POSTED: 6 SEPTEMBER 2007 - 8:00am HST

Joining the Kingdom of Atooi

image above: Kingdom of Atooi reresentative Dayne Aipoalani at Superferry demonstration on 8/26/07.
Photo by Jonathan Jay

by Linda Pascatore on 5 September 2007

For a long time, I have been intrigued by the idea of Hawaiian Sovereignty. A system of more local, regional control fits in with my philosophy of self-sufficient, sustainable living. Here on Kauai there is a movement for island sovereignty. Let me explain how I came to the decision to join the Kingdom of Atooi.

If we are working on a small enough scale, then everyone in a region can more clearly see the effects of their actions on the ecosystem they live in. They can be personally concerned about the future, because their children will inherit whatever environment they have created. This naturally motivates people to conserve resources and to live in a sustainable way.

In contrast, when working on a national level, the concern must be more abstract. People are concerned about many issues; including the environment, global warming, overdevelopment, the coming oil crisis, erosion of civil liberties, war, and world hunger. These issues are too big for one person to deal with. One becomes overwhelmed with a feeling of powerlessness to change the system.

For decades, thoughtful people have been supporting the idea of bioregions. A bioregion is an area constituting a natural ecological community with characteristic flora,fauna, and environmental conditions and bounded by natural rather than artificial borders.

The island of Kauai fits the definition of a bioregion. The population of about 60,000 people makes it a manageable scale for governing. Kauai can also be subdivided into smaller divisions for local micromanagement. The traditional Hawaiian division of Moku, or climatic districts, and Ahupuaa, or watershed areas, will work well within the bioregion concept. See Island Breath article on Moku and Kalana.

The Kingdom of Atooi, unlike the other sovereignty movements, is concerned with only the island of Kauai, not the entire state. Kauai has been a “Separate Kingdom”, never conquered by military force, even during the days of Kamehameha. The Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi is the traditional Hawaiian name for the islands of Kauai and Niihau.

Dayne Aleka Nakaahiki Kane Kanakaoli Poikauahi Aipoalani has formed a group representing the “native customary chiefs” of the Kingdom of Atooi. They have notified Governor Lingle of their intent to restore the rightful ownership of the Kingdom of Atooi, and to reestablish autonomous self-governance on Kauai for the benefit of all Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian people residing there.

Dayne and his associates have formed a government that is beginning to operate as one. The Kingdom of Atooi welcomes people of all races and ethic origin as members. Unlike some sovereignty groups, the Kingdom allows dual citizenship with the United States.

I first met Dayne at the Superferry rally, on the Sunday night when protesters delayed the landing of the ferry. Dayne had his truck parked in front of the ferry gate, blocking entry or exit. He was surrounded by his Marshals and accompanied by his Harbor Master. They invited protesters to stand with them. I felt a welcoming, open spirit of Aloha from Dayne and his people. They were calm and dignified, and never let anger cloud their dealings with the police or supporters of the Superferry. It was on that night that I decided to join the Kingdom of Atooi.

We don’t have to worry about the other islands or a statewide agreement on sovereignty. That can come later. We can start here, now, on Kauai. I believe we can begin to build a self-sufficient, sustainable community that will weather the storm of the looming energy crisis. The Kingdom is a good start, and can be a vehicle for more local control by all the people of Kauai.

For more information or a membership form, contact:

phone: (808) 482-1050
mail: PO Box 50596, Eleele, HI 96705

To learn more about the Kingdom of Atooi, check out the articles below:

On the Kingdom of Atooi
Dayne Aleka Aipoalani on 3 April 2007 in The Garden Island News

[Editor’s note: This commentary was prepared and sent to Hawai‘i Governor Linda Lingle by a group on Kaua‘i interested in regaining title to Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau after the islands passed into the hands of others in, what they claim, is an illegal manner.]


Attn: Gov. Linda Lingle,

We send you our sincerest Aloha.

It is with utmost respect for the authority of your office and position and for you personally, that we wish to inform you of our intent to restore the rightful ownership of the Kingdom of Atooi (currently referred to as the Islands of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau) in order to re-establish autonomous self-governance of our Kingdom for the benefit of all Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian people residing herein.

As Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, we expect that you will be directly involved in this matter and we hope to work with you in a cordial and cooperative manner. We respectfully request your kind understanding and assistance to apply the rules of law, in righting the wrong that has been perpetrated on the people of our island nation.
Enclosed with this letter you will find documents which clearly outline the history of the illegal takeover of our kingdom, our credentials of ownership and sovereignty, our current position, and our requests to rectify this situation.

In order to rectify an illegal action performed by the Federal Government of the United States, and to correct a long-standing wrong perpetrated on the people of Atooi (currently known as the islands of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, a County of the State of Hawai‘i), we the Ali‘i, representing the native Customary Chiefs, declare and expect Atooi to once again be a separate sovereign nation controlled entirely by the rightful heirs and owners, the Ali‘i. This independent island nation will be called the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi.
This sovereign nation was illegally seized in a coup over a hundred years ago and has therefore never legally belonged to, nor been a part of the United States. All documentation clearly shows that the United States government has admitted to have taken over their independent sovereign nation in a bloodless coup, performed by wealthy agricultural businessmen/ “landowners,” who were supported by the federal government’s troops in Honolulu, in direct violation of the United States Constitution.

On Jan. 17, 1893, the reigning monarch of Hawai‘i, Queen Liliu’okalani, surrendered the nation under duress and written protest, in order to avoid death and unnecessary bloodshed among her people. Original documentation of the surrender, signed by the Queen reveals that this surrender was given only under protest. Based upon this illegal coup and illegitimate seizure of assets and property, the rightful heirs and owners who wish to restore and reestablish the proper ownership and sovereignty to the customary chiefs, the Ali’i, and their surviving direct descendants. This action is supported by international law and the United States Constitution.
All pertinent documentation clearly establishes the following facts:
• The United States federal government defied its own Constitution by allowing and participating in the takeover of a foreign sovereign nation, and therefore has no right to what was illegally seized and stolen, i.e. the islands comprising the Nation of Hawai‘i.

• President Grover Cleveland was the President and Chief Executive of the United States at the time of the illegal coup. He was not a part of the coup and unlawful occupation, nor did he support it. He signed Executive Order No. 77 of the 52nd Congress, regarding the Hawaiian Kingdom. President Cleveland appointed the former Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, James Blount, as a Special Envoy to Hawai‘i. His report to the President, dated July 17, 1893, claimed the United States had improperly backed the takeover and been responsible for its success. On Dec. 18, 1893, the President of Hawai‘i’s Provisional Government, Sanford Dole, was ordered by the U.S. Government to stand down and dissolve the Provisional Government. He refused. President Cleveland decried the Federal Government’s involvement in the coup and the creation of a Provisional Government by the wealthy landowners who usurped the Monarchy’s power. He considered the entire matter improper.

• The perpetrators who seized their land from the reigning Queen have never had a legal deed or unencumbered title to the land, so it rightfully belongs to the Ali‘i’s royal family even to this day. This is based on the premise that something stolen never becomes the property of the thief, even if it appears to be in their possession. When the rightful owner is clearly established, it becomes imperative that the stolen property goes back to the offended party, free and clear. This point is a straightforward, thoroughly documented legal matter with numerous precedents.

• The Organic Act of 1900 created the “Territory of Hawai‘i” and mistakenly referenced our homeland as the Island of Kaua‘i. The involuntary assignment of a name did not erase our identity, as the earliest extant map of these islands, the Island of Sandwich map of 1779 correctly identifies our homeland, not as Kaua‘i, but as the island of Atooi. This correct designation of Atooi confirms the later fraudulent creation of the name of our homeland as Kaua‘i, but this was an ascribed name to our independent island nation. The Island of Ni‘ihau is connected to Atooi geologically and culturally, and has, by custom, always been a part of this same island kingdom.

• We, the customary Chiefs (Ali‘i) who contain the genetic lineage and Koko (blood) of our ancestors, are the living descendents of Atooi. We have possession of our homeland to any person, institution or governing body. All such annexation and illegitimate occupation of our land is therefore an illegal trespass on our rights and lands, continuing since the unlawful coup of 1893.

• In 1993, as chief executive and commander in chief of the United States, President Bill Clinton issued a formal apology on behalf of the United States government and the American people to the people of Hawai‘i, admitting the error and illegality of the original coup. The United States government therefore has the legal obligation, civil duty and moral imperative to restore the kingdom to its rightful heirs and owners. As a native Hawaiian of aboriginal descent and the Ali‘i of the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi, I humbly and respectfully accept the president’s apology, and currently am in reconciliation.

Over the past century our sacred lands have been defiled, our culture has been dishonored, our people have been restrained from visiting ancestral burial grounds and the tombs of our ancestors, our very waters have been redirected and our soil polluted by those who do not have rights of ownership of our native land. Our Royal ancestors were unlawfully subjugated by avaricious foreign businessmen, backed by U.S. government troops, which led to the unethical submission of our native peoples, the loss of our land rights and the near decimation of our culture.

Maintenance of the status quo serves to vitiate our sovereignty, demean our cultural heritage, debase human decency and violates domestic and international laws. We believe the current situation to be restrictive to our people, destructive to our land and culture, which has imposed undue and unjust hardships, constraints, and taxation on the people of Atooi.

We believe our legal, civil and human rights have been violated. We therefore wish to cease being illegally governed by a foreign power and take the necessary steps to restore our rights, freedom and sovereignty.

Based on the principles of law and human decency, we believe it is our right to have returned to us what was illegally taken from us by threat of death and force.

We believe that our cultural heritage has been handed down for innumerable generations by our ancestors, the Ali‘i, the customary chiefs of our people, to the people of Atooi, bestowing their blessings and bequeathing our rights to autonomy and the usage of our communal lands with its attendant natural resources of agricultural lands, mineral and metallic mines, and waters flowing upon, within and around the Kingdom of Atooi.

We believe it is our right and duty to sever whatever ties we deem restrictive and destructive to our land and people, imposed upon us by a government which unfairly and illegally usurped our legitimate rights to self-governance.

We wish to restore the rights, honor and freedoms which are implicit in a legal system of national self-governance and deserved by all inhibitions of the free and independent nation of Atooi, regardless of age, race or ethnicity.

Therefore, as the current Chief Executive of the State of Hawai‘i, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the laws of Hawai‘i, we expect and demand that you abide by those laws and rectify the wrong that has devastated our land and culture. As Governor, it is your legal duty and ethical responsibility to execute the following directives and executive orders:

• An Executive Order for the removal of the artificially created Territory of Hawai‘i from the Kingdom of Atooi.

• An Executive Order for the removal of Executive Proclamation 3309, for footing with the 48 American Republic Union States.
• An Executive Order for the removal of the fictitiously created State of Hawai‘i and its Corporate Subdivision, the County of Kaua‘i (which includes the islands of Atooi and Oneeheow), from the Kingdom of Atooi.
• An Executive Order for the negotiation of all fraudulent courts (including, but not limited to: District, Circuit, Family Courts, etc.) illegally imposed upon the Kingdom of Atooi.

• An Executive Order to allow unimpeded access to our ancestral lands and fisheries on and around the Islands of the Northwestern Islands (the chain of Pacific Islands from Nihoa to Kure) which will remain the property of the United States. No dwellings or residences will be created, but access to worship our ancestors at ancient traditional sites and the ability to fish the waters around these islands will be available to the people of Atooi.

Governor Lingle, as the Chief Executive of the State of Hawai‘i, who has sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the State of Hawai‘i, it is incumbent upon you to fulfill that which is your legal responsibility, your civil duty, as well as your moral imperative to impose justice and right the wrongs which have been unfairly and unlawfully perpetrated upon our ancestors and their descendents.
I, Dayne Aipoalani, believe myself to be, and can document myself to be the Ali‘i Nui, the rightful consanguine heir of my ancestors and as such, have full rights to ownership and governance of this native land and nation. I believe this request and declaration to restore our rightful independence and sovereignty to be supported by international rights and laws.

The Island of Kaua‘i will once again become the free and independent Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi (“the Light of God” in our native language), as a self-governing entity and sovereign nation. Our wish is to have peaceful justice for all people of Atooi. This nation shall be established for the good of all Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian people residing herein, in order to allow such inhabitants, of every ethnicity and culture, to enjoy their well deserved and divinely appointed freedoms, the ability to express their cultures, honor their ancestral lands and preserve their rights to life, autonomy and self-determination.

Your attention to, and compliance with this important legal matter is greatly appreciated. We thank you in advance for adhering to the dictates of the United States Constitution, in righting this wrong and for duly restoring the homelands of Atooi to the lawful heirs and owners. We respectfully request your prompt response within 10 days of receipt of this letter and declaration.

• This commentary was prepared by: Ali‘i Nui Aimokupuni and Government of Atooi, Puna and Kona Districts, Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi Sir Dayne Aleka Nakaahiki Kanakaole Poikauahi Aipoalani, K.V.C.K. Federal Marshal, Atooi, DCCA; Brigadere General 28th ROAB — SAS Rangers Ali‘i, Sir Wiremu O Terangi Carroll, KVCK Royal Order of Kamehameha I, C.K. Federal Marshal MO57254 Representing the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, C.K.


Quest to return Kingdom of Atooi
by Keya Keita  on 11 April 2007 in The Garden Island News

Out of a basement office in ‘Ele‘ele, Dayne Aleka Nakaahiki Kane Kanakaoli Poikauahi Aipoalani is organizing a movement to reclaim the known islands of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau and “all existing mineral, water, oil and liquid rights” from the state and the federal government.

Aipoalani claims that nearly 3,000 people, by word of mouth, have rallied to support his efforts in “righting the wrongs perpetrated by the federal government on the people of ‘Atooi’ (currently known as Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau) after the forced surrender of Queen Lili‘uokalani in 1893,” Aipoalani said.

Aipoalani and his advisers, representing the “native Customary Chiefs” declared in a recent letter to Gov. Linda Lingle that they “expect Atooi to once again be a separate sovereign nation controlled entirely by the rightful heirs and owners, the Ali‘i.”

The autonomous and self-governing kingdom would be called The Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi.

In the letter, Aipoalani also claims his ability to show documentation of his rightful title of Ali‘i Nui, heir to governance and ownership.

In a recent interview with Aipoalani, Kekaha Kupuna and retired teacher Jose Bulatao, supporter Dana Gonzales, executive assistant Freddie Patricio and Wiremu O Terangi Carroll, the group expressed their intention to keep the current residents and county offices on-island — “That’s what separates us from the sovereignty movements that want to kick everyone off. We welcome everyone, including landowners who are already here. Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians. This is about steering the destiny of our people and our land, for the keiki, for the future,” said Aipoalani.

In his “declaration of ownership,” Aipoalani wrote in November 1994, “It is further declared that all known rules and laws pertaining to homestead acts known on the planet earth, are hereby declared invalid on the above listed areas.”

He explains that a “Notice of Trespass” from the state’s Agribusiness Development Corporation dated Jan.19, 2007, sent to his home after he had visited burial grounds, caves and sacred cultural sites on state-owned Kekaha land, further pushed him to seek “his rightful claim.”

Referencing Customary Chiefs in Alaska and the Navajo Nation, Aipoalani and his supporters explained their passionate plight in “bringing light, the light of God, to the people,” and that with the current state of “over-development and disregard for the population is a form of ethnic cleansing. Our people are forced to rent, not own, and move away to the Mainland.”

The group feels the state should be “compelled to uphold the laws and correct a longstanding illegal wrong,” by returning the land and its resources to “the rightful consanguine heir of this native land and nation.”

The group expressed hopefulness in this movement, especially because “this is the age of information, there is a new attitude towards indigenous cultures to pay respect and be sensitive to their suppression that has gone on too long,” said Bulatao.

The Hawaiian Homeland Department visited Aipoalani at one point and offered him land. “They tried to bribe me with a little hill,” he said. “That wouldn’t solve the problem.”

Yet, other movements seeking autonomous rule have accepted similar land offers. In the village led by ‘Bumpy’ Kanahele in Pu‘uhonua O Waimanalo on O‘ahu, The Los Angeles Times quoted Kanahele about the 45 acres given to him by the state to live on with 80 other people and govern on their own, “Standing here on your land, not owing anything to anybody, not being afraid of anyone, knowing you fought the right fight with attitude — and looking out at that. This is the beginning, brah, just the beginning.”

Aipoalani feels accepting land from the state is a limited compromise, and his movement is not willing to work under the state. “It’s a broken system. We need better education, better roads, sustainable food sources, less development,” he said, “something that cannot happen for Kaua‘i unless the entire system changes and the power, the land, changes hands.”

When asked if this movement is willing to work on their goals through the system already in place, Bulatao explained, “We can’t just sit by and say, ‘That’s the way it is,’ we need to be proactive. If we don’t, there will be eventual doom, abuse, and more misuse that our finite resources can’t handle. We are here to take care of the ‘aina.”

While Lingle has acknowledged receiving Aipoalani’s March 5 letter by phone, as well as signed copies of ‘receipt’ from Kaua‘i Mayor Bryan Baptiste and the Kaua‘i County Planning Department of the “declaration of ownership,” the group is still “patiently and confidently” waiting to receive a full response and cooperation from the U.S. government on returning Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau to The Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi and Ali‘i Aipoalani.

The group invites interested supporters, of all ethnic backgrounds, to contact them.