To be able to tell our story in our own words and from our unique perspective is essential to spreading awareness about not only our history as Hawaiians but our continuing struggle to achieve independence within a legal, socioeconomic and political environment that has suppressed our national sovereignty and hindered our ability to live as Hawaiian nationals.

Although we acknowledge the widespread critiques of the movie “Aloha,” we also emphasize how important that mainstream media has been to sharing our story.  That Bumpy Kanahele was able to not only star in a feature film as himself but to also speak critically about the incredibly painful history of oppression of Hawaiians and how it continues to this day was a powerful and unprecedented moment in Hollywood.

To have a Hawaiian speaking his truth from his lived perspective and in his own words resonated with many audiences throughout the world and hopefully spread the message that the true heart of Hawaii is the indomitable spirit of the Hawaiian people who refuse to give in to oppressive forces that try to make us forget our history and more importantly, our national identity as a people and our rights to our land and culture.

Civil Beat podcast host Jessica Terrell interviewed Brandon Makaawawa for an episode of Offshore. The Nation wants to takes its message mainstream to educate others about Hawaiian sovereignty.

Ben Adair/Offshore

Nation of Hawaii has worked tirelessly to ensure that our people understand that we have never relinquished our national sovereignty.  For anyone who thinks that Hawaiians will never regain their independence, I invite them to learn more about Nation of Hawaii and Puuhonua o Waimanalo (a.k.a. the Village), which is the only sovereign and independent Hawaiian land base in existence.  We exercise our national sovereignty daily because U.S. and state laws do not apply to us.

More importantly, our land serves as a physical manifestation of our hopes and dreams for all Hawaiians to exercise their national sovereignty in a real and meaningful way.  We encourage everyone to learn more about the Nation and its various projects.

Nation of Hawaii will be featured in an upcoming episode of “Hawaii Five-0” that airs on CBS on Friday, Jan. 20 (coincidentally three days after the 124th anniversary of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii). We worked closely with the writers of the show to teach them our history and our aspirations for the future and hope that the story of our Nation and the unique identity of Hawaiians will be spread to audiences across the U.S. and the world.

The episode focuses on a Hawaiian man who is accused of a crime and flees to Nation of Hawaii for protection, thereby illustrating the respect that the state of Hawaii has for our Nation’s jurisdiction over its lands. The show highlights the unique status of our Nation and demonstrates how our people live as Hawaiian nationals separate from the American occupation of Hawaii.

The state of Hawaii and the U.S. have been incredibly harmful to the Hawaiian people and our Nation is a place of refuge and healing for the body, the soul and most importantly, the mind, which has been told that achieving true independence is not possible. We counter this imperialist assertion with real, tangible proof of Hawaiians living free and apart from the system that has tried to break us.

Nation of Hawaii has some exciting projects that came about because people learned about us in the movie “Aloha,” showing how sharing our story with audiences throughout the world can help raise awareness of Hawaiian issues on a global scale and also encourage allies to help us in our fight for Hawaiian independence. For more information, you can follow Puuhonua Bumpy Keiki Kanahele and Brandon Makaawaawa on Facebook or visit bumpykanahele.com and hawaii-nation.org.

A major economic venture we have pursued is the development of a crypto currency called Aloha Coin. Aloha Coin is the Nation’s official monetary system and will help us develop an independent and sovereign Hawaiian economy. If you want to learn more about Aloha Coin, you can visit alohacoin.info and alohacoin.today.

The Nation of Hawaii will also be conducting a citizenship drive in the upcoming year and if you would like to participate, look for updates on Facebook and on our websites.

In these uncertain times, it is important for our community to unify and move forward together, setting aside egos, political aspirations and the desire to be right.  Rather than fighting amongst ourselves, the end goal should be uplifting all Hawaiians and determining our future together.

Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Columns generally run about 800 words (yes, they can be shorter or longer) and we need a photo of the author and a bio. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to news@civilbeat.com.

About the Author

  • Brandon Makaawaawa
    Brandon Makaawaawa is a long-time resident of the Waimanalo Hawaiian Homestead community and is a passionate advocate for Hawaiian National Sovereignty. He serves as Chief of Staff to Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele, the Head of State of the Nation of Hawaii, which runs its operations out of Puuhonua o Waimanalo, the only sovereign Hawaiian land base in existence. You can follow him on Facebook or Instagram @hawaiiannational.