(c) Copyright 2013
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
INDEX OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES FROM JANUARY 1, 2013 THROUGH MAY 31, 2013; FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM IS BELOW THE INDEX IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
January 6, 2012: The Sunday Honolulu Star-Advertiser published half-page statements written by each of Hawaii's two U.S. Senators and two U.S. House representatives, in which they described their intentions for the 113th Congress and their committee assignments. Senator Schatz and Representative Hanabusa devoted parts of their statements to their intentions regarding the Akaka bill -- the relevant excerpts are provided. Senator Hirono and Representative Gabbard did not mention the Akaka bill, but their support for it is clear from past performance and campaign pledges.
Jan 9: "Hirono, Schatz renew quest for Native Hawaiian measure" Honolulu newspaper reports the Hawaii Congressional delegation will be meeting with the ethnic Hawaiian establishment to get their marching orders.
Jan 10: Hawaii Free Press provides a YouTube video and transcript of Ben Cayetano (Governor, 1994-2002) speaking on January 9 to a Honolulu business luncheon, expressing his opposition to the Akaka bill. See also his 2002 Statehood Day proclamation endorsing unity and equality.
Jan 21: An event was held on the grounds of Iolani Palace yesterday to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Hawaiian revolution that overthrew the monarchy on January 17, 1893. The event featured ex-Governor John Waihe'e and was sponsored by the Kana'iolowalu racial registry, which got some people to sign up.
Jan 22: 3 articles describe the roles Hawaii's Senators and Congresswomen will play in the Democrat Party and in committees related to the Akaka bill. Freshman Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will be a Vice-Chair of the national Democrat Party; Colleen Hanabusa will be ranking member (top Democrat) on the House subcommittee which has authority over the Akaka bill; Senator Brian Schatz will be on the Indian Affairs Committee.
February 1, 2013: OHA monthly newspaper publishes interview with Kawika Riley, OHA's chief lobbyist in Washington regarding the Akaka bill and other priorities.
February 11: OHA introduced a resolution in the state legislature to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the U.S. apology resolution; Ken Conklin testimony offers a satirical legislative resolution calling for repeal of the U.S. apology resolution because it is filled with historical falsehoods and has been used to justify racial entitlement programs and the Akaka bill.
February 12: OHA's chief lobbyist in Washington, Kawika Riley, says Congress has a federal trust obligation to Native Hawaiians and should not cut the budget by abandoning Native Hawaiian racial entitlements in healthcare and education.
March 4, 2013: Hawaii's two Senators and two Representatives meet with each other in Washington to discuss their plans for legislation.
March 7: Congress passed a revised and reauthorized version of the Violence Against Women Act, to protect Indian women living on reservations. This new version is controversial because it gives Indian tribes jurisdiction over non-Indians accused of violent crimes against women on Indian reservations. Doc Hastings, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee which would have jurisdiction over the Akaka bill in the 113th Congress, published some comments about VAWA.
March 13: OHA presents written testimony on a resolution in the state legislature that would put the state on record as recognizing the continuing existence of an independent nation of Hawaii whose descendants are lawfully living in Hawaii. OHA says it supports the right of ethnic Hawaiians to choose for themselves whether to have a state-recognized tribe (Act 195), a federally recognized tribe (Akaka bill), or an internationally recognized nation.
March 18: Colleen Hanabusa (D, HI), only in her second term in Congress, has been chosen as ranking member (head of the Democrats) on the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. In an interview with Indian Country Today, she demonstrated some misperceptions or ignorance about Carcieri, and the Indian Reorganization Act; and she reaffirms her intention to push for the Akaka bill [but has not yet introduced it in the 113th Congress].
March 19: The House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs held an oversight hearing on "Authorization, standards, and procedures for whether, how, and when Indian tribes should be newly recognized by the federal government: Perspective of the Department of the Interior." The hearing comes at a time when there are rumors of a backroom deal whereby President Obama might issue an executive order to give federal recognition to the Akaka tribe. Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior gave written testimony which includes a list of the 7 mandatory criteria for recognition. He said that since the process was established in 1978 the Department has federally recognized 17 Indian tribes and denied 34 groups. Since 2009 there has been one final determination granting recognition and six final determinations denying recognition.
April 2, 2013: According to the OHA monthly newspaper for April, Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is confident Native Hawaiians will receive the federal recognition they deserve and views the Kana'iolowalu registration campaign as a necessary step. However, the racial registry has gotten only 9300 signups since July 2012, far short of the campaign's yearlong goal of 200,000; and they have extended the signup period to January 19, 2014 in hopes of meeting their goal.
April 11: Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., newly inaugurated President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, publishes article entitled "Hawaiians Give Vote of No Confidence to Sovereign Hawaiian Nation." After nearly a year, the Native Roll Commission has signed up only 9300 ethnic Hawaiians for the racial registry Kana'iolowalu, out of the 527,000 ethnic Hawaiians identified in Census 2010.
April 24: At a hearing in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz thanked Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior, for supporting retired Sen. Daniel Akaka's bill that achieves parity for Native Hawaiians.
April 29: OHA, Kamehameha Schools, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, and other race-based programs are spending far less money lobbying in Washington than in recent years, partly because of Congressional gridlock and partly because they are using Hawaii government employees and Hawaiian students in Washington-area colleges to do the lobbying at low cost and in ways that are less visible to public scrutiny.
May 12: A bill that passed the Hawaii legislature and awaits the Governor's signature would allow the Kana'iolowalu racial registry to add the 108,000 signatures from the defunct Kau Inoa registry onto the extremely low number 9300 signatures on the new registry.
END OF INDEX OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES FROM JANUARY 1, 2013 THROUGH MAY 31, 2013; FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM IS BELOW THE INDEX IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
FULL TEXT OF ALL ITEMS INDEXED ABOVE
On Sunday January 6, 2013, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published half-page statements written by each of Hawaii's two U.S. Senators and two U.S. House representatives, in which they described their intentions for the 113th Congress and their committee assignments. Senator Schatz and Representative Hanabusa devoted parts of their statements to their intentions regarding the Akaka bill -- the relevant excerpts are provided below. Senator Hirono and Representative Gabbard did not mention the Akaka bill, but their support for it is clear from other sources described below.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 6, 2013
Schatz to hone in on relevancy, forge relationships, build communications
By Sen. Brian Schatz
** Excerpts relevant to the Akaka bill
** Comment by Ken Conklin: Following the death of Senator Inouye, and at the urging of Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Hawaii Democrat Party acted with extraordinary speed to choose Brian Schatz to replace Inouye and sent him immediately to Washington where he was sworn in on Friday December 28, thereby gaining valuable seniority over 13 other newly elected or appointed Senators who would not take office until January 3. Thus the appointed Schatz will be Hawaii's senior Senator, outranking Mazie Hirono who was elected in November but did not take office until January. As senior Senator, Schatz will have primary responsibility for introducing and pushing the Akaka bill.
"First of all, aloha and happy new year from my family to yours. I look at building the future of our state through work in the United States Congress in three interacting elements. They are engaging in those issues which are most relevant for Hawaii, building relationships within Congress as a unique island delegation, and strengthening communications back home. ... Being a member of the Indian Affairs Committee will enable me to work on issues of importance to Native Hawaiians and all the people of Hawaii. There is a lot of work ahead to accomplish what is right for Native Hawaiians with respect to federal recognition, and I will do my utmost to build from the groundwork that has already been laid by Sens. Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye. We have been at this for some time; there are obstructions; but when you believe that something is right, you work all the harder to achieve it. That is what we will do, together."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 6, 2013
Hirono eyes immigration reform and Hawaii's role in national security
By Sen. Mazie K. Hirono
** Comment by Ken Conklin: Senator Hirono did not mention the Akaka bill. However, she was a cosponsor of it throughout her six years in the House; and during the 112th Congress (2011-2012) she was the principal sponsor of it, following the departure of Representative Abercrobie in mid-2010 to run for Governor. Hirono was also the #1 winner of earmarks benefitting her own state among all 435 members of the U.S. House during the last Congress before earmarks were banned, despite the fact she had extremely low seniority.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 6, 2013
Hanabusa to work on armed services, positioning for Asia-Pacific pivot
By U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
** Excerpts relevant to the Akaka bill
** Comment by Ken Conklin: Rep. Hanabusa, in her second term in Congress, is the senior member of Hawaii's delegation in the House (two members). Thus she will have primary responsibility for sponsoring and pushing the Akaka bill in the House.
"The 113th session of Congress presents Hawaii with new challenges, among them a sudden change in our delegation. Three out of four members occupy new positions, and for the first time in our state's history, we are without the wisdom and guiding hand of Sen. Daniel Inouye. A top priority for me will be helping ensure that Hawaii's delegation is effective in continuing to provide our state with the representation we need at the federal level. ... Beyond those broad priorities, I also begin the new Congress with specific and immediate goals. First among those is the reintroduction of the Akaka Bill in the House of Representatives. We cannot give up on our commitment to providing Native Hawaiians with recognition and self-determination. Although Sen. Daniel Akaka has retired, the bill will always bear his name. I will continue to follow the example he set in championing it in Congress, expending every effort to shepherd the bill through the House, and working with our Senate delegation to achieve Sen. Akaka's dream, and ensure our community's strength. ..."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 6, 2013
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Bringing fresh leadership, continued Aloha spirit to Washington
By U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
** Comment by Ken Conklin: Rep. Gabbard's essay focused on veterans affairs, small business, and tourism; and did not mention the Akaka bill. However, her campaign website during 2011 included very strong language supporting the Akaka bill and also her strategy for protecting Hawaiian racial entitlement programs:
NATIVE HAWAIIAN ISSUES
The fact that our country overthrew the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 is a great injustice and something that weighs heavily on my heart. As I consider this unjust act, I think of my two years working with Senator Akaka, watching him work tirelessly trying to get the Akaka Bill passed into law. Now, that Senator Akaka is retiring, I look to making the passage of this legislation to recognize Hawaiians as an indigenous people one of my top priorities. This is Senator Akaka's legacy and something that's got to be done for the Hawaiian people.
I realize that not everyone supports the Akaka Bill, but at its core, it's about giving Hawaiians some form of self-determination and protecting all the important programs and services for Hawaiians, which are constantly under attack in the courts. Having said that, I want to be clear that my door is always open. I'm willing to sit down and listen to your concerns and/or suggestions about this issue and all issues that affect you and your ohana.
I believe the U.S. government through an act of Congress should more formally recognize the special legal/political status of Native Hawaiians. Pending re-organization of a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, through the process commenced by Act 195 (2011) or a Native Hawaiian-driven process, I would immediately work with the delegation to pass a bill or administrative regulation acknowledging this status, without the government building components that would be difficult to pass at this time.
SENATOR AKAKA'S LEGACY
In 2006, I served as volunteer coordinator for Senator Akaka's re-election campaign. I was then invited to work with him in Washington D.C. I assisted Senator Akaka with programs and legislation directly benefitting Native Hawaiians. Specific efforts included supporting Native Hawaiian 8(a) businesses, and working with Senator Akaka to introduce the Kalaupapa Memorial Act, which passed as part of the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009.
Formal recognition of Indian Commerce Clause status of Native Hawaiians would help reauthorization of these important acts. Additionally, tying such reauthorizations to Native Alaskan health and education acts is good strategy because Republican Don Young of Alaska needs Democratic support. Congresswoman Hirono successfully used this strategy in 2011 to obtain reauthorization of $41 million in education funds for Native Hawaiians.
What really strikes me is that we in Hawaiʻi nei have so much to give our nation and the world. What the world desperately needs right now is the spirit of aloha. This aloha is in our collective DNA as a state. It's what our visitors always comment on when they return to their homes. They say, "Yes, Hawaiʻi is beautiful—spectacular oceans, mountains, valleys, waterfalls… but there's something intangible about the people who live there." Each of us who live here have the potential of being ambassadors of that aloha spirit to offer to the world.
HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS
The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921 isn't working and it needs to be revisited. Hawaiians have every right to be on their land and it's wrong that the DHHL has 200,000 acres of land under their control, but meanwhile people wait for generations to get on the land. We need to think out of the box and look at practical things we can do to free up land, such as loosening the regulations. Many homesteaders don't care about the condition of the land, whether it has water and sewer, etc.
Another problem we've got is that many Hawaiians can't afford the homestead homes that are being offered by DHHL. So, we've got to do a better job of assisting Hawaiians to be financially prepared for home ownership. This speaks to the different programs, like HOAP (Hawaiian Ownership Assistance Program) under DHHL, that need continued federal financial support and appropriate oversight.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 9, 2012
Hirono, Schatz renew quest for Native Hawaiian measure
By B.J. Reyes
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz plans to meet next week with former Gov. John Waihee, chairman of the state Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, to develop a strategy on how to continue the state delegation's pursuit of federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.
In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Schatz and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono pledged to continue the work of their predecessors, U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka, in trying to attain federal recognition for Native Hawaiians similar to that granted Native Americans and Native Alaskans.
Schatz is in prime position to continue the work after being assigned to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
"This is a right thing to do for not just Hawaiians, but everyone in the state of Hawaii," Schatz said. "It's also the right thing to do in terms of national policy, so our delegation is totally unified and dedicated to trying to get this done."
The Akaka Bill, named after its primary sponsor, has passed the House three times but has stalled in the Senate since 2000 because of opposition from conservative Republicans who consider it race-based discrimination. It would create a process for Hawaiians to form their own governing entity and negotiate with federal and state governments on land use and cultural issues.
Hirono noted the measure is supported by the Obama administration and that it is up to the Hawaii delegation to work across party lines to win support.
"A large part of that is going to be a continuing education process," Hirono said. "But we certainly are going to meet as a delegation to see, strategically, how we can proceed."
Despite the best attempts of Akaka and Inouye -- both of whom served on the Indian Affairs Committee, including Akaka as chairman -- the bill has never faced a straight up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.
In one of his final floor speeches, on the day that Inouye's body lay in state at the U.S. Capitol after his death Dec. 17, Akaka urged senators to pass the bill in honor of his late colleague.
"(Inouye) constantly reminded our colleagues in the Senate about our nation's trust responsibilities -- and our treaty obligations -- to America's first peoples," Akaka said. "Dan believed that through self-determination and self-governance, these communities could thrive and contribute to the greatness of the United States."
Schatz and Hirono acknowledged the uphill battle faced by Hawaii's delegation -- one of the most junior in Congress -- and said they have been building relationships across party lines that they feel will be key to getting work done.
"It's going to be a tough road," Schatz said. "We're going to work very hard with the leadership in the state of Hawaii, with Gov. Waihee, who's leading the Roll Commission, with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and with other folks to develop the right approach."
Schatz said he planned to have a strategy session with Waihee in Hawaii next week. Waihee did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.
The commission was established in 2011 to support federal recognition efforts by working to prepare and maintain a roll of qualified Hawaiians, laying the groundwork for forming a Native Hawaiian government.
Hawaii Free Press, January 10, 2012
Cayetano on Akaka Bill: Stop Sending Millions to Washington Lobbyists
Gov. Cayetano on Hawaii politics at Smart Business Hawaii Luncheon January 9, 2013
VIDEO [minutes 9:57 – 12:19 in a video of 14 minutes]:
[Question from audience]
Hawaii Legislature has enacted its own version of the Akaka Bill. The New Congressional delegation has just said that they're going to support the Akaka Bill in Congress. How do you see the Hawaiian separatists and sovereignty and Akaka Bill ending up finally?
Well, the State can't grant sovereignty to anybody, you know. And the only way it can be done is through a truce, a treaty or the U.S. Constitution. I think that it's basically to try and satisfy the group among the Hawaiians who want to see something and give them some hope.
But I've expressed my feelings to Clayton [Hee] and others and I've said anybody takes this thing to court - I don't think they have a prayer. So that's how I feel.
Look, I was born and raised here. I have nowhere else to go. I can't go back to the Philippines. The way I feel, and the way I've always felt is this. I have the same rights as anyone to this land.
I feel strongly that we need to do something to address the problems of Hawaiians created by the annexation of Hawaii to the United States. And we've done that. When I was Governor we appropriated nearly a billion dollars to try and do these kind of things.
And I think at some point I wish that there would be some Hawaiian leaders --it's hard for them I know because this is such an emotional issue -- basically say "You know what, we're gonna stop chasing the Holy Grail, get down to business, educate our children. Spend the money on that instead of sending millions of dollars to lobbyists in Washington."
That's how I feel.
** Note from Ken Conklin: During his final year in office Governor Cayetano issued a formal proclamation in honor of Statehood Day. His message is a strong assertion of his fundamental commitment to basic principles which impel him now to oppose the Akaka bill: "... We are committed to ensuring unity and equality for all of our residents. While we celebrate the differences that define and enrich our island culture, we also treasure our identity as Americans ..." To view his message on official stationery, see:
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 21, 2013
Ex-Gov. Waihee issues call for Native Hawaiian unity
By Sarah Zoellick / email@example.com
To celebrate, to remember, to perpetuate Hawaiian culture and stand together despite differences.
That's why the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission hosted the Huli-a-Mahi celebration Sunday at Iolani Palace, said its chairman, former Gov. John Waihee.
The day's festivities included music, hula, poetry, cultural exhibits and keiki activities to honor Queen Liliuokalani.
"It was just three days and 120 years ago -- for many of us just two generations ago -- that our queen was illegally overthrown right here on this ground," Wai hee told the large crowd gathered on chairs and blankets on the palace lawn. "We are here to remember that. … It's our kuleana to make sure that we never ever forget. Kupaa. Kupaa. We are standing firm."
The event also made available laptop computers and paper forms for people who identify as Hawaiian to register with the roll commission. Since its inception in 2011, the commission has created the Kanaiolowalu initiative to compile a roll of Native Hawaiians who might one day come together as a governing entity. The initiative sponsored Sunday's events.
"It recognizes the Native Hawaiians as indigenous people," Waihee said of the state recognition bill that became law and established the commission. "It recognizes their unrelinquished sovereignty, which the importance of that is that Hawaiian issues are now treated as a matter of nationality instead of race."
Ellen Kama of Kaneohe, who was born and raised on Oahu, registered Sunday for the roll.
The 51-year-old said she heard about the event on the radio and wanted to be involved.
"It's all of us getting reunited," she said.
Maui state Rep. Kaniela Ing (D, Kihei-Wailea-Makena) attended the event with his girlfriend, Sara Ohashi, who signed a petition as a non-Hawaiian supporter of Native Hawaiian sovereignty.
"The missing piece is that the Hawaiians don't have a group to say, 'We will be recognized if recognition occurs,' " Ing explained to her. "The purpose of this roll commission is to establish that base of people."
Ing said he believes state recognition has put Hawaiians in a better position to get federal recognition.
"I think it means unification despite any political differences," he said. "It's important to at least say, 'Hey, we're in this together,' and I think it helps tremendously with our case for federal recognition."
Waihee told the audience that it's important to unify and celebrate sovereignty, even though Hawaiians have differing opinions about it.
"If we all agreed, do you know what it would be called?" he asked the audience. "Boring."
He continued, "You see, we may not all agree on every issue, but we agree on our source. … Hawaii has been ours for over 100 generations, and it will be ours for another 100 or more. So today we celebrate that — we celebrate our unity. Our unity is our source; our unity is the gift that our queen gave us."
The event was broadcast live by Oiwi TV and streamed online at
Anyone interested in registering with the roll or signing the petition can visit
kanaiolowalu.org or call 594-0088 to request a form.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 22, 2013, breaking news POSTED: 12:44 p.m. HST; ** excerpt related to Akaka bill
Gabbard elected to Democratic National Committee leadership
By Tribune Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Freshman Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was among a slate of new leaders elected to the Democratic National Committee today.
Gabbard, elected as a vice-chairwoman, was among the incoming leaders approved after a messy fight that highlighted strains with the White House and the DNC over what should have been a routine election of a new slate of officers.
Gabbard said in a news release that she sees here role as a "great opportunity to let Hawaii's voice be heard on a national platform."
KITV4, January 22, 2013, ** excerpts related to Akaka bill
Hanabusa chosen as ranking member of Native Affairs subcommittee
WASHINGTON —On Tuesday, the Democrats of the House Committee on Natural Resources voted to name Rep. Colleen Hanabusa the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.
"I am proud to have earned the confidence of my colleagues and to have this opportunity to better serve Hawaii," Hanabusa said. "Serving as the subcommittee's ranking member is not just a personal achievement, but one for our state as well. It will give me a chance to continue advocating on behalf our nation's indigenous peoples."
The Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native affairs has exclusive jurisdiction over Native American and Alaska Native issues in the U.S. House of Representatives and oversees all matters regarding the federal trust relationship between the U.S. and tribal governments, measures relating to the welfare of tribes, and the management of lands.
Hanabusa is also now a member of the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, which handles issues related to the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.
KITV4, January 22, 2013, ** excerpts related to Akaka bill
Hirono, Schatz, Gabbard get committee assignments
Sen. Brian Schatz was named to the U.S. Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources, Indian Affairs and Commerce.
Schatz says he will continue the work started by Sen. Daniel Akaka and Sen. Daniel Inouye in the Indian Affairs Committee with regards to Native Hawaiian federal recognition.
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), February 2013, pp. 7 and 13.
** Excerpts related to the Akaka bill
Q&A Kawika Riley
OHA's Advocate in D.C.
Interviewed by Lisa Asato
In the nation's capital, proximity to power brokers is key. As OHA's new Washington D.C. bureau chief, Kawika Riley's office is a stone's throw from
Capitol Hill. "Proximity is important. It's just one of the ways that we can make ourselves available to be partners with the congressional delegation as they represent all of Hawai'i and look to represent Hawai'i's first people," says Riley, 29, whose work experience ranges from being an intern and a fellow
at OHA's D.C. Bureau to being a national spokesman for the Transportation
Security Administration based in Pentagon City, Virginia. Riley, who lives in D.C. with his wife, Lorinda, and 14-month-old son, Kümakani, grew up in Kohala and Kona and has been living on the continent since graduating from Kealakehe High School in 2001. He spoke to KWO in December.
KWO: Your new post is a homecoming of sorts. You're now heading the bureau where you served as an intern and later a fellow. What do you remember most from your previous stints with the bureau?
KR: I had the privilege of working at the OHA D.C. Bureau in 2006, which was the year that Sen. Daniel Akaka's federal recognition bill was debated in the Senate. I learned a lot from that experience, particularly how people who are
opposed to Native Hawaiian rights can exploit the general lack of knowledge in Congress about Native Hawaiians. Because most members of Congress and their staff know very little about Native Hawaiians -- they may be smart
people, but they don't understand us -- extremists who oppose Native Hawaiian rights can exploit them and convince them that if you respect the rights of Native Hawaiians, it will lead to terrible things. They convinced people that supporting Hawaiian rights was racist, and that World War II veterans like Sens. Akaka and Inouye must be unpatriotic if they support
Hawaiian rights. Additionally, they convinced otherwise intelligent people that giving Native Hawaiians the option of federal recognition would "unravel" our
country, even though it's been done over 560 times for different American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. ...
KWO: You also have ties to Tulsi Gabbard, Hawai'i's newest congresswoman?
KR: Yes. Tulsi and I worked together for Sen. Akaka. I saw her just last week and we were joking about how many years it'd been since we were working on speeches together in the Senate.
KWO: What are the D.C. bureau's priorities for the coming year?
KR: To advocate for Native Hawaiians at the federal level and to raise the federal policymaking community's level of understanding about who Native Hawaiians are and what our rights are. For example, senators from the other
49 states seldom realize that Native Hawaiians are also their constituents --Native Hawaiians live in every one of the 50 states. Overall, our priorities are stronger engagement with the executive branch of the federal government;
congressional advocacy, including partnering with the Hawai'i delegation
and educating all members of Congress; creating an internship program that gives Native Hawaiians experience in the federal government; establishing a
pipeline to increase the number of Native Hawaiians in public service; strengthening our alliances across D.C., especially with our native peers; and conducting policy analysis in areas that will help OHA improve the lives of
KWO: Is the Akaka bill a priority?
KR: It's a priority of ours but it's not the only priority. There are dozens and dozens of bills pending in Congress affecting Native Hawaiians in the areas of health, education, business opportunities, our indigenous status, and our
self-determination -- to mention the Akaka bill; but we can't just look at one of those bills, we need to look broadly at the way that we can advocate and serve our community.
KWO: Are these bills in Congress exclusive to budget?
KR: Not just budget; different types of legislation. And also it's not just pro-Hawaiian bills. There are a number of bills in Congress right now that would defund Native Hawaiian programs, that would repeal Native Hawaiian programs and so you have this unfortunate faction of one political party (GOP) that wants to not just stop Native Hawaiians from advancing but to roll back the rights and the resources that we already have. Some of the extreme elements of that party have forgotten that their own heroes --President Reagan for example -- helped establish programs for Native Hawaiians. ...
Hawaii Political Info, February 11, 2013
Hawaii Reporter, February 11, 2013
U.S. Apology Resolution 20th Anniversary -- Repeal It, Don't Celebrate It!
by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
The U.S. "apology resolution" (USAR) refers to P.L.103-150, a joint resolution passed in Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1993 -- a resolution of sentiment commemorating the centennial of the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 and apologizing to Native Hawaiians for the U.S. role in the overthrow of the monarchy. Full text of USAR, and a comparison of it with the full text of the Newlands Resolution of 1898 whereby the U.S. accepted the Treaty of Annexation offered by the Republic of Hawaii, can be found at
In the Hawaii legislature regular session of 2013, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has submitted a concurrent resolution (companion House and Senate resolutions HCR6 and SCR2) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the apology resolution. Text of the proposed Hawaii legislature concurrent resolution is at
On February 10, 2013 Ken Conklin submitted testimony opposing HCR 6 to the State of Hawaii House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs for its hearing scheduled for Wednesday February 13. The testimony is in the form of a new resolution (below) which could be substituted for the original one, along with extensive footnotes.
The best thing about HCR 6 is that it uses the word "commemoration" rather than "celebration." A commemoration is a remembrance of an event which might be celebrated or deplored, depending on what happened. For example, every year we commemorate the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which President Roosevelt called "A day that shall live in infamy." When it comes to the USAR, Nov. 23, 1993 is the day that shall live in infamy because that was the date when President Clinton signed it.
The U.S. apology resolution should be repealed, not celebrated. It is filled with falsehoods about history, and it has been used for many bad purposes which Senator Inouye promised his colleagues it would not be used for. It is cited repeatedly in the Akaka bill as the main justification for passing that bill -- this alone is a good reason to repeal the apology resolution.
TESTIMONY IN OPPOSITION AND PROPOSED AMENDMENT (GUT AND REPLACE)
To convey my reasons for opposing this resolution, I am providing below a
proposed amendment to HCR6 and SCR2 in the nature of a substitute (a process sometimes called "gut and replace"). Each "whereas" clause contains one or two footnotes providing extensive documentation to prove what is asserted.
Whereas the U.S. apology resolution (USAR) PL 103-150 incorrectly apologizes solely to Native Hawaiians for the U.S. role in overthrowing the monarchy in the Hawaiian revolution of 1893, but any apology (if owed at all) should be directed to all the multiracial population of Hawaii in 1893; and whereas the apology should especially include the large numbers of
Caucasians who were native-born or naturalized subjects of the Kingdom, many of whom served as judges, members of the legislature, and were a majority of department heads, teachers and officers of the government; and whereas the racially exclusive apology creates divisiveness because it causes ethnic Hawaiians to believe they are entitled to racially exclusive ownership of Hawaii and racially exclusive government handouts [n#1]; and
Whereas USAR is filled with twisted half-truths and outright falsehoods about the history of Hawaii and especially the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 [n#2]; and
Whereas Senator Inouye assured his colleagues during the floor debate in 1993, that USAR would never be used to justify a demand for secession, [n#3] yet numerous Hawaiian sovereignty groups have been using it that way for 20 years [n#4]; and
Whereas Senator Inouye assured his colleagues during the floor debate in 1993, that USAR would never be used to justify demands for restitution in the form of special race-based government handouts; [n#5] yet USAR has been cited in the "findings" preambles of every major bill introduced by Senators Inouye and Akaka to provide federal recognition to Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe, and to provide special race-based programs in housing,
healthcare, education, etc. [n#6]; and
Whereas USAR has prompted many ethnic Hawaiians to clog the courts with bogus assertions that the federal and state governments are illegal in Hawaii and hence lack jurisdiction over them to enforce requirements for vehicle registrations and driver licenses [n#7]; and
Whereas activists have used USAR to insist the U.S. flag must not fly over 'Iolani Palace, to assert ethnic Hawaiian takeovers of the Palace, and to oppose government regulations for use of Palace grounds[n#8]; and
Whereas USAR has been used in two different campaigns a decade apart by a Hawaiian sovereignty activist in collaboration with realtors to perpetrate a scam by asserting that the "illegal overthrow of the monarchy" means that deeds to private property are not valid unless re-certified by the activist acting as an agent of the Hawaiian kingdom, and clients are charged around $2,000 for a bogus title search, and bogus documents are filed with the Bureau of Conveyances placing a cloud on valid deeds, and ignorant clients are persuaded to stop paying mortgages on the theory that the mortgages are not valid, and title insurance companies are sued to pay the clients when mortgages are foreclosed [n#9]; and
Whereas USAR caused local and federal courts to be tied up for a decade in a ceded lands lawsuit filed by OHA and several individual ethnic Hawaiians where the USAR was the primary focus of attention, and a 5-0 decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court was overturned by a 9-0 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court [n#10]; and
Whereas the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs held two months of hearings in 1894 with testimony under oath and cross-examination regarding the U.S. role in the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 and concluded that U.S. peacekeepers had neither caused nor assisted the revolution; and whereas a joint House/Senate Native Hawaiians Study Commission reached the same conclusion in 1983 following two years of public hearings and extensive commentaries by experts[n#11]; and
Whereas the people of Hawaii are disgusted by the gross abuse of the U.S. apology resolution to attack the sovereignty of the State of Hawaii and to disrupt the unity and equality of our people [n#12];
Now therefore BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-seventh Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2013, the Senate concurring, that the Legislature hereby expresses its desire that PL103-150, commonly known as the apology resolution, be rescinded; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we ask both of Hawaii's U.S. Senators and all their colleagues, and both of Hawaii's Members of Congress and all their colleagues, to introduce and actively support appropriate legislation to rescind PL103-150; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the Governor of the State of Hawaii, and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
** Author's note: The footnotes are detailed, lengthy, valuable resources to prove the points made in the "whereas" clauses. See the complete testimony including the footnotes at
Honolulu Civil Beat, February 12, 2013
Upholding the Federal Government's Responsibility to Native Hawaiians
By Kawika Riley
Recently, the National Congress of American Indians, the largest and oldest Native American organization in the U.S., released its federal budget request for the next fiscal year. While the NCAI focused on federal programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives, it also stated its strong support for Native Hawaiian federal programs.
For this, we are grateful to our American Indian and Alaska Native brothers and sisters. With the current fiscal landscape, there could be no better time to remind Congress of the federal government's obligation to fulfill its trust responsibilities to Native Hawaiians.
Funding for Native Hawaiian programs is part of the federal government's trust obligation to Native Hawaiians— an obligation codified in national law. Ronald Reagan clarified this 25 years ago when he signed the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act, both of which affirmed the federal trust obligation to Native Hawaiians.
Before anyone in the U.S. House of Representatives talks about rolling these programs back, they would do well to recall the legacy of President Reagan, a conservative hero. Indeed, respecting the rights of Native Hawaiians should be a bipartisan issue.
Despite these facts, there will be some in Congress who will attack Native Hawaiian rights under the cloak of fiscal responsibility. The reality, however, is that there is nothing fiscally responsible about the federal government denying its obligations.
Any reduction in federal funding inappropriately transfers the federal government's duties onto the State of Hawaiʻi and the people of Hawaiʻi. Like other states, Hawaiʻi cannot afford to fulfill the federal government's duties.
Those who want to eliminate Native Hawaiian rights would have us believe that if we destroy Native Hawaiian federal programs, we can balance the federal budget. But the numbers don't support this assertion. If the federal government defunded every Native Hawaiian federal program, it would make no meaningful impact on the deficit.
The Native Hawaiian Health Care Act, Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands Block Grants combined total less than 1/250th of one percent of the federal debt. Clearly we cannot balance the federal budget on the backs of the Native Hawaiian people.
Over the long term, cutting Native Hawaiian federal programs would likely increase the federal deficit, while maintaining them would be a smart investment.
Cutting Native Hawaiian education programs will lead to fewer opportunities for Native Hawaiians to contribute to the economy as skilled, college-educated employees. Similarly, cuts to Native Hawaiian health programs will likely increase the incidence of preventable illnesses and thereby increase health care costs— the heaviest burden of which would fall on the people of Hawaiʻi.
The fiscally and morally responsible course is for Congress to maintain funding for Native Hawaiian programs, while Hawaiian-serving agencies and organizations continue efforts to be more effective.
We have already seen Native Hawaiians use federal investments to develop and sustain successful programs that work for our community and that offer models for other indigenous peoples. Successes in Hawaiian language immersion ('Aha Pūnana Leo), diabetes prevention (Department of Native Hawaiian Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine) and leadership training (MAʻO Farms) are solid examples.
Today, we thank the National Congress of American Indians for supporting Native Hawaiians. But tomorrow, all of us must be prepared to forcefully dismiss those who will argue that the federal government can abandon its responsibilities to Native Hawaiians in the name of fiscal responsibility. If we do not, Hawaiʻi will be burdened with the federal government's responsibilities and the social and financial consequences of unfulfilled obligations.
About the author: Kawika Riley is the Washington DC Bureau Chief for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He teaches at the George Washington University's Native American Political Leadership Program.
Hawaii News Now (3 Hawaii TV stations), March 4, 2013
Hawaii's delegation talks strategy on Capitol Hill
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Hawaii Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Senator Brian Schatz, Representative Colleen Hanabusa, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard met Monday afternoon in Washington D.C.
Hawaii's delegation discussed working together on upcoming legislation in their committee areas, the Akaka Bill and other important issues for the state and its economy.
"Hawaii's delegation is small but our strength has always been our teamwork and ability to work together. Since starting this new Congress, each of us has been focused on delivering results for our state and we have been working closely to coordinate those efforts. I will continue to partner with our great team to ensure Hawaii's voice is heard in Washington," said Senator Mazie K. Hirono.
"Working together as a delegation makes us stronger for the people of Hawai`i," said Senator Brian Schatz. "Whether it's ensuring that we continue our economic recovery or making Hawai'i the test bed for clean energy nationally and internationally, I'm committed to continuing the tradition started by Senators Inouye and Akaka of working hand-in-hand with the entire delegation in order to better serve Hawai'i."
"I am pleased that we were able to gather as a delegation to outline some of our priorities for the 113th Congress, and ensure everyone is on the same page," said Rep. Hanabusa. "Because of our different committee assignments, I am hopeful this will be a productive session and I look forward to continuing to work together for the people of Hawaii."
"Each of us brings a unique background and skill set to Congress, and we are collectively working hard to make sure that Hawai'i is well-served, by protecting our kupuna, growing our economy through supporting small business, reducing our national deficit, and investing in clean energy, education and infrastructure. Our meeting today is just one of many we will hold to determine how best we can serve the people of Hawai'i together," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
Hawaii Free Press, Thursday, March 07, 2013
Akaka Tribe Could Receive Legal Jurisdiction Over Non-Tribal Members
by Andrew Walden
Thanks to the recent passage of the so-called Violence Against Women Act, (supported by all four members of Hawaii's Congressional Delegation) the Akaka Tribe, if formed, could exercise legal authority over non-Tribal members. Here's the rundown from Rep Doc Hastings (R-WA) who is continuing the long Republican tradition of protecting Hawaii from Hawaii's elected officials....
Chairman Hastings Statement on the Violence Against Women Act
News Release WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2013
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):
"During my service in Congress representing Central Washington, I have always voted to renew the Violence Against Women Act. As a husband, a father, and a grandfather, I strongly believe that providing protection for all women against domestic violence is a duty and a priority. Yet I am deeply dismayed by the manner in which the current reauthorization of this legislation, which has long been a simple grant program, has been hijacked in order to pursue unrelated political agendas in very harsh politicized terms."To be blunt, the bill that passed today is simply unconstitutional. It violates Constitutional rights of individuals and would, for the first time ever, proclaim Indian tribes' 'inherent' authority to exercise criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian citizens. The Supreme Court has ruled multiple times that tribes do not have this authority.
"In a tribal court, Constitutional protections and the Bill of Rights do not apply. Under the bill, a non-Indian citizen tried in a tribal court has no right to appeal to a federal court, lacks the guarantee of due process, has no right to an impartial trial by jury of one's peers, and more. A vote in favor of the bill was a vote to deny U.S. citizens their Bill of Rights.
"There is no doubt the bill will be struck down in court. This would result in guilty offenders going unpunished, while women are delayed from getting the help and justice they deserve.
"The manner in which this bill has been considered by Congress has been far from deliberate. In fact, it can best be described as a political stampede. Some of the most fundamental individual rights of American citizens guaranteed by the Constitution and particularly the Bill of Rights are being trampled. Thoughtful questions and genuine efforts to propose Constitutional means of protecting Indian women from abuse have invited harsh, highly-politicized attacks that one actually does not object to, and perhaps even favors, such horrible crimes. According to the well-known adage, George Washington explained to Thomas Jefferson that he supported creation of the Senate to serve a purpose similar to pouring tea into a saucer to cool it before drinking. That legislation is poured into the Senate saucer to cool it. The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act has become so highly politicized that it proved too hot for the Senate saucer and for the People's House.
"While I fully support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, I could not vote for a bill that denies basic rights, is unconstitutional and will be tied up in court challenges for years."
Testimony on House Concurrent Resolution 50 in the State of Hawaii legislature, March 13, 2013
Office of Hawaiian Affairs [official stationery]
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) offers the following comments on
HCR50 and HR32, which would:
* Formally recognize "Hawaiian Nationals" (defined in HCR50 and HR32 to
include lineal descendants of Hawaiian Kingdom subjects, anyone born in
the Hawaiian Islands, or anyone naturalized through a formal process) as
the authentic heirs, beneficiaries, and body politic of the continuing
Hawaiian Kingdom; and
* Formally recognize the right of Hawaiian Nationals to organize and restore
their national government in the Hawaiian Islands; and
As OHA has learned through its stakeholder summits and meetings regarding Native Hawaiian governance, the Native Hawaiian community generally agrees that the Hawaiian people's claims to inherent sovereignty have never been relinquished. The Native Hawaiian community also generally agrees that repatriation of that unrelinquished inherent sovereignty is just and overdue.
The community has not yet, however, arrived at a general consensus
regarding the best way to repatriate its unrelinquished inherent sovereignty.
Specifically, the community has not yet reached a consensus about whether it should seek formal acknowledgment of its inherent sovereignty through state, federal or international legal mechanisms, or some combination of the three.
When this Legislature passed Act 195 in 2011, it formally recognized the
Native Hawaiian people as the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of
Hawaiʻi and established a Native Hawaiian Roll Commission responsible for
preparing a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians who will be eligible to participate in the process of reorganizing a government for purposes of self-governance.
Consistent with Act 195, subsequent decisions about how to reorganize the
government and whether to obtain state, federal and/or international recognition of the reorganized government will be made by the convened enrolled members and advanced through additional action.
OHA believes that the Native Hawaiian people should be given the
opportunity to come together to discuss these fundamental questions about who is a member of the lāhui and what its collective destiny should be. It is our hope that the Act 195 enrollment process culminates in a productive convention where Native Hawaiians with differing beliefs and opinions can unite to move forward with self-determination and self-governance. OHA is committed to facilitating and supporting this important dialogue to the best of its ability.
Mahalo for the opportunity to testify on this important issue.
Indian Country Today, March 18, 2013
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Member of Indian Subcommittee, Talks Indian Idealism and Gaming Threats
by Rob Capriccioso
** Photo of Hanabusa with Akaka
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), elected to the House in 2010, has quickly found herself appointed the new ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, and she's set to become a strong force on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian issues in the months to come. In an interview with Indian Country Today Media Network, she shared her thoughts on being idealistic on a clean Carcieri fix, dealing with the tough Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), and overseeing the Department of the Interior, which she says has "blown it" on some tribal issues.
What excites you about your new leadership position on the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs?
As you know, we've recently lost our two senators from Hawaii [Sen. Daniel Akaka retired in January and Sen. Daniel Inouye passed away in December], and they were big advocates for Indian country and Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. It is so thrilling to continue in their footsteps. There is also a very humbling part to all this. How it works in the House, for someone like myself, basically just in my second term—there are many others with seniority. I came in during the 112th Congress, so I was 13th in terms of seniority on the committees. Some of my colleagues stepped aside so that I could be ranking member of this subcommittee. They felt that these issues were so important to me that they stepped aside. That is an amazing and humbling experience.
Was this a role you planned on having so soon?
The only way I got an idea that this could happen was when Congressmen Lujan and Boren came up to me one day and said to me that they felt I should go for this position. I was stunned, because I don't really have the seniority in the committee to be able to say it's mine. They said they would help in any way, and they did. In addition, I had the support of Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska), who has also been very supportive of me during my time in Congress.
Rep. Young has a reputation of sometimes being quite tough, especially toward Democrats—it sounds like you have a strong relationship?
You know, I believe it is [a strong relationship]. I believe that when you look at not only Congressman Young, but at the history of Alaska and Hawaii, there's always been a special bond there. I don't know whether it's because we're the two non-contiguous states, or whether it's the timing of when we both became states, or if there is some unwritten rule that we would work together, but it has not been a challenge, as others have had, to work with Congressman Young. Even as a new kid on the block, he always welcomed me. He's been supportive.
Do you see Indian issues as being able to continue to be bipartisan in this politicized Congress?
I would like to think that, but the issue gets a bit cloudy when there's the interjection of gaming into the equation. Whenever a tribe has issues with land exchanges and issues of tribal recognition – and of course we still haven't cured the Carcieri issue – I always see somewhere lurking, a township, a county, or someone else objecting. The reason for their objection has tended to be on the gaming rights issue. When you see the Carcieri [2009 U.S. Supreme Court] decision, and the lacking ability the Department of the Interior now has to take land into trust for tribes, I feel like gaming is one of the issues that breaks it away from bipartisan consideration.
Since the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, tribal gaming has been the law of the land, but some politicians on both sides of the aisle want to tinker with that law. How do you personally feel about Indian gaming?
I feel that Indian gaming is part of the rights, which are inherent to the tribes and the recognition of them. I do not feel that we, Congress, should in any way step in or limit or redefine those rights.
You mentioned Carcieri and the gaming-related component there, but the case actually involves the Narragansett Tribe's ability to get lands placed into trust for non-gaming related housing development. You recently sponsored a bill for a Carcieri fix—what makes you confident that your legislation will overcome the gaming-related hurdles?
I don't know if confident is the exact word. It's the same basic bill that Sen. Akaka offered when he chaired the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and I am hoping it will carry. The concern I have is that we have seen other Carcieri bills offered from the other side of the aisle, and they also haven't been able to be successful. I am confident that my bill is the right version of the bill. Other versions have had elements of Native Alaskans also in there, and I think that that muddies the situation. There is still discussion on whether that would be the appropriate way to assist the Native Alaskans. I think what we need to do is join hands both on the Democratic and Republican sides, and move it out of committee—that will rely on Congressmen Markey, Young, and Doc Hastings. I think a clean Carcieri fix is the version that everyone can get behind and move forward.
Clarify for me, if you will, the Alaska Native provisions of your bill—what does it do there?
It doesn't mention them. You have seen versions in the 112th that said a Carcieri fix would not apply to Alaska Natives. When I say my bill is a clean Carcieri fix, it just addresses the 1934 [Indian Reorganization Act] issue and what the Secretary of Interior has done subsequent to that.
There have been some folks who say if this is going to move, it might have to be compromised—maybe gaming will need to be limited for tribes in a particular region to appease certain politicians or other big-gaming tribes, or maybe off-reservation gaming will need to be limited. How do you feel about going down the compromise route?
I'm of the opinion that it should be clean and not compromised. I don't believe it's Congress' place to impose that on any Indian tribe. The [Indian Reorganization Act] was never intended to be limited to applying to tribes only recognized after 1934. I don't believe Congress should be able to dictate how tribes are going to be able to have their lands.
So if someone said Rep. Hanabusa is being too idealistic, that the perfect might be the enemy of the good here for many tribes, what would you respond?
I would say that if the tribes come forward and say they want their rights limited, then Congress would have the obligation to look at that. But that's different than if we in Congress oppose it, trying to impose our will on the tribes.
In your role, you will be overseeing the Department of the Interior and what they do on Indian affairs—are there concerns on your radar that you want the Department to address?
I've always been someone who believes that Departments require strong oversight. This Department has a trust relationship with tribes, so Congress must work to ensure that it is carrying out its fiduciary duties properly. I have been concerned – even on the issues involving the Cobell settlement – you wonder, how did this come to be? And is this being executed properly? Because of the unique obligation the government has to Indian country, we have the obligation to ensure that the Department is acting in the right manner. If they hadn't blown it in the past, we wouldn't be in this position. They have brought the scrutiny upon themselves.
Do you think Democrats should be critical of the Obama administration, pushing for improvements for Indian country, such as increased economic development tribal initiatives?
I believe Democrats should be. I don't think this needs to be a partisan issue. I'd like to think if the administration is incorrect on an issue, we should be there asking for accountability and transparency.
Sens. Akaka and Inouye spent much of their time in Congress working to achieve Native Hawaiian recognition, but they did not succeed. Are you going to be successful in that area?
We are going to have to hope that they have laid a sufficient groundwork to build on. A political relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States is necessary in order for various entitlements and trusts, such as in education, at home to survive. I hope that the other Native peoples in the United States will assist us in moving it forward. I think we should ask for the recognition, and ask for the right of self-determination. We've had insertions in the legislation to prohibit gaming because that was necessary to get some support. We are different than Native Americans because we do not have the same historical treaty relationships with the federal government. So we do not have the same gaming rights, like those we discussed earlier. But we are a Native people, and we are entitled to the recognition.
** Note from Ken Conklin: For about a year there have been rumors that the Hawaiian racial establishment is working with the Obama administration to develop an executive order to give federal recognition to the Akaka tribe, because the Akaka bill has failed in Congress for 13 years and the process established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs is too slow and cumbersome (and, most importantly, there's no way ethnic Hawaiians could satisfy all 7 of the mandatory criteria to achieve recognition). Toward the end of 2012 Senator Akaka, as chair of the Indian Affairs Committee, held a hearing on the BIA process. Now the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs has held an oversight hearing on "Authorization, standards, and procedures for whether, how, and when Indian tribes should be newly recognized by the federal government: Perspective of the Department of the Interior" The hearing adds fuel to the speculation about a backroom effort to recognize the Akaka tribe, because the Hawaii delegation has not yet introduced the Akaka bill in the 113th Congress (what are they waiting for?). Furthermore, the chair of the subcommittee is Don Young of Alaska who has consistently supported the Akaka bill, and the ranking member is Hawaii Representative Colleen Hanabusa.
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Oversight Hearing on "Authorization, standards, and procedures for whether, how, and when Indian tribes should be newly recognized by the federal government: Perspective of the Department of the Interior"
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Watch the archived hearing webcast
The sole witness was Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Here is his written testimony:
Good morning Chairman Young, Ranking Member Hanabusa, and Members of the Subcommittee. My name is Kevin Washburn, and I am a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, and currently serve as the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior (Department). Thank you for the opportunity to provide the Department's views on Federal acknowledgment of Indian tribes.
Implications of Federal Acknowledgment
The acknowledgment of the continued existence of another sovereign entity is one of the most solemn and important responsibilities undertaken by the Department. Federal acknowledgment permanently confirms the existence of a nation-to-nation relationship between an Indian tribe and the United States.
The decision to acknowledge an Indian tribe often involves input from a number of parties including other Indian tribes and state, and local governments. Once federally acknowledged, the tribe is generally eligible for federal services and programs and other rights as recognized by federal law. In 1994, Congress confirmed that federal agencies must not make distinctions among federally-acknowledged tribes.
Background of the Federal Acknowledgment Process
The Department's process for acknowledging an Indian tribe is set forth at 25 C.F.R. Part 83, "Procedures for Establishing that an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe." (Part 83 Process) This process provides for the Assistant Secretary to make a decision on whether to acknowledge a petitioner's nation-to-nation relationship with the United States. These
regulations include seven "mandatory" criteria, by which a petitioner must demonstrate that:
(a) It has been identified as an American Indian entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1900;
(b) A predominant portion of the petitioning group comprises a distinct community and has existed as a community from historical times until the present;
(c) It has maintained political influence or authority over its members as an autonomous entity from historical times until the present;
(d) It has provided a copy of the group's present governing document including its membership criteria;
(e) Its membership consists of individuals who descend from an historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity, and provide a current membership list;
(f) The membership of the petitioning group is composed principally of persons who are not members of any acknowledged North American Indian Tribe; and,
(g) Neither the petitioner nor its members are the subject of congressional legislation that has expressly terminated or forbidden the federal relationship.
The Department considers a criterion satisfied if the available evidence establishes a reasonable likelihood of the validity of the facts relating to that criterion. This consideration does not mean that the Department applies a "preponderance of the evidence" standard to each petition. A petitioner must satisfy all seven of the mandatory criteria in order for the Department to
acknowledge the existence of a group as an Indian tribe.
The Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA) is located with the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs and makes acknowledgment recommendations to the Assistant Secretary. OFA is currently staffed with a Director, an administrative assistant, four anthropologists, four genealogists, and four historians. Generally, a team composed of one professional from each of these three disciplines reviews each petition.
Recent Actions Under the Acknowledgment Process
The Department has issued twelve decisions on acknowledgment petitions since 2009. These include five proposed findings and seven final determinations. Of these final determinations, the Department issued a positive decision acknowledging the Shinnecock Indian Nation in New
York. The six negative final determinations were as follows:
* October 27, 2009 final determination not to acknowledge the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana (#31).
* March 15, 2011 final determination not to acknowledge the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation (#84A).
* March 15, 2011 final determination not to acknowledge the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians (#84B).
* April 21, 2011 final determination not to acknowledge the Choctaw Nation of Florida.
* March 23, 2012 final determination not to acknowledge the Central Band of Cherokee.
* September 9, 2012 final determination not to acknowledge the Brothertown Indian Nation (#67).
Since the establishment of the Part 83 Process in 1978, the Department has issued 53 final determinations and 7 reconsidered final determinations. Overall, the Department has federally recognized 17 Indian tribes and denied 34 groups.
The Department currently has 9 petitions under active consideration, and 4 petitions awaiting active consideration. In addition, 265 groups have submitted only letters of intent or partially documented petitions, and are not ready for evaluation.
In the foreseeable future, the following proposed findings may be issued:
* Southern Sierra Miwuk.
* Muscogee Nation of Florida.
* Meherrin Indian Tribe.
* Pamunkey Indian Tribe.
Recent Actions in Addition to the Acknowledgment Process
The Part 83 Process is used by the Department to acknowledge Indian tribes that "are not currently acknowledged as Indian tribes by the Department." The Department may also reaffirm a nation-to-nation relationship with tribes by rectifying previous administrative errors by the Bureau to omit a tribe from the original Federal Register list of entities recognized and eligible to
receive services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs or by resolving litigation with tribes that were erroneously terminated.
Early in the first term of President Obama's Administration, then Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk committed to consider requests for the reaffirmation of tribal status for those tribes that were not included on previous lists of federally recognized tribes due to administrative error. After a careful review of information submitted over a period of years, Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk reaffirmed the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Tejon Indian Tribe in December 2011. The Tejon Indian Tribe had been omitted from the 1979 list of Indian tribes due to a unilateral administrative error on the part of the United States.
In 2009, the Department, working with the Department of Justice, entered into an agreement as part of the settlement of litigation to restore the United States government-to-government relationship with the Wilton Rancheria. The Wilton Rancheria had been erroneously terminated by the United States under the California Rancheria Act of 1958, Pub. L. No. 85-671, amended by Pub. L. No. 88-419. The settlement agreement, and the corresponding court order, provides that the Wilton Rancheria is restored to the same status it enjoyed prior to the distribution of its trust assets, and that the Tribe is entitled to any of the benefits or services provided or performed by the United States for Indian tribes.
Principles Guiding Improvements in the Federal Acknowledgment Process
Some have criticized the Part 83 Process as expensive, inefficient, burdensome, intrusive, less than transparent and unpredictable. The Department is aware of these critiques and, as we have previously indicated, we are reviewing our existing regulations to consider ways to improve the
process to address these criticisms. Based upon our review, which includes consideration of the views expressed by members of Congress, former Department officials, petitioners, subject matter experts, tribes and interested parties, we believe improvements must address certain guiding principles:
* Transparency – Ensuring that standards are objective and that the process is open and is easily understood by petitioning groups and interested parties.
* Timeliness – Moving petitions through the process, responding to requests for information, and reaching decisions as soon as possible, while ensuring that the appropriate level of review has been conducted.
* Efficiency – Conducting our review of petitions to maximize federal resources and to be mindful of the resources available to petitioning groups.
* Flexibility – Understanding the unique history of each tribal community, and avoiding the rigid application of standards that do not account for the unique histories of tribal communities.
We have created an internal workgroup that is closely examining these suggestions and developing options to improve Part 83. The workgroup is also considering processes to implement 25 U.S.C. § 473a, also known as the Alaska amendment to the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934, which provides that groups of Indians in Alaska not recognized prior to 1936
may organize under the IRA if they satisfy certain criteria.
The Department is working toward a goal of distributing a discussion draft of the Part 83 regulation this Spring. We plan to make the discussion draft available to the public for comment, to consult with federally recognized tribes and to meet with non-federally recognized groups for their input. Following this first round of consultation and public input, we will further revise the draft to address comments received and then prepare a proposed rule for publication in the Federal Register. This will open a second round of consultation and the formal comment period to allow for further refining of the regulations prior to publication as a final rule. The timing for publication of a final rule depends upon the volume and complexity of comments and revisions necessary to address those comments, but our ultimate goal is to have a final rule published in 2014.
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide my statement on the federal acknowledgment process. I will be happy to answer any questions the Subcommittee may have.
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), April 2013, page 14
Akaka: Hawaiian roll is key to federal recognition
By Karin Stanton
Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is confident Native Hawaiians will receive the
federal recognition they deserve and views the Kana'iolowalu registration campaign as a necessary step.
"It's very important in identifying and classifying all those who want to be known as Hawaiian. We need this step," he said. "When the state Legislature passed this bill in 2011, it showed that lawmakers are focused on this issue."
Akaka spoke about the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, which is leading the effort, during a recent appearance at Mauna Lani Resort's monthly storytelling and entertainment event.
The Kana'iolowalu project aims to create a base roll of Native Hawaiians -- a registry of individuals who may then participate in the formation of a sovereign government. It also gathers signatures from Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians on petitions declaring support for the reunification of Native Hawaiians in the self-recognition of Native Hawaiians' unrelinquished sovereignty.
More than 9,300 people have signed up since July 2012, far short of the campaign's yearlong goal of 200,000. At an OHA board meeting in February, the commission attributed this in part to people wondering why they need
to register again if they had already signed the Kau Inoa registry, and the lack of imminent threats to Native Hawaiian programs, such as lawsuits, which creates a lesser sense of urgency. Registration has been extended until Jan. 19, 2014, the commission said.
Akaka, who has been working on federal recognition for Hawaiians for more than a decade, said he was proud to be among the first to register.
"After 12 years of working toward a federal relationship with the U.S. government, it's about parity … with other native groups," he said.
Akaka was joined on his Hawai'i Island visit by commission Chairman John Waihe'e.
"We're a unique people and we have something special to offer the world," Waihe'e said. "The missing piece was Hawaiians getting their own act together. This is it." Akaka, who retired in January, said he was repeatedly thwarted in getting his federal bill to be heard by his fellow lawmakers.
"I've been trying to educate my colleagues about Hawai'i and why we need a formal relationship," he said. "I know if I could have gotten it to the (Senate) floor, it would have passed. Now it's time for the next generation to take it on."
That task is not just for lawmakers, he said, but also a mission for every Native Hawaiian.
"This young generation needs to learn the spirit of Hawai'i and apply that spirit in their work for the future," he said. "We want to keep the spirit of Hawai'i and spread it around the country."
Lei Kihoi, the Hawai'i Island representative on the commission, said she has been pleased with the response. However, Kihoi said, the campaign must continue to reach out to Neighbor Island residents and Hawaiians who live on the continent and around the globe.
"We have a lot of Hawaiians out there and we want them all in our nation," she said. "We're continuing the efforts of Sen. Akaka. We're not going to let this issue go away."
For more information or to register, visit hawaiianroll.org.
Karin Stanton, a former reporter/editor at West Hawai'i Today, works for the Associated Press and Hawai'i 24/7.
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Better Society Blog, April 11, 2013
Hawaii Free Press, April 11, 2013
Hawaiians Give Vote of No Confidence to Sovereign Hawaiian Nation
by Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Hawaiians are rejecting an effort to impose a narrow political agenda on their community, choosing instead to affirm the Aloha spirit as the basis for society.
After nearly a year of efforts to enroll a registry of Native Hawaiians willing to constitute a sovereign nation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission claim a mere 9,300 signatures against a stated goal of 200,000 and a 2010 US census count of the Hawaiian population at 527,000 nationwide. Despite a budget of somewhere between four to six million dollars, not to mention funds of collaborating agencies and organizations, the effort has produced underwhelming results.
Organizers say that the low sign up reflects confusion of the movement with earlier efforts that unofficially attempted to enroll Hawaiians. Organizers claim only 108,000 signed the earlier Kau Inoa roll after seven years. The fact remains that the majority of Native Hawaiians have simply not been willing to participate in OHA's effort to create a sovereign nation.
A second excuse for low results offered by the organizers is that Hawaiians have insufficient fear that their entitlements and rights may be in jeopardy. A possibility that OHA and the Native Hawaiian roll Commission have not considered is that Hawaiians may prefer to rely upon their status as United States citizens and their rights and protections under the US Constitution and Bill of Rights as a basis for their security. As a requirement to participate in the roll, individuals must sign a statement acknowledging the "unrelinquished sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people." This requirement creates a litmus test based on political ideology, excluding from the roll those who acknowledge the sovereign status of the United States and the State of Hawaii.
The lack of support by Hawaiians for the roll is a strong indicator that the leadership of OHA and the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission do not represent the will of the Hawaiian population. The roll efforts are an attempt to impose a narrow political agenda upon a constituency which values the benefits of United States citizenship as well as the Hawaiian tradition of inclusiveness.
Clearly, this is not government "of the people by the people and for the people," nor does it promote the Aloha spirit throughout society. The Grassroot Institute is a strong advocate for the constitutional rights and liberties of all people including Native Hawaiians and promotes the value of "E hana kākou"– all people in Hawaii working together for a better economy, government and society.
 Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Ka Wai Ola, Apr.2013, p. 13
 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. 2010 Census Summary File 1, Tables PCT8, PCT9, PCT10
 Office of Hawaiian affairs, Op.Cit., p. 14
Hawaii 24/7 (3 Hawaii TV stations), April 24, 2013
Schatz praise for Akaka Bill support
Sen. Brian Schatz, member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, spoke Wednesday at a hearing on President Obama's FY 2014 Budget for Tribal Programs.
Schatz thanked Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior, for supporting retired Sen. Daniel Akaka's bill that achieves parity for Native Hawaiians. Washburn, a member of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, is the former Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, and has served in the highest ranking post for Native American issues in the Obama Administration since September of last year.
"Support from Kevin Washburn, a top policy advisor in President Obama's administration, is very encouraging," Schatz said. "He has a keen understanding of federal Indian law and the history of this nation's treatment of its indigenous people. His view that Native Hawaiians deserve to have the same government-to-government relationship as Native Alaskans and American Indians on the mainland is very welcomed and appreciated. I will continue to work with the Obama administration to find ways to pass the long awaited Akaka Bill and make equal treatment for Native Hawaiians a reality."
** Video 2 and a half minutes
Honolulu Civil Beat, April 29, 2013
Has Hawaii Given Up On Lobbying Congress?
By Kery Murakami
** Excerpts related to Akaka bill and race-based entitlements
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hawaii interests are significantly scaling back on federal lobbying, the result of changes in the political landscape that are making it tougher to get issues through Congress and secure dwindling federal dollars.
According to federal lobbyist disclosure forms, Hawaii's local governments, corporations and organizations spent only $960,000 on federal lobbying last year, less than half of the $2.6 million they spent in 2009. And according to the disclosure reports filed with the U.S. House and Senate before the April 20 filing deadline, the reduction in lobbying has continued this year. Local organizations reported spending $230,000 on lobbying during the first quarter of this year as compared to $285,000 during the same period last year.
A number of factors appear to be at play, including the decline in federal earmarks to political roadblocks facing the long-sought federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. As a result, some in the state have changed strategy, moving away from traditional lobbying toward what they consider more productive forms of advocacy.
Though no one is explicitly backing off from the push for Native Hawaiian federal recognition, lobby disclosure forms show much less money being spent to try to push that bill through Congress. During the height of spending in 2009, Hawaii's Democratic delegation were part of a Democratic majority in both the U.S. House and Senate. Republicans now control the House. While Hawaii lost significant political power with the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye and the retirement of Sen. Daniel Akaka, the reduction in lobbyist spending began before their departures.
Take Kamehameha Schools. The organization spent $640,000 on federal lobbying in 2009, the largest amount of any Hawaii entity that year. Last year, records show, the group only spent $20,000 on federal lobbying. Federal disclosure forms show Kamehameha has spent no money on lobbying this year.
Kamehameha Schools spokesman Kekoa Paulsen said the organization's contract with Gump Strauss, Hauer & Feld — one of Washington D.C.'s largest lobbying firms — was to research, "analyze and monitor legislative proposals that could potentially impact the education and well-being of Native Hawaiians."
In 2009 and 2010, Paulsen said, "Federal recognition of Native Hawaiians and the reauthorization of several Native Hawaiian education measures were matters of significant discussion and debate. The higher (lobbying) fees for that period reflect that."
"We were not involved in further discussion of those matters at the federal level in 2011 and 2012, which corresponds to the substantial drop in lobbying expenses for (Kamehameha Schools)," he said.
OHA Changes Strategy With D.C. Staffer
Similarly, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs reduced its federal lobbying spending from $290,000 in 2009 and $310,000 in 2010 to $130,000 in 2011 and only $10,000 in 2012. Disclosure forms show the office has spent less than $5,000 on lobbying this year.
Office spokesman Garett Kamemoto said OHA had also focused on the Akaka Bill during the years of high lobbying spending. But he said, "I don't think there was a huge push for the Akaka Bill last year."
The decline in spending was also a reflection of a change of strategy. Instead of focusing on the Akaka Bill by contracting with high-powered Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Patton Boggs, the office shifted its focus toward working on other ways to improve the lot of Native Hawaiians. OHA has now hired an in-house staffer stationed in the nation's capitol.
Though OHA Washington D.C. Bureau Chief Kawika Riley performs some functions performed by Patton Boggs, including monitoring legislation and working with department staff of issues that affect Native Hawaiians, the office has broadened its work.
For instance, Riley said the office worked with George Washington and Americian universities to get more Native Hawaiians to apply for programs to help work on policy issues.
"Both of these programs give Native students (including Native Hawaiians) a full ride scholarship to study policy and intern in Washington, D.C. Programs like these help our future leaders learn about the federal policy process, so they can bring that knowledge home to our people," Riley said.
In an article in Civil Beat after the D.C. Bureau was re-opened last November, OHA Chief Advocate Breann Nuuhiwa said the office's new leadership envisioned an "expanded federal advocacy arm." She said, "We need people on the ground in D.C. who can advocate for a policy change on the federal level ... and we can get some synergy between federal and state agencies and bodies so we can have an impact and have that systemic change we're looking for."
An example, she said, was the flap over Hawaiian language students being forced to take translated state tests due to the way federal education policy was applied. Students struggled with the translated English version because developing a true Hawaiian version could cost millions.
Riley's work is not counted towards lobbying spending because advocacy by public employees is not considered lobbying. Riley says that his work isn't lobbying.
"We are a small state office that works with members of the federal policy community to improve the lives of Hawaii's indigenous people. Especially at this time, it's critical for Washington, D.C. to understand the federal government's trust responsibility to Native Hawaiians," he said.
The state Department of Hawaiian Homelands has also scaled back its lobbying, spending $50,000 last year, less than half of the $110,000 it spent in 2009. The agency also did not return phone calls last week.
Hawaii's decline in lobbying mirrors a national trend, in which lobbying spending and the number of registered federal lobbyists have declined in recent years, according to a recent report by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics. The report cited such possible factors as cutbacks in the struggling economy and political gridlock in Congress that's made getting a return for lobbying more difficult.
However, the report said federal lobbying reforms passed in 2007 may have inadvertently given lobbyists an incentive to avoid disclosing their lobbying activities. One provision bars lobbyists from working in the Obama administration for five years.
The center noted that although 1,732 lobbyists nationally dropped their lobbying registrations in 2012, many were still working for the same firms the following year.
"These former lobbyists have not moved far, and they are still likely influencing policy from the shadows..." the report said. The former lobbyists "continue influencing policy from 'behind the scenes.' By working as policy advisors and in other 'non-lobbyist' positions, former lobbyists can keep their current jobs but escape the consequences of being a registered lobbyist, leading people in and out of lobbying to suggest that those consequences act as a deterrent to transparency."
While the General Accounting Office checks whether lobbying disclosure forms are accurate, it does not check to see whether everyone who should be filing lobbyist reports — including those working on Hawaii issues — are doing so.
Hawaii Free Press, May 12, 2013
Akaka Tribe: Frankenstein Bill to Create a Frankenstein Tribal Roll
By Andrew Walden
Panicking because only 9,300 Hawaiians are signing up for Kana'ioluwalu -- the latest version of the Akaka Tribal Roll, wanna-be Akaka Tribal Chiefs spent the legislative session arguing amongst themselves over how to fake it. Their plan: Since so few signed Kana'ioluwalu, they will just graft 108,000 Kau Inoa signers onto the Roll.
The platform for their disputes started off in HB252, but in late March Sen. Malama Solomon (D-Kamuela) dumped geothermal permitting issues into the HB252 creating a "Frankenstein Bill." This led others to 'gut-and-replace" HB785—putting the Roll Commission text in place of a bill police had been counting on to clarify rules about service of process from out-of-state jurisdictions. HB785 is now sitting on Governor Abercrombie's desk awaiting a signature. In the meantime, testimony and amendments to the bills shine a light on Akaka Tribal infighting and the various tricks OHA cronies proposed to cover up the fact that only 9,300 have signed up for the latest Tribal Roll.
Lela M. Hubbard, of Na Koa Ikaika has "spent over two decades working towards the establishment of our Hawaiian Nation and upholding Hawaiian rights…." but complains:
"…it appears that 1.8 million dollars has been squandered for the registration of 9000 native Hawaiians in 2012-13. We wonder how many of those registered are able to vote or will we be permitting the incarcerated who were signed up to vote to create our nation? Instead of facilitating junkets from Hawaii, registration should be conducted by residents of the areas on the continent. Actually, no further trust money should be expended on this Native Hawaiian Roll fiasco."
Proposals to dump the entire DHHL waiting list into the tribal roll drew opposition from Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairperson Jobie Masagatani in Testimony April 2:
"The department is on record as a supporter of the Act 195, but we have concerns with new language in Section 2 of the proposed draft. This language that would automatically include in the roll any Native Hawaiian already verified as Hawaiians through the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands….it is important that our beneficiaries, and all Native Hawaiians, be able to make a choice to enroll. Since this amendment does not allow for a choice to be made, we respectfully request that you strike the phrase "or the department of Hawaiian Homelands" from page 3, lines 21 to 22."
The DHHL list was not the only scheme to artificially boost the Akaka Tribal Roll. In further testimony, Lela Hubbard explains:
"We Hawaiians ourselves should be creating the roll, not a state entity. The state cannot arbitrarily dictate that the 100,000 plus Native Hawaiians registered with Kau Inoa must become a part of Kana'ioluwalu. The original application for Kau Inoa gives the applicant the right to opt out and to decide whether he or she wants to become a part of any other Hawaiian roll. When Hawaii Maoli turned over the Kau Inoa data it was clear by their contract that Kau Inoa signatories had the right to decide. The Hawaii State legislature does not have this right to dictate such action. That is an abuse of power, undermining personal decision making."
OHA Testimony deferred to DHHL on the waiting list trick but supported rolling Kau Inoa into Kana'ioluwalu, writing: "The proposed language … will save years of person hours of work and Native Hawaiian trust funds by clarifying that the Roll Commission does not have to duplicate OHA's decade-long effort to register qualified Native Hawaiians pursuant to state law and OHA's own initiatives."
Perhaps the most interesting testimony came from Kana'ioluwalu Roll Commission Chairman, former governor and Right Star defendant, John Waihee. In spite of the low sign up tally, Waihee apparently doesn't want any lists dumped into his Roll. He explains in written testimony February 2: "…who is allowed to participate in Native Hawaiian self-determination efforts such as establishing a Native Hawaiian governing entity, should be determined by the Native Hawaiian community." In April 1 testimony he adds: "The verification methods adopted by the Commission will assure that only 'qualified Native Hawaiians' participate in the process and are included on the certified list."
Why would Waihee want to limit enrollment? As he explained December 7, 2012: "those who do not take the opportunity to register now will not be involved in forming the government …."
Others in the Native Hawaiian community are not fooled. Opposition came in testimony from Juanita Mahienaena Brown Kawamoto April 2 who wrote:
I oppose this bill for the following reasons:
The excessive amounts of monies spent on the Native Hawaiian roll call with such poor and minimum results clearly shows the lack of trust and understanding from the greater Native Hawaiian community concerning the Kana'ioluwalu program.
The continuance to fund or encourage this program will only create a greater distrust in this project and waste more dollars on an issue that is not well received or supported.
Funding. time and energy would be better spent on promises made when OHA was conceived and developed to educate our Native Hawaiian people about our rights to nationhood, genealogy, independence, or integration.
Act 195 was not designed to become a vehicle for permanent legislation but as a entry level for OHA to design a better plan to gather our Hawaiian community through understanding and education
Kana'ioluwalu is a poorly conceived program that works only to voice the control of the State of Hawaii and the chosen few.
Good strong leadership will provide the native Hawaiian community with the desire to stand and be counted. We need to find the leaders who are respected and regarded for their wisdom, compassion and perseverance for the will of the people, that is what will bring our people together.
In spite of Waihee's opposition, the final version of HB785 contains the language merging Kana'ioluwalu with Kau Inoa:
…including in the roll of qualified Native Hawaiians all individuals already registered with the State as verified Hawaiians or Native Hawaiians through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as demonstrated by the production of relevant office of Hawaiian affairs records, and extending to those individuals all rights and recognitions conferred upon other members of the roll.
Grassroot Institute President Kelii Akina calls the low response to Kana'ioluwalu, a "Vote of No Confidence" and says, "Hawaiians are rejecting an effort to impose a narrow political agenda on their community."
The Kau Inoa website states:
The first step toward establishing a new Native Hawaiian governing body has begun. Kau Inoa began on January 17, 2004 and is the registration of Native Hawaiians (in Hawaii and abroad) who will be a part of the new Hawaiian nation and receive benefits provided by the new government. Registrants may also declare their intent to participate in the creation of the governing entity.
All information on the Kau Inoa registration forms will be maintained by Hawai'i Maoli, a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, a confederation of 50 civic clubs located throughout Hawaii and the continental United States. Hawai'i Maoli is the independent, non-governmental repository for all registration forms.
According to its website, to sign Kana'ioluwalu one must agree to the following:
Declaration One. I affirm the unrelinquished sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people, and my intent to participate in the process of self-governance.
Declaration Two. I have a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community.
Declaration Three. I am a Native Hawaiian: a lineal descendant of the people who lived and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian islands prior to 1778, or a person who is eligible for the programs of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, or a direct lineal descendant of that person.
Kana'ioluwalu was launched July, 2012 with the goal of registering 200,000 Native Hawaiians by July 19, 2013. In light of their 190,700 person shortfall, HB785 extends that deadline.
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