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We feel that the most important sovereignty need of Native Hawaiians is to recover normal use of the Hawaiian language in an integrated and bilingual society. Indeed, the ‘Aha Punana Leo, the Kula Kaiapuni Hawai‘i charter immersion school programs, and the Hawaiian language faculties of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo and elsewhere have inspired us to this end. However, lately we have become aware of a very real and present concern. Hawaiian language students have been transfering out of Hawaiian language immersion programs for the fear of not being able to pursue their scholastic and professional interests in the secondary school system. They’re afraid that they won’t get accepted into the colleges of their choice. Some immersion charter schools have now responded to this perception by increasing English language courses in their curriculum in the higher grades. Other adjustments are being proposed by Hawaiian language planners, however, in our view, such “incrementalist” planning approaches toward language revitalization fail to acknowledge the systemic motivators to make the transition from the classroom to the marketplace to be a predictable outcome. There simply aren’t enough teaching and entertainment jobs to facilitate the Hawaiian language capabilities of our youth who are dedicating their educational careers to our beloved mother tongue. Hawaiian language planners need to venture out of the comfort of the language nest and acknowledge the diverse vocational needs of our Hawaiian speaking people. While emphasis on language skills in places “closest to the heart” (in the home) is an essential focus for revitalization efforts, this strategy is not sufficient to sustain language growth in a competitive environment; it fails to address the language needs of those who must leave the home in order to sustain it. By their resistence to implementing a systemic response to language revitalization requirements, Hawaiian language education planners may be compared with those U.S. auto manufacturers who, failing to implement systems management practices, gave their competitors in Japan the advantage in the marketplace. Indeed, among Native Hawaiian leaders’ interests and goals, we have noticed a philosophical division between those professional interests of bureaucrats and those of educators. Liability-conscious bureaucrats, who are often disposed toward a long history of welfare policies that rely upon racial entitlements for their beneficiaries, contend against a new generation of educators who inspire professional achievement among Hawaiians with national idealism and self-improvement. We feel that these educators’ sensibilities must not be ignored in the formation of our public policy. Other societies struggling with minority language preservation problems, such as Canada and Ireland, indicate that systemic change at the highest levels of

policymaking is necessary in order to prevent the dominant language group from overwhelming the minority. While any amount of governmental legislation will not, on its own, guarantee the preservation of a minority language, we maintain there presently aren’t enough incentives in the present political economy of the State of Hawai‘i to sustain growth of Hawaiian language, and in fact, there is concern that the language movement could even collapse if appropriate systemic changes are not soon implemented. To address this problem, we started a grassroots campaign to increase the availability of Hawaiian language public services; it's called Hawai'i Bilingual (or "H2'Ō"). After 10 months’ presence on Facebook almost 1,900 members -- including ‘Aha Pūnana Leo, UH faculty, and three candidates and current holders of Hawai‘i public office -- who support the right of every resident of Hawai‘i to receive public services in the official language of their choice, Hawaiian or English. Additionally, the Hawaiian Civic Club of Waimānalo has adopted a resolution that supports implementation of an act of the Legislature to grant every resident of the State of Hawai'i the ability to receive public services in the official language of their choice. Four months ago, Hawai'i Bilingual initiated a monthly vigil comprised of two components: a “vigil of prayer and fasting” that appeals for divine intervention as well as consolidates intention for positive change along with a “vigil of creativity” that demonstrates bilingual values in a way that enjoins the cooperation of the non-Hawaiian speaking cultural community in Honolulu. It is a sad fact that speakers of Hawaiian today will not find very much in contemporary Honolulu life to confirm their welcome in a city that once was their cultural capitol. Left both abandoned by a monolingual militaristic program of 20th century American development and alienated by today’s nihilistic materialism and global economy, many Native Hawaiians have opted for a life strategy of retreat, of withdrawl from modern urban life, and sought to reconnect with a traditional agrarian identity and lifestyle rooted in unskeptical nurturing love for the ‘āina, “the land that feeds,” drawing sources of inspiration from the narrative of their pre-Western contact. Our familial way of relating with others and with our environment is not practiced, much less appreciated, by most Americans whose worldview tends to be mechanistic and atomic. And the “democratic values of shared governance” they do profess are not practiced, or are withdrawn, when it comes to considering Hawaii’s host culture. As a result, there are many among us who now even advocate for a complete break with American “culture” through outright secession from the United States, however, as a whole, we are not yet convinced that this is a sustainable solution either. Globally, it is now a well known fact that since the turn of the 20th Century many human and civil rights of native Hawaiians have largely been ignored by American governance. Hawaiians were taught to think that Hawaiian language and culture are inappropriate for a modern era; their language would be phased out of public life and discourse through a coordinated program of assimilation into American “culture,” since the majority of the burgeoning commercial wealth being created through the State’s industrialization was dominated by its English-speaking immigrants. Yet it was during the 1970’s civil rights and environmental movements that the ecological values of traditional native Hawaiian culture were rediscovered, and these values even found a professional voice in governance’s regulatory mission. And over the last few decades, as an unanticipated result of the success of the Hawaiian language revitalization movement, Hawaiian culture has demonstrated its resiliance, in its ability to adapt

and evolve, through its blending of traditional and western technologies and sciences. A glance through a few pages of Māmaka Kaiao, A Modern Hawaiian Vocabulary (a companion volume to the Hawaiian Dictionary) published in 2003 by the University of Hawai‘i, through the work of the Kōmike Hua‘ōlelo (Hawaiian Lexicon Committee of the ‘Aha Punana Leo and the Hale Kuamo‘o), will easily confirm this fact. Today speakers of Hawaiian apprehend and interpret complexities of contemporary urban life in the Hawaiian language. Hawaiian is now being used to describe and explain advanced mathematics and physics, political science and finance, urban design and engineering, medicine, theology and law. However, the inertia of regulatory forces that preserve the status quo in the State Capitol Region’s economy shuns any accountability to Hawai‘i’s indigenous language. Indeed, the manufactured products provided in today’s marketplaces render the speaker of Hawaiian incapable of making informed consumer choices, compromising their ability to even exert control over their own persons and property while in the city. Those who speak only Hawaiian are not served by various human and regulatory services that their tax dollars pay for. Therefore, we must acknowledge the existence of a de facto apartheid against speakers of Hawaiian in this city and in most Hawaiian public spaces, with Hawaiian language immersion schools and language classes, many hula halau and perhaps some churches and cattle ranches excepted. In spite of official resolutions acknowledging the illegality of the American occupation of Hawai‘i and the deprivation of Native Hawaiians of their human and civil rights, not enough is being done through the initiative of Americans and Hawai‘i residents to effect the restitution of losses sustained through the last 110 years of cultural genocide. Apparently most Americans are content to keep this problem “swept under the rug.” And when Hawai‘i’s immigrants come to realize that they’re contributing to the Native Hawaiians’ plight, they often feel helpless because of their own struggles to eke out a living where jobs generally don’t pay enough to allow them to live comfortably, much less participate in civic life. Is it any wonder why so many Native Hawaiians have “opted out” of the system? We presume that, until a comprehensive and coordinated effort to address the cause of abuse of Hawaiian human and civil rights is implemented, the stultifying feelings of victimization and hopelessness will continue. Native Hawaiian leaders are present challenged to stem the tide of growing hopelessness and poverty, to promote positive change at the highest level of governance that leads to new hope. Therefore, we propose making Hawaiian-English bilingualism a “cabinet-level” priority in the State of Hawai’i, as it is in Canada and Ireland. By “conditioning” the official status of the Hawaiian language in Article 15, Section 4 of the Hawai‘i State Constitution, there is widespread feeling that the Constitution does not recognize Hawaiian language has having equal rights to those of the English language. Considering the extent of governmental regulation that we must abide under, if Hawaiians do not call for a systemic change, then those who have dedicated their educations to Hawaiian will feel unprotected by the law-abiding Hawaiian community and seek solutions that the various secessionist groups offer. Building on the success of the ‘Aha Punana Leo and charter immersion school programs, we’re infusing some of this enthusiasm into our governance problem by advocating that regulation, even plans for future economic development happen more literally in Hawaiian

terms, indeed through the promotion of "official bilingualism." It’s what Canada finally did 40 years ago to avert Quebec’s secession. Ireland adopted their “Official Languages Act” just a few years ago, and it’s now time Hawai‘i did the same. We can’t imagine us proceeding into our 50th year as a State of questionable legitimacy without following suit. We all know that it’s really what the Americans should have done 110 years ago as part of their fiduciary responsibility of administering governance in Hawai‘i. This is what Hawai‘i Bilingual is all about: that every citizen of Hawai‘i shall have the right to receive public services in the official language of their choice, Hawaiian or English. We Native Hawaiians have come to understand that our ‘ōlelo (“language”) is as essential to our ea (“life”) as is wai (“fresh water”, which is the root of our word for “value” - waiwai). And so as to relate to the dominant culture, that’s why we chose the chemical name for water (“H2O”) as our acronym “H2‘Ō” for Hawai‘i 2 ‘Ōlelo (“Hawai‘i Bilingual” translated in Hawaiian is “Hawai‘i ‘Ōlelo Pālua”). So let’s take a look what an Official Language Act would contribute to the cultivation of Hawai‘i’s two official languages, Hawaiian and English. In principle, the Hawai‘i Official Languages Act will establish: Equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to the use of official languages in all institutions of the Legislature and government of the State; Full and equal access to the Legislature and legislative proceedings, to the laws of the State and to courts established by the State government and Federal government in the State in both official languages; Guarantees relating to the right of any member of the public to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any institution of the Legislature or government of the State government and Federal government in the State in either official language; Officers and employees of either institutions and public bodies of the State and Federal governments or governments of the State and Federal republic should have equal opportunities to use the official language of their choice while working together in pursuing the goals of those institutions and public bodies; English-speaking residents of Hawai‘i and Hawaiian-speaking residents of Hawai‘i should, without regard to their ethnic origin or first language learned, have equal opportunities to obtain employment in the institutions of the State Legislature or governments of the State and Federal republic; The State Legislature is committed to achieving, with due regard to the principle of selection of personnel according to merit, full participation of English-speaking and Hawaiianspeaking residents of Hawai‘i in its institutions; The State Legislature is committed to enhancing the vitality and supporting the development of English and Hawaiian linguistic minority communities, as an integral part of the two official language communities of the State, and to fostering full recognition and use of Hawaiian and English in the Hawaiian Islands;

The State Legilature is committed to cooperating with County and Municipal governments and their institutions and public bodies to support the development of Hawaiian and English linguistic minority communities, to provide services in both Hawaiian and English languages, to respect the constitutional guarantees of minority language educational rights and to enhance opportunities for all to learn both Hawaiian and English languages; The State Legislature is committed to enhancing the bilingual character of the State Capitol Region and to encouraging the business community, labor organizations and voluntary organizations in the State to foster the recognition and use of Hawaiian and English languages; The State Legislature recognizes the importance of preserving and enhancing the use of languages other than Hawaiian and English while strengthening the status and use of the official languages; …and in purpose, the Official Languages Act would: Ensure respect for English and Hawaiian as the official languages of the State and ensure equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all governmental institutions, in particular with respect to their use in the Legislative proceedings, in legislative and other instruments, in the administration of justice, in communicating with or providing services to the public and in carrying out the work of State, County and municipal institutions; Support the development of Hawaiian and English linguistic minority communities and generally advance the equality of status and use of the Hawaiian and English languages within the Hawaiian Islands; and Set out the powers, duties and functions of governmental institutions and publc bodies with respect to the official languages of the State, including the establishment of an Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (and to define its functions), Provide for the publication by a Commissioner of Official Languages of certain information relevant to the purposes of this Act and related matters. The Hawaiian Civic Club of Waimanalo recently adopted a resolution to present at Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs November 2009 Convention in support of the State Legislature's adoption of an Official Languages Act for Hawai’i. You may also download a working draft of the resolution which contains additional hyperlinks and supporting appendices. If you are interested in working together toward realizing a bilingually functioning Hawaiian society, then we would like to speak with you at your earliest convenience, so please email us at hawaiiola@googlegroups.com!

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