Hawaiian Nationality and the Law of Occupation

The Hawaiian nationality is termed Hawaiian subject and not Hawaiian citizen. The distinction between subject and citizen is that the former is the political status of an individual in a monarchical form of government, whether absolute or constitutional, and the latter is the political status of an individual in a republic or non-monarchical government.

Under Hawaiian law, nationality can be acquired four ways:

  1. Born within Hawaiian territory—jus soli, also called native-born or natural-born;
  2. Born outside of Hawaiian territory from parents with Hawaiian nationality—jus sanguinis;
  3. Naturalize. The Minister of the Interior, with the approval of the Monarch, shall have the power in person upon the application of any alien foreigner who shall have resided within the Kingdom five years or more, stating his intention to become a permanent resident of the Kingdom, to administer the oath of allegiance to such foreigner, if satisfied that it will be for the good of the Kingdom. (§429, Article VIII, Hawaiian Civil Code);
  4. Denizen. The Monarch can confer upon any alien resident abroad, or temporarily resident in this Kingdom, letters patent of denization, conferring upon such alien, without abjuration of allegiance, all the rights, privileges and immunities of a native. The letters patent shall render the denizen in all respects accountable to the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and impose upon him the like fealty to the King, as if he had been naturalized. (§433, Article VIII, Hawaiian Civil Code).

Once a State is occupied, international law preserves the status quo of the occupied State as it was before the occupation began. To preserve the nationality of the occupied State from being manipulated by the occupying State to its advantage, international law only allows individuals born within the territory of the occupied State to acquire the nationality of their parents. To preserve the status quo, Article 49 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention mandates that the “Occupying Power shall not…transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” To do so is a war crime.

For individuals, who were born within Hawaiian territory, to be a Hawaiian subjects they must be a direct descendant of an individual who was a Hawaiian subject prior to the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government on January 17, 1893. All other individuals born this date to the present are aliens who can only acquire the nationality of their parents.

According to the 1890 government census, Hawaiian subjects numbered 48,107, with the aboriginal Hawaiians, both pure and part, numbering 40,622, being 84% of the national population, and the non-aboriginal Hawaiians numbering 7,485, being 16%. Despite the massive migrations of foreigners to the Hawaiian Islands since 1898, which, according to the State of Hawai‘i Office of Hawaiian Affairs, numbers 1,302,939 in 2009, with the aboriginal Hawaiian population at 322,812 (25.3%), the status quo of the national population of the Hawaiian Kingdom is maintained.

In other words, with the increase in numbers of Hawaiian subjects, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal, since 1893, the status quo of the Hawaiian national population has been maintained to date. Therefore, under the international laws of occupation, the aboriginal Hawaiian population of 322,812 in 2009 would continue to be 84% of the Hawaiian national population, and the non-aboriginal Hawaiian population of 61,488 would continue to be 16%. The balance of the population in 2009, being 918,639, are aliens.

51 thoughts on “Hawaiian Nationality and the Law of Occupation

  1. Ah! Mahalo for making that clear distinction between “citizen” and “subject” I looked it up also on my own! “Subject” in nationalism is a term for a person living under a monarchy. “Citizen” is a term for a person NOT living under a monarchy! Maikai! Now when I describe Hawaiian as a nationality, I’ll be sure to use the correct term!

    By the way, to understand clearly, for example, if “Mark” was born with parents who were Hawaiian subjects before the 1898 occupation, as a direct descendant from his parrents, “Mark” would be a Hawaiian subject, but his future children would not be. Is that correct?

    • No. Mark’s children would also acquire Hawaiian citizenship just as their father Mark did if they are born in Hawaiian territory while still under occupation. Any person born in the Hawaiian Islands during occupation can only acquire Hawaiian citizenship by being a direct descendant of a person being a Hawaiian subject on August 12, 1898.

      • Aloha Hawaiian Kingdom,

        Please help me understand this clearly. Here’s my example, of my family history. I was born here in Hawaii in the 1960s, my mother was born here too, jus sanguinis, in the 1940s and my father is unknown. I was adopted by my grandparents, they both were born in 1915-1916 in Hawaii. My great-grandparents immigrated to Hawaii in 1912 from the Phillipines. My 2 part question here is under the current occupation of Hawaii since August 12, 1898 am I a Filipino national because my great-grandparents came from the Phillipines? Then, after the Hawaiian Kingdom is restored because I was born here in Hawaii do I become a jus soli, Hawaiian national?

        • Question: Under the current occupation of Hawaii since August 12, 1898 am I a Filipino national because my great-grandparents came from the Philippines?

          Answer: On December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the Spanish-American War. By virtue of the treaty, Spain surrendered Cuba and ceded Puerto Rico, parts of the West Indies, Guam and the Philippines to the United States. The treaty took effect on April 11, 1899. On July 4, 1946, the Philippines was granted independence by the United States. Between April 11, 1899 and July 4, 1946, Filipinos were “United States nationals.” After July 4, 1946 were then Filipino citizens. So if your great-grandparents immigrated to Hawai‘i in 1912, they immigrated as United States nationals, which by jus sanguinis would make their descendants today U.S. nationals and not Filipino citizens. If they immigrated after July 4, 1946 their descendants would be Filipino citizens.

          Question: After the Hawaiian Kingdom is restored because I was born here in Hawaii do I become a jus soli, Hawaiian national?

          Answer: So long as Hawai‘i is occupied jus soli takes no effect. Once the occupation ends, naturalization laws can be used to apply for Hawaiian nationality.

          • I’m glad you’ve clearly explained the independence of the Philippines and due to the treaty, my great-grandparents and I are United States nationals and not a Filipino national. This clears up my misconception.

            The people of Hawaii should help support the Hawaiian Kingdom to make THE WRONG RIGHT.

            Mahalo for sharing all your mana’o and keeping us all informed of the efforts you’re currently doing.

  2. Aloha Keanu, My question is, if a foreign national came to Hawaii prior to the overthrow to work in the sugar fields, wouldn’t their descendants still be considered as nationals of there respective homelands, under international laws.

    • If a child of the foreign national was born in the Hawaiian Islands before August 12, 1898, they would be natural-born Hawaiian subject-jus soli. If they were born in the Islands after August 12, 1898, they would be the citizenship of their parents-jus sanguinis.

  3. Please help my friend the family of mauro a. Tabula he is the u.s army in hawaii..mauro was born in waikiki hawaii..and he got married to nora r. Tabula filipino citizen his spouse was lived in philippines and their 5siblings..its. But mauro died already now but the families wanted to live and work in hawaii..and what citizenship they are?

  4. I have a lot of ohana who are descendants of Hawaiian Nationals that moved outside of Hawaiian territory and their children were born abroad. Are these children also Hawaiian Nationals as well as per “2. Born outside of Hawaiian territory from parents with Hawaiian nationality—jus sanguinis”? What must these children do now to retain and preserve their Hawaiian Nationality?

  5. Aloha, I recently listened to a Native American radio talk show between John Kane(Native American) and Keanu Sai regarding the history of the overthrow until present occupation, DOI hearings etc.

    John Kane This two hour show is available now for replay and download at http://audiohosting.eccentriccat.com/ltn/.

    Let’s Talk Native With John Kane

    Anyway, during that interview I heard Keanu indicate that since former Senator Dan Inouye was born in Hawaii during the time of Hawaii’s current occupation by the United States that he would take on the nationality of his parents who were Japanese nationals or citizens. This means that he would not be eligible to be a Congressman!!!

    Keanu also expressed the same would hold true for President Obama. This would be a major embarrassment to the United States creditability internationally, which could be a hidden reason for pushing the DOI hearings and attempt to make us appear to be another type of Indian Tribe to be controlled by United States laws.

    The implication of this fact is enormous!!

  6. Hi my daughter’s father is Hawaiian .malia is 22 years old now and would like to have hawaiian citizenship.do we need DNA test or where can I get forms to start this process thanks

  7. Aloha Hilary, I would think Malia’s geneology through her father’s side would be a good place to start. Obtain the corresponding documentation such as birth certificates, marriage lic./cert., death cert….etc. She would need to trace her parentage at least to the day prior to the start of the occupation. If she can do that then she has Hawaiian citizenship, no need to apply. Hope this helps.

  8. Aloha hilary, I see no rush at this time to obtain those documents. Maybe you can first start connecting the dots by researching her father’s geneology. Because the U.S. has no treaty of annexation Hawaii is occupied. According to the laws of occupation, Hawaiians cannot legally be declared Americans nor can Hawaiians by their own consent become Americans as long as the occupation exists. If Malia’s birth certificate shows she is of Hawaiian ethnicity then she is a Hawaiian Subject. Hope this helps.

    • Hi kekoa malia birth cert is irish her dad is Hawaiian but hé not on birth cert .She meet him 18 months agi in hawaii but no contact since. Do we need DNA first .or just bud birthcert?hope im not bothering you .

  9. Aloha hilary, glad Malia got to meet her dad. She is not alone, others are in same situation. There is a remedy but I am not an attorney and cannot give you legal advice. She has options to get a remedy. Good luck.

  10. Plz contact…. RJ &Sativa re: research uncovering Ormat industries, owners of puna geothermal plant, stealing precious metals from Pele’s steam and not sharing the wealth with Hawai’ians who own all ‘aina in the Kingdom of Hawai’i. Ormat an Israel corporate co. Never took out epa permits to hit the magma-source of our planet, Pele herself, to drill 1.5 miles down at geothermal plant. Plz u ppl. Reply to 808-965-7270 and/or missionpossibleradio@gmail.com

  11. Hi
    I am coming to hawaii Manoa for studying PhD this fall. i want to know after finishing my study, can i have Hawaii citizenship? Furthermore, i want to know Hawaii citizenship is the same az American citizenship or not.
    Thanks in advance.

  12. So just wanted to clarify. I was born in Honolulu Hawaii in 1975. My mother is US citizen and my father is NZ Māori, from NZ. Does this make me a US citizen / NZ citizen rather than a Hawaiian subject?


    • Aloha TD and Sogol,

      The Hawaiian Kingdom is currently under U.S. occupation and
      its governmental operations suspended since January 17, 1893.
      Decedents of people who were subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom
      up until 12 noon, August 12, 1898, can claim to be a subject of the Hawaiian Kingdom today.

      Because the kingdom’s governmental operations were suspended
      since January 17, 1893, no foreigners could be naturalized.
      However, it’s possible, in accordance to Hawaiian laws, that if a
      foreigner had given birth within Hawaiian jurisdiction the child
      could very well be a Hawaiian subject as long as the birth took
      place before 12 noon, on August 12, 1898, that is when the U.S.
      begun its occupation of the Hawaiian Islands. Any births after
      12 noon, on August 12, 1898, to date is done so under U.S.
      occupation and citizenship will be that of its parents.

      Hawaiian citizenship is specific to its territorial borders similar to
      that of other countries, but because of the occupation by the U.S.,
      foreigners wishing to become subjects of the kingdom is currently
      suspended until the Hawaiian Kingdom is restored.

      A hui hou

  13. if i was not born in hawaii but my lineage and family are hawaiian . am i eligible to be an hawaiian subject? If so what do i have to do to establish my claim?

  14. Based on the comments above, my great grandmother was born in Kauai in 1881. That would make her a Hawaiian Born Subject correct? What would I be considered as her great grandson born in the Mainland. My grandmother, father were also born in the Hawaiian territory but after 1898.

  15. My late grandfather was born in Hawaii on 1887 so meaning his a natural born as his grand child who born in Philippines has capable to apply going back to Hawaii as his descendants?If possible what kind of nationality we can acquire?

  16. I am moving back to Hawai’i. My wife was born in Hawai’i, their parents, their parent’s parents, etc.

    Question… I want to apply for Naturalization, as I was not born in Hawai’i. I recognize Hawai’i as an Independent State. Is there a modern process to officially be Naturalized under Hawaiian Law?

    I will be spending the rest of my life in Hawai’i, and want permission from Kingdom of Hawai’i and it’s representatives to establish residency, and become a naturalized citizen.

    Thank you for any reply.

    I am taking Kaleikoa’s advice to heart, and want to grab an oar.

  17. I’m so confused. My great grandparents on one side were born in the Philippines as my grandparents were both born in Kauai in 1925, making then us nationals, both my parents born in Hawaii 1944 & 1946 no ship records of my great grandparent, birth certificate of my parents one Filipino one Hawaiian, my birth certificate states Hawaiian race for both my parents. Did DNA for me and my sister and we have Polynesian & Asian DNA (assuming Hawaiian & Filipino) What does that make me? A US citizen with some Hawaiian & Asian race? I don’t qualify to claim Hawaiian? I just wondering what I am.

    • Felicia, why would you need a Kingdom of Hawaii I.D. or passport? Doesn’t the I.D. or passport you have now work? If it works then why replace them?

      • Using Keanuʻs kidnapping/adoption analogy…

        Why would Felicia, or anyone else who knows theyʻve been kidnapped want to keep using fraudulent paperwork forged by their kidnapper, which says their kidnapper is their adopted parent and therefore custodian over their person and property?

        • Aloha J.K., you use it to survive the occupation without inflicting yourself and your family with a financial burden or incarceration. I know I’m a Hawaiian subject and Hawaii is occupied. A Hawaiian I.D. or passport won’t solve that problem, it will only subject myself to punishment by the occupier. Why would I want to give the occupier my money to help fund their occupation when I could use that same money to help with ending the occupation. Resistance without injury can be achieved through wisdom.

          • Anoai oe, O Kekoa. I am well aware of this point-of-view. It is along the same lines as the “Iʻm just doing my job. Trying to survive.” mindset. It is fear, the attempt to escape it, and resistance to owning ones role in creating what we perceive as “now”, keia wa. We already bear the financial burden of the genocide we are facing. It is our land and resources which make it all possible. The willing use of their fake ID and fake money, only makes you complicit with their actions. Compliance without objection, is the definition of acquiescence. Change happens as a reaction to a new external influence, not from maintenance of the status quo. Please enlighten us with this transcendent knowledge, and maybe some examples where “Resistance without injury can be achieved through wisdom.”, because it seems to run contrary to the laws of nature and the universe, where the greatest changes happen as a reaction to an equally great causative event.

        • Aloha J.K., What I suggested is not fear, complicity, acquiescence and maintaining the status quo. Neither does it run contrary to the laws of nature or the universe. It actually falls within your definition…”where the greatest changes happen as a reaction to an equally great causative event.”
          Here are real life examples of using resistance. The first is the type of resistance that you are promoting. A person exhibits their resistance by using HK license plates and HK drivers license. That person gets pulled over by police and is cited for driving without license plates, no drivers license, no insurance, expired weight tax and no safety check.
          The court case drags on for months and that person looses a lot of time from work displaying his/her resistance in court. He/she forgets to go to on one of the many court dates and gets arrested on a Friday for contempt of court bench warrant and has to pay $250.00 bail or stay in lock up for the weekend and miss another two days of work.
          After about 6 months of going to court the person gets convicted, ordered to pay $750,00 in fines and has a stopper placed on him/her ability to get a drivers license or register a car until all the fines has been paid.
          Total cost for this type of resistance? Fines $750.00+ Bail $250.00+loss of wages from work $750.00. Out of pocket cost $1,750.00. Because he/she now has these citations on their drivers abstract he/she will have to pay higher auto insurance. This is one of the more milder out comes of this type of resistance. I have seen people in this situation that suffered a lot worse because it started a vicious cycle of going through the system several times because they still had to drive to work, take kids school/doctor, etc…. and they continued to get pulled over and even ended up doing jail time.
          Here’s my type of resistance without injury. I utilize the Hawaii drivers license which allows me to conduct my business, make money and take care my family. I take $1,750.00 of my hard earned money and display my resistance by using it against the occupier. This can be done in many different ways. Invest it so guess speakers can educate our people and world of our occupation. Invest in the HK acting gov’t so they can keep doing their job in the international arena. This type of resistance broth forth a positive out come and a return on my investment to ending the occupation. Versus the other type of resistance which has negative returns. It’s up to the individual on how they want to display their resistance.

  18. My father was a employee of the American war department during the second world war working on the building of the major army medical Center. He is an American citizen born in New York cities and he worked there from 1942 to 1949 I just born St. Francis Hospital in 1948. My question hi entitled to any benefits from the state of Hawaii for the prior kingdom. Considering retiring to Hawaii

  19. Hi! My father immigrated to Hawaii in 1928 as a worker in sugar mill.He was issued a selective service registration in 1942. His registration certificate shows he is a us nat. This is my question. Is there a record of my father’s certificate of naturalization or passport even if it was issued during the wirld war II in hawaii?

  20. Good day. My Grandfather is a naturalize born in Hawaii and then my father which is a son of my grandfather was registered in the registry in Hawaii, my father was born in the Philippines. But my grandfather registered my father as his son. My father died last 2014. My question is, Is it possible for me to acquire the citizenship of my father or grandfather?

  21. I have read some of the comments But Fail To Understand some Things So I Have A Question So My Grandpa was Born In The Philippines But Moved To Hawaii With His Parents and Many Other Family After he was Born in 1910 So He Grew Up In Hawaii And Became A U.S.Citizen in the 1930s When He Was A Grown Man So what Is He Considered In Nationality

  22. My grandmother was born in Hawaii in 1903 and my mom in California 1940 so she was a Hawaiian that became a citizen when Hawaiian became a state.?

    • Legally, you and your mother still have claims to being Hawaiian Kingdom subjects, though through jus soli, or natural birth, your mother and yourself also have claims to American citizenship

  23. Ok so I wanna denounce my forced right as an American citizen asap and take back my birth right as a Hawaiian Kingdom subject, and my Hawaiian Flag. Is there a place to do so, and when and where can I do that. Do you have the pe pa, because I have already told my family I’ll no longer be voting because it has to do with the United States, and it’s illegal to be voting in an occupied state, according to the Geneva Conventions, United Nations, and up on the Hague. And by U.S. treaty in recognizing that the Hawaiian Kingdom was and still is recognized as a (‘State’). Please let me know asap. Mahalo Piha theres a lot to help fix and mend, and re build, but i know i cant do it as a so called american citizen. Mahalo

  24. My grandmother is Hawaiian born there her parents were Hawaiian but my mother was born in California what dies that make her and am I considered Hawaiian I was born in new city.

  25. My Kūpuna originated from the Island of Māui, they migrated to Aokealoa (nz) around 850.BC. I wish to renounce my nz citizenship and become a Hawaiian Citizen would this be possible & how may I achieve this, Mahalo.

  26. Aloha. Quick question how do I go about getting my children out of CPS if they have birth certificates under the Hawaiian kingdom before CPS forged my signature to get them all U.S Birth certificates?

    • You might consider reporting to the police the crime of forgery, which would be a crime under HK law as well as State of Hawaii law. However, a U.S. State of Hawaii birth certificate can be obtained by a legal parent who might be different from the child’s natural parent. Furthermore, upon application the State of Hawaii must issue a birth certificate to any foreign born child whose parents declared the State of Hawaii as their legal residence for at least one year immediately preceding the birth, regardless of whether the child is born in HK or Kenya or Kentucky or otherwise. Therefore, a child could potentially have a birth certificate issued by the State of Hawaii as well as the country of birth.

  27. my father is Raymond iwalani Kamaka, born in hawaii, before he passed he had given up his u.s. citizenship, to become or to take up his right to Hawaiian citizenship. my brother and i were born in calif. does that give us the right to claim the same. or would we be considered the same within the kingdom, im very confused over the reasons to change citizenship, and why couldnt he of carried both?

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