Hawai’i Nei. The crown jewel of an ocean that covers a third of our planet’s surface. Home of the Spirit of Aloha. Known the world over for its beauty, tranquility, and healing. For many decades Hawai’i and its culture have poured out incomparable levels of hospitality and generosity on hundreds of millions of visitors, provided a haven for tens of millions of new residents, and provided an unparalleled revenue engine producing billions of dollars for businessmen and business empires. But what have all these hundreds of millions of people that have benefited from Hawai’i, and those that have made the billions upon billions of dollars off of Hawaii, done to reciprocate in ways that truly and substantially give something back to Hawai’i? What have the impacts been on the stunningly beautiful but fragile lands and ecology of Hawai’i? and how have the people behind the Spirit of Aloha, we Native Hawaiians, fared, as we have watched our homeland become a playground and economic engine for hundreds of millions of other people?
For more than a century, starting with the Overthrow (U.S. Public law 103-150) of the Hawaiian Kingdom, at the hands of the United States, we Native Hawaiians were part of a multi-racial population of people called Hawaiians, a term that refers to a political nationality. We have witnessed the progressive dismantling of the historically evolved basis of our own economic systems, which were inextricably tied to the living Aina, the lands of Hawaii Nei, as much a part of the lands as we ourselves were and still are. We have lived through the destruction of our means of providing for ourselves, and seen the diminishment and loss of our way of life. Today we are experiencing the imminent threat to our race and culture it’s very existence and life pulse. Amidst a backdrop of luxury hotels and hundreds of thousands of million dollar homes, we have watched a mass exodus of Native Hawaiians occur because of our inability to afford living in our own country. Native Hawaiians according to almost every index of well being, rate lower in all categories than any other racial population in Hawaii. We ask why was this necessary in order for Hawai’i to benefit the world as it so faithfully and generously has for so many years? And we ask is it Just and Appropriate that these conditions continue today, and are being perpetuated far into the tomorrow of our keiki, our children, our Future?
The resulting landscape of issues and challenges of how we Native Hawaiians of today can and will achieve reconciliation and restitution is enormous and very complex. These issues must be solved now however, or else they will cause further irrevocable harm that will forever limit the economic vitality and well being of all people in Hawai’i, and will noticeably diminish the attraction of Hawaiian tourism for generations to come. All parties to the process of Native Hawaiian reconciliation and restitution agree that we must keep moving forward. In all areas viable and just solutions must be discerned, studied, planned and implemented. A critical and vital part of this process is the development of a blueprint and roadmap for the self-managed economic regeneration sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian community.
Aloha First is a Hawaii based Native Hawaiian owned and operated non-profit organization, whose charter is to facilitate the development of a comprehensive blueprint and roadmap for Native Hawaiian reconciliation and restitution, and to provide support, guidance, programs, services, for the business and asset formations required to make it all happen and keep it all moving forward.
Since its founding in July of 1996, Aloha First has conducted a series of large educational forums that have brought together thousands of our Native Hawaiian elders from all of the islands and abroad, in order to confer on the blueprint and roadmap for building security, prosperity, and legal autonomy for Native Hawaiians, our families, our communities, and our country. In parallel, Aloha First has outwardly conducted educational symposia and events concerning how Native Hawaiians are progressing in their mission to overcome a century of systematic and devastating racial and economic oppression, to promote the restitution of our people, our assets, our community, our lands, and our country, all through the guiding power of Aloha.