Sunday, July 14, 2013
The continuing crime—State failure to fulfill its trust obligations to Native Hawaiians
by Larry Geller
I guess I shouldn’t have hyped the Star-Advertiser story on the Kalima trial before it came out. The story is a good beginning, but it begs for followup.
As I wrote earlier today, I’d rather hear the stories from the beneficiaries who have waited, in some cases, their whole lives, for the homestead, farm, or pastoral land that the State is obligated to give them, than see their pictures spread out in the newspaper.
The pictures tell us little or nothing. C’mon, Star-Advertiser, let’s hear from those whose images you’ve put in your paper (picture on left snipped from the web page). What did you commit to them that you’d put in the paper as you took their photos?
Later, in the Insight section, is an op-ed by KipuKai Kuali‘I which includes this observation:
There are 4,007 Kauai families on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) wait lists, including 2,150 for agricultural, 298 for pastoral and 1,559 for residential. Since the early 1980s, DHHL has awarded only 47 agricultural leases and one pastoral lease on Kauai.
[Star-Advertiser p. F2, Native Hawaiians on Kauai being denied, 7/14/2015]
If accurate, then 48 leases granted since the early 1980s out of 4,007 waiting, is nothing at all. No homelands at all granted is nothing. Zero. The trust is not operative.
What will it take to stop the State’s criminal neglect, put people on the land, and compensate those who have been denied? Probably another court case, because I don’t think the State has any intention, based on their performance so far, to fulfill their trust obligations.