Posts Tagged Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea Sacredness: Debunking the Assertion

Mauna Kea Sacredness: Debunking the assertion of religious sacredness as a cynical ploy by activists seeking race-based political power and money for racially exclusionary government handouts.

by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

During Summer and Fall 2021 there were several calls for supporters of the Thirty-Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea to submit testimony to various institutions in Hawaii and mainland USA. Following is a consolidated version of Ken Conklin’s testimony, also intended for future use. Permission is hereby granted to anyone who wishes to use it in part or in whole, provided that the URL and Conklin’s name must be cited.


Aloha. I am Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., retired professor of Philosophy. I have lived in Hawaii permanently since 1992, speak Hawaiian with moderate fluency, and have developed considerable expertise in Hawaiian history, Hawaiian culture, and especially the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. My testimony about Mauna Kea focuses mostly on debunking the disrespectful assertion of religious sacredness as a cynical ploy by activists seeking race-based political power and money for racially exclusionary government handouts.

1. Activists seeking political power are (ab)using Mauna Kea as a pawn in their political game. They illegally block the access road, literally holding the summit as a hostage. They hope to either secede from the USA and re-establish Hawaii as an independent nation, or else obtain federal recognition for a phony Hawaiian tribe. The state government agency Office of Hawaiian Affairs demands megabucks in “rent” [bribe] for the telescope campus — money to be spent on racially exclusionary projects. Both varieties of activists want to control access to the telescope campus and the summit, and the kinds of activities permitted there, so they can force visitors to comply with cultural/religious protocols and listen to propaganda about Hawaii’s history. If you decision-makers withhold funding or political support for the telescopes, of if you cater to activist demands for control over visitors, including activist requirements for visitor orientation and protocol, you thereby enroll as their accomplices.

2. Extremely few people truly believe Mauna Kea is “sacred” in a religious sense. Everyone appreciates the beauty and majesty of Mauna Kea. The activists regard it as “sacred” in the sense that controlling it is essential to their political and financial success, in the same way as a football quarterback is sacred to the team, or teenagers’ weekly allowances are sacred to them. By using the word “sacred” they expect that the warm-hearted and generous people of Hawaii will step back in awe and give deference to what is falsely portrayed as their religion. The activists have a long history of claiming that every square inch of land in Hawaii is “sacred” because of a beautiful creation legend that they twist to say that anyone with even one drop of Hawaiian native blood is genealogically a child of the gods and a sibling to the land in a way nobody else can ever be who lacks a drop of the magic blood. Every location is “sacred” because chiefs, gods, or plants/animals who are body-forms of the gods lived there or did actions there. In bygone centuries Hawaiian natives buried family members or fallen warriors in shoreline sand dunes, back yards, or under their houses; thus ancient bones are found everywhere. Nowadays if a single bone is found at a construction site the whole project must be halted until a committee decides whether to spend lots of money to ceremonially protect and rebury it in place and leave a vacant perimeter around it, or whether to move it somewhere nearby. Claims of places or bones being sacred are asserted everywhere, thereby giving the activists a race-based permanent property-rights easement on all the lands of Hawaii, along with political power, and basis to demand compensation. Today’s activists have been known to bury some human bones or erect small structures either to claim that they are ancient artifacts or to claim that the Hawaiian religion is alive and therefore the artifacts newly created by its practitioners must be treated as sacred.

3. The ancient Hawaiian religion with centuries of tenure was permanently abolished in 1819, the year before the first Christian missionaries arrived. It was abolished by the four top political and spiritual leaders of the Kingdom in a public display in front of perhaps a thousand important people. They broke an major taboo whose violation normally carried the death penalty, and then gave a short speech proclaiming that the old religion was now overthrown, and ordering the destruction of all the stone temples and burning of the idols throughout all of Hawaii. The four leaders were the young King Liholiho Kamehameha II, his biological mother Keopuolani (sacred wife of Kamehameha The Great) who had the highest mana (spiritual power) in Hawaii, his regent (co-ruler) stepmother Ka’ahumanu (“favorite” wife of Kamehameha The Great among more than 20 official wives and numerous unofficial concubines), and Kahuna Nui (High Priest) Hewahewa. These leaders freely exercised self-determination on behalf of the entire nation. Soon thereafter came a short civil war. High chief Kekuaokalani, to whom Kamehameha The Great had entrusted the war god Ku, and his army, fought to preserve the old religion but were slaughtered in the Battle of Kuamo’o. Some ethnic Hawaiians today seek to revive the old religion as a political power-seeking ploy, thereby disrespecting the freely-chosen self-determination of their ancestors, and also disrespecting the Christianity practiced by most ethnic Hawaiians today. Many ethnic Hawaiians today claim to embrace both Christianity and the ancient religion, and pray or chant to the god(s) of both. There are even a few left-leaning Christian pastors who tell their flocks it’s OK to embrace both; but the Protestant missionaries of the 19th Century and the Catholic hierarchy of today reject such syncretism. One thing that makes Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III famous among historians was his gut-wrenching public vacillation between the two religions: He dearly loved his younger sister Nahi’ena’ena (same pair of parents) and made a baby with her (especially for love and also for politically-expected genealogical enhancement of mana in the royal family) even while periodically repenting and trying to be a good Christian when the missionaries warned him.

4. An essay drafted by 7 Native Hawaiian leaders in July, 2021 is entitled “The Historical Context for Sacredness, Title, and Decision Making in Hawai‘i: Implications for TMT on Maunakea.” It points out that the ancient Hawaiian religion and its gods had no objection to using areas near the summit of Mauna Kea for commercial and industrial purposes which included living and working there, digging into the ground to quarry rocks for sale or barter, and leaving their trash behind. It is not “Wao Akua” (the realm of the gods where ordinary people are not allowed to live or work). “Archaeological evidence demonstrates that, while the kapu system was in effect, Hawaiians utilized Maunakea as a valuable resource for industrial activities for over 500 years until the time of western contact. Hawaiians excavated the upper slopes of Maunakea for stone of exceptional quality to make tools. As described by Hawaiian cultural practitioner and master navigator Kalepa Baybayan during the TMT contested case hearing, “[t]hey … shaped the environment by quarrying rock, left behind evidence of their work, and took materials off the mountain to serve their communities, within the presence and with full consent of their gods.” This adze quarry complex covers an area over 900 times the size of the permitted TMT site, which itself is small compared to the entire astronomy precinct”

5. Hawaii is multiracial, with many different religions. No individual race or religion should be allowed to dictate to everyone else what will be the decisions of the government. The Constitution, First Amendment, says there shall be no “establishment of religion” by the government, meaning that government must not adopt any particular set of religious beliefs as the primary basis for making decisions that affect all people of all different religions. That Amendment allows “free exercise” of religion by any religion, so long as it doesn’t force itself on anyone who is not an adherent of it. It would be both legally and morally wrong for any government agency to award custody of Mauna Kea to any racial group or to adopt decisions or regulations establishing the ancient Hawaiian religion as the primary authority. The Constitution of the State of Hawaii, Article XII, Section 7 declares that the State “reaffirms and shall protect all rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes and possessed by ahupua‘a tenants who are descendants of native Hawaiians who inhabited the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778, subject to the right of the State to regulate such rights.” Subsequent court decisions have ruled that those rights extend to ethnic Hawaiians beyond the borders of any particular ahupua’a, and apply to shoreline access and gathering of certain plants for subsistence and cultural practices. To avoid imposing racial exclusivity, all such rights should be allowed to every resident of Hawaii. We would thereby ensure that all Native Hawaiians would be protected as required by the Constitution, while also manifesting the Aloha Spirit and the value “ho’okipa” as we avoid racial supremacy or exclusivity.

In conclusion: The thirty-meter telescope project will bring jobs and economic development sorely needed in Hawaii. Objections based on culture or religion are unacceptable both legally and morally. Mauna Kea is indeed a sacred place — not only for Native Hawaiians, not only for all the people of Hawaii, but for the entire human race. It will help us explore and understand our origins and the beauty of the cosmos. It will bring us knowledge to guide our descendants as they navigate among the stars, just as ancient Hawaiians used the stars to navigate across the ocean.

See also:

On September 27, 2018 Ken Conklin submitted testimony regarding proposed rules for Public and Commercial Activities on Mauna Kea Lands. A short summary of the testimony lists 4 fundamental principles of unity and equality, two conclusions, and topics of specific rules that are analyzed. The summary is at
The complete 18 page testimony is at

Compilation of newspaper articles from 1999 to 2003 describing the importance of astronomical discoveries on Mauna Kea, opposition to Mauna Kea astronomy from Hawaiian sovereignty activists, and OHA’s attempts to extort money and political power

Ken Conklin testimony March 11, 2002 to Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources: How the telescope campus on Mauna Kea serves the spiritual essence of this sacred place in accord with Hawaiian creation legend.

Ken Conklin testimony January 12, 2004 NASA EIS scoping hearing: How the telescope campus on Mauna Kea serves the spiritual essence of this sacred place in accord with Hawaiian creation legend; why testimony from Hawaiian sovereignty activists should be discounted in view of their motives.

On May 21, 2015 Honolulu Star-Advertiser published a major commentary I authored: “Protesters use claims of sacredness for political agendas” Full text of the commentary, plus greatly expanded analysis, is available on my webpage “Mauna Kea 2015: Sacred Place; Political Pawn; Profane Demagoguery; Recreational Activism” at
See item 8 in that webpage for the newspaper commentary.

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Conklin rebuttal to Bill Fernandez, “The Temple of Science”

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.  provides a rebuttal to the following article:
Bill Fernandez, “The Temple of Science,” The Garden Island [Kaua’i newspaper], August 9, 2019, Guest Commentary.

The Garden Island newspaper editor’s tagline says “Bill Fernandez is a former attorney, judge and mayor, is an author and is a resident of Kapaa.” So Mr. Fernandez is not some crazy sovereignty activist whose ignorance and zealousness cause him to twist history and say outright falsehoods in a manner which an attorney might call “excited utterance.” His essay should be taken seriously, which is exactly how he intends it to be taken. I will provide a point-by-point rebuttal to his numbing litany of grievances. This rebuttal is too detailed (and perhaps boring) to be published in a newspaper. Truth is often boring, so please bear with me.

Bill Fernandez was born and raised on Kaua’i and then went to the mainland [California] for college, where he became a successful lawyer, mayor, and judge. So he is an example of local boy makes good on the mainland, retires, and comes “home” to Kaua’i. See a biography of him published in [surprise!] the same newspaper two months before this essay: “Bill Fernandez honored by Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association” as the honoree of the year and paraded through Waikiki, article in The Garden Island newspaper on June 12, 2019 at

Therefore he’s a big fish in a small pond, gets a lot of local respect. The local newspaper will publish whatever he submits to them and has done so for years, even if it is bombastic and filled with falsehoods. And of course it would be “rude” and unacceptable for public relations to publish any aggressive rebuttal, as well as impractical to publish a lengthy and boring one.

First, Conklin’s overall, general, very quick analysis of the motive of Mr. Fernandez. After that, rebuttals are given to specific points in the order they are raised by Mr. Fernandez.


Conklin’s overall, general, very quick reply concerning motive of Mr. Fernandez:

Victimhood is a wonderful asset to have. If you can persuade people that you’re a victim, that gives you the right to seek sympathy, and to demand reparations. Sympathy leads to political power, and reparations lead to wealth. See webpage
“The Hawaiian Grievance Industry — Panhandling for Race-Based Handouts and Political Power” at

One of the strange things about politics in Hawai’i is the aggressiveness of racial profiling and racial stereotyping for fun and profit. But surprisingly, in Hawaii the profiling and stereotyping are done by ethnic Hawaiians against ethnic Hawaiians as a racial group! Ethnic Hawaiian leaders love to portray their group as having the worst statistics for cancer, heart disease, drug abuse, incarceration, poverty … the list goes on and on. The idea is to make the general public feel sorry for them and give them political power to manage their own affairs; and to use the data to get government and philanthropic grants for “research studies” whose main purpose is to do more studies to get more data to bolster more grant applications while building a permanent cadre of highly paid bureaucrats and leaders (without actually doing research to find out how the “Hawaiian gene” causes these bad things [there is no real connection and probably no Hawaiian gene] or how to cure the problems biologically). See detailed analysis and examples in webpage
“Native Hawaiian victimhood — malpractice in the gathering and statistical analysis of data allegedly showing disproportionate Native Hawaiian victimhood for disease and social dysfunction. How and why the Hawaiian grievance industry uses bogus statistics to scam government and philanthropic organizations, politicians, and public opinion.” at
See also webpage
“For Hawaiians Only. Webpages identifying and describing government funded racial entitlement programs providing benefits exclusively to Native Hawaiians using taxpayer dollars from the U.S. and State of Hawaii.” at

During the past 20 years Mr. Fernandez occasionally wrote essays supporting the Akaka bill to create a federally recognized Hawaiian tribe as a way of providing legal defense for hundreds of racial entitlement programs, and other essays to support Kamehameha Schools’ racially exclusionary admissions policy. To find some of those items go to the front page of my website at
and use the little internal search engine for these two pairs of keywords (one pair at a time)
Fernandez Akaka
Fernandez Kamehameha

Mr. Fernandez, being a former lawyer and judge, might have some experience with lawyers who sue insurance companies on behalf of clients who suffered minor injuries in a fender-bender. A client’s car might have been rear-ended at a stop light by the car behind him traveling at 2 MPH; client claims whiplash caused severe neck injuries and lawyer sues for a bazillion dollars for medical injuries and “pain and suffering.” Of course the injuries and pain will be grossly inflated, and disabilities with unrelated causes will be ascribed to the fender-bender, in hopes that the damages awarded by the jury will be huge (along with the lawyer’s 1/3 contingency fee).


Fernandez: “Suppression of the Hawaiian culture began in 1820 when missionaries arrived and decreed that Hawaiian culture and language, the hula, mele, oli, chants, and songs were immoral, lewd, and pagan.

Conklin: Fernandez should be reminded that the missionaries had no authority to decree anything. They were welcomed by the native chiefs in 1820, AFTER the native leaders had already abolished the old religion in 1819, the year before the missionaries came. Any new laws were “decreed” not by missionaries but by the dictatorial authority of the native kings and chiefs exercising self-determination on behalf of the natives.

The old religion was abolished publicly and decisively by the 4 top leaders of the natives themselves at a huge lu’au that was held soon after the death of Kamehameha The Great to introduce his elder son Liholiho who was now Kamehameha II. The leaders abolished the old religion by publicly breaking the ‘aikapu (men and women must eat separately). These 2 men and 2 women sat down together and ate — a sacrilege punishable by immediate death — and the assembled crowd gasped in horror until a short speech was given.

1. King Liholiho Kamehameha II; the elder son of Kamehameha The Great;

2. Keopuolani, his biological mother, the “sacred wife” of Kamehameha The Great, had the highest spiritual mana in all Hawaii and the kapumoe (anyone nearby must lie face down in the dirt to avoid polluting her mana);

3. Ka’ahumanu his stepmother and favorite wife of Kamehameha The Great, who made a political coup by stepping forward at the lu’au immediately after breaking the ‘aikapu; she stood next to Liholiho and boldly took over the government by announcing “We two shall rule together” and proceeded to be kuhina nui (regent) for both Kamehameha II and Kamehameha III for many years;

4. Hewahewa, the kahuna nui (high priest) of the old religion. By the way, although “hewa” means “sin”, his name instead referred to sacred dancing.

Today’s activists on Mauna Kea and in other political actions disrespect the clear choice of their ancestral leadership by trying to revive the dead religion they killed, and also by using that deeply revered old religion as a mere pawn in today’s political games.


Fernandez: “This suppression continued [from 1820 missionary arrival] until the Hawaiian Renaissance in the 1970s.”

Conklin: Mr. Fernandez conveniently overlooks the fact that the monarchy retained absolute power over lawmaking and administration of justice, until the first Constitution was proclaimed in 1840 creating a legislature and judiciary and giving rights to individuals. Further, the monarchy retained absolute ownership of all Hawaii lands including the right to take back previous land grants on the whim of the King, until the Mahele process began in 1848 to create private fee-simple land ownership. Fernandez overlooks the fact that the monarchy continued until the revolution of 1893 overthrew it. He overlooks the fact that at least 6 native Hawaiians were on the committee that wrote the Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii, and the Speaker of the House was full-blooded native former royalist John Kaulukou. Fernandez overlooks the fact that the first and second Territorial Delegates to the U.S. Congress, elected by public vote of all citizens without racial restriction or property requirements, were Native Hawaiians Robert Wilcox and [former] Crown Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole. He forgets that the Territorial legislature, elected by vote of all citizens, had a majority of Native Hawaiians for three to four decades, until World War 2. John Waihe’e was Governor of Hawaii for 8 years, 1996 – 2004. Native Hawaiian members in the state Senate and House continue to be roughly in proportion to their population, including powerful committee chairmanships and leadership positions. There has been a huge renaissance of Hawaiian culture and language starting in the 1970s and strengthening through now, perhaps most visible in hula [televised Merrie Monarch and Prince Lot annual hula festivals], voyaging canoes [Hokule’a and many others], and song contests [televised annual Kamehameha School]. What suppression is Mr. Fernandez talking about? The only suppression is any shred of objectivity in Fernandez’ mind.


Fernandez: “Hawaiians lost their land to the colonizers.”

Conklin: Whoa! The Government lands of the Kingdom remained under control of the monarch and legislature where natives held the great majority, and the Crown lands remained property of the monarch and then of the Kingdom government for 73 years after the missionaries arrived, until there was no more crown after 1893. That’s 2/3 of Hawaii’s land that was NOT “lost to the colonizers.” The largest private landowner (large in both body and landholdings!) was Princess Ruth Ke’elikolani, who gave her land to Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who gave the combined lands of Ruth and Pauahi to Kamehameha Schools — approximately 10% of all the lands in Hawaii even to this day. Then there are the 203,000 acres set aside for native Hawaiians in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920; and other lands such as the entire Kahana Valley on O’ahu. Regarding Kahana Valley and “lost land”: It’s amusing how one activist (Robert Stauffer) wrote a whole book claiming that Kahana Valley fell out of Hawaiian ownership simply because it became owned by Mary Foster, who had “only” 1/4 Hawaiian blood. See my detailed book review
“Kahana: How the Land Was Lost by Robert H. Stauffer. BOOK REVIEW” at


Fernandez: “Colonizers also know that suppression of native language is key to subjugating a native people. Look at Hawaii. After the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893, they banned the use of the Hawaiian language (Act 57, section 30 of the 1896 Laws of the Republic of Hawaii). This law led to the suppression of native newspapers unfavorable to the new government, and the end of teaching Hawaiian language in schools.”

Conklin: Judge Fernandez, Your “Honor”, you need to read what the law actually said and learn how it was implemented. You — a lawyer and judge — need to read what the law said! It’s easy to tell a lie and move on; it’s harder to explain the truth. Bear with me. This is a topic where I am an expert witness.

The Hawaiian kingdom had a compulsory school attendance law, which was continued under the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaii. Any school attendance law must include a definition of what constitutes a “school.” To make sure parents or factories or taro farms cannot get around the law by establishing sham “schools,” the government defines the minimum requirements that must be met before a “school” is certified as meeting the requirements of the attendance law. Such minimum requirements for facilities, curriculum, and performance review apply to all schools, both government and private. Government certification of schools does not prohibit other schools or academies. For example, Christian churches can operate “Sunday schools” or Buddhist temples can have “Dharma schools” for religious instruction; or ethnic groups can set up after-school or weekend academies to perpetuate a culture and language — the Japanese did that with hundreds of after-school academies throughout the 1900s and continuing now.

Following the revolution of 1893, the Republic of Hawai’i passed a law more than three years later, in 1896, specifying that English must be the language of instruction in any school receiving “recognition” or certification as meeting the compulsory attendance law. Here is the exact wording of that law:

1896 Laws of the Republic of Hawaii, Act 57, sec. 30: “The English Language shall be the medium and basis of instruction in all public and private schools, provided that where it is desired that another language shall be taught in addition to the English language, such instruction may be authorized by the Department, either by its rules, the curriculum of the school, or by direct order in any particular instance. Any schools that shall not conform to the provisions of this section shall not be recognized by the Department.” [signed] June 8 A.D., 1896 Sanford B. Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii.

The law clearly concerns only schools, not society at large and certainly not newspapers. It does not single out Hawaiian language at all — it applies equally to all languages other than English, including Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese, etc. The majority of Hawaii’s children at that time were children of Japanese and Chinese plantation workers, and there were also numerous immigrants from Portugal working on the plantations, mostly as lunas. The law wanted every citizen or long-term resident to have a language in common that they all could speak — especially Japanese and Chinese. The Republic was looking forward to annexation to the United States. Every child born in Hawaii would grow up to become American citizens after annexation, and English would be essential for citizen participation in government and commerce. The law does not prohibit establishing private after-school or weekend academies where the medium of instruction could be Hawaiian (or any other language) — it merely states that such schools will not be recognized by the government as satisfying the requirement that all children must attend school. The law clearly states that other languages (including Hawaiian) may be taught in a language course. Hawaiian language courses were offered at Kamehameha School, but Spanish was more popular with the students. And in fact the Territorial legislature passed laws appropriating money to publish Hawaiian language dictionaries for use in the government schools.

Some ethnic groups, most notably first-generation immigrant Japanese plantation workers, did indeed have private schools for “after school” or weekend instruction in their language and culture (see astonishing information about just how prevalent this was, near the end of a webpage). Many, perhaps most Hawaiian parents went so far as to demand that their children speak only English at home as well as at school. There was simply no desire among Hawaiian parents to set up special academies to perpetuate Hawaiian language. Ethnic Hawaiians working on the plantations or elsewhere were legally free to do what the Japanese actually did. The Hawaiians were also being paid at a higher wage rate than the Japanese, who were at the bottom of the scale (until Filipinos started coming to Hawai’i in 1906 and occupied the bottom). The Japanese felt it was important to invest their time and money to perpetuate their culture and language; while the Hawaiian parents, to the contrary, felt it was important to demand that their children speak English and assimilate to Euro-American cultural values.

There are many, many details to explain, but not here in a mere comment. So let me give the following webpage links:

Was Hawaiian Language Illegal?

Holding the State of Hawaii Department of Education accountable for propagating the lie that Hawaiian language was banned.

“Examples of Some Angry or Bitter Published Articles Claiming That Ethnic Hawaiians Were Victimized by Having Their Language Made Illegal or Suppressed” [I’ll be adding this ridiculous Fernandez article to the collection]

“Hawaiian Language as a Political Weapon” with 16 detailed subpages


Fernandez: “This law [English as the language of instruction in schools] led to the suppression of native newspapers unfavorable to the new government, and the end of teaching Hawaiian language in schools.”

Conklin: In recent years we have all learned that newspapers printed in Hawaiian language were published continuously from 1834 all the way through 1948. Some lasted only a short time with small circulation; others had large circulation and lasted for many years. There were both English-language and Hawaiian-language newspapers editorially favorable to the monarchy and opposed to annexation; and also newspapers in both languages happy with the overthrow of the monarchy and favorable to annexation.

Following the January 17 1893 revolution, the revolutionary Provisional Government did what all revolutionary governments in the world have always done with mass media (including radio and television nowadays) — they temporarily banned the publication of pro-monarchy newspapers. But in Hawaii such censorship to stifle possible rioting lasted only one or two weeks, and then freedom of the press resumed. There were newspapers that viciously attacked President Sanford Dole and published poetry and stories favorable to Lili’uokalani and other royalists. Perhaps even Mr. Fernandez might have heard the widely known stories about people loyal to Lili’uokalani visiting her when she was imprisoned in the Palace following the attempted Wilcox counterrevolution of 1895 — and they always brought her flowers WRAPPED IN ROYALIST NEWSPAPERS so that she could circumvent the ban on political information going to or from her and see what her friends were doing on her behalf. Clearly, there was no censorship or “suppression of native newspapers unfavorable to the new government” as claimed by Fernandez.

Fernandez is also wrong that the language law caused “the end of teaching Hawaiian language in schools.” Surely a lawyer/judge can understand the difference between teaching a language as a subject of study vs. teaching subject matter in math, science, history, etc. through the use of that language as the medium of instruction. Read the wording of the law Judge Fernandez. It clearly says “where it is desired that another language [could be Hawaiian] shall be taught in addition to the English language, such instruction may be authorized by the Department, either by its rules, the curriculum of the school, or by direct order in any particular instance.” Families not already fluent in Hawaiian had no interest in getting their kids to learn it; whereas families that spoke Hawaiian at home could continue doing so and could also send their kids to after-school academies to be taught in Hawaiian just like the Japanese established Japanese-language academies; but most Hawaiian parents were glad to have their kids learn English in school and many such parents demanded their kids speak only English in the home as well — the parents would speak Hawaiian between themselves but required their kids to speak only English.


Fernandez: “When annexation and the Organic Act created the Territory, the Hawaiian people received nothing because no government existed to protect them nor categorize them as the indigenous people of the eight islands of the archipelago. Unlike some North American tribes on the continent no treaty was enacted.”

Conklin: That’s absurd! The natives received whatever everyone else received, including American citizenship for all persons who were citizens of the Republic of Hawaii and for anyone born in Hawaii; and a guarantee that revenue from the ceded lands must be used “for education and other public purposes” for the benefit of all residents of the Territory including natives. Fernandez is in reality complaining that there were no racial entitlement programs benefiting ethnic Hawaiians exclusively based on race alone [until the first such law was enacted — the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920]. Today we have over a thousand racially exclusionary programs solely for the benefit of Native Hawaiians. I hope he’ll go to the library and read my book identifying what he apparently champions: “Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State.” It’s also available for purchase direct from the publisher through

Fernandez’ talk about North American tribes shows that he continues to favor creation of a federally recognized Hawaiian tribe, either through legislation like the Akaka bill [Fernandez wrote essays favoring the bill when it was alive in Congress] or through implementation of the Department of Interior regulation proclaimed by publication in the Federal Register on October 14, 2016. That regulation is a sleeper agent of Hawaiian apartheid ready to be implemented whenever the tribalists feel political conditions are right.

A webpage reviews the history of efforts to get official government recognition of ethnic Hawaiians as a political entity or Indian tribe — a narrative summary covering 19 years 2000 through 2018, broken into two-year Congressional periods. Each “Congress” has a link to an index for that two year period, broken into sub-indexes in chronological order, linking to webpages providing full text of news reports, commentaries, and lawsuits regarding the Akaka bill in Congress, stealth maneuvers by Senator Inouye, Obama Department of Interior regulatory process, Hawaii legislature bills and resolutions, etc.; and efforts to gain local and international recognition of Hawaii as an allegedly continuing independent nation, through protests and lawsuits in Hawaii regarding Mauna Kea and taxes on land, and lobbying activity in the United Nations (both New York and Geneva). Go to

See a webpage describing how the DOI regulation 43CFR50 was proclaimed, including links to full text of the regulation and testimony in opposition during both comment periods:


After reciting his lengthy list of alleged victimhood grievances relying on history-twisting and falsehoods, Mr. Fernandez then spends the second half of his essay expressing his views about how Hawaiian culture before Captain Cook was superior to European and American culture, and how the Native Hawaiian blockade and takeover of Mauna Kea illustrates respect for the land and is a reassertion of Native Hawaiian self-determination. He cites the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and he says “Lieutenant Governor Josh Green got it right when on Mauna Kea he said, ‘It is time for reconciliation with Hawaii’s host culture.'”

Conklin has webpages showing that ethnic Hawaiians are not an indigenous people, that the term “host culture” is a poisonous concept implying that people with no Hawaiian blood are merely guests with no rightful standing in the ethnic Hawaiian homeland, and a direct response to Josh Green’s pandering screed.

The concept of Native Hawaiians owning the “host culture” is astoundingly divisive because it portrays everyone lacking a drop of the magic blood as being mere guests. It’s a racist political tactic which in recent years many academics and journalists have begun calling “othering” — portray ethnic Hawaiians as being entitled to govern Hawaii because, according to a creation legend, they are biologically children of the gods and brothers to the land in a way nobody else can ever be who lacks a drop of the magic blood — therefore portraying everyone else as “other” — different, alien, permanent outsider, mere (unwanted) guest or even invader and exploiter and oppressor. That’s exactly the tone of Bill Fernandez’ commentary.

An example of “othering” is the demand that nobody lacking a drop of the magic blood can use the word “Hawaiian” to describe themselves. Every “Hawaiian” by definition has the magic blood; every OTHER person can be a resident or “settler” but is always a “non-Hawaiian.” Because of pressure from ethnic Hawaiian activists, the Associated Press a few years ago included in its stylesheet that in news reports the word “Hawaiian” must be reserved for ethnic Hawaiians, while others can be called “Hawaii resident” or “Hawaii-born” or “native of Hawaii” but never “Hawaiian” or “native Hawaiian.” At this time there are Caucasians with no Hawaiian blood whose families have lived in Hawaii for 8 generations, and Asians whose families have 6 generations in Hawaii; but the language police call them non-Hawaiian will not allow them to call themselves Hawaiian.

Although I was not born or raised in Hawaii, I visited during three summers from 1982 to 1989, felt a spiritual calling, and moved permanently to Kane’ohe in 1992 — and since then I have never left Hawaii, for 27 years! I have traveled to dozens of nations and speak 6 languages. But Hawaii hanai’d (adopted) me, and I hanai’d Hawaii. I have probably lived in Hawaii longer than Bill Fernandez. For sure I have lived in Hawaii longer than most ethnic Hawaiians have been on this Earth, since Census says their median age is 26. I understand the culture and history, and speak Hawaiian with moderate fluency. Hawaii is my hanai homeland. I am Hawaiian, whether the language police like it or not. A well-known song describes my own odyssey: “He Hawai’i Au” also known as “I Keia Po”. My journey was lengthy, seeking a place in this world; but I have returned; and I clearly realize that home is in my heart; I will not wander again because I understand — I am Hawaiian.
Words (Hawaiian/English)
Music (First video has song sung like a hymn with beautiful scenery and artifacts, then faster upbeat tempo; automatically followed by all-Japanese hula performance of it).

“Are kanaka maoli indigenous to Hawai’i? Would the status of being indigenous give them special rights?”

“Akaka Bill: Replacing Democracy and Individual Rights With Indigenous Communal (Group) Rights”

“Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights — The General Theory, and Why It Does Not Apply in Hawaii”

“Were non-kanaka maoli historically full partners in Hawai’i, or only second-class guests?”

“Asian Settler Colonialism [Hawaii] — book review”

“Hawaiian religious fascism. A twisted version of a beautiful creation legend provides the theological basis for a claim that ethnic Hawaiians are entitled to racial supremacy in the governance and cultural life of the Hawaiian islands.” [includes a link to full text of the “Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation” adopted on February 26, 2016 in a monthlong meeting paid for by OHA, and an analysis of its racism and fascism — this is the tribal Constitution which would be submitted to the Department of Interior as part of the process for federal recognition of a Hawaiian tribe under 43CFR50]

“The Aloha Spirit. How aloha for all, manifested in the twin pillars of unity and equality, can overcome Hawaiian religious fascism which is the theological basis for a claim to racial supremacy.”

Ken Conklin’s Facebook reply to Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s pandering support for the Mauna Kea protesters:

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Proposed regulations for Mauna Kea, September 2018

On September 27, 2018 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. submitted testimony of 18 pages regarding proposed regulations for “Public and Commercial Activities on Mauna Kea Lands.” Conklin explains 4 fundamental principles of unity and equality, and applies them to criticize and improve the proposed regulations. Conklin’s complete testimony is at

Here are four fundamental principles for all issues related to Hawaiian sovereignty, which are also helpful for analyzing the proposed rules for Mauna Kea:
1. We are all equal in the eyes of God regardless of race.
2. All people, regardless of race, should be treated equally under the law by our government.
3. Unity with America: Hawaii is in fact the 50th State of the USA, whose laws rightfully have jurisdiction here.
4. Unity of Hawaii: The people and lands of Hawaii should remain unified under the single sovereignty of the State of Hawaii, and should not be divided along racial lines.

Two obvious conclusions for Mauna Kea rule-making can be derived from those fundamental principles. Many proposed rules should be improved to reflect these two conclusions. These conclusions motivate and underlie all the comments I have made about specific proposed rules.
(A) Every rule should apply equally to people of all races; there should be no racial set-asides or special privileges.
(B) If rule-makers believe Article 12 Section 7 of the Hawaii Constitution requires certain rights to be granted to one particular racial group, then the best way to fulfill that requirement is to grant those same rights to all Hawaii’s people regardless of race. There is legal precedent that a law requiring benefits for one racial group can be satisfied by granting those benefits to all persons regardless of race. Furthermore, the Aloha Spirit and the need for pono require such inclusiveness rather than racial exclusion.

Proposed rules for Mauna Kea analyzed by applying those principles and conclusions include the following topics:
*Mandatory orientation program for visitors;
*Fees charged to visitors;
*Traditional and customary rights of Native Hawaiians;
*Burials and scattering of cremated remains;
*Interference with government function;
*Racial set-asides or preferences;
*Access for religious or cultural purposes;
*Demographic characteristics of employees, volunteers, visitors deemed irrelevant

Conklin’s complete testimony is at

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