The move toward Hawaiian sovereignty is gaining momentum big time.

“Those of us of Hawaiian ancestry should govern ourselves, run our own affairs, on land that is ours, but within the borders of what you would still call Hawai’i,” said Mililani Trask, Prime Minister of the pro-sovereignty organization, Ka Lahui Hawai’i.

“Sentiment is steadily building even among the non-Natives… and I honesty do think it’s going to happen,” said Lulani McKenzie of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Other Native Hawaiians have gone further, calling for complete independence of the island nation from the U.S.

In recent years, dozens of pro sovereignty organizations have sprung up, some with tens of thousands of members. Civil disobedience, protests, legislative battles and even violent incidents are on the rise.

In 1993, the state legislature passed several laws and resolutions acknowledging sovereignty as a goal. The same year, U.S. President Bill Clinton apologized to Native Hawaiians on the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy by the U.S.

“That was a real morale booster… and even better, it provided a potential legal basis for asserting that the American government was wrong and therefore must atone for that wrong,” said an aide to Governor John Waihee, who is the state’s first governor of Native Hawaiian ancestry.

This summer, Hawaiians will have a chance to vote on it: A referendum is being held on whether Native Hawaiians should elect delegates to plan their own government.

Source: The Toronto Globe and Mail