1978: Native Hawaiian Rights in the Con Con

Hawaiian Renaissance Reaching Political Apex

Click on picture to view item record.

Adelaide "Frenchy" DeSoto was the leader of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee, which sought to submit proposals related to the Hawaiian community.

Included in the proposals were:

  • Restructure Hawaiian Homes Commission so it is comprised of and elected by native Hawaiian beneficiaries.
  • A native Hawaiian Bill of Rights to guarantee hunting and gathering privileges to those native Hawaiians living off the land
  • A native trust entity so that Hawaiians could receive reparation money from Congress to help with Hawaiian Home Lands and their social, political, and economic advancement.

A Howard Law School graduate affirmed these proposals because these were long overdue since the impacts of the arrival of Captain Cook. These rights should be applicable in the present, particularly for the Hawaiian communities that continue to live off the land.

DeSoto argues that the revitalization of Hawaiian culture is imperative. She states:

"I think the Hawaiian people are beginning to assert themselves out of the realization that there is no other motherland.  Because we've lost our language, because our culture has been prostituted for Yankee dollars, we have become a soul-less people.  The urgency to revitalize the culture is a matter of life and death.  

"Historically, Hawaiians have welcomed all peoples of the world, and we don't intend to stop now, but somewhere along the line we've been lost in the shuffle.

"What I've picked up from our hearings is that Hawaiians are looking to the Constitutional Convention as the basis to establish their native rights."