Candidate: Radine Kawahine Kamakea-Ohelo
‘Aha District: O‘ahu
Address: 41-272 Huli St, Waimanalo, HI 96795
Phone: (808) 234-8005
Facebook: Kawahine Radine Kamakea-Ohelo
LinkedIn: Radine Kamakea-Ohelo
- What are your qualifications to be a delegate to the ‘aha?
Reflecting on this question, I thought about how it should be answered. Would I be boasting (tooting my horn) about all that I have done over 30 years? I alone could not have accomplished the programs, projects, community organizing and activism, or getting my Masters in Social Work this past May. It was the grace of the Supreme Being, a very supportive family and friends, and the memories of my Kūpuna that these achievements were made. I must humbly acknowledge and attribute my successes to them. I received an epiphany after giving it some thought. Why not let someone else share your qualifications to be a delegate to the ʻaha?
The following manaʻo is from someone I highly respect and bless to be called his friend. Dr. Charman J. Akina. My first contact with Kauka Akina was over the phone. He called at a time when the community health center in Waimanalo could not afford a physician. For many years Kauka Akina was in private practice and decided upon his retirement to give back to his Hawaiian people. And so, he came and volunteered for almost two years before we could pay Kauka. I feature and share his sentiments with his permission, my friend Kauka Charman J. Akina:
“I am privileged and honored to endorse Kawahine Kamakea-Ohelo as convention delegate candidate for Naʻi Aupuni. Kawahine is keiki-o-ka-aina, truly Hawaiian at heart and concerned sincerely for the health and welfare of Kanaka Maoli, our culture, and for the aina and surrounding sea. Kawahine is a positive person with correspondingly positive and constructive ideas and points of view resulting in positive outcomes. A valuable personal asset is her ability to identify the potential of a presenting situation, develop it meaningfully, and conclude with a successful outcome. Kawahine learns continuously. Throughout her life and to the present, she has learned in a positive way and manner from all personal experiences. In addition, she has furthered herself by earning recently an undergraduate degree and then a masters degree in Social Work at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. (She intends to continue on for a doctorate degree). Kawahine, I am confident, will apply herself personally and untiringly to her fullest capability and with great sincerity toward the development of the future organizational structure of the Hawaiian people and the cultural preservation and betterment of Hawaii nei”.
- 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.?
Besides embracing the described qualities and values of the Kanaka Maoli by Aunty Pilahi Paki on Aloha, I embrace the following values representative of my campaign: Aloha ke kahi i ke kahi (love one to another)
Mālama ka aina, mālama ke kai, mālama ka poʻe (care for the land, sea, and people)
Mā ka hana ka ʻike (learning is in the doing)
Kūpaʻa (to be steadfast, loyal, determined, faithful, constant)
Kū ʻAkea (to take a public stand)
- What three components of the constitution are you particularly interested in advocating and why?
Although, there are five (5) essential elements of interest that I will strongly advocate as a delegate, the three selected components for this survey are 1) to protect against the removal of right in seeking comprehensive sovereignty; 2) to enforce the rightful claim and recovery of the ceded ancestral lands; and 3) to protect the benefits of our Kūpuna, veterans, disabled, etc.
- What governance model will you advocate for?
Fundamentally, my goal is for the U.S. to be charged for the violation against our sovereign Kingdom and the repulsive crimes against our Queen Liliuokalani and her people the Kanaka Maoli. However, as a realist while I want the U.S. to be charged with a war crime by the international powers that be, I ask myself when, how, and in what form will it be done? What is the solution to addressing the needs of our people today who are facing eviction or lack the means to attain specialty and tertiary health care because they either do not have insurance or lack the appropriate coverage? How long will we need to wait before the international powers that be will follow their laws and charge the U.S. with this crime? In the meantime, we complain that OHA is broken and should go out of business but where will the 20% revenues be deposited?
I simply ask these questions, yet I can only speculate the action we need, perhaps it will not be as soon as we would like. I want to say that our Kanaka Maoli who has chosen to work on the national and international levels, I am also in your corner. I applaud and pray for your strength and to be spirited in doing what you must. I believe that we are all trying our best to correct the reprehensible act of treason and continued deception by the U.S.
Because I frequent families living on the beaches, in abandoned cars, backyards in tents, and shelters, the problem of houselessness for our people has worsen over the past five years. The cost of a home built by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, are not affordable for many of our people. Our people are being evicted from their kūleana lands and the natural resources as well as the lands are being utilized to provide wealth to the non-indigenous or people who do not live here but see it as a commodity. The list of issues is long. So the answer to the question: what model? It would be the model that will be brought forth by the consensus of the delegates and ratified by the Kanaka Maoli community.
- Are you willing to discuss other governance models?
I am a firm believer in collaboration, coordination, and cooperation. I am willing to collaborate and discuss all models as a delegate; to coordinate is to analyze the various perspectives and make the best decision utilizing my experience and knowledge; and finally, cooperation is to accept and stand in unity as delegates.
- 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?
I am not sure at this time what governance model design by the delegates will impact the aliʻi trust, DHHL, etc. What I would advocate for is the entire archipelago that was ceded illegally by the State and Federal and its contractual entities be restored to the Hawaiian organizational structure designed by the delegates and ratified by the Lahui.
The lands that are utilized through contracts and other arrangements will begin paying in to the Lahui’s organization. It is extremely important that this Hawaiian organizational structure (document or constitution) we create receives and generates the income from these lands for the purpose of providing and safeguarding the continuity of programs and services to our Lahui. In addition, the provision of funds will address areas of need for example education, health, housing, labor, etc.
- In your governance model, would you be inclusive of people other than Native Hawaiians as citizens?
I would certainly advocate for non-Kanaka Maoli because they are my family and friends, whom are supportive and understand this process by the Kanaka Maoli is necessary. I strongly believe the option should be made available. Like our Lahui, the option to participate or not should be left up to the individual.
- How do you see participation by others in helping the ‘aha on the various aspects of the draft constitution?
I understand at the convention there will be an introduction period to educate the delegates of the various forms of government, what is Kingdom law, etc. As I recall the statement made at the ‘aha panel discussion held on Oct. 22 with Melody McKenzie as the moderator, Bill Meheula went over the convention’s first week agenda and stated for the purpose of getting everyone on the “same page”. Then I would be in favor.
- 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.
Will the delegation continue beyond the two months and the ratification by our Lahui? The only solemn undertaking I feel can be gotten is within the document or constitution calls for the delegates elected to continue to set the direction and further the groundwork of the organizational governance.
- Why should Native Hawaiians vote for you?
Your support during the upcoming Naʻi Aupuni ʻAha election for Oʻahu delegate on November 1st will allow me to continue the work I have started in a meaningful capacity. Your vote for me is a vote for self-determination as an indigenous people.