So there is this Na'i Aupuni thing going on. Many people around me are aware, many are not. Is it important? Well it's important to further the conversation of Native Hawaiian self-determination for sure and Na'i Aupuni, upon the wave of Department of Interior hearings [testimonies due December 30, 2015], the #ProtectMaunakea movement and awakening of our people, is taking the discussion to a more public format...in some areas. There are movements being built around/in response to Na'i Aupuni, such at Protest Na'i Aupuni, the Aloha 'Aina 'Aha and newly created 'Ai pohaku Aloha 'Aina student hui which is connecting UH campuses of Hilo, Manoa and Hawai'i Community College.
I haven't seen or heard any open statements about this process from the 151 "delegates" so just putting myself out there. Below is a letter for self and community accountability. I do not endorse the process that Na'i Aupuni is attempting to engage the Native Hawaiian community in. Below is my response to the past couple as well as next couple of months.
For those that may be new to the term 'lateral violence' it basically equates to hegemonic or same culture detriment. What does that mean? Example Hawaiians speaking in distasteful manner of other Hawaiians or sentient beings for that matter. It has been difficult to be on social media and constantly view lateral violence of hateful, sometimes spiteful, messages towards our 'ohana (and if we don't actually know the person that doesn't matter either). So it's kapu aloha for Mauna Kea and forget everything else? I am human just as the next and slip but if we are going to move forward with Nation building it would be great to apply the last year's call, and the continued message, for kapu aloha towards those who are for Hawaiians as well. Again we may disagree but we all must protect what is one of our most valuable assets as Hawaiians and stewards of these 'aina, A L O H A.
Let's engage in elevated dialogue. Build schematics, make a plan, find solutions to implement them with all our resources. We each have different strengths, connections and life experiences which makes the 'aha more strong. 'Aha means gathering it also means cordage. Cord is only cord when many fibers are brought together to make the tension stronger so the 'aha can pull more weight. Sometimes cordage is made out of one type of plant, sometimes there are multiple different fibers, either way you cannot have cordage with one piece of fiber. In other words let's lokahi this buggah, learn from all the lessons available to us and engage with one another, not around.
Let's solution find, together, with those in and outside of the 'aha as well as on and off the roll. Let's solution find to build a true Nation for Hawai'i.
Katie Leimomi Kamelamela