OUR
POLITICAL HISTORY

WHERE WE'VE BEEN

Hawai’i’s political history is rich and complex. This section provides sources about our political history as a people.

GET STARTED

WHERE WE ARE

This section touches on the different views about what our political history means today.

GET STARTED

WHERE WE’VE BEEN

Like branches from the source of the tree, we are extensions of our past. Our political history is rich and complex. This section provides sources about our political history as a people, including books, journal articles and videos that are available online or at your local public library. Here the focus is on where we have been as a people, the establishment and operation of our country, the Hawaiian Kingdom, by our aliʻi, and events and people that have brought about great change.

CitationTypeDescriptionLocation
Akaka Bill 2009 summary produced by Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian LawSummaryThis summary covers the important amendments and provisions of the 2009 version of S. 1011, commonly referred to as the "Akaka Bill," Web
“An Act Of War” produced by Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina.VideoThis documentary takes a look at the Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government in 1893.OiwiTV
“Kihei “Soli” Niheu plays Robert Kalani Wilcox, Jan. 1993″-Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina YouTube ChannelVideoHawaiian activist Kihei “Soli” Niheu reenacts a speech of Robert Kalani Wilcox, a Royalist who fought to restore Queen Liliʻuokalani to her throne.YouTube
“We Are Who We Were” Co-Produced by Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina & The Hawaiian Patriotic League.Video ChannelThis documentary takes a look at the failed treaties of annexation between the United States and the Provisional Government.OiwiTV
Blount ReportPrimary SourceThis site includes the scanned images and transcription of Blount Report. The Blount report is a 1,400 page report completed by Special Commissioner James H. Blount who was appointed by U.S. President Cleveland to investigate the events surrounding the overthrow of the Queen and the sentiment of the people towards the Provisional Government.Web
Davianna McGregor and Melodie McKenzie. A Brief Summary of the History of Native Hawaiian Governance in Hawaiʻi. (Honolulu: OHA Report, 2013).ReportA brief synopsis of an extensive study documenting the long history of Native Hawaiian Governance that emphasizes that Native Hawaiians are the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi who exercised sovereignty over these islands and have continuously exercised forms of self-governance.Web
Hawaiian VoiceVideo ChannelNā Maka o ka ʻĀina’s YouTube Channel. NMOKA is an independent video production team that focuses on the land and people of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.YouTube
Hawai‘i Pono‘i Coalition - TimelineThis handy pdf highlights key points in Hawai‘i's history.Flier
Joint Resolution (No. 55) To provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United StatesPrimary SourceResolution used to “annex” the Hawaiian Islands to the U.S.
Ka Ho‘oilina, Puke 1, Helu 1: Nā Kumukānāwai o ka Makahiki 1839 a me ka 1840
BookThe Hawaiian Kingdom Constitutions of 1839 and 1840 are presented in both ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and ‘ōlelo Pelekania.Ulukau
Ka Ho‘oilina, Puke 1, Helu 2: Ke Kumukānāwai o ka Makahiki 1852
BookThe Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution of 1852 is presented in both ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and ‘ōlelo Pelekania.Ulukau
Ka Ho‘oilina, Puke 2: Ke Kumukānāwai o ka Makahiki 1864
BookThe Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution of 1864 is presented in both ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and ‘ōlelo Pelekania.Ulukau
Ka Ho‘oilina, Puke 3: Ke Kumukānāwai o ka Makahiki 1887

Book The Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution of 1887 is presented in both ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and ‘ōlelo Pelekania.Ulukau
Ka Ho‘oilina, Puke 4: Na Kānāwai o ke Aupuni Hawai‘i, Māhele 1BookResources related to the Māhele are presented in both ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and ‘ōlelo Pelekania.Kamehameha Publishing
Ka Ho‘oilina, Puke 5: Na Kānāwai o ke Aupuni Hawai‘i, Māhele 2BookResources related to the Māhele are presented in both ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and ‘ōlelo Pelekania.Kamehameha Publishing
Kamanamaikalani Beamer. No Mākou Ka Mana: Liberating the Nation. Honolulu: Kamehameha Publishing, 2014.VideoThis link will take you to the ʻŌiwi Tv website which features a video about Kamana’s new book.OiwiTV
Kūʻē PetitionsPrimary SourceThis site includes the scanned images of the Kūʻē petitions. These petitions are composed of over 38,000 signatures of people who were opposed to the Annexation of Hawaiʻi to the United States in 1897. These petitions helped to defeat the second treaty of Annexation that was proposed by the Republic of Hawaiʻi.Web
Law Recognizes Native Hawaiians as Indigenous People With Special RightsArticleDerek Kauanoe discusses how legal rulings dating back to 1863 and ongoing global recognition today confirm the appropriateness of laws that apply only to indigenous Native Hawaiians.Civil Beat
Liliʻuokalani. Hawai’i’s Story by Hawai’i’s Queen. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1990.BookIn this book by Queen Liliʻuokalani, she recounts stories from her childhood, major events that defined the reigns of former monarchs before her, and the events surrounding the overthrow of her government in 1893. Also available for online readingHSPLS
Na Waihona o Laka Me LonoVariousResources available at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies Library include videos, journals, books, online resources, and links to research guides.UH Mānoa
Osorio, Jonathan Kamakawiwo’ole. Dismembering Lāhui. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2002.BookProfessor Jon Osorio explores the effects of western law on the national identity of native Hawaiians as he covers Hawaiʻi’s political history in this book that spans the time between the first constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1840 until the 1887 “Bayonet Constitution.”HSPLS
Pa‘a Ke Aupuni: The reel history of Hawai‘i, 2015FilmPaʻa Ke Aupuni is a unique 60-minute hand-drawn, animated film that gets straight to the point. It zooms in on key facts explaining how the Hawaiian Kingdom came to be, how it evolved to stand firmly on the international world stage of sovereign nations, and how the United States came to claim Hawai‘i.

In many ways, Ke Aupuni Hawai‘i, the Hawaiian government, remains pa‘a—steadfast and enduring. Yet “pa‘a” can also describe something that is stuck or retained, in this case by powers holding fast to control over Hawai‘i.

Pa‘a Ke Aupuni lays bare the realities of this history. It’s a set of facts we all need to know as the push to reestablish a Hawaiian nation gains momentum.
Kamakako‘i
Silva, Noenoe K. Aloha Betrayed. London: Duke University Press, 2004.BookThis book asserts that Hawaiian language materials have largely been left out of the telling of Hawaiʻi’s political history. Through an examination of sources from the Hawaiian Language, Noenoe reveals stories about how the Hawaiian people actively resisted American colonialism.HSPLS
Silva, Noenoe K. I Kû Mau Mau: How Kanaka Maoli Tried To Sustain National Identity Within the United States Political System. Kansas UniversityJournal This
paper documents some of the thought and actions of the Hui Aloha 'Àina and
the Hui Kàlai'àina,6
who, following the military occupation of 1898, attempted
to gain local political power through establishing the Home Rule Party in order
to affect at least the local laws controlling their lives and to maintain their own
cultural identity against increased efforts towards complete cultural hegemony
by Americans.
The Admission Act: An Act to Provide for the Admission of the State of Hawaii into the UnionPrimary SourceAdmission Act commonly cited as the document that admitted the Territory of Hawai’i into the U.S. union as a stateHawai‘i Revised Statutes
The Annexation of Hawaii: A Collection of DocumentsPrimary SourceThis site includes links to the Blount Report, Congressional Debates on the Hawaii Organic Act, Anti-Annexation Petitions and documents, the Morgan Report, Hawaii’s Story by Hawaiʻi’s Queen, People and Places connected with the Annexation, and Political Caricatures of the Hawaiian Kingdom 1875-1905.UH Mānoa Library
The Kūʻē anti-annexation petitions of 1897VideoA video about the petitions that were signed by a majority of the Hawaiian population and helped to defeat the second treaty of Annexation that was proposed by the Republic of Hawaiʻi.YouTube
Trask, Haunani-Kay. From a Native Daughter. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi press, 1999.BookIn this collection of essays, Trask touches upon topics such as Hawaiian indignity, environmental devastation through militarization, cultural prostitution, and Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi’s platform in the different political arenas.HSPLS
UH Mānoa Hawaiian and Pacific CollectionWaihonaThis collection includes subject research guides, bibliographies, databases, indexes, dissertations and thesis. The Hawaiian and Pacific collection at UH Mānoa’s Hamilton library, located on the 5th floor is the largest collection in the Pacific of its kind. Materials may be requested and viewed in the reading room, and certain materials may be checked out by the general public after the purchase of a yearly access card.UH Mānoa
Ulu’ulu WebsiteVideo ChannelUlu’ulu is a moving image archive that aims to perpetuate and share rich moving image of Hawaii through the preservation of film and videotape related to the history and culture of Native Hawaiians and the people of Hawai’i.UH West O’ahu


WHERE WE ARE

All knowledge is not learned in one school. If you asked someone from Waiʻanae how to catch ʻōpelu, you will probably get a different answer if you asked that same question to someone from Hānā. This is not because one way is better than the other, but because one way suited the people and suited that place. Today our people have continued to seek multiple ways to achieve our goals. With an understanding of where we have been, sources in this section touch on the different views on what our political history means for us today. There is also information about how other countries have dealt with similar issues of governance.

CitationTypeDescriptionLocation
"Attempted Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, 1893" featuring Keanu Sai, (Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina)VideoExperts on Hawaiʻi's political history walk us through the events surrounding the Overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani.YouTube
"Hawaiian Conscienncism with Kaleikoa Ka'eo- 2-8-2013"VideoHawaiian philosopher Kaleikoa Ka'eo speaks about raising the consciousness of our nation through our political history and current issues.YouTube
"Political History"WebWebsite of "the Hawaiian Kingdom Government presently operating within the occupied state of the Hawaiian Islands" (Chairman of the Council of Regency, Keanu Sai)
Aguon, Julian. The Commerce of Recognition (Buy One Ethos, Get One Free): Toward Curing the Harm of the United States' International Wrongful Acts in the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu: Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, 2012.LegalPost Juris Doctor Julian Aguon addresses the legal harms done to the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States and three paths to curing those harms: deoccupation, decolonization and indigenous rights. He explores the pros and cons of each path as well as the legal implications of the Akaka Bill.Ohia: Ka Huli Ao
Alternative Views of Hawaiian Sovereignty; Richardson Law School.VideoDr. Keanu Sai, Prof. Williamson Chang and former governor now Roll Commission Chair John Waiheʻe III speak about their ideas and research on the alternative positions on Hawaiian Sovereignty for people today.Vimeo
Anaya, James & Williams, Robert. Study on the International Law and Policy Relating to the Situation of the Native Hawaiian People. Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, 2015ReportThe full 50-page report.

James Anaya served as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2008 until 2014. He helped draft the United Nations ("U.N.") Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Anaya is a Regents Professor at the U of A's James E. Rogers College of Law, where he teaches International Human Rights, International & Comparative Law of Indigenous Peoples, and Constitutional Law. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Robert Williams has represented indigenous groups and individuals before international human rights bodies as well as the U.S. and Canada Supreme Courts. He is the author and coauthor of several books used widely as foundational texts for Federal Indian law and indigenous studies. Also at U of A, Williams teaches courses on issues including Indigenous People in the InterAmerican Human Rights System, Federal Indian Law, Tribal Courts and Jurisdictional Issues. Like Anaya, Williams graduated from Harvard Law School.
OHA
Anaya, James & Williams, Robert. Study on the International Law and Policy Relating to the Situation of the Native Hawaiian People. Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, 2015Video60-minute presentation that highlights findings of their 50-page report.

James Anaya served as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2008 until 2014. He helped draft the United Nations ("U.N.") Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Anaya is a Regents Professor at the U of A's James E. Rogers College of Law, where he teaches International Human Rights, International & Comparative Law of Indigenous Peoples, and Constitutional Law. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Robert Williams has represented indigenous groups and individuals before international human rights bodies as well as the U.S. and Canada Supreme Courts. He is the author and coauthor of several books used widely as foundational texts for Federal Indian law and indigenous studies. Also at U of A, Williams teaches courses on issues including Indigenous People in the InterAmerican Human Rights System, Federal Indian Law, Tribal Courts and Jurisdictional Issues. Like Anaya, Williams graduated from Harvard Law School.
Vimeo
Hawaiian Journal of Law and PoliticsJournalThis is a research journal on topics of Hawaiian political history and its current implications. Published in association with the Hawaiian Society of Law and Politics, edited by graduate students from the Departments of Political Science, Law, and the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics Website
Hawaiian Patriots ProjectWebAs our lāhui continues to seek greater control over our lives and homeland, the voices of our kūpuna who have risen up to meet such challenges continue to inspire, energize, and guide us forward. The #HawaiianPatriots Project connects us to their voices.Web
Hawaiian PerspectivesVideo ChannelPoka Laenui's YouTube Playlist on various Hawaiian topics such as Hawaiian politics and sovereignty,YouTube
Hawaiian Perspectives: Potpourri of topics & media on Hawaiian IssuesWaihonaThis is the website of Poka Laenui, Waiʻanae native and long time Sovereignty activist. Here you may find his manaʻo on topics such as The Department of the Interiors recent meetings in Hawaii, Health care for kānaka, and Hawaiian Sovereignty.Web
Ho‘opunipuni: Myth of Statehood 6: Kūhiō VogelerVideoKūhiō Vogeler talks about occupation and summarizes his dissertation where he outlines the steps the Baltic States took to end their occupation of the Soviet Union and achieved independence.Vimeo | YouTube
Information for NationalsEssaysDr. Keanu Sai provides information in the form of two-page essays on this page for Hawaiian Nationals on topics such as the Constitutional Monarchy, the relationship between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States, and what comprises the Hawaiian citizenry.Hawaiian Kingdom Website
Kāmau a Ea VideoThe Kāmau a Ea series of governance events have sought to engage leaders of Hawaiian self-governance initiatives in collective efforts to rebuild a Hawaiian nation.

The first four Kāmau a Ea gatherings focused on internal lāhui discussions. The fifth and final Kāmau a Ea symposium brought experts from outside of our lāhui to share their insights regarding the establishment and reestablishment of nations at an international and federal/U.S. level.

The name of the series, Kāmau a Ea, holds significant meaning. “Ea” is translated as “life” but also means “sovereignty, rule, and independence,” as embodied in the words of Kauikeaouli on Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, Restoration Day: “Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono.” “Kāmau” means “to keep on, continue, persevere, last, add a little more,” which honors the efforts of those who have persevered to restore ea since 1893.
OHA
Kauanoe, Derek Hoohauoli and Swann Nuuhiwa, Breann, We are Who We Thought We Were: Congress' Authority to Recognize a Native Hawaiian Polity United by Common Descent (May 11, 2012). Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2012.Journal ArticleIn an attempt to fulfill the federal government’s moral imperative, the United States Congress has spent more than a decade considering several proposed versions of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (colloquially referred to as the “Akaka Bill”), which seeks to restore a small measure of Native Hawaiian self-governing authority by providing a process for the formal federal acknowledgment of a reorganized Native Hawaiian governing entity. The proposed Act changes significantly with each new Congress, but from its initial introduction in 2000 to the present, the Act has consistently required that the initial reorganization of the Native Hawaiian polity be carried out by the Native Hawaiian community, united by common Native Hawaiian descent without regard to blood quantum.Web
Mälksoo, Lauri, Illegal Annexation and State Continuity: The Case of the Incorporation of the Baltic States by the USSR. Honolulu: Brill Publishing, 2003.BookIn his dissertation-turned-book, Mälksoo examines and explains how Estonia, after being illegally annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940 and occupied for fifty years, restored its government in 1990.

Nuʻuhiwa, Breann Swann. "Government of the People, by the People, for the People: Cultural Sovereignty, Civil Rights, and Good Native Hawaiian Governance." Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal Vol. 14:3 (57-106).LegalIn anticipation for the convening of a Hawaiian Convention upon certification of the Native Hawaiian Roll, Nuʻuhiwa explores the concept of cultural sovereignty as opposed to political sovereignty as a starting point for how a Hawaiian governing entity should provide for the protection of Hawaiian civil rights.Ohia: Ka Huli Ao
Osorio, Jonathan. "Kuʻe and Kuʻokoʻa (Resistance and Independence): History, Law, and Other Faiths." Hawaiian Journal of law & Politics: Vol. 1, Summer 2004: (92-113).Journal ArticleProfessor Jon Osorio discusses two paths of self-governance- that of Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi and the Council of Regency and how these paths intersect definitions of nationality, race, and self-determination.Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics Website
PBS Hawaii- Insights: Native Hawaiian Sovereignty.VideoIn this video Dexter Kaiama, John Waihe'e, Esther Kiaaina, and Clayton Hee express their views on the topic of Hawaiian Sovereignty.YouTube
Poka Laenui and Virgilio Enriques. Processes of Decolonization.Two native authors, kanaka maoli, Poka Laenui and Virgilio Enriques of the Philippines express their observations with colonization and decolonization of native peoples through their own personal experiences.
Sai, David Keanu. "American Occupation of the Hawaiian State: A Century Unchecked." in Hawaiian Journal of Law & Politics: Vol. 1 (Summer 2004): 46-81. Journal ArticleSai explains the international arbitration that involved the acting Hawaiian Government, the history of the Hawaiian State, and the circumstances of American occupation.Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics Website
Sai, Keanu. "The American Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom: Beginning the Transition from Occupied to Restored State." Diss., University of Hawai'i, 2008.DissertationIn his dissertation in Political Science, Sai looks at the development of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the illegal overthrow of its government, the prolonged occupation of its territory, and a strategy to impel the United States to comply with the international laws of occupation with the ultimate goal of ending the occupation.Hawaiian Kingdom Website
Sai, Keanu. "A Slippery Path towards Hawaiian Indigeneity: An Analysis and Comparison between Hawaiian State Sovereignty and Hawaiian Indigeneity and its use and practice in Hawaiʻi today." Journal of Law and Social Challenges: Vol. 10, 2008: (101-166).Journal ArticleSai presents an analysis and comparison between Hawaiian State Sovereignty and Hawaiian Indigeneity and its use and practice in Hawaiʻi today.UH Mānoa
Sai, David Keanu. Ua Mau Ke Ea: Sovereignty Endures: an overview of the legal & political history of Hawaiʻi. Honolulu: Pūʻā Foundation, 2011.BookSai's research on the political history of Hawaiʻi spans from the rule of Kamehameha I through today and is presented in this book intended for High school and college students.HSPLS
Souza, Nāpali. Hoʻoulu Lāhui: Land, Economic Development, and Nation Rebuilding in Hawaiʻi. Honolulu: Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, 2012.LegalPost Juris Doctor scholar Nāpali Souza explores the convergence of the economic, developmental, and cultural forces that will shape the formal process of nation rebuilding.Ohia: Ka Huli Ao
"The Traveler's Guide, 2035 Edition"JournalTake a journey into the future and experience what Hawai'i could be like if it became an independent country through the setting of the Wai'anae community.
U.S. Department of the Interior--Office of Native Hawaiian RelationsWebThis website contains information related to the U.S. Department of the Interior's current initiative that involves a proposed rule making process that may lead to the reestablishment of a government-to-government relationship between the Hawaiian people and the U.S. Federal Government.Web
Ua mau ke ea: Sovereignty endures: an overview of the legal & political history of Hawaiʻi. Pūʻā Foundation, 2011.WaihonaThis DVD is meant to accompany the text book.HSPLS
UH Mānoa Library GuideVideoThis site points us to information on independence and governance issues in the Pacific.UH Mānoa
What is a Hawaiian Subject?" featuring Keanu Sai (Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina)Book ReviewPolitical Scientist, Keanu Sai explains the difference between nationality and ethnicity in relation to the Hawaiian Kingdom.YouTube
Vogeler, Kūhiō. "For Your Freedom and Ours: The Prolonged Occupations of Hawaiʻi and the Baltic States." PhD diss. University of Hawaiʻi, 2009.DissertationKūhiō Vogeler compares the occupation of the Baltic States with the occupation of Hawaiʻi and what lessons Hawaiʻi could learn from how the Baltic States ended their occupation of the USSR.UH Mānoa
Walk, K. Kaʻanoʻi. He Waʻa Hou: An Alter-Native Court for Hawaiʻi. Honolulu: Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, 2012.LegalPost Juris Doctor scholar Ka'anoʻi Walk explores the options for creating an ʻŌiwi court system for Hawaiians. He covers Hawai'i's judicial history and lessons we can learn from the courts established by the people of the Hopi and Navajo tribes and the people of Palau.Ohia: Ka Huli Ao
Williams, Paul R. and Kim, Yoonie, "Illegal Annexation and State Continuity: The Case of the Incorporation of the Baltic States by the USSR."Journal ArticleWilliams and Kim summarize and review Malksoo's book while highlighting important factors of his analyses of Estonia's illegal annexation and eventual restoration.SSRN
Young, Kanalu. "Kuleana: Toward a Historiography of Hawaiian National Consciousness, 1780-2001." Hawaiian Journal of Law & Politics: Vol. 2, Summer 2006: (1-33).Journal ArticleLate scholar and professor Kanalu Young explains in this article through the principle of Kuleana the importance of maintaining a national consciousness in the research that we do.Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics Website
Žalimas, Dainius, "Legal and Political Issues on the Continuity of the Republic of Lithuania."8-page paperŽalimas summarizes the points and issues in this condensed version of his longer articleHawaiian Society of Law & Politics Website


As you search through these sources they will sometimes overlap in their scope as one source will often cover many points in time, however they are largely organized as described in the above sections.