaccinating officer shall deliver to the father, mother, or person having charge of the said child, a certificate under his hand, that the child has been successfully vaccinated; and shall not the same in a book to be kept by such vaccinating officer for that purpose; for which services the said officer shall not be entitled to demand and receive from the father, mother or person having charge or custody of such child, any pay whatsoever.

Section 6. On the presentation of a child to be vaccinated, should the vaccinating officer deem the child in an unfit state to be vaccinated, he may postpone the operation to some future time, at his discretion, giving due notice to the parents, or persons having charge or custody of such child, to reproduce it for vaccination at such future time.

Section 7. The vaccinating officers appointed under the provisions of this act may be removed from office at any time, by the Minister of the Interior.

Section 8. The vaccinating officers shall visit the several stations appointed by them, once in every six months, or oftener if deemed necessary by the Minister of the Interior, and the parent or person having charge or custody of any child which has not been vaccinated who shall neglect to produce such child for vaccination in accordance with the third section of this act, shall be subject to a fine of five dollars, on conviction of such neglect before any Police or District Justice of this Kingdom; one-half of which fine shall be paid to the informer.

[According to the inflation calculator, a $5 fine in 1854 would be $154.05 in 2020]

Section 9. The Minister of the Interior is hereby charged with the duty of carrying out the provisions of this act, and of providing the necessary books and stationary to the vaccinating officers.

This was a test for the newly created Smallpox Commission that was established by statute on May 16, 1853. The statute’s preamble stated, “Whereas, the Small-Pox is believed to exist in this Kingdom, and humanity and a just regard to life require that all who are affected with that disease should receive strict care and attention, and whereas it is desirable that the disease shall not extend through the Islands.” The Board of Health eventually assumed complete control in response to future smallpox outbreaks.

After the King, in Privy Council, in 1869 concluded that smallpox was endemic to the west coast of the United States and posed a direct threat to the health and well-being of Hawai‘i’s people, Mokuakulikuli—known today as Sand Island, was designated as the Quarantine Ground. The Hawaiian Gazette reported, “Altogether, about ninety persons can be comfortably accommodated at the quarantine buildings.”

Vaccinations in the nineteenth century were not full proof and another outbreak of smallpox hit Honolulu in 1881 that lasted just over five months. 282 people lost their lives.

There were hard lessons learned from the second outbreak that eventually culminated in the Board of Health’s adoption of a more comprehensive and authoritative quarantine regulations in 1891. The regulations focused on incoming passenger and merchant ships arriving from foreign ports.

Under these quarantine regulations, full authority and centralized control was vested in the Board of Health to make on the spot decisions that had the backing of the Hawaiian government through enforcement. The regulations were driven by medical experts and not politicians.

The regulations also provided who was responsible for the costs of the quarantine, which would not be incurred by the Hawaiian government. If payment was refused, the ship and/or assets were seized and liquidated to pay for the costs the government incurred.

1891 Quarantine Regulations

  1. The Board of Health may, from time to time, establish the quarantine to be performed by all vessels arriving at any port of the Kingdom, and may make such quarantine regulations as may be deemed necessary for the public health and safety. (Civil Code, Section 292).
  2. The quarantine regulations so established shall extend to all persons, goods and effects, arriving in such vessels, and to all persons who may visit or go on board of the same. (Civil Code, Section 293).
  3. Notice shall be given of such quarantine regulations by publication in the manner provided in Section 284 of the Civil Code; after which notice, any person violating such quarantine regulations shall be fined a sum of not less than five dollars (equivalent to $144.04 today) nor more than five hundred dollars (equivalent to $14,403.78). (Civil Code, Section 294).
  4. Any vessel which shall refuse to submit to quarantine or which shall leave the quarantine ground before the expiration of the quarantine imposed upon her, or which shall be the means of clandestinely introducing into this Kingdom any contagious disease, or any disease dangerous to the public health, shall be liable to seizure, confiscation and sale for the benefit of the public treasury. (Civil Code, Section 295).
  5. The Board of Health or its agents may at any time cause a vessel arriving at any port in this Kingdom, when they deem such vessel, or any part of its cargo, to be foul, infected, or in any way dangerous to the public health, to be removed to the nearest quarantine ground, and to be thoroughly purified at the expense of the owners, consignees or persons in possession of the same; and they may also cause all persons arriving in or going on board of such vessel, or handling such infected cargo, to be removed to some place of safety, there to remain under their orders. (Civil Code, Section 296).
  6. If any master, seaman, or passenger, belonging to a vessel on board of which there may be at the time, or may have lately been, or suspected to have been any infectious or contagious disease, or that which may become the source of such disease, or which may have been at or have come from a port where any infectious or contagious disease prevailed that may endanger the public health, shall refuse to make answer on oath to such questions as may be asked him, relating to said disease, or possible source of disease, by the Board of Health or its agents, such master, seaman, or passenger, so refusing, shall be punished by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars (equivalent to $14,403.78), or be imprisoned with hard labor for not more than twelve months, or both, at the discretion of the Court. (Civil Code, Section 297).
  7. Upon arrival of any vessel making the usual marine signal for a pilot, it shall be the duty of pilot or pilots at the port, to immediately put off such vessel, taking with him a white and yellow flag, to inquire into the sanitary condition of the ship and the health of those on board; and upon being assured to satisfaction that there is no danger to be apprehended from any contagious disease, he shall board the vessel, but not otherwise. (Civil Code, Section 594).
  8. Upon boarding the vessel, the pilot shall present to the commanding office a heal certificate to be signed by him, and in case the same shall be signed, the white flag shall be immediately hoisted at the main, and the pilot shall be at liberty to bring the vessel into port; but in case the commanding officer shall decline to sign the certificate of health, the pilot shall deliver to him a yellow flag, which the master shall hoist at the main, and the vessel shall be placed in quarantine outside of the harbor, and anchored where the pilot may direct. Any pilot who shall conduct a vessel into any port in this Kingdom, in violation of provisions of this section, or any of the regulations of the Board of Health, or knowing that there is just ground to suspect the existence of contagion on board, shall be liable to fine not exceeding five hundred dollars (equivalent to $14,403.78); and every vessel, the master of which shall have declined to sign a certificate of health, as above prescribed, shall upon entering port, be liable to seizure, confiscation and sale. (Civil Code, Section 595).
  9. If the Pilot, after boarding any vessel, shall discover the existence of any infectious or contagious disease, be shall not return on shore without the permission of the Board of Health; neither shall it be lawful for any of the ship’s company or passengers to land, or communicate with the shore, or to board any other vessel without the permission of the Board of Health, or the Collector, under penalty of a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars (equivalent to $14,403.78). (Civil Code, Section 596).
  10. The Board of Health and its agents may from time to time, at their discretion, appoint certain places within or near any harbor or anchorage in the Hawaiian Islands, for the performance of quarantine, where all or any vessel or vessels, crews, passengers and other person on board thereof, shall perform the same; and also may appoint stations apart from such vessels, where any persons or things shall be detained for the performance of quarantine.
  11. Every vessel arriving off any port of these Islands, may be boarded by the Port Physician, who shall examine personally the crews and passengers, and if satisfied that no contagious or infectious disease, that is dangerous to the public health, exists, or has recently existed on board, he shall give the Captain a certificate to that effect; but if not so satisfied, he shall give the Captain a certificate to that effect; but if not satisfied, he shall order the Pilot to anchor the vessel outside of the harbor and notify the Board of Health of the facts. No vessel may enter the harbor or any port of this Kingdom, when forbidden to do so by the Port Physician of said port.
  12. All expenses incurred on account of any person, vessel, or goods, shall be paid by such person, vessel or owner, or consignee of such vessel or goods, the vessel causing them not receiving a permit to quit the port until said expenses are paid.
  13. In every case where a vessel is boarded by the Port Physician, his fees and expenses shall be paid by the vessel or its representatives; and if said vessel or its representatives decline to pay these fees, the Collector of Customs shall collect them and shall not grant a clearance to said vessel until such fees and expenses shall have been paid.
  14. The resident physicians who are, or shall be appointed by the Government to take charge of the various districts of these Islands, except Honolulu, are hereby appointed by the Board of Health to act as Port Physicians for all ports in their several districts.
  15. If a vessel, passing on to another port or country, wish to land persons or goods in any port of these islands, the said vessel being obliged to undergo quarantine under the provisions of the previous Sections and these regulations, the person or goods entering said ports of these Islands may be landed and shall undergo such quarantine or other treatment as the Board of Health shall order, after which the vessel shall be free to depart, when her quarantine is raised.
  16. On the arrival of a vessel at any port of this Kingdom, coming from a port known to be infected with cholera, yellow fever, smallpox, scarlet fever, plague or any other contagious or infectious disease deemed by the Board of Health to be dangerous to public health, although no case of such disease may have broken out on board during the voyage, the officers, crew and passengers of such vessel may be kept in quarantine until a period of eighteen days shall have elapsed from the time of her leaving said infected port; and the vessel herself and her cargo shall undergo such process of cleansing and disinfection as the Board of Health shall judge necessary.
  17. On the arrival of a vessel at any port of this Kingdom which has or has had on board during the voyage, any person sick with smallpox or scarlet fever, (1,) the sick persons, if passengers for that port, shall be sent to the quarantine hospital for such a period as may be deemed necessary; (2,) the officers, crew, well passengers and other persons on board shall be placed in quarantine apart from the aforesaid, for such period as may be deemed necessary by the Board of Health; (3,) and the whole or part of the ship and its cargo shall undergo such fumigation and disinfection as the Board may deem necessary. But with regard to all sick passengers other than passengers for that port, and with regard to all persons sick with cholera, yellow fever or plague, and with regard to all persons sick with cholera, yellow fever or plague, the Board will not consider itself bound to receive them or to take care of them in quarantine.
  18. No person shall leave or visit any quarantined vessel, or any house, enclosure or place set apart for quarantine purposes; unless by written permission of the President of the Board of Health, or some agent authorized by said Board.
  19. Under no circumstances provided for by the last preceding regulation, shall clothing, personal baggage, or any goods be allowed to be landed from any vessel or removed from any place, before having undergone such disinfecting process as may be ordered by the Board of Health; nor shall letters or mails be landed in Honolulu except by written permission of the President of the Board of Health, or in any other district of the Kingdom except by permission of the District Port Physician.
  20. Vessels arriving from an Asiatic port, or from any port reported to be infected with cholera, yellow fever, or smallpox shall not enter any port of this Kingdom, though such vessels may show a clean bill of health, until special permission is granted by the Board of Health for entry into the port of Honolulu, or by a duly accredited agent of the Board for entry at any other port in the Hawaiian Islands. Such vessels shall be anchored on quarantine ground, at such places as may be chosen by the Pilot under direction of the Port Physician, and remain at such anchorage until changed or admitted into port by the Board of Health.
  21. The Board of Health may order the fumigation and disinfection of all personal effects from Asiatic ports.
  22. Any vessel placed in quarantine shall fly a yellow flag at the main by night and shall keep such signals hoisted until released from quarantine.
  23. It shall be the duty of the Pilot to deliver to the commanding officer of any vessel he may board a copy of the aforesaid quarantine regulations, with which he shall be provided by the Board of Health for that purpose.

Although these regulations were applied to arriving ships throughout the kingdom, they are applicable today to airplanes arriving throughout the various airports as well.

If the United States or its proxy the State of Hawai‘i was complying with the international law of occupation by administering the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom, COVID-19 would have been detected much sooner and quarantine measures would have taken effect followed by a lockdown of the borders to prevent foreign travelers from re-introducing the virus.

Hawaiian Bureau of Immigration and the Authority to Deny Entry

The legislature in 1864 established a Bureau of Immigration within the Ministry of the Interior. Its purpose was “superintending the importation of foreign laborers, and the introduction of immigrants.” The Bureau came under the control of the Minister of the Interior who was “assisted by a committee of five members of the Privy Council of State, to be appointed by His Majesty the King for that purpose.”

On January 14, 1880, the Bureau enacted an ordinance regulating immigration. In particular, Section 7 of the ordinance provided, “Immigrants not desiring to make engagements for labor shall, before leaving the depot, furnish to the President of the Board of Immigration satisfactory evidence that they will not become vagrants or a charge on the community for their support.”

Section 7 was the basis for the denial of a petition for writ of habeas corpus to the Hawaiian Kingdom Supreme Court by two passengers that completed quarantine for smallpox but were still detained by the Minister of the Interior because they did not satisfy section 7 of the regulations of the Board of Immigration.

Before the second outbreak of smallpox in Honolulu, the steamship Septima arrived in Honolulu from China on February 13, 1880. It was determined by the Board of Health that the virus existed amongst the passengers and they were removed to Sand Island for quarantine.

After they were cleared of smallpox by the Board of Health, authority was then passed over to the Board of Immigration. They were further detained by the Minister of the Interior until each of the passengers provided evidence that “they will not become vagrants or a charge on the community for their support.”

Two of the passengers from China refused to agree with section 7 of the regulations and claimed that the ordinance, itself, was unlawful because it was not a law passed by the legislature. In the Matter of Chow Bick Git and Wong Kuen Leong, the Hawaiian Kingdom Supreme Court, in 1881, not only denied the petition by upholding the Board of Immigration’s ordinance as constitutional, it also addressed the authority of the Hawaiian government to deny entry of foreigners.

After the Court cited Vattel’s Law of Nations and the passenger cases before the United States Supreme Court on a State’s authority to deny entry into its territory by foreigners, Associate Justice Albert F. Judd provided a separate opinion in agreement with the Chief Justice. He further stated:

“the State has a right to impose such terms and conditions precedent to the entry of foreigners within its borders as in its opinion are essential to its welfare, peace and good government. I see no reason why a sovereign State may not prescribe these terms, even in the absence of municipal law declaring what they shall be. The State may say to those who seek to become residents within its territory, ‘We will admit you, providing you accede to these terms which we deem to be reasonable and necessary.’”

Correcting Revisionist Hawaiian History: The 1848 Great Māhele

In a petition to U.S. President Grover Cleveland dated December 27, 1893, by the officers of the Hawaiian Patriotic League, a political organization whose membership comprised of over 8,000 voters that represented the commoner class, they opened with:

Last January, a political crime was committed, not only against the legitimate Sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but also against the whole Hawaiian nation, a nation who, for the past sixty years, had enjoyed free and happy constitutional self-government. This was done by a coup de main of U.S. Minister Stevens, in collusion with a cabal of conspirators, mainly faithless sons of missionaries and local politicians angered by continuous political defeat, who, as a revenge for being a hopeless minority in the country, resolved to “rule or ruin” through foreign help.

The officers of the League were comprised of very well-respected individuals that included attorneys and those who held government offices. These officers who signed the petition are:

J.A. Cummins, Honorary President
Joseph Nawahi, President
Jno. E. Bush, Vice-President
John Lot Kaulukou, Vice-President
J.K. Kaunumano, Vice-President
J.W. Bipikane, Vice-President
Jas. K. Kaulia, Secretary
Enoch Johnson, Treasurer
Jno. Uahiai Kaneakua, Executive Councilor
D.W. Pua, Executive Councilor
J.K. Merseburg, Executive Councilor
W.H. Rickard, Executive Councilor
John Ross, Executive Councilor
John K. Prendergast, Executive Councilor
Abraham K. Palekaluhi, Executive Councilor
J. Kahahawai, Executive Councilor
A. Marques, Executive Councilor
W.T. Seward, Executive Councilor

What makes their opening statement revealing is that it runs counter to the historical narrative that people in Hawai‘i know today. First, the HPL referred to the insurgents as “faithless sons of missionaries,” and not missionaries themselves. Second, they referred to “free and happy constitutional self-government.” Another historical fact can also be gleaned from a statement made by King Kamehameha III in his letter to the American Consul, P.A. Brinsmade, dated October 28, 1839, that questioned whether the American missionaries were involved in decision making by the Hawaiian government. Kamehameha III wrote:

I have received your letter asking questions respecting the American missionaries, supposed by some to regulate the acts of my government under me; I, together with the chiefs under me, now clearly declare to you, that we do not see any thing in which your questions are applicable to the American missionaries. From the time the missionaries first arrived, they have asked liberty to dwell in these islands. Communicating instructions in letters, and delivering the word of God has been their business.

They were hesitatingly permitted to remain by the chiefs of that time, because they were said to be about to take away the country. We exercised forbearance, however, and protected all the missionaries, and as they frequently arrived in this country, we permitted them to remain in this kingdom because they asked it, and when we saw the excellence of their labors, then some of the chiefs and people turned to them in order to be instructed in letters, for those things were in our opinion really true.

These historical facts run counter to the common recital today that the United States and American missionaries controlled the Hawaiian Kingdom, from the King down, to the detriment of the commoner class of people. The “evil” missionaries became the common trope that they, not the Hawaiians, controlled the kingdom.

Examples of this targeting of the kingdom is Professor Sally Merry in her 2000 book Colonizing Hawai‘i: The Cultural Power of Law, where she states, “the relationship between Euro-Americans and Native Hawaiians was a classical colonial relationship [that sought] to transform the society of the indigenous people and subsequently wrested political control from them.” In his 2002 book, Dismembering Lāhui, Professor Jon Osorio concluded the Hawaiian Kingdom “never empowered the Natives to materially improve their lives, to protect or extend their cultural values, nor even, in the end, to protect that government from being discarded,” because the system itself was foreign and not Hawaiian.

Dr. Robert Stauffer, in his 2004 book, Kahana: How the Land Was Lost, writes, “the government that was overthrown in 1893 had, for much of its fifty-year history, been little more than a de facto unincorporated territory of the United States…[and] the kingdomʻs government was often American-dominated if not American-run.” And Professor Noenoe Silva, in her book, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism, concluded that the overthrow “was the culmination of seventy years of U.S. missionary presence.” These conclusions have no basis in relevant historical facts nor in relevant laws.

A particular trope constantly recited is that the 1848 Great Māhele or Great Land Division was controlled by the missionaries that dispossessed the commoner of their lands. There are no historical records from the nineteenth century that says the Māhele was a disaster. It was a fiction invented in Lilikalā Dorton’s 1986 doctoral dissertation titled, Land and the Promise of Capitalism: A Dilemma for the Hawaiian Chiefs of the 1848 Māhele. She later changed her last name to Kame‘eleihiwa and her dissertation was published as a book in 1992 titled Native Land and Foreign Desires: Pehea Lā E Pono Ai? In her book she wrote:

The culmination of changes in traditional Land tenure in Hawai‘i in 1848 is commonly known as the “Great Mahele.” I refer to it simply as the “1848 Mahele” because it proved to be such a terrible disaster for the Hawaiian people, and the word “great” has a connotation of superior. It was a tragic historical event, a turning point that had catastrophic negative consequences for Hawaiians.

This subjective conclusion that the Māhele was a “tragic historical event” was Kame‘eleihiwa’s own making. Historians did not call this historical event as tragic. Kame‘eleihiwa draws attention to Marion Kelly who, in her M.A. thesis in anthropology, “placed a new emphasis on the effect of the Māhele on the maka‘ainana Hawaiian (commoner).” Kelly introduced the framing of Hawaiian land tenure to be a conflict between the missionaries and chiefs, as the bourgeoise, and the Hawaiian commoner as the proletariat. Kame‘eleihiwa sought to confirm this bias. Osorio also hints at the hypothesis that guided Kame‘eleihiwa’s research.  In his book, he writes:

As significant an event as the Mahele has proven to be, historians have seen it as a way of making specific indictments either of Ali‘i or of colonialism. No one disagrees that the privatization of lands proved to be disastrous for Maka‘ainana [commoners], yet the focus of every study, from John Chinen’s 1958 work to Kame‘eleihiwa in 1992, has been to try and establish the principal responsibility for its “failure.”

The underlying basis for the “failure” of the 1848 Māhele is explained by Kame‘eleihiwa where she alleges that the commoner class only received “a total of 28,658 acres of Land [in fee-simple], which is less than 1 percent of the total acreage of Hawai‘i.” This alleged travesty of the commoners would then be attributed to the western legal systems that commoners could not understand or comprehend because of their traditional political and social relationships. According to Kame‘eleihiwa, the “vast majority of Native Hawaiians simply did not understand the capitalist uses of private ownership of ‘Āina (land): they did not know how to use ‘Āina to increase their wealth.”

Osorio accepted this as a historical fact by stating that the “single most critical dismemberment of Hawaiian society was the Māhele or division of lands and the consequent transformation of ‘āina into private property between 1845 and 1850.” Osorio restates Kame‘eleihiwa’s numbers and adds the “failure” of governance to the “failure” of land distribution, which he concluded happened in 1851. According to Osorio, the “haole (white foreigner) were insinuating themselves to fill the spaces created by that dismemberment. They began with oaths of allegiance, they progressed to recognizing themselves as legal titleholders to the land, and they capped it off by taking over the House of Representatives in 1851, after awarding suffrage to haole whether they were citizens or not.” There is no evidence, however, that aliens served in the House of Representatives.

The negotiations of the Māhele began in December of 1847 and certain rules of the division were adopted by resolution in Privy Council on December 18, 1847, which would not only guide the division process, but also contractually bind the King and the Konohikis to adhere to the rules of the division and the right of commoners to acquire a fee-simple title to the lands they occupied under the Konohikis or the Government. The Great Māhele in 1848 did not begin private ownership of lands in Hawai‘i, rather, it was the beginning of private ownership for the Konohikis and commoners who were previously under the ancient system of land tenure.

Three years prior to the Māhele was the establishment, by statute, of the Board of Commissioners to Quiet Land Titles, also called the Land Commission. It’s purpose was to investigate claims to fee-simple, life estates or leases that were issued by the King or chiefs prior to 1845. Where found valid a Land Commission Award would be issued. The chiefs and commoners who held their possession under the ancient system called ali‘i‘ana that bore a remarkable resemblance to the feudal system of medieval Europe, were not required to file a claim because the chiefs and commoners under the ancient system did not have fee-simple, life estates, or leases yet. The Māhele would, however, start that process. The Land Commission was authorized by statute to only accept claims to these titles between February 14, 1846 to February 14, 1848.

The directive for the Chiefs to file their claim with the Land Commission is explicitly stated in the 1848 Māhele book. The Māhele book is also the evidence of the adherence to the division rules by the King and Chiefs where the division with the Tenants in fee-simple would occur when “said Tenants shall desire a division.” Before the Konohikis received lands they had to consent to the division and were directed by Kamehameha III, “e hiki ke lawe aku imua o ka Poe Hoona Kuleana (translation: take it before the Land Commission).”

In addition to the directive given to the Konohiki, the commoners called Native Tenants were also encouraged to file their claims with the Land Commission before the February 14th deadline. On January 4, 1848, Reverend Hitchcock, who was very concerned about the deadline for natives to file their claims, asked Chief Justice William Lee, who was also serving as the President of the Land Commission, if the deadline could be extended. Lee responded on January 14th:

I agree with you that the subject of prolonging the time for sending in land claims is worthy of serious consideration, and I will take the first opportunity to bring it before the King in Privy Council. The tenants however, will not lose their rights should they fail to send in their claims, for I will see that no Konohiki has a title to lands except upon the condition of respecting the rights of tenants. Still, it is necessary that the tenants should send in their claims, in order that their rights may be separated from those of the Konohiki, and they know what rights they really have.

These claims that managed to get filed were for the purpose of granting fee-simple titles to the Native Tenants. The Land Commission at the time, however, was not authorized to grant titles, but only authorized to investigate claims to titles. The Land Commission would soon receive authorization to act on behalf of the King and Chiefs to grant fee-simple titles according to the rules of the Māhele. This is what prompted Privy Council Resolution dated December 21, 1849, whereby the King and Chiefs would allow “fee-simple titles, free of commutation, be and hereby granted to all native tenants” with certain conditions. The following year on August 6, 1850, the Legislature amended the role of the Land Commission whereby “the board of commissioners to quiet land titles be, and is hereby empowered to award fee-simple titles in accordance with the foregoing [Privy Council] resolutions.” This statute has come to be known as the Kuleana (Fee-simple) Act.

For those Native Tenants that needed additional lands, the statute provided “a certain portion of government lands in each island shall be set apart, and placed in the hands of special agents, to be disposed in lots of from one to fifty acres, in fee-simple, to such natives as may not be otherwise furnished with sufficient land, at a minimum price of fifty cents per acre.” The following year on June 16, 1851, the Legislature passed An Act to Provide for the Appointment of Agents to Sell Government Lands to the People to facilitate this process already set-in motion by the 1850 Kuleana Act. These lands “from one to fifty acres” were for those Natives that were unable to file their claims with the Land Commission by February 14, 1848.

According to the inflation calculator, $.50 in 1850 would be $16.59 in 2020.

The vested rights of the Government class was vested in (1) government, and the vested rights of the Konohiki class was vested in (253) Konohikis, which included Kamehameha III, and were identified in the Māhele book. The vested rights, however, of the Native Tenant class is infinite in number because it is not vested in the name of certain people in the class unlike the Konohiki class but includes future generations of Native Tenants. As stated by the Hawaiian Supreme Court, in Kekiekie v. Dennis, 1 Haw. 69, 70 (1851):

…the people’s [rights in the] lands were secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the Kingdom, and no power can convey them away, not even that of royalty itself. The King cannot convey a greater title than he has, and if he grants lands without reserving the claims of tenants, the grantee must seek his remedy against the grantor.

For those Konohiki in the Māhele that also failed to file their claims with the Land Commission, the Legislature enacted in 1854 An Act for the Relief of Certain Konohikis that extended the time to file with the Land Commission. And when the Land Commission was dissolved in 1855, those Konohiki that did not file were then authorized to file their claims with the Minister of the Interior under An Act for the Relief of Certain Konohikis, whose Names Appear in the Division of Lands from Kamehameha III (1860).

In the 1882 report by the Surveyor General, he noted that Kamehameha III “showed his deep sympathy with the wants of his people, and set an illustrious example of liberality and public spirit …[and the] whole transaction was a severe test of their patriotism, and reflects great credit on that Hawaiian aristocracy which thus peacefully gave up a portion of its hereditary rights and privileges for the good of the nation.” These statutes also show the liberality with which the Hawaiian government was extended to both the chiefly class and the commoner class.

The Surveyor General also reported that between “the years 1850 and 1860, nearly all the desirable Government land was sold, generally to natives.” Donovan Preza, in his 2010 M.A. thesis on the Great Māhele tallied the number of acreage acquired by the Native within this ten year period to be a remarkable 111,448.36 acres. This number of acreage is in addition to the 28,658 acres that Natives acquired from the Land Commission that Kame‘eleihiwa and Osorio hang theirs hats on as their sole evidence of oppression. By 1893, Natives acquired from the government a total of 167,290.45 acres. This is not evidence of dispossession and oppression of the commoners by the aristocracy and missionaries.

Preza’s thesis not only rebukes Kame‘eleihiwa’s conclusions, which is reflected in its title, The Emperical Writes Back: Re-Examining Hawaiian Dispossession Resulting from the Māhele of 1848, but also undermines Osorio’s reliance on Kame‘eleihiwa’s so-called travesty of the Māhele upon the Natives. What is ironic, to say the least, is that the very Legislature that Osorio accuses of dismemberment was in fact responsible for facilitating the acquisition of lands for those Natives that were not able to file their claim with the Land Commission. What Osorio fails to mention in his book is that it was practice for the House of Representatives to publish a report of their work in the government newspaper, The Polynesian, after the legislative session has ended.  

In their address “To the Makaainana of the Hawaiian Islands,” dated June 28, 1851, all twenty-four Representatives begin with, “We, the undersigned, Representatives of the People, feeling it our duty to render an account of the manner in which we have discharged the trust reposed in us, hereby submit to you a summary of the laws, passed during the last session of the Legislature, which we consider of most interest to the People at large.” In particular, they stated:

We have passed an Act for the appointment of agents, in every district where there are Government lands for sale, whose duty it shall be to sell lands to the Makaainanas residing in such districts, in lots of from one to fifty acres, at a minimum price of fifty cents per acre.

Hereafter, there can be but little doubt that each man, not already provided with sufficient land, will become possessed of a small farm. Save your money then, and improve the opportunity, now afforded, of purchasing a homestead for yourselves and families. Those of you who have no kuleanas (fee-simple), or who have neglected to send in your claims, to the Land Commissioners, must not fail to avail yourselves of this privilege.

Kame‘eleihiwaʻs book has been used to teach Hawaiian history in the Middle Schools, High Schools and at the Universities across the globe. This historical invention has become so pervasive and entrenched in the minds of people that if someone were to ask a student of Hawaiian history a question about the Great Māhele, a typical response would be “Whatʻs so Great about it?”

From an academic standpoint, if scholars carefully read Kame‘eleihiwa’s book, they would have seen a glaring red flag that would raise serious concern as to the veracity of her conclusions. Her book is her doctoral dissertation out of the History Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In her book, Kame‘eleihiwa writes, “To those members of the History department who refused to sign off on my ʻbrilliant’ dissertation, let the Lāhui decide who is more skilled in their profession. Soon young Hawaiians—my students—will rise to assume your positions as you fade into the obscurity of footnote trivia.” Her dissertation can be retrieved from the University of Hawai‘i’s Hamilton Library and it shows that two of the committee members, who were tenured in the History Department—Professors Pauline King and Edward Beechert, did not sign off on the dissertation. What was more concerning was that Professor King was the chair of her committee. She, by the way, was part aboriginal Hawaiian. According to the rules at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, a Ph.D. degree cannot be granted if the Chair of the doctoral committee did not sign off.

Despite Osorio’s failure to directly address in writing his misinterpretations of the Great Māhele and the 1851 House of Representatives in his book Dismembering Lāhui, he did, to his credit, speak to this issue in an online webinar celebrating Lā Kūʻokoʻa (Hawaiian Independence) on November 28, 2020. He admitted that the Māhele was “done to protect the hoaʻāina, the makaʻāinana, the people of the land who are not chiefs; to protect their existence on the land, and this is one of the most amazing things about the Māhele, and it was something that I didn’t really understand when I wrote my book. It was something that, really…Professor Keanu Sai makes clear to all of us.”

For a detailed analysis addressing this topic and other subjects of revisionists history at the university, see Dr. Keanu Saiʻs latest publication “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity,” published by the Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Clarifying the Right of Self-determination Regarding Hawai‘i

In Hawai‘i, there is much confusion regarding the principle of international law called self-determination. The term is often used in political rhetoric in Hawai‘i’s community but there is no clear understanding of the term itself and its application to Hawai‘i. Some are concerned about who will be able to vote in a plebiscite or referendum, while others believe that a plebiscite vote was already done in 1959 when Hawai‘i became the so-called 50th State of the American Union.

Let’s start off with the definition first. Self-determination is the “legal right of people to determine their own destiny in the international order.” Within this international order are different political units that comprise it. At the very top of this order is the first political unit who are the people of established States, which is also referred to as countries. The second political unit are comprised the people in non-self-governing territories, which are non-States in a colonial situation. The third political unit is comprised of Indigenous Peoples, which are tribal peoples that exist within the territory of an established State not of their own making.

Regarding the first political unit called the people or nationals of an established State, Article 1(2) of the United Nations Charter provides that one of the purposes of the United Nations is to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination.” Article 1 of both the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

According to Professor Cassese, this type of self-determination is where the national population of the State shall “choose their legislators and political leaders free from any manipulation or undue influence from the domestic authorities themselves.” And only when the national population of an existing State “are afforded these rights can it be said that the whole people enjoys the right of internal self-determination.” As the officers of the Hawaiian Patriotic League stated in a petition to President Cleveland on December 27, 1893, the Hawaiian nation, “for the past sixty years, had enjoyed free and happy constitutional self-government.”This means that Hawaiian subjects were enjoying, what is understood today in international law, “the right of internal self-determination” up to the American invasion and subsequent overthrow of their government on January 17, 1893.

When a State comes under the belligerent occupation by another State after its government has been overthrown, the national population of the occupied State is temporarily prevented from exercising its political rights it previously enjoyed prior to the occupation, such as choosing their “legislators and political leadership.” As Professor Craven points out, “the Hawaiian people retain a right to self-determination in a manner prescribed by general international law. Such a right would entail, at the first instance, the removal of all attributes of foreign occupation, and restoration of the sovereign rights of the dispossessed government.”

The second political unit is comprised of non-self-governing territories, such as the people of East Timor that were first under the colonial power of Portugal, then under the occupation by Indonesia. In this case, the right of self-determination is guided by the United Nations resolution 1514 called decolonization. As a dependent people who have not exercised their right of self-determination, resolution 1514 provides:

“Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.”

U.N. resolution 1514 only applies to non-self-governing territories that have not achieved independence, or in other words were never an independent State. This resolution does not apply to the citizenry of existing States. The legal personality of a non-State territory is distinct from an independent State as stated in the 1975 Friendly Relations Declaration, which provides:

“The territory of a colony or other Non-Self-Governing Territory has, under the Charter, a status separate and distinct from the territory of the State administering it; and such separate and distinct status under the Charter shall exist until the people of the colony or Non-Self-Governing Territory have exercised their right of self-determination in accordance with the Charter.”

East Timor is a recent example of its people exercising their right to self-determination as defined by the United Nations for non-self-governing territories. As a former Portuguese colony that was invaded by Indonesia in 1975, East Timor exercised its right of self-determination and chose to be an independent State in a 1999 referendum overseen by the United Nations. As a result of the referendum, East Timor achieved its status as an independent State on May 20, 2002. It became the 191st member State of the United Nations. As an established State, the people of East Timor still retain their right of self-determination by choosing “their legislators and political leaders free from any manipulation or undue influence from the domestic authorities themselves.”

The Hawaiian Kingdom, as an independent State, did not lose its independence and become non-self-governing as a result of the United States illegal overthrow of its government and the ensuing occupation, just as the German and Japanese States did not lose their independence and became non-self-governing when their governments were destroyed by the Allied Powers that brought the hostilities of the Second World War to an end. Furthermore, Germany and Japan were not de-colonized when the Allied Powers ended their occupation of both their territories in the mid-1950s. These States were de-occupied according to the rules of international law, which apply with equal force to the Hawaiian Kingdom.

U.N. resolution 1514 does not apply to the Hawaiian situation despite the United States deliberate attempt to conceal its prolonged occupation by reporting Hawai‘i as a non-self-governing territory in 1946 under Article 73(e). The United States did not report Japan as a non-self-governing territory when it occupied Japanese territory from 1945 until 1952, or when it occupied Germany from 1945-1955. Even though the 1959 U.N. resolution 1469 (XIV) that stated the General Assembly “Expresses the opinion, based on its examination of the documentation and the explanations provided, that the people of…Hawaii have effectively exercised their right to self-determination and have freely chosen their present status” as the State of Hawai‘i, is not only an opinion and non-binding, but wrong because Hawai‘i was never a non-self-governing territory to begin with.

According to Article 13 of the U.N. Charter, the “General Assembly shall initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of…promoting international co-operation in the political field and encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification.” U.N. resolutions are not a source of international law but are merely recommendations that cannot impede or alter the obligations of the United States under the law of occupation. As Judge Crawford states, “Of course, the General Assembly is not a legislature. Mostly its resolutions are only recommendations, and it has no capacity to impose new legal obligations on States.” Most people believe that the United Nations General Assembly is a legislature that enacts international law. It isn’t.

The last political unit are Indigenous Peoples. The first use of the term self-determination in Hawai‘i goes back to the 1993 congressional joint resolution apoligizing to “Native Hawaiians” for the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government. Aside from the inaccuracies riddled throughout the congressional legislation, it stated that the Congress “apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893 with the participation of agents and citizens of the United States, and the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination.” The Apology resolution also stated that “the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum.”

Under international law, the term “inherent sovereignty” has no meaning. Sovereignty is vested in the Country, which is also called State sovereignty, and not in a people. Inherent sovereignty, however, is a term used in United States Federal Indian law and not international law. Its definition can be found in a 1976 law article titled “Comment: Inherent Indian Sovereignty,” published in the American Indian Law Review. The authors, Jessie Green and Susan Work, wrote:

“Inherent sovereignty is the most basic principle of all Indian law and means simply that the powers lawfully vested in an Indian tribe are those powers that predate New World discovery and have never been extinguished. Some of the powers of inherent sovereignty which have been recognized by the courts are the right to determine a form of government, the power to determine membership, the application of Indian customs, laws, and tribal jurisdiction to domestic relations and descent and distribution of property, power of taxation, exclusion of nonmembers from tribal territory, power over tribal property, rights of occupancy in tribal lands, jurisdiction over property of members, and administration of justice. Whether tribal sovereignty exists by the grace of courteous regard for the past by the courts, or by the rights of historical precedent ratified in treaties and statutes by Congress, it is an important past and present force which sets the Native American people apart from their fellow Americans.”

The apology resolution intentionally and falsely positions Native Hawaiians as a tribal group within the State of Hawai‘i that has a special relationship to the United States. The United States recognizes Native American tribes as Indigenous Peoples whose rights, under international law, come under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Article 3 of the UNDRIP states, “Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. This guarantees the right to freely determine their political condition and the right to freely pursue their form of economic, social, and cultural development.”

The United States and the State of Hawai‘i have used this type of self-determination as political rhetoric because it maintains their authority and continued presence in the Hawaiian Islands. The continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom, under international law, as an independent State that has been under a prolonged occupation by the United States obliterates this false narrative. As the national population of an established State, the Hawaiian Kingdom, the right of self-determination of Hawaiian subjects will be realized when the American occupation comes to an end. The law of occupation prevents the legislature of the occupied State from convening because complete authority to temporarily administer the laws of the occupied State is with the occupying State. When the occupation comes to an end, Hawaiian political rights will be fully restored and the right of self-determination will continue to where Hawaiian subjects will “choose their legislators and political leaders free from any manipulation or undue influence from the domestic authorities themselves.” Plebiscites or referendums under the United Nations do not apply to the Hawaiian Kingdom because it is not a non-self-governing territory but rather an independent State.

UPDATE: UCC Synod Changes Decision, Passes Resolution on Occupied Hawai‘i

Synod changes decision, passes resolution on occupied Hawaii

by Hans Holznagel | published on Jul 18, 2021

Here is the link to the amended resolution “Encouraging to End 128 years of of War between the United States of America and the Hawaiian Kingdom” that was passed.

The governing body of the United Church of Christ doesn’t usually change its mind about a vote it has taken. On July 18, it did.

General Synod delegates voted to reconsider a resolution about Hawaii that they had narrowly defeated the day before. This time the resolution got 72.9 percent approval — comfortably more than the two-thirds required to pass. The vote was 328-122, with 34 abstentions.

The resolution calls on church leaders to ask that the U.S. recognize its own presence in Hawaii as an “illegal occupation” according to international law. On July 17, a majority — but not the needed super-majority — had voted for it.

The resolution had come to Synod from the UCC’s Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches, made up of 31 historically Native Hawaiian congregations from across Hawaii. Some 80 percent of them were founded before 1893, the year the United States took Hawaii by military overthrow.

What it calls for

Now that it has passed, the resolution charges the UCC’s general counsel with communicating the church’s position to government agencies. First, the counsel is to “listen to and consider recommendations” from AHEC, “other Native Hawaiian organizations, and Native Hawaiian voices.” Then it is to draft “communications to local, national and international leaders and organizations calling for compliance with international humanitarian law and an end to the illegal occupation of the Hawaiian islands.”

AHEC spelled out the case for that position in submitting its resolution months ago.

As amended by delegates in a two-day process at Synod, the resolution also:

  • Calls on “all settings of the church … to live into the 1993 apology of the United Church of Christ delivered to the Native Hawaiian people”
  • Reaffirms the Synod’s commitment “to stand alongside and in support of the efforts of Native Hawaiians to seek redress and restitution for the war crimes of the U.S. against the Hawaiian Kingdom including, but not limited to, the crime of denationalization”
  • Asks for “a written and oral update on the progress on the implementation of this resolution” at the 2023 Synod.
Synod delegates reconsider the resolution during their July 18 plenary session.

The Rethink

The Synod’s rethink followed numerous points of order and points of personal privilege raised by delegates. Several said they felt the July 17 floor debate had been unfairly cut short — though Moderator Penny Lowes pointed out that the delegates themselves had defeated a motion to extend debate in that Saturday session. What succeeded on Jan. 18 — after much parliamentary analysis — was a formal motion to reconsider.

Gloria-Ann Muraki, an AHEC member and a Synod delegate from the UCC Board who spoke to the resolution in committee and on the floor, saw a higher power at work in the process.

She said the AHEC committee that originally wrote the resolution had been meeting since its July 17 defeat. “We have been reminding ourselves that we have to keep our faith in Ke Akua (God),” she said. “And that is what happened on the floor of the General Synod. We thank everyone, and it’s given us renewed faith in the UCC and its process.”

AHEC Holds Workshop on Resolution of State of War between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the U.S.

On June 14, 2021, the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches (AHEC) held a workshop on 128 Years of White Supremacy in Hawai‘i. AHEC is an association of 30 native churches and 6 partnerships that include, as partnership ministries, the State Sunday School Association, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation, Kamehameha Schools, State Council of Hawaiian Congregational Churches, Christian Endeavor and the Pacific American Ministries.

AHEC is a successor of the ‘Ahahui ‘Euanelio o Hawai‘i, also known as the Hawaiian Evangelical Association, that was established in 1854 in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Well known churches such as Kawaiaha‘o and Kaumakapili are members of AHEC.

The workshop was intended to explain AHEC’s Resolution Encouraging to End 128 Years of War Between the United States of America and the Hawaiian Kingdom. The resolution was submitted by AHEC of the Hawai‘i Conference United Church of Christ to be considered at the 33rd General Synod of the United Church of Christ in July 2021.

Presenters included Wendell Davis (AHEC Papa Makua), Ron Fujiyoshi, Pualani Muraki, Kalaniakea Wilson, and special guests Joyclynn Costa, Rev. Dr. David Popham, Dr. Ron Williams, Dr. Keanu Sai.

United Church of Christ: Native Hawaiians seek Synod support for sovereignty steps

Native Hawaiians seek Synod support for sovereignty steps

by Hans Holznagel | published on May 17, 2021

The 2021 General Synod of the United Church of Christ, meeting July 11-18, will consider 11 resolutions and several bylaw changes. This is one in a series of articles about them. Readers can view an initial summary here and find full texts at the Synod website.

Aside from the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, war may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Hawaii.

Some Native Hawaiians in the United Church of Christ are asking people to think again.

They are calling attention to an earlier military action, from 1893. They say it created what amounts to a state of war that never ended — and needs to end now.

They argue that, because the United States took Hawaii by military overthrow, the U.S. and the state government of Hawaii should be seen as occupying forces.

They make their case in a proposed resolution that calls for an end to “128 years of war” between the U.S. and the Hawaiian Kingdom. It will require a two-thirds vote of Synod delegates to pass.

Its sponsor is the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches of the UCC. The AHEC consists of 31 historically Native Hawaiian congregations from across the Hawaii Conference. Some 80 percent of them were founded before 1893.

Hawaiian Kingdom still exists

The resolution’s key points are that the Hawaiian Kingdom never ceased to exist, even after its overthrow — and that there’s unfinished business.

It says the U.S., under President Grover Cleveland, negotiated with the Hawaiian Queen Lili‘uokalani — soon after deposing her — to restore her government to power. Cleveland himself, in an 1893 address to Congress, called the overthrow:

an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress. ... A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair.

But the Native Hawaiian government has never returned to power — even though Cleveland, by a still-valid executive order, called for it to be restored, the resolution says.

Peace treaty sought

“Under international law, the action needed is a signed treaty of peace between the United States of America and the Hawaiian Kingdom government,” said Kalaniakea Wilson. He belongs to Kalapana Maunakea First Hawaiian Congregational Church in Nanawale, founded in 1823. He will speak to the resolution for AHEC when a committee of Synod delegates reviews it in July. Such a treaty, Wilson said, would be “similar to the agreement of restoration” between Cleveland and Queen Lili’uokalani that was “not implemented.”

The resolution also notes that the UCC and the U.S. Congress apologized in 1993 for their predecessors’ roles in the overthrow. National and Conference bodies in the UCC followed up by paying millions of dollars in reparations, in money and property, to Native Hawaiians.“Exposing the American Occupation” is part of the subtitle of this 2019 documentary featuring today’s leaders of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

But Wilson said these have not ended the decades of human costs paid by Native Hawaiians ever since the hostile takeover of their home.

“Thirty years have passed and there has been no solution to resolve 128 years of war crimes and human rights violations targeting Hawaiian Christians,” he said. “The Hawaiian people have been struggling to survive in Hawaii, leading in all negative health statistics, homelessness and much more. False apologies and broken promises exacerbate our situation.”

Wilson said recent struggles “have built a strong movement for self-governance that has grown stronger.” An example, he said, are Native-led efforts to protect a sacred mountain, Mauna Kea, “from continued desecration” by construction work on a large telescope.

Case for war crimes

One immediate step forward, Wilson said, would be for the U.S. government and the State of Hawaii “to cooperate with the Royal Commission of Inquiry.” Formed in 2019, it’s an official body of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The UCC resolution refers to “war crimes” that impose “humanitarian and human rights violations daily” on Native Hawaiian people. The Commission of Inquiry is amassing historical and legal evidence to back those charges.

For example, the Commission argues that actions such as these — committed against Native Hawaiians by the U.S., as an occupying power — are war crimes according to international law:

  • “Usurpation of sovereignty during occupation”
  • “Denationalizing the inhabitants of occupied territory,” by, for example, outlawing aspects of Native language and culture
  • “Confiscation of property”

International law “flagrantly violated”

The AHEC is not alone in the current movement to re-recognize the Hawaiian Kingdom.

One example is the United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights. Its appointed expert, Alfred M. deZayas, said in 2018 that the islands are “under a strange form of occupation by the United States, resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation.” In a letter to Hawaii’s state judiciary, he described Hawaii as “a sovereign nation-state in continuity.”

Another is the National Lawyers Guild. “International humanitarian law continues to be flagrantly violated with apparent impunity by the State of Hawai‘i and its county governments,” it said in a November 2020 letter to Hawaii’s governor. “This has led to the commission of war crimes and human rights violations of a colossal scale throughout the Hawaiian Islands.”

“Stop imposing American law”

The AHEC resolution summarizes this history and these arguments in “whereas” paragraphs and footnotes. But if the Synod were to pass the resolution as written, it would simply and “strongly” urge:

  • Hawaii’s state and county leaders and the U.S. Congress and president to “begin to comply with international humanitarian law in its prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.”
  • “All United Nation member states and non-member states to cooperate to ensure the United States complies with international humanitarian law and bring an end to the unlawful occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.”

The law of the land — of the Hawaiian Islands, that is — is what’s at stake, Wilson said. “The first step is to stop imposing American municipal laws within Hawaiian territory,” he said, “and, second, begin to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law.”

The Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

The Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics (HJLP) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa just published its third volume. Itʻs last edition, volume 2, was published back in the summer of 2006. The journal is published by the Hawaiian Society of Law and Politics (HSLP) which is a student organization at the university comprised of students, faculty and staff at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

HSLP was founded as a registered independent organization under Co-curricular Activities, Programs, and Services at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in October 30, 2003. In 2014, the organization had disbanded, only to be revived in the Spring of 2021 with an all-new membership.

Volume 3 of the HJLP has three original articles and reprints of articles and chapters that were authored by alumni of HSLP. These alumni all have Ph.D. degrees. Of the original articles, Dr. Kalawai‘a Moore is the Editor of HJLP and is the author of the “Editorʻs Notes,” and the article “American Hegemonic Discourse in Hawai‘i: Rhetorical Strategies in Support of American Control Over Hawai‘i.” Dr. Keanu Sai is the author of “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity.” And Dr. Umi Perkins is the author of “Negotiating Native Tenant Rights.”

Authors of the reprint of articles and chapters include Dr. Keao NeSmith who is the author of “Tūtūtʻs Hawaiian and the Emergence of a Neo Hawaiian Language.” Dr. Sydney Iaukea is the author of “The Queen and I: a Story of Dispossessions and Reconnections in Hawai‘i.” And Dr. Lorenz Gonschor is the author of “The Subtleties of a Map and a Painting.”

Professor Niklaus Schweizer is the author of a book review of the “Royal Commission of Inquiry: Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom.”

Dr. Keanu Sai is the author of “The Royal Commission of Inquiry.” Professor William Schabas is the author of the “Legal Opinion on War Crimes Related to the United States Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 17 January 1893.” And Professor Federico Lenzerini is the author of the “Legal Opinion on the Authority of the Council of Regency of the Hawaiian Kingdom.”

It is recommended to first read Dr. Kalawaiʻa’s “Editor’s Note” where he explains the hiatus of the HJLP since 2006 and why this volume is dedicated to the late Professor Kanalu Young who served as the faculty advisor for HSLP. Followed by Dr. Sai’s article “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity,” Dr. Kalawai’s article “American Hegemonic Discourse,” and Dr. Perkins’ article “Negotiating Native Tenant Rights.”

Dr. Keanu Sai to Present on the Hawaiian Kingdom, United States and International Law on April 8

Dr. Keanu Sai will be covering in his presentation some of the subjects in his latest article “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity” that was recently published in volume 3 of the Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Dr. Sai asked that everyone read the article before his presentation on April 8, 2021.

7:30pm Indian Standard Time (IST) is:

10:00am Eastern Time

7:00am Pacific Time

4:00am Hawai‘i Time

Dr. Sai’s presentation will be via Zoom:

Zoom Link
Password: JGU