Nation of Hawaiʻi (organization)

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Nation of Hawaiʻi
Nation of Hawai'i Flag

The Nation of Hawaiʻi is the oldest Hawaiian independence organization.[1] It is headed by Dennis Pu‘uhonua "Bumpy" Kanahele,[2] who is the group's spokesperson and Head of State.[3] Compared to other independence organizations which lean to the restoration of the monarchy, it advocates a republican government.


In 1989 the group occupied the area surrounding the Makapuʻu lighthouse on Oʻahu. In 1993 its members occupied Kaupo Beach, near Makapuʻu. Kanahele was a primary leader of the occupation, as well as the leader of the group overall. Dennis Pu‘uhonua Kanahele is a descendant of Kamehameha I, eleven generations removed,[4] and is both the spokesperson for the organization and the "Head of State" of the Nation of Hawaiʻi. The group ceased its occupation in exchange for the return of ceded lands in the adjacent community of Waimānalo, where they established a village, cultural center, and puʻuhonua (place of refuge).[4] The group nearly lost its land several times, due both to sentiment fostered by activists opposing the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, and questions regarding rent and liability insurance. As of 2006, however, it was still home to at least forty people.

Kanahele made headlines again in 1995 when his group gave sanctuary to Nathan Brown, a Native Hawaiian activist who had refused to pay federal taxes in protest against the US presence in Hawaiʻi. Kanahele was arrested for interfering with U.S. marshals seeking to arrest a federal fugitive, convicted, and sentenced to eight months in federal prison, along with a probation period in which he was barred from the puʻuhonua and from participation in his sovereignty efforts.[2]


  1. ^ John H. Chambers (2009). Hawaii. Interlink Books. p. 286. ISBN 978-1-56656-615-5. 
  2. ^ a b Phillip B. J. Reid (June 2013). Three Sisters Ponds: My Journey from Street Cop to FBI Special Agent- from Baltimore to Lockerbie and Beyond. AuthorHouse. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-4817-5460-6. 
  3. ^ "United States' Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" (PDF). International Indian Treaty Council and the United Confederation of Taino People. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Tizon, Tomas Alex (21 July 2005). "Rebuilding a Hawaiian Kingdom". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 January 2015.