Essay on Hawaiian Sovereignty

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Hawaiian Sovereignty

“If all of this seems long ago and far away, it is worth remembering that the past is never past.” (Faulkner cited in Ellison, P.274)

Many different groups today are seeking the sovereignty of Hawaii. The reason being that these mostly Native Hawaiian groups feel that they suffered a severe injustice when they were annexed into the United States against their own free will. They feel that since they were treated like objects rather than human beings with rights and emotions, they now deserve reparations. The intentions of the different groups vary. Some only want reparations in the form of money and acknowledgements of the inhuman acts that were committed against them and others want it in the
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(Jovek, p.408) So in reality, there are only a small percentage of people living on the island seeking reparations. Right now, there are two main models of self-determination requests: the first being a Hawaiian Nation within the U.S. and the second one having complete independence from the U.S. The first group wants recognition of Native Hawaiians as indigenous people and reparations in the form of money. The problem with this is the difficulty of determining who should pay and who should receive compensations since most people with native bloodlines are only descendents of those who had their land and culture taken away. It is hard to track down those with native bloodlines because so many ethnicities have intermixed in Hawaii and records have not always been well kept. The second group is advocating the return of lands and self-government. They believe that only full control over their language, schools, health care, cultural practices and particularly their land let Hawaiians regain their traditional ways of living. The dilemma with this is that these groups feel that since Hawaii was a self-sufficient nation once before that it can return to the way it was. Currently though, Hawaii’s economy relies heavily on the U.S., especially for imported goods. The young and still premature Hawaiian Nation would be extremely vulnerable to other nations and very susceptible to attack. There is a chance the non-natives living on the

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