Ka Lei Maile Aliʻi
The Richard Kekuni Blaisdell Hawaiian National Archive is a project of Ka Lei Maile Aliʻi (KLMA).
KLMA was originally formed as a Hawaiian Civic Club in 2003 to honor the life and legacy of the Hawaiian Kingdom's last reigning monarch, Queen Liliʻuokalani. This work began with the historical re-enactment titled "Ka Lei Maile Aliʻi – The Queen's Women," written by Helen Edyth Didi Lee Kwai and first presented in 2001 at the Kanaʻina Building on ʻIolani Palace grounds. The drama was adapted from a 1897 news article published in the San Francisco Call describing a meeting of the Hui Aloha ‘Āina o Nā Wahine (the Women’s Hawaiian Patriotic League) at the Salvation Army Hall in Hilo to collect signatures for the Kūʻē Petition. In later years, KLMA began displaying a sampling of some 2,000 names from the petition on placards that read "No Treaty of Annexation" to accompany the re-enactment and other community events.
At the annual conventions convened by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, KLMA authored and passed dozens of resolutions that affirmed a true and accurate understanding of Hawai'i's political, legal, and cultural history, and that advocated for progressive change on contemporary social justice issues based on that historical research.
On December 28, 2016, KLMA returned its charter to the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and from 2017–2023 reformed itself as a branch of Ka Ahahui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina (HAA), the Hawaiian Patriotic League. HAA, originally formed on March 4, 1893, successfully blocked a treaty of annexation of the Hawaiian Kingdom to the United States by collecting and submitting the 21,269 signatures of the Kūʻē Petition to the U.S. Congress. The organization was dissolved in 1901 and has been reconstituted as of March 4, 2017 to affirm the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent nation state, and to help revive Hawaiian national identity through anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist education and solidarity work toward an end to the prolonged illegal U.S. occupation of these islands.
KLMA now continues to present historical dramas, as well as host regular public talks to present new research in Hawaiian history and its contemporary implications. The Hawaiian National Archive is another integral platform from which we can remember and claim our kuleana within history, and assert Hawaiian national identity toward a just and pono future for the lāhui.