- What are your qualifications to be a delegate to the ‘aha?
Mahalo ke Akua, mahalo nā Kūpuna, mahalo nā ʻaumākua. My name is Anthony Melvin Makana Paris and I was raised in Nānākuli, Oʻahu, and live in Papakōlea.
The previous generations sacrificed, battled, and survived so that all of us could arrive at this moment in our history. I believe the ʻaha is an opportunity to gather expert knowledge, lived experience, and wisdom of our communities to chart next steps for our collective future. We come from a proud line of people who choose to navigate their way in the world through engaging with each other in aloha.
- 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.?
Aloha. To actively listen, receive, hear, and consider the manaʻo of those that have kuleana to share it — from the knowledge of our ancestors to the needs of those yet unborn.
- What three components of the constitution are you particularly interested in advocating and why?
In order for a Constitution to be embraced by the Native Hawaiian community, it must reflect our values in both what it says and how it came to be.
- What governance model will you advocate for?
One that leads the Native Hawaiian community towards a greater state of flourishing.
- Are you willing to discuss other governance models?
- 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?
Any governance model should support the ali‘i trusts in the fulfillment of their missions, ensure Native Hawaiians are housed, foster an environment in which Native Hawaiians can succeed, and be capable of receiving support and resources from other communities.
- In your governance model, would you be inclusive of people other than Native Hawaiians as citizens?
No. Citizens of a Native Hawaiian nation and under the authority of a Native Hawaiian Government, ought to be Native Hawaiian. That being said, Native Hawaiians have our own cultural protocol – namely hanai – that allows for the genealogical integration of those that were not born with a connection to Papa and Wakea.
- How do you see participation by others in helping the ‘aha on the various aspects of the draft constitution?
We ought to seek knowledge and wisdom holders to share with us the best of what has been. We ought to seek creative and innovative problems solvers to build something better. And we ought to specifically call upon the service of our master communicators to share and engage with the Native Hawaiian community, the local communities, the American community, and the International community, as appropriate.
- 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.
The first step to recognition by other communities is for the Native Hawaiian community to organize a government for itself.
- Why should Native Hawaiians vote for you?
Because Aloha is our community’s greatest strength.