21 Aug 2009

Hawaiian sovereignty campaigner says low key commemorations highlight injustices

10:26 am on 21 August 2009

A Hawaiian sovereignty campaigner says the muted commemorations marking the state's 50th anniversary are an acknowledgment of the injustices that led up statehood.

The Hawaii Statehood Commission says its chosen to mark the anniversary tomorrow by holding a conference looking both at future issues for the state, and the "difficult" history of Native Hawaiians.

Ikaika Hussey, a sovereignty campaigner and the publisher of the Hawaiian Inderpendent, says the lack of pomp and celebration shows the public recognises the anger of native Hawaiians at what he describes as the "US occupation" of the state.

But he says that recognition has not led to sovereignty for native Hawaiians, or to an improvement in their social position.

"Right now 25 percent of the island of Oahu, which is the capital island, is controlled by the military. Those lands need to be returned. Moneys which are supposed to be set aside for native Hawaiians, right now they are being given to a state agency that's controlled by the state of Hawaii. Those moneys need to be set aside for native people's. These things need to take place in order for there to be any sort of reconciliation."

Hawaiian sovereignty campaigner, Ikaika Hussey.