Civil Beat: “He ‘Aha Kēia? Is This a Convention?” by Randall Akee

He ‘Aha Kēia? Is This a Convention?
Delegate candidates for a Native Hawaiian Constitutional Convention do not reflect the true makeup of the Native Hawaiian population.

On Sept. 30, 2015, the candidates for delegates for the aha (Native Hawaiian Constitutional Convention) organized by the group, Nai Aupuni, were announced. The biographies and backgrounds for the candidates were made public on the Nai Aupuni website.

From this list of candidates, 40 delegates will be selected to “come together to decide whether or not to create a document or constitution for a nation and its governance.” The purpose of these efforts are to create a Native Hawaiian constitution and government that could eventually seek federal recognition by the U.S. federal government via the executive branch.

There are many reasons to be concerned with this entire aha process, which really is just an outgrowth of failed attempts at federal recognition via the congressional path, also known as the Akaka Bill.

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