The chief executive of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs explained to the media on Monday a disagreement with the organization's trustees over seeking clarification on the legal status of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe told reporters Monday he stands behind a letter he sent to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week, seeking a legal opinion on whether the kingdom continues to exist under international law.
After revealing the letter, all nine trustees signed a different note to Kerry saying Crabbe's letter doesn't reflect their position or the agency's.
"The Hawaiian community needed to know that I was inquiring about the very matters they sought to bring forward," said Crabbe. 'And this is the reason I felt it was imperative not only that I ask the questions but that the community be aware of the inquiry."
Crabbe says he thought he had the blessing of the board's chairwoman before sharing the letter publicly. He says he believes answers to the questions in the letter are crucial for moving forward with pursuing a Native Hawaiian governing entity.
"Despite disagreements that will need to be worked out between myself and OHA's trustees, I am certain that the Board and I stand firmly together in our commitment to do all that we appropriately can to reestablish a Hawaiian nation," said Crabbe.