Saturday, November 19, 2022








Giving Thanks for Lā Kuʻokoʻa…
This year, 2022 is the 179th anniversary of an historic moment… November 28, 1843 was the day the United Kingdom (Great Britain) and the Kingdom of France jointly proclaimed their recognition of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign nation — equal in status with the major powers of the world.

In 1843 King Kamehameha III declared November 28 as Lā Kuʻokoʻa, Hawaiʻi Independence Day, a national holiday to be celebrated throughout the Hawaiian Kingdom. For 50 years, Lā Kuʻokoʻa and Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day) were enthusiasticaly celebrated as the prime national holidays.

But in 1894, the self-proclaimed “Republic of Hawaii” adopted the American “Thanksgiving Day” to be celebrated instead of Lā Kuʻokoʻa as part of a deliberate, denationalizing program to erase any celebration of Hawaiʻi as a sovereign, independent country. It almost worked. But about 30 years ago, Uncle Kekuni Blaisdell and a few Hawaiʻi kiaʻi began to remind us and rekindle awareness of our great legacy as an enlightened, independent Hawaiian nation.

Today, Lā Kuʻokoʻa and Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea are proudly celebrated throughout Ko Hawaiʻi Pae ʻĀina... and in other places around the world where Hawaiians live.

You can help to educate others about Lā Kuʻokoʻa. As you gather with ‘ohana and friends for Thanksgiving this year, remember to give thanks for Lā Kuʻokoʻa! Share with your ʻohana this amazing historic achievement of King Kamehameha III and the emissaries he sent on this mission to the opposite side of the globe... Eō!

The Story of Lā Kuʻokoʻa

Approaching the mid-Nineteenth Century, European countries were continuing their centuries-long habit of colonizing lands of native peoples. Pacific Island nations were being swallowed whole by European colonial powers. King Kamehameha III, seeing this trend sought to prevent this from happening to his island Kingdom.

Having declared his Kingdom as a Christian nation in the early days of his reign; with the vast majority of his people embracing Christianity, the King, in 1839, issued a Hawaiian Declaration of Rights; and in 1840, enacted a Constitution for the Hawaiian Islands, balancing Biblical truths and democratic principles of liberty, along with Hawaiian values of aloha ʻāina and mālama pono, as the basis for the governance of the Hawaiian Islands. Thus, Hawaiʻi could not be regared as a heathen nation and was, therefore, immune to colonization under the so-called “Doctrine of Discovery”.

To ensure against colonial ambitions by European powers, King Kamehameha III sent three trusted envoys, Timoteo Haʻalilio, William Richards (Hawaiian subjects) and Sir George Simpson (a British subject) on a mission to America and Europe for the purpose of securing recognition of Hawaii’s sovereignty by the three most powerful nations on Earth, Great Britain, France and the United States.

Led by Haʻalilio, the envoys succeeded! In a formal proclamation issued on November 28, 1843 at the Court of London, representatives of the crowns of the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of France signed a joint proclamation recognizing the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign nation. The United States followed suit several months later.

These acts of recognition meant the Hawaiian Kingdom was accepted, and would be henceforth regarded as, an equal sovereign by the three most prominent members of the exclusive club of sovereign nations, known as “the family of nations.”

The Hawaiian Kingdom was able to pry open the door to “the family of nations,” not only for the Hawaiian Kingdom to enter, but for others to follow a century later.

The good news is that We, the people — the aloha ʻāina — by remembering this day, are the living proof that the sovereign Hawaiian Kingdom that was recognized 179 years ago still exists! And as the lāhui stands up (Kūʻe) here on our ʻāina, proclaiming we still exist, we are blazing a way for liberation of other nations in captivity.
Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono. The sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. 

For the latest news and developments about our progress at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva, tune in to Free Hawaii News at 
6 PM the first Friday of each month on ʻŌlelo Television, Channel 53. 


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Leon Siu

Hawaiian National