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Professor Believes U.S. Apology Gives Hawaiians Right to Nationhood

Maui Press
January 14-20, 1994

An International Law expert has told Native Hawaiian groups that the apology for the overthrow of Hawaii's last monarch and the subsequent annexation of the Hawaiian Islands by the U.S. government clears the way for the restoration of an independent Hawaiian nation.

Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois who is internationally recognized as a law expert and has served as advisor to Bosnia, Palestine and Latvia among foreign nations, was invited to Hawaii by the Governor's Sovereignty Advisory Commission to advise the Hawaiian people about their rights, and to explain the implications of the apology insofar as it applies to international law.

In a speech to a gathering of Native groups at Mable Smyth Hall in Honolulu Dec. 28, Boyle declared:

" the United States government, after 100 years, has finally and officially conceded, as a matter of United States law, that Native Hawaiian people have the right restore the Independent Nation state that you had in 1893 when the United States government came and destroyed it. And also then that as a matter of international law the Native Hawaiian people have the right to go out now and certainly proclaim the restoration of that State....this resolution clears up all these matters... You don't need to petition Congress to do it. Congress has given you everything you need right here to do it, if that's what you want to do. And the United Nations Charter provides the rest of the authority to do it." Boyle's interpretation has been welcomed by various Native associations formed in recent years, and these include the Ohana Council, the Ka Ohana '0 Kahikinui and Kauiki Council which have announced they will stage a "He Hawai'i Au" or Spiritual Solidarity March at Iolani Palace on Sunday, Jan. 16 when Boyle's findings will be explored further.

The Ohana Council, in particular, is seeking further exposure for Boyle's interpretations in the hope that more of Hawaii's people will become familiar with his findings and, according to Council member Kekula Bray of Maui "be fully informed of the truth regarding the political relationship between Hawaii and America."

Boyle also pointed out that as a result of the apology, the U.S. government concedes that "sovereignty resides in the people of Hawaii, and not in the Hawaii or federal governments."

He also told the Native groups that they are "free to determine your own fate pursuant to the principal of self-determination," while offering these other comments:

"Who's land is it? Well, from what Congress seems to be saying, it's the land of the Native Hawaiians. The Native Hawaiian people still have sovereignty... You can't trespass on your own land. The trespassers then become the state of Hawaii, and the land developers, and the golf courses, and the resorts. You are simply the Native Hawaiians asserting your rights under international law..... this reversal of positions, between who is the criminal and who is the victim, who is asserting their rights and who is violating their rights, has been effectively conceded by Congress."