1978 Hawaii State Constitutional Convention

The 1978 Hawaii State Constitutional Convention is considered the watershed political event in the modern State of Hawaii. The convention established term limits for state office holders, provided a requirement for an annual balanced budget, laid the groundwork for the return of federal land such as the island of Kahoʻolawe, and most importantly created the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in an effort to right the wrongs done towards native Hawaiians since the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1893. The event also created an ambitious project of preservation of the Hawaiian culture including the adoption of Hawaiian diacritical marks for official usage, use of Hawaiian names, etc. The Hawaiian language became the official state language of Hawaii for the first time since the overthrow.

A major outgrowth of the constitutional convention was the launching of the political careers of men and women who would later dominate Hawaiian politics. Delegates to the convention included:

Constitution of Hawaii

The Constitution of the State of Hawaii (Hawaiian: Kumukānāwai o Hawaiʻi) refers to various legal documents throughout the history of the Hawaiian Islands that defined the fundamental principles of authority and governance within its sphere of jurisdiction. Numerous constitutional documents have been promulgated for the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, Republic of Hawaiʻi, Territory of Hawaiʻi and State of Hawaiʻi. The first constitution was drafted by Kamehameha III. A few notable constitutions are the Bayonet Constitution of 1887 which stripped King Kalakaua of some decision making abilities without concurrence of his cabinet, and the Proposed 1893 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, a replacement of the Bayonet Constitution promulgated by Queen Liliuokalani, which set off a chain of events that eventually resulted in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Other notable documents include the Constitution of 1978 that created the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and declared the Hawaiian language to be one of the official languages of the state.

Haunani-Kay Trask

Haunani-Kay Trask (born October 3, 1949) is a Hawaiian nationalist, educator, political scientist, author, and professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Trask is the producer of the award-winning documentary Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation (1993), winning nine different awards in three different countries. Trask helped to establish the Gladys Brandt Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Trask is the Author of two books, Eros and Power: The Promise of Feminist Theory (1984), and From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaiʻi (1993). She has also published two books of poetry, Night Is a Sharkskin Drum (1994) and Light in the Crevice Never Seen (1999). Trask co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning documentary, Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation and developed an educational CD-ROM on the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement entitled Haunani-Kay Trask: We Are Not Happy Natives (2002). In March 2017, Hawaiʻi Magazine recognized her as one of the most influential women in Hawaiian history.

Jeremy Harris (politician)

Jeremy Harris (born December 7, 1950) is an American politician who served as Mayor of Honolulu from 1994 to 2004. A biologist by training, Harris started his political career as a delegate to the 1978 Hawai'i State Constitutional Convention. While Harris served as chief executive of the City & County of Honolulu, the city was named "America's Greatest City" by the official American governance journal, Governing Magazine. Harris is the founder of the China-U.S. Conference of Mayors and Business Leaders and the Japan-American Conference of Mayors and Chamber of Commerce Presidents. He is married to Ramona Sachiko Akui Harris and lives in Kalihi Valley on the island of O'ahu.

John D. Waiheʻe III

John David Waiheʻe III (born May 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the fourth governor of Hawaii from 1986 to 1994. He was the first American of Native Hawaiian descent to be elected to the office from any state of the United States. After his tenure in the governor's office, Waiheʻe became a nationally prominent attorney and lobbyist.

Native Hawaiians

Native Hawaiians (Hawaiian: kānaka ʻōiwi, kānaka maoli and Hawaiʻi maoli) are the Aboriginal Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants. Native Hawaiians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of Hawaiʻi. In total, 527,000 Americans consider themselves Native Hawaiian.According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 371,000 people who identified themselves as being "Native Hawaiian" in combination with one or more other races or Pacific Islander groups. 156,000 people identified themselves as being "Native Hawaiian" alone.

The majority of Native Hawaiians reside in the state of Hawaii (two-thirds) and the rest are scattered among other states, especially in the American Southwest and with a high concentration in California.

The history of Native Hawaiians, like the history of Hawaii, is commonly classified into four major periods:

the pre-unification period (before c. 1800)

the unified monarchy and republic period (c. 1800 to 1898)

the US territorial period (1898 to 1959)

the US statehood period (1959 to present)

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is a semi-autonomous department of the State of Hawaii created by the 1978 Hawaii State Constitutional Convention.

Hawaiian Kingdom
Republic and Territory of Hawaii
State of Hawaii Constitutional conventions

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