Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Aug. 8 Primary Election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions about where they stand on various issues and what their priorities will be if elected.
The following came from Kalaniakea Wilson, candidate for Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees Hawaii island resident. Other candidates include Kauilani Almeida, Noelani Cashman-Aiu, Laura Desoto-McCollough, Louis Hao, Cyd Hoffeld, Pua Ishibashi, Lei Kihoi, Keola Lindsey, Lanakila Mangauil and Louis Pau.
Candidate for OHA Trustee Hawaii Island
Justice through education
Community organizations/prior offices held
1. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing Native Hawaiians?
One-hundred twenty-seven years of genocide obliterated the national identity of the Native Hawaiian, which was cloaked by Americanization indoctrination programs that replaced the Hawaiian national identity and language with a foreign identity and language. I discovered from my research that every person in Hawaii suffers from this disease to a certain degree on a vast spectrum. Providing Hawaiian language and Hawaiian Kingdom history classes helps, but it only is one component of a myriad of needed resources to correctly resolve Hawaiian mental health issues that began with genocidal policies that continue in educational institutions today.
What will you do about it? I’ve been researching to understand the situation and educating everyone about these injustices. Watch Hawaiian Kingdom news “Dark Side of Hawaiian Politics” to understand the legal and political situation we are in. Hawaiian injustice only increased and continues attacking Hawaiians daily through a highly evolved settler-colonial extermination program. Institutional racism, discrimination, classism, poverty, pillaging, human rights violations, and much more are contributing to the complete extinction of the full-blooded Hawaiian. I’m also earning my PhD focusing on Hawaiian injustices continuing today.
2. What would you do to change how OHA is run?
The only democratic way to reflect Hawaiian voices is to allow only Hawaiians to vote for their trustees. This is the only way to reflect choices from the Hawaiian population truly. We all know this. The entrenched systemic discrimination over a century ago invaded and replaced the democratic voting processes built by Hawaiians in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Eventually voting discrimination injustice inserted itself under the guise of equal voting rights for all, effectively displacing and outnumbering the Hawaiian population, which is illegal under international law.
Everyone is unaware or forgets about the historiography of voting injustice that began with white supremacist treasonous individuals who implemented systemic racism by requiring outrageous property qualifications to vote during the Hawaiian Kingdom. Allowing non-Hawaiians to select trustees for OHA creates the division we see now in OHA from its inception. Nana i ke kumu guides the first step in a three-step program to resolve all Hawaiian injustices. Nana i ke kumu means look to the source, reveal the core issue and identify the source of the injustice or the problem. Prioritize the 1893 injustice and end it immediately by applying the rule of law within the proper jurisdiction.
3. What would you do to bridge the gaps within the Native Hawaiian community over issues like construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope or the development of energy projects?
Why do we need to bridge gaps when 127 years of injustice attacking Hawaiians should be the priority? Why does it seem that Hawaiians are not able to support TMT? All Hawaiians can agree that torturing our grandparents and physically reprimanding them for speaking Hawaiian language in Hawaii schools was wrong. In 1896, article 57 effectively hindered the transmission of Hawaiian language from generation to generation. Yet no educational institution or state organization is willing to take responsibility for the intergenerational trauma and mental health issues suffered by all Hawaiians. Itʻs as if no individual or educational institution in Hawaii is willing to take responsibility for the genocide of the Hawaiian language. Replacing a people’s language with a foreign language is completing the second stage of genocide.
4. Do you support the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea? Why or why not?
Can we resolve 127 years of Hawaiian injustice first? Justice delayed is justice denied, which in Hawaii is genocide. Hawaiians deserve justice now, not tomorrow, not next year! Why continue to ignore Hawaiian justice while simultaneously enforcing predatory capitalist ideals of white supremacy, racism, discrimination and desecration on Mauna Kea is my question. That’s right, white supremacy has ingrained its ideals and values dehumanizing Hawaiians and desecrating the Mauna Kea origin story of creation. I’m not surprised how settler colonialism is normalized across the islands to protect continuing injustice and attacks on Hawaiians. Furthermore, since the University of Hawaii first leased Mauna Kea the university only showed evidence of mismanagement for over 50 years. Lease is cancelled! No renewal!
The Beneficiary Trust Council, Koa Kiai and the Kanaka Rangers successfully built Hale o Kuhio on Hawaiian Homelands and managed Mauna Kea resources and collected data on Mauna Kea for five years volunteering. In 2019 Hale o Kuhio was destroyed by joint law enforcement violating their own law, federal law, Hawaiian Kingdom law and international law. Why are Hawaiians never allowed to manage their own lands in Hawaii? That’s right genocide continues. Allow Hawaiians to manage Mauna Kea, itʻs our mountain.
5) Do you support OHA providing financial aid to Mauna Kea protesters?
Arresting 38 Hawaiian elders then building a speed trap targeting Hawaiian families for destruction is evidence genocide continues. One-hundred twenty-seven years of violating international law, the U.S. Constitution, federal law and Hawaiian Kingdom law is a recipe for civil unrest. The State of Hawaii has not fulfilled its only obligation embedded in the State of Hawaii constitution to the United States which is to rehabilitate Hawaiians. 100 years have passed from 1920 and thousands of Hawaiians have died. If the State of Hawaii adhered to the rule of law which is the 1920 Hawaiian Homes Commission act, I believe Hawaiian protesters would not exist. Federal rehabilitation right now can be the largest boost to a sustainable agricultural based Hawaii economy. I will work toward placing 40,000 Hawaiians on the wait list on the land, fulfilling the 100-year promise.
6. What role should the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands play in reducing homelessness?
Everyone misunderstands the State of Hawaii and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. They were created to make it nearly impossible for Hawaiians to return to the land and receive a Hawaiian Home Lands lot. No one knows how many Hawaiians have died waiting. That is extended genocide. Why do so many non-Hawaiians have leases to Hawaiian homeland commercial properties while so many Hawaiians are on the wait list waiting? Systemic racism and discrimination equals genocide. For example, the DHHL current 2025 five year plan allocates resources to place only 1,500 wait-listers on the land. That means some of the 38,500 Hawaiians may die and not receive any rehabilitation. The Department of Hawaiian Homeless is a good example of how a settler colonial rehabilitation program leads you to believe one thing but actually it’s a failure because you die waiting. Hale o Kuhio community work by Kanaka Rangers is the best example of how the State of Hawaii destroys Hawaiian volunteer work.
7. Why do you think Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in our prisons and jails? What can be done about it?
Stop 127 years of injustice and apply the rule of law. Article six section two of the United States constitution states, “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” This system of genocide continues to target and destroy Hawaiians, ignoring the rule of law. The State of Hawaii colonizer government is based upon the theft of the Hawaiian Kingdom nation, which has a history of genocide, destruction and incarceration of Hawaiians.
8) What are your views regarding Hawaiian self-determination?
Hawaiian self-determination is just another settler colonial program utilized to extend injustice and continue the program of Hawaiian extermination that equals genocide. The State of Hawaii only pretends to support self-determination to determine if Hawaiians are brainwashed enough to agree to the settler colonial State of Hawaii offer of self-determination that really includes systemic racism, systemic discrimination, incarceration, injustice and genocide from the day that Liliuokalani was overthrown.
Three generations have died and this question continues to be extended, forcing Hawaiians to live in a state of war until all Hawaiians die off. If no justice, no self-determination, no rehabilitation continues only complete extermination and genocide can be the result. My solution to self-determination will be the cheapest solution OHA has ever paid for Hawaiian self-determination, the cost would be one stamp. OHA only needs to resend CEO Kamanaoponoʻs letter from 2014 to the United States Secretary of State for a response. Why would our Hawaiian agency retract a letter asking a legal question that is needed to determine our future?
9) What other important issue would you like to discuss here?
Only one issue exists that has been attacking Hawaiian ontology since 1893 and that is injustice from continuing illegal acts that continue to disintegrate the Hawaiian! My three-step Kupuna Aloha process can resolve all these injustices in one term as resident Hawaii trustee for OHA. Vote for justice, vote Wilson for OHA. No justice no peace. No Hawaiians no Aloha! Stop the injustice!