- damages suffered by Native Hawaiians as a result of those actions.
Nature of the Losses and Damages. The Kingdom of Hawai'i and her people had a separate and distinct cultural, legal, and Constitutional history. Although strongly influenced by Euro-American models and individuals, Native Hawaiians had devised modern institutions of government, property and social organization which reflected both an ancient past and a contemporary standing among nations.
What, then, were the nature of the losses and damages experienced by Native Hawaiians with the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i?
The lands and sovereignty of the Kingdom, and the interests of Native Hawaiians represented in them, are considered first.
After an examination of traditional land tenure systems, Constitutional provisions, and related Kingdom laws, we find that:
- Native Hawaiians held common and undivided anchestral land rights and interests vested in the domain and dominion of the Kingdom;
- these anchestral land rights and interests were not diminished nor extinguished by any royal or government actions initiated by the Kingdom of Hawai'i, but were protected and guaranteed by legal titles held by the Kingdom for all public, government, and crown lands;
- without the consent of or compensation to Native Hawaiians, these land rights and interests were assumed and subsequently ceded to the United States by a government whose existence was dependent on illegal actions by the United States;
- these land rights and interests were accepted by the United States without the consent of or compensation to Native Hawaiians, and without any disclaimer provision to protect these land rights.
Based on these findings, we advise the Congress that Native Hawaiians have compensable claims for the loss of anchestral land rights and interests vested in the domain and dominion of the Kingdom of Hawai'i.
These compensable claims echo, but do not duplicate, similar claims by American Indians and Alaskan Natives. The strongest parallel among the claims is a call for American justice once a wrong has been acknowledged.
Native Hawaiians are Americans now, proud of the ideals and qualities of justice through law. The pride in being Native Hawaiians is also strong. The overwhelming majority of native Hawaiians do not want history to be re-written or to separate themselves from the United States. As proud Americans and Native Hawaiians, though, there is a desire and a basis for a remedy to past losses and damages.
Therefore, we recommend to the Congress that:
- the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the U.S. House Committee on Insular and Interior Affairs consider and determine a just and equitable resolution of compensable claims by Native Hawaiians for losses of domain and dominion;