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Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Fake Indian Tribe Falling Apart: Hawaiian Civic Club Consortium Decision "Null and Void"
By Andrew Walden @ 2:53 AM :: 6866 Views :: Akaka Bill, OHA

by Andrew Walden

The OHA Indian Tribe 'Consortium' is falling apart before it even gets started.  Upset by their Board of Directors' January 17, 2015 decision to join in the push for creation of a fake Indian Tribe, Hawaiian Civic Club members February 20, 2015 filed an internal complaint alleging the Board's action is in direct contradiction to a resolution approved at the Hawaiian Civic Clubs 2014 Convention.

To hear the charges, the Civic Clubs formed an "Investigating Committee" chaired by Lynette Cruz, PhD.  The Committee issued its report February 23, 2015 declaring the Board's decision to join the Consortium, "Null and Void." 

Here are the highlights:

It is alleged by the Ka Lei Maile Ali‘i (KLMA) Hawaiian Civic Club that the AHCC’s Board of Directors and President on January 17, 2015, committed dereliction of duty when it “voted to approve a nation-building partnership with the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Home Lands Assembly (SCHHA) and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) in order to educate communities on constitutions in advance of a delegate election and constitutional convention in complete disregard to the position taken by the 2014 annual Convention.” It is alleged by KLMA that “the action taken by the Board of Directors to advocate a resolution that is in direct conflict with the position endorsed by the Association at its annual Convention in 2014 is in direct violation of Article II (1) (b) of the AHCC’s Constitution, and Articles III (1) (g) and V (1) (d) of the AHCC’s By-laws.” KLMA cited an email dated January 29, 2015 from AHCC’s President to the Board of Directors that stated the action taken by the Board on January 17, 2015 relied on AHCC resolution no. 13-35 of the 2013 annual Convention (Attachment “3”).


Due to the severity of the case before this investigating committee, I am limiting scope of the investigation to one fundamental issue. Do the AHCC’s Constitution and By-laws allow resolutions of past Conventions, other than resolutions passed at the annual Convention, to be recognized and/or advocated by the AHCC’s Board of Directors and President? I will not allow this investigation to go beyond this fundamental and core issue, because it is, I believe, at the heart of KLMA’s resolution of grievance.  This will also prevent allegations, on my part, of political or ideological leanings.


According to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), “There is a presumption that nothing has been placed in the bylaws without some reason for it. There can be no valid reason for authorizing certain things to be done that can clearly be done without the authorization of the bylaws, unless the intent is to specify the things of the same class that may be done, all others being prohibited (p. 589, ll. 34-35, p. 590, ll. 1-5).” Since the provisions only allow advocacy of the actions taken at the annual Convention and not the annual Convention(s), advocating a resolution from a Convention other than the annual Convention is prohibited. 

The language of these provisions must also be understood as a repeal of all past resolutions to be replaced by the position taken at the annual Convention. It has been suggested that it has been common practice for the AHCC to advocate resolutions in the past, but common practice must still be in conformity with the AHCC’s governing documents, which do not provide any provisions to advocate resolutions other than resolutions passed at the annual Convention. The AHCC, however, may advocate the substance of past resolutions so long as it is not in conflict with the position taken by the annual Convention, but it cannot advocate past resolutions themselves. However, it should be stated that if the substance of resolution no. 13-35 had been made into a resolution and passed by the majority of the delegates at the 2014 annual Convention, then the Board’s action taken at its meeting on January 17, 2015 would have been authorized.


For the foregoing reasons, the investigating committee finds that the AHCC’s Constitution and By-laws do not allow resolutions of past Conventions to be advocated and/or recognized by the AHCC’s Board and that the motion taken by the Board at its January 17, 2015 meeting is a dereliction of duty in violation of the AHCC’s Constitution and By-laws. Therefore, according to RONR (11th ed.), p. 343, ll. 14-17, “Motions that conflict with the…constitution, or by-laws…are out of order, and if any motion of this kind is adopted, it is null and void.”...

What effect will this investigation have?  In a February 23, 2015 email to Lynette Cruz and forwarded to the board and presidents of HCC chapters, HCC President Annelle Amaral claims: "the 'investigation' powers of your committee applies (sic) to the 'chartering of clubs' and not beyond that.  It is my hope that the clubs will reject the extraordinary extension of power you have assumed...."


PDF: Report of Hawaiian Civic Clubs Investigating Committee (full text)



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