Hawaiian Governance

Native Hawaiian Governance

The Native Hawaiian governance convention or ‘Aha was held in February 2016. Over 120 participants from diverse backgrounds came together in Maunawili for the purpose of creating a path so that Hawaiians could gather and have serious discussions about the future of Native Hawaiians. The group included a broad spectrum of political ideologies and preferences for governance models from the Restoration of an independent kingdom to an entity that could seek federal recognition from the United States. This diverse group worked together and found the common ground necessary to draft and adopt the Constitution with a vote of 88 in favor, 30 against, and 1 abstention.

A 19-page Constitution that provides the framework for rebuilding the Hawaiian Nation emerged.

At its meeting in July 2016, the membership of the Kalihi Palama Hawaiian Civic Club adopted a motion to support the work of the ‘aha and the ratification of the draft Constitution. Accordingly, this section of our website is dedicated to that objective.


  1. Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation
  2. Native Hawaiian Governance FAQ
  3. Supporting Emergence
  4. A Brief Summary of the History of Native Hawaiian Governance in Hawai‘i

Provides an extensive study documenting the long history of Native Hawaiian governance that was prepared by two Native Hawaiian scholars and practitioners, Dr. Davianna Pomaika‘i McGregor, Professor and founding member of the Ethnic Studies Department at the Unversity of Hawai‘i -Mānoa, and Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa.

The synopsis provides a selective history to elucidate three points: 1) Native Hawaiians are the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Archipelago (Ka Pae ‘Āina Hawai‘i) who have a distinct language, culture, history and ancestral land base; 2) Native Hawaiians exercised sovereignty over the islands that now comprise the State of Hawai‘i for centuries prior to the formation of the United States government; and 3) for over a thousand years, Native Hawaiians have continuously exercised forms of self-governance in Hawai‘i that are rooted in inherent Native Hawaiian sovereignty.


Hawaiian Nation: A group of ‘aha participants volunteered to plan and initiate outreach and education efforts with their ‘ohana, friends, and community, and to fundraise to enable the ratification of the Constitution. For more information, go to www.Hawaiiannation.com

Key Points in Hawaiian History: www.huiohawaiiponoi.org

Na‘i Aupuni: Formed in December 2014, Na‘i Aupuni is an independent organization comprised of a volunteer board of directors from the Hawaiian community, whose sole purpose was to help establish a path for Hawaiian self-determination.   It is an organization separate and independent from OHA and the State of Hawai‘i. It organized a process for an election of delegates and the education of those delegates at an ‘aha. For further details, go to: www.naiaupuni.org.