West Oahu residents raise their voices over self-governace

Published On: Jun 24 2014 11:11:20 PM HST   Updated On: Jun 25 2014 06:28:50 AM HST

A second day of public hearings over Native Hawaii self-governance, once again had the federal government raising questions, but this time West Oahu residents raised their voices.

Residents of the Waianae Coast lashed out at the representatives from the Department of Interior and Justice over the injustice they feel.

Click here to watch Paul Drewes' report.

"The Department of Justice investigates crime right? A crime has been committed against my people," said Native Hawaiian De Mont R.D. Conner.

The crowd not only had comments over the wrongs they want made right, some had questions about the federal government being a part of the native Hawaiian government.

"Why do we need your federal recognition to know who we are and identify who we are?" asked Native Hawaiian Sam Kama.

"We are sovereign and independent. How does the Dept. of Interior come here and dictate federal recognition under Indian law?" asked Native Hawaiian Kilikina Kekumano.

The very vocal crowd was passionate about the plight of native Hawaiians and protective of Hawaiian self-governance.

"We have a government. Our government is established. We just need everyone of you to take responsibility and take care of each person in front, left, right and behind you. We also need to stand united," said Native Hawaiian Lillian Wakinekona.

On Tuesday night, Native Hawaiians stood together with tough talk for the federal government.

"Everybody make you guys scared yeah? You should be scared," joked Native Hawaiian Black Ho'ohuli.

But intimidating the federal government was no laughing matter. To make sure things did not get out of hand, police and security were stationed not only around the meeting room, but also outside the building and even around the Nanaikapono Elementary School grounds.
So far, there hasn't been much vocal support in favor of Hawaiian self-governing being under federal laws. On this night, some speakers wanted to make sure the federal government knew exactly how a number of Native Hawaiians felt about the proposals.

"My answer to every single question is no, no, no, no, no. This is a belligerent occupation. Go home, leave us alone and give us our assets back," stated Native Hawaiian B. Kamahana Kealoha.

During the public meeting, representatives from the federal government explained some of the benefits of having a Native Hawaiian government under federal law. Other native governments are allowed to include or exclude people, languages and even religion as they see fit.
After the explanation, one resident reminded the others about the federal government's mishandling of Native American rights over the past 200 years.

Public meetings will continue Wednesday in Kaneohe.

PHOTOS: First meeting on Native Hawaiian recognition

Click here to see photos from the first meeting.


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