The Na'i Aupuni delegate application asked me to discuss my "Hawaiian-ness" (though I prefer "Kanaka Maoli" or "Kanaka 'Oiwi"). Here is what I wrote on my application. Though I don't usually toot my own horn, I hope the information on this page helps you understand my background and where I stand and makes you feel confident enough to vote for me as a supporter of independent Hawaiian Kingdom restoration and a staunch opponent of "federal recognition." Thank you for reading!
About Uncle Ku
"My Hawaiian-ness began, growing up with my Hawaiian grandmother. Things took a quantum leap when at Kamehameha - as the program called for spending one day a week working at Bishop Museum under Don Mitchell. Working under the same roof as Mary Pukui was indeed significant. Since the 1980s, I have dedicated my life to protecting and advocating for the community in which I lived, the environment, Hawaiian culture and religion, and since the mid 90s - of Mauna Kea and Pohakuloa. History, historic sites and preservation have been important - Kaniakapupu (Kauikeaoulu's summer palace, placed on historic registers) and Uluhaimalama (Lili'u's garden at Pauoa) being two sites I've become intimately acquainted with. From '90 to '93 - I helped Wright Bowman Jr build Hawai'i Loa, the voyaging canoe. From '02 to present - my hiking group Huaka'i i Na 'Aina Mauna has kept me busy getting to know Hawai'i island intimately. In '02 - we had the privilege of hiking from sea level on the Hamakua coast, to the summit of Mauna Kea, then down to sea level and a swim in Luahinewai (Keoua's manhood lost) on the Kona coast. Rare native plants and woods are of import."
Teenage Clarence Ching working at Bishop Museum (at left, next to Kukailimoku). National Geographic, May 1954.
Background & Family
I was born Clarence Fook Tam Ching, on June 27, 1936, in Pauoa, Honolulu.
Through my maternal grandmother, I am 5/16 of the blood. My DNA ascends through all islands, principally Liloa and 'Umi on Hawai'i; Manokalanipo on Kaua'i; and Kakuhihewa and Kuali'i on O'ahu. Also LonoikaHaupu (one of Lili'uokalani's ancestors). I took the name of another of ancestors, Kukauakahi, when I began to study Lua.
I have four children and seven grandchildren, mostly living on O'ahu.
I attended Pauoa Elementary School, then the Kamehameha Schools, graduating in 1954.
I attended B.S. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (chemistry major, zoology minor), 1963 - [ ].
I studied law at the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho from 1976 - [ ], graduating with a J.D..
1955-58 - U.S.A.F. (instructor, clerk, lifeguard).
1963-70 - U.S.A.E.C. (RadioChemist).
1970-'73 - Walston & Co (Stockbroker).
1976-'92 - Attorney (self-employed) in Honolulu.
1986-'90 - OHA (Trustee).
1992 to present - Retired & Activist.
Clarence Ching during his time at OHA.
OHA Trustee, 1986-1990
OHA started in 1980. I served in the second group of trustees. In those days the overall atmosphere of OHA was pro-independence.
Between 1976 and 1980, the voyaging canoe, Hoku'lea, and Sand Island and Kaho'olawe activism, were inspirations for my deeper involvement in Hawaiian culture and community. Before I ran for OHA, I had already dedicated myself to the restoration of the Kingdom. When I was elected I hoped to assist in the restoration of the Kingdom, and continued revival of our culture and spirituality. As a trustee, I worked on the "OHA Blueprint" to connect Hawaiian issues with global issues, and helped negotiate with the "State" for back rents on "ceded lands."
Uncle Ku (Clarence Ching) at a [ ] hearing, with Soli Niheau there in spirit.
Activism & Court Cases
Successfully challenged the proposed Keck Outrigger Telescope on Mauna Kea, along with most of the "Mauna Kea Hui" (see below) and including Nelson Ho of Sierra Club.
Oppose Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, along with the rest of "Mauna Kea Hui": Mauna Kea Anaina Hou (Kealoha Pisciotta), KAHEA, the Case/Flores Ohana (Pua Case and Kalani Flores), Paul Neves, and Debbie Ward) and our attorney - Naiwi Wurdeman. Case recently heard by the Hawai'i Supreme Court.
Plaintiff challenging alleged lease violations by the military at Pohakuloa, along with Aunty Maxine Kahaulelio. Case was heard Sept. 29th at Honolulu 1st Circuit Court.
Cultural Activites & Practices
• One of the Organizers and Board Member of Hawaii's Thousand Friends - from 1980 to 1986.
• The Ohana Radio Show on KCCN with Gard Kealoha, Winona Rubin and Tane Inciong.- from 1976 to 1986.
• 100th Commemoration of the Protest Planting of the Queen's Garden at Uluhaimalama, in Pauoa (1994). (See Uluhaimalama page.)
• Co-Executive Producer (with Jeanette Paulson) of the video,The 'Aina Remains, which includes a re-enactment of the Uluhaimalama planting (1983).
• Was an early (modern times) historic documentor of Uluhaimalama, the Queen's Garden in Pauoa.
• With 2 others (Muriel Seto and archaeologist Buddy Neller), placed Kaniakapupu (King Kamehameha III's Summer Palace in Nu'uanu) on the "State" and Federal Registers of Historic Places, 1986. (See Kanaiakapupu page.)
• Construction crew, with Wright Bowman Jr., of the voyaging canoe Hawai'iLoa from 1990 to 1993.
• Member of PaKu'ia Lua.
• Cultural Advisory Committee, Pohakuloa Training Area, from 2000 to 2013. (See Pohakuloa page.)
• Co-Originator and Leader - Huaka'i I Na 'Aina Mauna cultural and spiritual hiking group on Hawai'i island, 2002 - present. (See Mauna Awakea page.)
• Board of Directors - Pasifika Foundation Hawai'i.
Uncle Ku Ching on the Record
Anti-Akaka Bill (Federal Recognition)
Voices of Truth: Doing it All with Clarence Ku Ching
Uploaded to YouTube Feb. 16, 2007.
Former OHA trustee (when trustees were for independence), athlete, scientist, attorney, politician, activist and cultural practicioner, Ku tells of his unique outlook and activities and why he does what he does as well as his vision for the futre of a Free Hawai`i.
Anti-Akaka Bill (Federal Recognition)
Voices of Truth: Saving the Nation with Leon Siu and Clarence Ku Ching
Uploaded to YouTube Feb. 7, 2007.
Leon and Ku were part of a team that went to Capitol Hill to deliver the message Hawai`i's people were against the Akaka Bill. Better than any thriller, don't miss this behind the scenes blow by blow account as they reveal for the first time exactly what happened in those three days.
Aloha 'Aina - A'ole TMT
Occupy Hawai'i: TMT Testimony - Clarence Ching & Kealoha Pisciotta
Uploaded to YouTube Feb. 14, 2013.
On February 12, 2013 Petitioners Clarence Ching and Kealoha Pisciotta of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou give their oral arguments at the BLNR's final hearing for the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project on Mauna Kea.