- What are your qualifications to be a delegate to the ‘aha?
For decades I have been a part of numerous efforts both within and outside of the system to seek improvements for our lāhui. These experiences have afforded me abilities that I can use to can contribute to the ʻAha (see also www.fredcachola.com):
• First-hand knowledge of what has and has not worked in moving our lāhui forward since the beginning of the Hawaiian renaissance.
• Skills in bridging the goals and approaches of diverse groups and perspectives.
• A conviction that the vitality of our lāhui rests with the health of our pae ʻāina and the continuity of our culture.
• An unwavering commitment that I will NOT relinquish or diminish any of the claims of the Hawaiian Kingdom to lands, Hawaiian Kingdom treasury funds or accounts, restitution for wrongdoings, and governance over ka pae ʻāina o Hawaiʻi and the people of Hawaiʻi.
• An open mind ready to enter into collaborative conversations focused on productive problem solving.
• Complete dedication to the kuleana of being a delegate; 100% of my time, energy, and focus.
At a more general level, my qualifications to serve our lāhui include the following:
• Over 50 years of working with various Hawaiian leaders, groups, and organizations in civic, cultural, political, educational, preservation, and environmental programs.
• Extensive experiences in planning, implementing, and managing cultural, education, historical, and preservation programs affecting Native Hawaiians.
• High-level administrative and management skills and experience.
• Long-standing and current involvement in historic, cultural, environmental, and preservation issues affecting Hawaiʻi and Native Hawaiians.
- How would you characterize the values of your campaign to be elected as a delegate to the ‘aha for example, with aloha, lōkahi, kūpono, etc.?
My campaign is founded upon ʻoiaʻiʻo (truth, transparency, openness), kūpono (what is right and proper) and aloha (warmth and respect). All of which I believe are demonstrated in my website: www.fredcachola.com
• ʻOiaʻiʻo: I want to openly share my past experiences that shape my perspectives and be clear about my vision for what should be accomplished at the ʻAha.
• Kūpono: I believe this campaign period should involve candidates taking the time to hear more from people they may represent about what those individuals would like to see occur (or not occur) at the ʻAha. This is why I have incorporated on my website a section for individuals to share their manaʻo and to pose questions they may have for me. Please visit www.fredcachola.com/yourmanao.
• Aloha: I have the greatest respect and aloha for each candidate who has stepped forward with willingness to serve our lāhui. Therefore, I pledge that my campaign will only speak to what we collectively can accomplish at the ʻAha and what I can contribute to that effort. I will not enter into any discussion that critiques other candidates.
- What three components of the constitution are you particularly interested in advocating and why?
The ʻAha delegates have a tremendous kuleana to develop a draft governing document that would serve as the framework for our reestablished nation. Three components of that document that I consider as most important are these:
1. The preamble, or introduction, that highlights the founding principles of our reestablished nation. In that preamble I believe we should highlight these ideas:
• Our well-being as a lāhui is tied to the well-being of our pae ʻāina—our islands and oceans that surround them.
• Our culture must continue to be founded upon the wisdom and knowledge of our kūpuna while rising to new heights of excellence through the innovation and intelligence of each succeeding generation.
• Our kuleana as citizens must include fulfilling our responsibilities to the nation rather than just enjoying rights given to us as citizens. Citizens have a kuleana to support the integrity and prosperity of our nation.
• Our people have always embraced the world outside of Hawaiʻi and will continue to do so, balancing those aspirations with the needs of our lāhui and pae ʻāina.
2. Governance structure: A governance structure must be defined in the governing document emerging from the ʻAha so that a Hawaiian nation can be created from that document. Such a structure should include the following features:
• Representative government that is accountable to the citizens of the nation.
• Localized and regional aspects of management and decision making (at least at the moku level) with centralized functions that allow for collective and collaborative strength across all areas of the pae ʻāina.
• Term limits for representatives in government to ensure that officials do not become so entrenched and powerful that they no longer are accountable to the citizens of the nation.
3. Measures that ensure that government-to-government relationships can be established by our nation. This might include a formal relationship with the United States and other countries around the world, much like the Hawaiian Kingdom had pursued and achieved in the 1800s.
- What governance model will you advocate for?
I believe as delegates who are charged with the sacred duty of laying a foundation for our lāhui into the future, we need to fully understand and carefully consider all models. We need to debate and discuss the pros and cons. We need to consider workability and viability. We need something that provides stability for our future. These are the characteristics I would look for in each model. For myself, I would not want to see the ʻAha begin with delegates have a pre-determined model (though perhaps others may feel confident in doing so because they are experts in the field). Though I am not an expert in governance models, I consider myself well versed in matters of our Hawaiian community, especially in our communities’ needs. Each model’s ability to meet such needs is a significant factor against which I believe we must measure each model.
In addition, any model I would advocate for must first make pono the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the illegal annexation of Hawaiʻi to the United States. We also need to consider what is appropriate for 2015, our contemporary times, and more importantly, construct a model that can endure over time, a model that can be responsive for all Kānaka ʻŌiwi. We have to build smart. I would not be satisfied with a limited form of self-determination confined to U.S. federal recognition. However, I believe that reconciliation of the wrongs inflicted by the U.S. government against Hawaiians and the Hawaiian nation cannot occur without engaging the U.S. in that process. Hence, some form of government-to-government relationship with the U.S. must be achieved as an early step toward resolving harms to the Hawaiian people and the Hawaiian Kingdom inflicted by the U.S.
- Are you willing to discuss other governance models?
ʻAe. In fact, I believe such open and free discussion is absolutely necessary. There might be a few experts who have deeply studied all aspects of each model. But for most of us, it will be a learning experience, and we will be tasked to listen with open minds, to speak from that place of ʻoia‘i‘o, and to vote with a focus on what is best for our people. We have all seen models that have been proposed in the past that were supported by some and criticized by others. How can we build a nation on a foundation that includes such diverse views? The value of the ʻAha is that it provides an opportunity for Kānaka to come together for that defining moment, when Kanaka Maoli who are moved to take the floor can fully express their visions for our future—to explain how they think governance can be restored, not only by palapala, but by living proof in our communities. The ʻAha must allow advocates of all models to present their ideas and to be heard and fully understood throughout our pae ʻāina.
- How would the governance model that you choose impact the ali‘i trusts, the Hawaiian Homestead Act, federal contracts made with Native Hawaiian businesses; grants provided by the United States for programs and services to the Native Hawaiian people?
The model(s) that I would support would ensure that the lands and assets of the Ali‘i Trusts and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands would be protected from “outside” rules and regulations so they can be more creative and responsive to the needs of Kanaka Maoli; so they can be more successful in managing the lands and its resources for future sustainability; and so they can be more competitive in the marketplace, creating jobs and an economic base that ensures a bright future. Federal contracts with Native Hawaiian businesses and U.S. grants for Hawaiian programs and services should be able to continue unaffected by the governance model.
- In your governance model, would you be inclusive of people other than Native Hawaiians as citizens?
I would be inclined to define Native Hawaiians (ʻōiwi with koko) as the voting citizens of the Native Hawaiian nation. They would also be a special group of citizens who would receive special benefits from the resources of the nation. My inclination to afford Native Hawaiians (ʻōiwi with koko) such privileges stems from my recognition that a large majority of hoa ʻāina (aboriginal Kānaka with koko) who did not divide out their interests during the Māhele, retained rights to these lands. Such rights were not held by others who came to live in Hawaiʻi as citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Non-Hawaiians could be supporters and citizens with other types of rights that could be defined in the ʻAha. However, the citizen base needs to start with all Kanaka Hawai‘i (ʻōiwi with koko).
In time, specific rights of Native Hawaiians, as compared to other supporters, might be defined to allow some two-tiered sets of rights, much like the Hawaiian Kingdom implemented in the 1800s (e.g., voting rights for all citizens, with land rights accruing only to aboriginal Native Hawaiians).
- How do you see participation by others in helping the ‘aha on the various aspects of the draft constitution?
I believe the delegates elected to the ʻAha should rely on both the views of the people they represent and experts that they may call upon to gain further insights and suggestions that can be considered by the body of delegates.
- Looking ahead, as a delegate to the ‘aha, how would you assure that the governance model ratified by the Native Hawaiian people is implemented and recognized at the state, federal, or international level, as appropriate.
If we want our Native Hawaiian government to be acknowledged and functioning to serve the needs of our lāhui, we must have our government recognized as “real” by other governments, whether at the state, federal, or international levels. We must utilize the tools and opportunities we have to gain government-to-government relationships where those opportunities exist. Currently, Act 195 offers an opportunity for state recognition. The U.S. Department of Interior is also offering a draft for our consideration regarding a potential pathway for our government to enter into government-to-government interactions with the U.S.
If we are establishing a new governance model at an international level, then we would conduct negotiations in an international arena, government-to-government, through treaties and declarations.
- Why should Native Hawaiians vote for you?
The responses I offer above demonstrate some key traits that I believe will be needed for a successful outcome at the ʻAha:
• An in-depth understanding of the needs and interests of our lāhui, which I have gained from five decades of experience in working with and for Hawaiian communities.
• A long-standing commitment to ensure the well-being of our culture, our ʻāina, and our people.
• Open-mindedness directed toward finding the best solutions for our lāhui, allowing me to be a bridge-builder in challenging discussions.
An ability, as a retired but active kūpuna, to devote my full attention to the kuleana of being an ʻAha delegate.