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History of the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill) from March 30, 2011 through June 30, 2011. March 30 Akaka bill introduced in both House and Senate; April 7 Akaka bill passes Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on voice vote. May 3 Hawaii legislature passes SB1520 to start creating a state-recognized tribe. May 14 The Hawaii Republican Party at its annual convention passed a resolution opposing the Akaka bill as violating its party platform.


INDEX OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES; FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM IS BELOW THE INDEX IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

March 30, 2011: (1) Newspaper print edition says Senator Akaka will introduce his bill today; (2) Newspaper breaking news online reports Akaka introduced his bill AND IT IS THE SAME VERSION WHICH GOVERNOR LINGLE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL BENNETT OBJECTED TO LAST YEAR; (3) MauiNow.com gives quotes from Senators Akaka and Inouye and gives the bill number for the identical companion bill introduced in the House by Rep. Hirono; (4) A Canadian blog article started March 29 and extended March 30 provides links to full text of the new Akaka bill available on Akaka's website, audio and text of Akaka's floor speech, and alleged bill numbers in House and Senate; (5) Associated Press published a short announcement about the Akaka bill nationwide, as illustrated by article in the local newspaper in Beaumont Texas; (6) Letter in "Midweek" Oahu shopper by OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o replies to Jerry Coffee's column from 2 weeks previously which opposed the Akaka bill.

March 31: (1) Honolulu Star-Advertiser print edition reports "Akaka Bill lives again with new push on Hill"; (2) Star-Advertiser prints correction to yesterday's print report, which had incorrectly stated that former Governor Lingle's Attorney general Mark Bennett had been involved in private negotiations with the Obama Departmentof Justice to create the language in the Akaka bill; (3) Hawaii Free Press takes note of Governor Lingle's objections in previous years to the version of the Akaka bill just now introduced.

April 1: (1) Star-Advertiser prints correction to yesterday's report, which had incorrectly stated that Neil Abercrombie last year had "led" the House Committee on Natural Resources which hears the Akaka bill; (2) Ka Wai Ola, the OHA monthly newspaper for April, has several commentaries related to the Akaka bill, as follows: (a) OHA CEO Clyde Namu'o briefly describes Akaka bill for federal recognition and bills in the state legislature for state recognition of an Akaka tribe; (b) Lengthy news report about contents and progress of bills in the state legislature for state recognition; (c) Explanation: What is state recognition and how does it differ from federal recognition; (d) OHA trustee and vice-chairman Boyd Mossman uses his monthly column to describe the political situation in Congress related to the Akaka bill, and how state recognition might help.

April 3: Star-Advertiser editorial says the version of the Akaka bill introduced last week is very unlikely to pass, because it is the version that Governor Lingle strongly opposed; and the Hawaii delegation should replace it by the version that Governor Lingle approved in hopes of getting some Republican votes.

April 5: (1) U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES A BUSINESS MEETING FOR THURSDAY APRIL 7 AT WHICH THE AKAKA BILL WILL BE CONSIDERED.; (2) Professor Jon Van Dyke newspaper commentary defends the Akaka bill version now in the Senate against the editorial from 2 days previously which had urged that the "Lingle compromise" version should be the one to go forward.; (3) News report about Senate committee hearing for April 7 also mentions new Census report showing the number of Native Hawaiian businesses is increasing far more rapidly that non-native businesses.

April 6: (1) "The Washington Examiner" article by Associated Press says Senate committee will consider Akaka bill on Thursday and will "make minor amendments to the bill and possibly vote on it."; (2) News report in Honolulu Star-Advertiser about Senate committee meeting for Thursday does not mention possibility of amendments.

April 7: (1) Breaking news in Honolulu Star-Advertiser online reports Akaka bill hassed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on a voice vote; (2) The Washington Examiner published a short Associated Press report that the Akaka bill passed the Senate Committee (no mention of any amendments).

April 8: Honolulu Star-Advertiser print edition reports Akaka bill passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and repeats several points previously made by Senator Akaka in a news release at the time the bill was introduced.

April 11: Akaka bill is not needed to help Native Hawaiians economically, as shown by a Census Bureau report that the number of Native Hawaiian owned businesses, and the income they generate, is increasing far more rapidly than businesses in general.

April 19: (1) Senator Inouye, home for the Easter recess, said in an interview that there is bipartisan support for the Akaka bill and that he is proud of having obtained about a Billion dollars over the years for racial entitlement programs.; (2) Letter to editor says the April 4 editorial was inappropriate in urging that the Lingle version of the Akaka bill should be substituted for the version actually submitted, because the two versions are nearly identical anyway.

April 22: Hawaii legislature bills to create a state-recognized Akaka tribe are still alive. One bill would recognize ethnic Hawaiians as Hawaii's only indigenous people, the other would establish a commission to produce a membership roll, and a conference committee is likely to blend the two bills together.

April 27: Lawmakers Attempt End Run Around Public to Pass Akaka Bill (State legislature guts entire contents of a completely unrelated bill and replaces it with language to create a state-recognized Akaka tribe, just a week before end of session with no time to submit testimony).

April 29-30: Hawaii state legislature conference committee agrees on final text of bill to create a state-recognized Akaka tribe. 4 news reports provided, and links to download text of the bill

May 1: OHA monthly newspaper has (1) news report on Akaka bill passing Senate Committee on Indian Affairs; (2) Trustee Boyd Mossman editorial reviewing history of Akaka bill; (3) Trustee Rowena Akana editorial reviewing history of Akaka bill, praising Senator Akaka and Loretta Tuell, chief counsel of the Indian Affairs Committee appointed by Senator Akaka, and reporting progress of state legislature bill to recognize an Akaka tribe.

May 3: Hawaii legislature passed SB1520, a bill to begin creating a state-recognized tribe, with only one out of 76 legislators voting no.

May 4: Honolulu Star-Advertiser political reporter Derrick DePledge has a blog where he wrote about the zealotry of several ethnic Hawaiian Senators who gave short speeches when SB1520 was getting voted on, saying it's payback time for the overthrow of the monarchy, including Clayton Hee (former head of OHA) who laughed that there might be lawsuits and taunted "Bring it on!"

May 4 and 5: "Hawaii Starts Creating a State-Recognized Tribe", a commentary by Ken Conklin analyzes SB1520, published in both Hawaii Reporter and Hawaii Political Info.

May 11: During the first three months of 2011, OHA spent three times as much as any private group in Hawaii lobbying Congress, and it was for the purpose of pushing the Akaka bill.

May 12: Cherokee newspaper reports passage of Akaka bill by Senate Indian Affairs committee.

May 15: HAWAII FREE PRESS REPORTS THAT THE HAWAII REPUBLICAN PARTY OVERWHELMINGLY PASSED A RESOLUTION AT ITS ANNUAL CONVENTION ON MAY 14 STRONGLY OPPOSING THE AKAKA BILL AS VIOLATING ITS PARTY PLATFORM. This was the first time the Hawaii Republican Party has ever opposed the Akaka bill during the 11 years the bill has been pending.

June 1: (1) OHA monthly newspaper news report about state legislature's passage of a bill recognizing ethnic Hawaiians as a state-recognized tribe; and (2) trustee Rowena Akana's monthly trustee column devoted to that topic.

There were no additional news reports or commentaries about the Akaka bill for the remainder of June.

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FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

** News report published in hardcopy newspaper a few hours before the Akaka bill was actually introduced. The "breaking news" report immediately below this one was published online and describes the bill after it was actually introduced.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20110330_Akaka_to_give_bill_another_go.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Wednesday March 30, 2011

Akaka to give bill another go
The retiring senator plans to reintroduce his namesake measure on the floor today

By B.J. Reyes

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who has said he will retire after his term expires next year, plans to reintroduce today a proposal that would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians.

Akaka will introduce the measure on the Senate floor, spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has said she plans to introduce the measure in the House this week.

Details of the bill were to be released upon its introduction. The proposal has been before Congress since 1999 through three administrations.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, known as the Akaka Bill in honor of its primary sponsor, 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. The federal recognition would be similar to that of American Indians and Alaska natives.

Many observers felt the bill was poised to pass the last two years with a Democratic-controlled Congress including a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and support from President Barack Obama, but the bill hit a snag.

An amended version of the bill emerged in late 2009 that prompted then-Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican who had been a strong backer of the proposal, to withdraw her support. Lingle argued the changes negotiated privately among the Hawaii delegation, the Justice Department and state Attorney General Mark Bennett gave the new governing entity sovereign immunity and made the state vulnerable to lawsuits.

In one of his last acts before resigning to run for governor, then-U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie shepherded the bill through a 245-164 House vote, but the bill stalled in the Senate as key Republicans withdrew support, following Lingle's lead. Then the January special election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown to fill the seat of Sen. Edward Kennedy ended the Democrats' 60-member majority.

After the November elections, in which Republicans took control of the House, Akaka introduced the compromise measure during the "lame duck" session of Congress. Van Dyke said the introduction was done to "get it on the record" and to show that Akaka wanted to honor the agreement with Lingle.

The Akaka Bill has broad support within Hawaii's political establishment, including from the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, along with the backing of many Hawaiian civic groups. Many Republicans oppose the bill as unconstitutional race-based discrimination because it would treat Hawaiians differently from other state residents.

Some Hawaiian sovereignty activists are against the bill because they believe it would interfere with the potential restoration of an independent kingdom.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/118916059.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Wednesday March 30, 2011
Breaking news, published 5:43 AM Hawaii time [11:43 AM Washington time]

Akaka takes to Senate floor in support of native Hawaiian bill

By B.J. Reyes

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who has said he plans to retire after his current term expires next year, spoke on the Senate floor this morning as he re-introduced a bill to grant federal recognition for native Hawaiians, renewing his effort to win passage of a proposal that has been before Congress since 1999.

Akaka and Democratic colleague, U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, introduced the latest version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act today.

"This bill would ensure parity in federal policy as it relates to the Native Hawaiian people," Akaka said on the Senate floor. "It would put them on equal footing with American Indians and Alaska natives"

Democratic U.S. Reps. Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa are expected to introduce the same bill in the House.

Known by the name of its primary sponsor, the so-called Akaka Bill 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. The federal recognition would be similar to that of American Indians and Alaska natives.

The bill would establish an office within the Department of Interior to serve as a liaison between non-Hawaiians and the federal government, while also authorizing the creation of an interagency task force composed of officials from federal agencies that administer programs and services impacting native Hawaiians, Akaka said.

Once recognized, the negotiation process would be established.

"There are many checks and balances in this process," Akaka said in his floor speech. "Any agreements reached would still require the legislative approval of the state and federal governments."

He said the bill does not include provisions to allow for gambling, nor does it set forth a process by which Hawaii may secede from the United States. It also does not allow for private land to be taken or for the creation of a reservation in Hawaii, he added.

The latest proposal is the version negotiated with the Justice Department in late 2009 and passed out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that year, Akaka spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said.

The language was proposed by the White House and negotiated privately by the Justice Department and the state's congressional delegation.

Then-Gov. Linda Lingle had been a strong backer of the legislation but withdrew her support for the Obama administration's version, arguing it did not protect the state's rights and interests as the new governing entity was being formed.

The newer version would immediately give the native Hawaiian entity many of the rights enjoyed by American Indian tribal governments and would add more provisions detailing how a person could qualify as a native Hawaiian.

Van Dyke said the latest version is supported by the Justice Department, which would have to defend the measure in court.

"They've told us very strongly their job is a lot easier if the bill parallels existing Indian law and doesn't have exemptions the former governor requested," he said.

Many observers felt the bill was poised to pass the last two years with a Democratic-controlled Congress -- including a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate – and support from the White House.

In one of his last acts before resigning from the U.S. House in February 2010 to run for governor, then-Rep. Neil Abercrombie shepherded a version of the bill through a 245-164 vote along party lines.

But the bill stalled in the Senate as key Republicans withdrew support, following Lingle's lead. Additionally, the January 2010 special election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy ended the Democrats' 60-member majority and their ability to overcome procedural roadblocks.

By July of last year, the state delegation had negotiated a compromise version of the bill that was acceptable to Lingle, but it was never brought before the Senate as Congress debated weightier issues including health care reform, extension of Bush Administration tax cuts and the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Following the November elections, in which Republicans took control of the House, Akaka introduced the compromise measure during the "lame duck" session of Congress. Van Dyke said the introduction was done because Akaka wanted to honor the agreement with Lingle.

Van Dyke said Akaka hopes to work with colleagues in the Senate as well as the new GOP leadership in the House to get the bill passed.

The Akaka Bill has broad support within Hawaii's political establishment, including from the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, along with the backing of many Hawaiian civic groups. Many Republicans oppose the bill as unconstitutional race-based discrimination because it would treat Hawaiians differently from other state residents.

Some Hawaiian sovereignty activists are against the bill because they believe it would interfere with the potential restoration of an independent kingdom.

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http://mauinow.com/2011/03/30/akaka-bill-reintroduced-by-hawaii-delegation/
MauiNow.com, March 30, 2011

Akaka Bill Reintroduced by Hawaii Delegation

By Wendy Osher

U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka today introduced the 2011 version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill. The bill was first introduced more than 10 years ago and has gone through various revisions.

"This bill would simply put Native Hawaiians on equal footing with American Indians and Alaska Natives," said Sen. Akaka.

The measure seeks to establish a process for a government to government relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States. It would begin a process to re-form a Native Hawaiian government that could negotiate with the state and federal government on behalf of Hawaii's indigenous people.

Calling reconciliation between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people a top priority, Sen. Akaka said, " I encourage all of my colleagues to stand with me and support this legislation providing parity in federal policy towards indigenous people."

Fellow U.S. Senator, Daniel Inouye extended his full support saying, federal recognition is long overdue. "Native Hawaiians enjoy a political status and special legal relationship with the federal government which is evidenced in well over 188 federal laws dating back to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and the Hawaii Admissions Act. Inherent in these laws and explicit in the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act we introduce today is the right to self-determination and self-governance," he said.

The latest version of the measure was based on the amended bill (S.1011, 111th Congress), which passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on December 17, 2009. The bill introduced today allows the committee on Indian affairs to build upon existing testimony and reports, in an effort to expedite consideration by the full Senate.

An identical companion bill (H.R. 1250) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Hawaii's Rep. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

"I will be reaching out to the many new members who are not familiar with Hawaii's history and do not know Native Hawaiians had their own sovereign nation, with their own language, culture, religion and traditional economy," said Congresswoman Mazie Hirono.

Governor Neil Abercrombie also vowed his support saying, "I continue to stand by this bill as Governor. This measure is long overdue as enabling legislation allowing Native Hawaiians and the State of Hawaii to resolve outstanding issues fairly and comprehensively." Gov. Abercrombie said he will work with the Congressional delegation to seek approval of the bill.

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[** Apparently published initially on March 29 based on an advance copy of a press release from Senator Akaka, and then extended on March 30. If the information is correct, the bill numbers are S.675 and H.R.1250. Links are included to pdf of bill text (with page and line numbers) from Akaka's website; and links to audio and text of Akaka's Senate floor statement]

http://www.canadaviews.ca/2011/03/29/akaka-hawaii-delegation-reintroduce-native-hawaiian-government-reorganization-act/
Canada Views blog, March 29 and 30, 2011

Akaka, Hawaii Delegation reintroduce Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act

by: USA Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) today introduced the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2011 (S.675). The bill would extend the opportunity to build a government-to-government relationship with the United States, a right already enjoyed by 565 federally recognized tribes across the U.S. mainland and in Alaska, to Native Hawaiians. Representatives Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) introduced an identical companion bill (H.R. 1250) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill introduced today is based on the amended bill (S.1011, 111th Congress) which passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on December 17, 2009. Introducing this bill allows the committee to build upon existing testimony and reports, enabling Chairman Akaka to expedite consideration by the full Senate. This version of the bill has the strong support of the Obama administration and is the strongest bill against potential legal challenges because it closely parallels existing federal Indian law.

The full text of the bill is available here:
http://akaka.senate.gov/upload/S675.pdf

Senator Daniel K. Akaka said: "This bill would simply put Native Hawaiians on equal footing with American Indians and Alaska Natives. As Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, reconciliation between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people is a top priority. I am pleased to have the strong support of Native communities across the United States, the State of Hawaii, and the Obama Administration, and major native organizations across the country. I encourage all of my colleagues to stand with me and support this legislation providing parity in federal policy towards indigenous people."

Senator Daniel K. Inouye said: "I fully support the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, and commend Chairman Akaka for his steadfast and unwavering leadership. Native Hawaiians enjoy a political status and special legal relationship with the federal government which is evidenced in well over 188 federal laws dating back to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and the Hawaii Admissions Act. Inherent in these laws and explicit in the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act we introduce today is the right to self-determination and self-governance. This measure begins a process of establishing a government to government relationship between the federal government and the native people of Hawaii. Federal recognition is long overdue. We have debated this issue for more than a decade. There is broad support – from the White House, Washington Place, native country and in Hawaii. I would like to believe that it is, in large measure, in recognition of the great gift of aloha which the native people gave to all who came to Hawaii's shores and their homeland over the centuries. Now is the time to act."

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono said: "The House has supported Native Hawaiian recognition in past years, however many in the new House Majority do not support Native Hawaiian issues. I will be reaching out to the many new members who are not familiar with Hawaii's history and do not know Native Hawaiians had their own sovereign nation, with their own language, culture, religion and traditional economy. We are fortunate to have Senator Akaka as Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee as he is able to set the Committee's agenda and will be able to push the bill forward in the Senate and work with the new House Majority."

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa said: "Native Hawaiians are the foundation of our state and our values. They deserve the same opportunity for self-determination and inherent rights as the rest of America's indigenous people – and this bill will allow them to continue on the path towards reconciliation with the United States. I look forward to working with the Hawaii delegation on this important piece of legislation, and I thank Senator Akaka for his leadership and unwavering faith that justice will prevail for Hawaii's host culture.

Governor Neil Abercrombie said: "The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act passed in the House of Representatives on a bipartisan basis when I was a Member and I continue to stand by this bill as Governor. This measure is long overdue as enabling legislation allowing Native Hawaiians and the State of Hawaii to resolve outstanding issues fairly and comprehensively. I will work with the Congressional delegation to seek Congressional approval."

President Barack Obama and the U.S Departments of Justice and Interior support the bill, along with the American Bar Association. The bill also has the support of the National Congress of American Indians, the Alaska Federation of Natives, and groups throughout the Native Hawaiian community including the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, and two state agencies which represent the interests of the Native Hawaiian people, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

A poll published by the Honolulu Advertiser in May of last year reported that 66 percent Hawaii resident support federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, and 82 percent of Native Hawaiians polled support federal recognition.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act would begin a process to re-form a Native Hawaiian government that could negotiate with the state and federal government on behalf of Hawaii's indigenous people. Any agreements would require implementing legislation by the state or federal government; no jurisdiction would be changed without approval.

While Congress has traditionally treated Native Hawaiians in a manner similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives, the current federal policy of self-governance and self-determination has not been fully extended to Native Hawaiians. Upon enactment, the bill authorizes the process for federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity, a necessary component to advancing the current federal policy and efforts towards reconciliation. The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act does three things:

It establishes the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations in the Department of the Interior to serve as a liaison between Native Hawaiians and the United States.

It establishes the Native Hawaiian Interagency Task Force to be composed of federal officials from agencies which administer Native Hawaiian programs, intended to increase coordination between the Native Hawaiians and the federal government.

It provides a process of reorganization of the Native Hawaiian government for the purpose of a federally recognized government-to-government relationship with the United States.

Opponents to the bill have sought to spread misinformation about the legislation. It is important to clarify that:
The bill does NOT allow Hawaii to secede from the United States.
The bill does NOT allow private lands to be taken.
The bill does NOT authorize gaming in Hawaii.
The bill does NOT create a reservation in Hawaii.

This inclusive, democratic negotiations process represents both Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians. Negotiations between the recognized Native Hawaiian government, the United States, and the state of Hawaii will address issues such as criminal and civil jurisdiction, historical grievances, and jurisdiction and control of natural resources, lands, and assets. There are many checks and balances in this process and any agreements reached will require implementing legislation on the state and federal levels. While the bill provides structure, it also provides the Native Hawaiian community with the flexibility to truly reorganize a government of its own choosing.

The Senate bill is now referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and the House bill to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The text of Senator Akaka's floor statement introducing the bill today is available here:
http://akaka.senate.gov/statements-and-speeches.cfm?method=releases.view&id=ef1743d7-fa04-4a42-84b2-81e7d4aeb8ce

An audio file is available here:
http://demradio.senate.gov/actualities/akaka/033011_AKAKA.mp3

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http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Native-Hawaiian-recognition-bill-being-revived-1314459.php
The Beaumont Enterprise (Beaumont, Texas), March 30, 2011

HONOLULU (AP) — Legislation granting Native Hawaiians federally recognized self-government rights is being reintroduced in Congress.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, both Democrats representing Hawaii, planned to reintroduce versions of the measure in the Senate and House on Wednesday.

The bill is a renewed effort to give Native Hawaiians the same rights already extended to many Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The measure failed to get a vote in the Senate last year following 11 years of efforts by Akaka to get it passed.

The legislation, known as the Akaka Bill, comes as state lawmakers also are considering proposals to form a Native Hawaiian governing body themselves.

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http://www.midweek.com/content/columns/lte_article/letters_to_the_editor1009/
Midweek (Oahu weekly shopper), Wednesday March 30, 2011
Letter to editor

** Note: This letter by OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o is in reply to a column published two weeks previously, on March 16, by Jerry Coffee, which can be found at http://www.midweek.com/content/columns/coffeebreak_article/ohas_end-run_bad_for_all_hawaii/

Off on OHA

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs finds it unfortunate that Jerry Coffee merges the concepts of federal recognition and state recognition in his column, "OHA's End Run Bad for All Hawaii."

OHA supports the concept of state recognition not as a substitute for federal recognition but as one of the means of bettering the conditions of the Native hawaiian people.

Furthermore, oha does not want efforts toward state recognition to diminish efforts toward federal recognition.

Federal recognition is a political status that provides a government-to-government relationship between native peoples and the federal government.

Despite mr. coffee's assertions, this isn't about race, but about the reaffirmation of the same federal policy of self-determination of american Indians and alaska Natives for Native hawaiians.

While state recognition is similar, individual states hold greater discretion over the form and parameters of recognition ultimately conferred.

Federal recognition, state recognition, or both would require the cooperation of everyone in hawaii - our Native hawaiian community, the general public, the private sector and all levels of government. oha firmly believes that if we can lift the quality of life for Native hawaiians, everyone will benefit.

Recognition is not something to fear, but a great opportunity and something to embrace; something that can and should benefit everyone.

Together, we can do great things for our community.

Clyde W. Namu'o
Chief Executive Officer,
Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20110331_Akaka_Bill_lives_again_with_new_push_on_Hill.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 31, 2011

Akaka Bill lives again with new push on Hill

By B.J. Reyes

Against seemingly long odds in both chambers of Congress, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka renewed his long-standing effort to secure federal recognition for native Hawaiians.

Akaka and Democratic colleague U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye introduced yesterday the latest version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, better known as the Akaka Bill. Democratic U.S. Reps. Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa introduced the same bill in the House.

“The bill has been around for over a decade and has never had an up or down vote in the Senate,” said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, a spokesman for Akaka. “Sen. Akaka would like to see that happen while he is in the Senate.”

Akaka has announced plans to retire when his term ends next year.

At least one political analyst expects the measure to be dead on arrival in the partisan atmosphere of the nation’s capital.

“I don’t think there’s any chance at all it would get passed,” said Neal Milner, a University of Hawaii political scientist. “The Republicans have had what they consider to be principled objections to the idea for the past, at least, five or six years, and that’s really what’s always kept it from going forward more than anything else.”

A change in the bill’s favor is Akaka’s new leadership post as chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, which passed the bill in December 2009.

“Sen. Akaka now chairs the committee of jurisdiction for this legislation, which adds to his ability to move the bill forward,” Broder Van Dyke said. “As the U.S. Department of Justice has advised, this version of the bill is stronger because it more closely parallels existing United States policy towards its indigenous people.”

Language in the current version of the bill was proposed by the White House and negotiated between the U.S. Justice Department and Hawaii’s congressional delegation.

“By introducing the bill, which passed Indian Affairs in 2009 and was the subject of extensive study by the committee, the Department of Justice, and others, Chairman Akaka is able to move forward promptly now,” Broder Van Dyke said.

The House version of the bill would go to the Natural Resources Committee, previously led by former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who guided the bill through a 245-164 party-line floor vote, getting the bill through the House in one of his final acts last year before resigning to run for governor.

Now under Republican control after the 2010 midterm elections, the committee is led by U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who has opposed the bill as a measure to create a separate, race-based government of native Hawaiians.

Abercrombie pledged to do what he could as governor to help win passage of the legislation, which was first introduced in 1999.

“Speaker (John) Boehner and I are old friends,” Abercrombie said. “We’ve disagreed about the bill, but he was never opposed to letting us have a vote on it and see where it went.

“I’ll make the same appeal again — that this is not a Republican versus Democrat issue. This is an issue having specifically to do with Hawaii that does not have adverse consequences for anyone else in the country, but could have a great deal of advantage to us in terms of resolving long-standing issues.”

The bill 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. The federal recognition would be similar to that of American Indians and Alaska natives.

The bill would establish an office within the Department of the Interior to serve as a liaison between native Hawaiians and the federal government, Akaka said.

If native Hawaiians were recognized, the negotiation process would be established. The bill does not include provisions to allow for gambling, nor does it set forth a process by which Hawaii may secede from the United States, Akaka said. It also does not allow for private land to be taken or for the creation of a reservation in Hawaii, he added.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/corrections/20110331_Corrections_and_Clarifications.html

Corrections and Clarifications

For Thursday, March 31, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Ed Lynch, managing editor/news, at 529-4758.

>> Former Gov. Linda Lingle opposed changes in the Akaka Bill that were negotiated in private between the U.S. Justice Department and Hawaii’s congressional delegation. Mark Bennett, state attorney general during the Lingle administration, was not part of those negotiations, as was reported on Page B1 yesterday.

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http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/4027/2011-Akaka-Bill-grants-Tribal-officials-broad-immunity-from-Hawaii-Criminal-and-Civil-Laws.aspx
Hawaii Free Press, Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 Akaka Bill grants Tribal officials broad immunity from Hawaii Criminal and Civil Laws

By Andrew Walden

The Akaka Bill was yesterday reintroduced for 2011. The 2011 version contains all of the same “instant tribal immunity” provisions which Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett and Governor Linda Lingle objected to when this version was first introduced in 2009. Below are comments from Lingle, Bennett, and House Republican leaders written shortly after the 2009 version was introduced. All of the 2009 language referenced is included in the 2011 Akaka Bill.

Here is the key point from Gov. Lingle, March 24, 2010:

“The explicit sovereign immunity and exemption from regulation provisions in the present bill allow the Native Hawaiian governing entity, and its leaders, to conduct activities anywhere in Hawai‘i (and potentially any other state) in a way that is inconsistent with State criminal statutes otherwise applicable to all citizens, and state laws governing narcotics and dangerous drugs; civil defense; alcohol and tobacco; fire and building codes necessary for public safety; traffic safety; landlord-tenant matters; clean air, clean water, hazardous waste (and other state pollution statutes); child welfare, child protection, and child safety; public health; food and drugs; and virtually every other conceivable law that serves to protect the public. It is not clear how the State could enforce its interests against unlawful or irresponsible actions by the governing entity or its elected leaders or employees."
* * * * *

Text of the letter from the Hawaii Attorney General:

Dec 15, 2009
The Honorable Nick J. Rahall, II, Chair
The Honorable Doc Hastings Ranking Minority Member
House Committee on Natural Resources
1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515

Re: H.R. 2314 -Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act

Dear Chair Rahall and Ranking Minority Member Hastings:

As Hawaii's Attorney General and chief legal officer, I write to express the strong opposition of Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and myself to many of the proposed changes (in a "markup") to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, H.R. 2314, also known as the "Akaka Bill." It my understanding that H.R. 2314 will be marked-up in the House committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday, December 16, 2009. We were only provided copies of the proposed changes today by the Committee's Minority Staff (yesterday we received an informal copy of two sections of the new bill). None of the changes were drafted with our input or knowledge. As noted, we strongly oppose a number of the changes, but note we have not had the opportunity to carefully study and analyze many of the changes in the new bill.

Governor Lingle and I have been strong advocates and supporters of the Akaka Bill for seven years. We have worked with the Hawaii Congressional Delegation to craft a bill that had strong bipartisan support. The version of the Akaka Bill which we support is the current version of H.R. 2314. The changes under consideration will completely change the nature of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. The current version of the bill states (in section 8(b)(3)):

"Any governmental authority or power to be exercised by the Native Hawaiian governing entity which is currently exercised by the State or Federal Governments shall be exercised by the Native Hawaiian governing entity only as agreed to in negotiations pursuant to section 8(b)(1) of this Act and beginning on the date on which legislation to implement such agreement has been enacted by the United States Congress, when applicable, and by the State of Hawaii, when applicable. This includes any required modifications to the Hawaii State Constitution in accordance with the Hawaii Revised Statutes." (Emphasis added).

Section 9(b)(3) of the proposed new bill will change the above quoted language to the following wholly different language:

"The Native Hawaiian governing entity shall be vested with the inherent powers and privileges of self-government of a native government under existing law, except as set forth in section 10 (a). Said powers and privileges may be modified by agreement between the Native Hawaiian governing entity, the United States, and the State pursuant to paragraph (1), subject to the limit described by section l0 (a). Unless so agreed, nothing in this Act shall preempt Federal or State authority over Native Hawaiians or their property under existing law or authorize the State to tax or regulate the Native Hawaiian governing entity." (Emphasis added).

The following language in the current bill (in section 9(e)) will be removed its entirety:

“(e) Jurisdiction-Nothing in this Act alters the civil or criminal jurisdiction of the United States or the State of Hawaii over lands and persons within the State of Hawaii. The status quo of Federal and State jurisdiction can change only as a result of further legislation, if any, enacted after the conclusion, in relevant part, of the negotiation process established in section 8(b)." (Emphasis added).

The new bill will also provide in section l0(c) that "The [Native Hawaiian Interim Governing] council and the subsequent governing entity recognized under this Act shall be an Indian tribe [pursuant to certain sections of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968] ...." (Emphasis added).

These changes, taken together, change the bill from one where the status quo and the relations between the United States, the State of Hawaii, and the Native Hawaiian governing entity can be changed only after negotiations and after passage of implementing legislation, to a model in which the status quo immediately changes, pursuant to an Indian law model.

The magnitude and potential impact of such changes cannot be overstated. The present version of the bill preserves all the rights and interests of the State of Hawaii until the Congress and the State Legislature can evaluate the result of negotiations. The proposed revisions make immediate changes to the rights and interests of the State of Hawaii. These changes may immediately incorporate into the law governing Native Hawaiians a vast body of Indian law, much of which is unsuited for the State of Hawaii, and none of which (to our knowledge) has been evaluated for its impact on Hawaii. These changes are extensive, have been not part of any bill which we have supported, and have an enormous potential to negatively impact Hawaii and its citizens. We note, moreover, that there has been no public hearing reflecting this new model in at least the last seven years. The views of Hawaii's citizens, native Hawaiian and non-native Hawaiian alike, have not been heard (certainly not recently) with regard to this new model. The implications of forever changing the relationship between native Hawaiians and the State of Hawaii, and simply deciding native Hawaiians are an Indian tribe (for at least some purposes), are potentially enormous. We oppose these changes. And, we do so mindful of the fact that Governor Lingle and I have been among the strongest supporters of the Akaka Bill for seven years.

We also note that the new bill has a new term "Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituent"—which is defined in six pages of the bill. There have never been public hearings on this new term and its significance, and we have not had the opportunity to study it in detail.

We also oppose other changes to the bill, including removing the current language in section 8(c) (3) which sets forth the State of Hawaii's complete retention of its sovereign immunity (unless waived in accord with State law), and which makes clear that nothing in the bill shall be construed to constitute an override of Hawaii’s Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity pursuant to section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

We continue to believe the Akaka Bill in its present form is important and needed legislation that has strong bipartisan support. We also believe that the changes we oppose will affect and erode the basis for such support. We respectfully ask that the changes to the Akaka Bill which we oppose not be made. We also respectfully ask the Committee to hold a public hearing with testimony, as the pew bill is so different from the current version. We are available to discuss the Akaka Bill and this letter at your convenience, and thank you in advance for your consideration of this letter.

Very truly yours,
/s
Mark J. Bennett
Attorney General, State of Hawaii

PDF of Letter:
http://naturalresources.house.gov/UploadedFiles/12.15.09BennettLttrtoHCNR.pdf

Wash Times January 5, 2010: Bennett: New Akaka Bill guarantees years of litigation
http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1520/Bennett-New-Akaka-Bill-guarantees-years-of-litigation.aspx

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/corrections/20110401_Corrections_and_Clarifications.html

Corrections and Clarifications

For Friday, April 1, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Ed Lynch, managing editor/news, at 529-4758.

>> Gov. Neil Abercrombie was a senior member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee when he guided the Akaka Bill through the committee and a successful vote on the House floor. A Page B3 article yesterday indicated that he was chairman of the committee.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2011/04/KWO1104.pdf
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper for April 2011], page 3

Personal note from Clyde Namu'o, CEO [Excerpt related to Akaka bill]

Aloha mai kakou,

... Another continuing priority for OHA is the achievement of federal recognition. OHA looks forward to working with Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation now that the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act has been reintroduced this Congress. There also continues to be lots of activity at the state level as well.

This year, there were several measures introduced that would recognize Native Hawaiians as the indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai‘i. OHA supports the concept of state recognition – not as a substitute for federal recognition – but as one of the means of bettering the conditions of the Native Hawaiian people.

Federal recognition is a political status that provides a government-to-government relationship between native peoples and the federal government. This isn’t about race, but about the reaffirmation of the same federal policy of self-determination of American Indians and Alaska Natives for Native Hawaiians. While state recognition is similar, individual states hold greater discretion over the form and parameters of recognition ultimately conferred.

Federal recognition, state recognition, or both would require the cooperation of everyone in Hawai‘i – our Native Hawaiian community, the general public, the private sector, and all levels of government. Recognition is not something to fear, but rather, it is a great opportunity and something to embrace; something that can – and should – benefit everyone. Together, we can do great things for our community.

We invite everyone to join us on this journey.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2011/04/KWO1104.pdf
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper for April 2011], pages 10 and 33

Bills seek state recognition

By Lisa Asato

Two bills relating to state recognition for Native Hawaiians have advanced in the state Legislature.

As of this writing, the two bills have passed in the Senate and are awaiting review by the House Finance Committee, which.must advance the bills by April 8 in order for them to remain alive for further discussion.

Senate Bill 1520 SD2 HD2 would recognize the Native Hawaiian people as the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai‘i. Senate Bill 1 SD2 HD2 would also do that but would go further and establish a process for Native Hawaiians to exercise their right to reorganize. Under the bill, the Governor, Senate President and House Speaker would each appoint three members to a Native Hawaiian roll commission. The nine-member commission would prepare, maintain, certify and publish a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians, which would provide the basis for participation in the organization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity.

The bill defines a “qualified Native Hawaiian” as an individual who is descended from the aboriginal peoples who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian Islands, which now constitutes the State of Hawai‘i, or who is one of the indigenous native people of Hawai‘i who was eligible in 1921 for programs authorized under the federal Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920. Direct lineal descendants of those qualifying under the 1921 rule also are eligible. An individual must also have maintained a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community and wish to participate in the process, and be 18 or older.

The measure also [begin page 33] allows for a convention, where qualified Native Hawaiians may organize their government.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs supports state recognition of Native Hawaiians provided that it does not diminish efforts to pursue and obtain federal recognition.

“We look forward to continuing to communicate with our beneficiaries, legislators and other public officials, our advisers and others about how best to approach state and federal recognition,” Esther Kia‘äina, OHA Chief Advocate, told the House Hawaiian Affairs Committee on March 16. “We appreciate the willingness of our legislators to not only listen to, but also to incorporate into this bill many of the public’s perspectives. We are encouraged by the open and full dialogue on this very important topic.”

Detractors have said the bill is race-based or that state lawmakers are overstepping their authority because the sovereign status of Hawai‘i still exists under executive agreements between Queen Lili‘uokalani and President Cleveland. Supporters have said state recognition efforts would advance the reconciliation and reorganization processes.

Testifying at the March 16 hearing, state Sen. Malama Solomon, who co-introduced SB 1, said such legislation is long overdue. Solomon, an original OHA Trustee in 1980, said she has been working on similar legislation for more than three decades and despite Hawaiians’ “many attempts at organizing,” those efforts have not bore fruit. Solomon said that state lawmakers are responsible for providing the “legal platform” to enable Hawaiians to “rightfully get the recognition that they deserve.”

The state must create a roll commission “simply because we have to prove muster that there is an identifiable community who is entitled to the rights and the respect as a nation. This is why the roll call commission was put in place,” said Solomon (D, Hilo-Hämäkua-Waimea). After the roll is published, “the Governor dissolves the roll call commission and in essence the Hawaiian people are allowed to organize however they see fit,” she said. “And of course, the legal way for such an organization to take place would be through some kind of convention.”

In providing for state recognition of Native Hawaiians, the original version of SB 1 called for the OHA Board of Trustees to establish a Native Hawaiian corporation that would receive and manage lands comprised of “available lands” described under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, ceded lands and other lands Hawaiians may be entitled to. The OHA Board would also have established one or more county corporations to administer the Hawaiian lands in their jurisdictions.

Sen. Clayton Hee (D, Kahuku-Käne‘ohe) introduced SB 1520, which would recognize Native Hawaiians as the sole indigenous people of Hawai‘i. The bill originally would have established a process for state recognition of a First Nation government.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2011/04/KWO1104.pdf
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper for April 2011], pages 10 and 11
Q&A STATE RECOGNITION

1. What is State Recognition?

> State recognition is an acknowledgment by a state government that a certain group of people is indigenous. That acknowledgement can take a variety of forms ranging from reaffirmation of a government-to-government relationship between the state and the governing body of the group to a simple admission that the group is a historic indigenous people within the state’s boundaries.

The benefits of state recognition differ from state to state based on state and federal laws and programs. State-recognized groups, typically American Indian tribes, do not automatically qualify for the same programs and benefits as federally recognized tribes, but some federal legislation, such as protections for indigenous artisans, certain environmental programs, and some grant processes, explicitly include state-recognized groups.

State recognition can be conferred in several ways, but the most common is by an act of the state legislature recognizing the indigenous group. Alternatively, some states use an administrative recognition process where groups must meet certain criteria to qualify for recognition. In a few states, the Governor may grant recognition to indigenous groups.

2. Is State Recognition an option for Native Hawaiians?

> Several pieces of legislation that would recognize Native Hawaiians as the indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawaii were introduced in the 2011 Hawai‘i Legislative Session.

Currently, Senate Bill 1, House Draft 1 establishes a Native Hawaiian roll commission to certify a roll of Native Hawaiians qualified to participate in the organization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. SB 1 does not contain detailed procedures for organization of the governing entity and largely leaves Native Hawaiians with flexibility in this process.

Senate Bill 1520, House Draft 1 contains a simple statement of recognition of the Native Hawaiian people.

House Bill 1627, House Draft 2 requires OHA to submit to the Legislature a proposal for the process of certification of the organic documents of a first nation government to the Legislature. These governing documents would need to be approved by the Governor. However, this bill has been deferred.

3. What is OHA’s position on State Recognition of Native Hawaiians?

> OHA supports state recognition of Native Hawaiians provided that it does not diminish efforts to pursue and obtain federal recognition. OHA, in conjunction with our beneficiaries, public officials and advisers, is carefully considering possible approaches to state and federal recognition in an effort to offer constructive suggestions to the dialogue. We are encouraged by the willingness of our legislators to not only listen, but adopt many of the public’s recommendations to improve proposed state recognition legislation this session.

4. How does State Recognition differ from Federal Recognition?

> State-recognized groups do not hold the same status or automatically qualify for the same programs or benefits as federally recognized Indian tribes or Alaska Natives. At least 15 states have recognized over 60 groups that do not also have federal recognition. Because the criteria for state recognition need not mirror or even resemble the criteria for federal recognition, state recognition is not necessarily a precursor to federal recognition.

State recognition also does not exempt indigenous groups from certain state and federal law like federal recognition would. For example, state recognition would not protect Native Hawaiians from federal equal protection challenges. It would also not exempt Native Hawaiians from any state taxes or laws unless explicitly negotiated with the state.

5. Does State Recognition preclude later Federal Recognition of Native Hawaiians?

> No. Even if Native Hawaiians were to be granted state recognition, the United States retains the ability to federally recognize Native Hawaiians at a later date. In some situations, the process of state recognition of an indigenous group has led to findings that later supported their petition for federal recognition.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2011/04/KWO1104.pdf
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper for April 2011], page 30
[Each trustee is given space to write a monthly column]

Navigating the road to recognition

Boyd P. Mossman
Vice Chair, Trustee, Maui

Aloha käkou,

With the conclusion of the last Congressional two-year session and the demise of the latest version of the Akaka bill, many are wondering what exactly is the game plan now. Sen. Akaka recently introduced at the Indian Affairs Committee an identical version of his bill that was last pending before Congress. The 2010 plan called for the bill to be amended on the floor to accommodate concerns which unless addressed would kill the bill. The bill never made it to the floor.

Though introducing the same bill this year might be expeditious, hopefully there will be ample opportunity to adjust the bill as has been previously done to address the political and practical realities of getting anything passed in Congress. OHA stands ready and available at any time to assist and will work together with our Hawaiians and non-Hawaiian community. The fact that we have the support of President Obama and a majority of the U.S. Senate bodes well for the bill; however, as in the past, the senate filibuster rule requiring 60 votes to get to the floor is our challenge. Also, now that the House majority has changed, we face another major obstacle.

And so, the next two years in Congress will continue to be a complicated journey of political maneuvering and choices before any recognition is given to Native Hawaiians, as indigenous, sovereign and deserving of the same status as the other two indigenous groups in the U.S.: Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. Once achieved, however, lawsuits against OHA, DHHL and the State claiming racial discrimination by Hawaiians will be reduced if not eliminated and Hawaiians can be assured of their continued existence as a sovereign people.

This year the state Legislature is considering “state” recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. This provides Hawaiians with a second prong toward “federal” recognition; not only will Hawaiians be able to press forward in addressing the many issues facing them today in Hawai‘i, but Congress will have a specific organization representing Native Hawaiians to recognize as opposed to an ambiguous collection of individuals and community groups separate from the state organizations, OHA and DHHL. This prong is basically the same one that OHA has been working toward beginning with Kau Inoa as establishing a base of voters and on to the creation of a governing entity. OHA does have concerns in the legislation being proposed but legislative support is a positive step forward. And so with a dual effort on the federal and state levels the road toward federal recognition is still navigable despite the roadblocks.

OHA has other ideas and plans that could also lead to federal recognition but they are pending and not yet solidified. Whatever we can do as the duly elected representatives of all of the people of Hawai‘i to provide for the betterment of Hawaiians we will do within the law and reason.

Our mission includes the recognition of our ancestors as well as the perpetuation of our culture for our posterity and all mankind. We believe that the best way to provide for our people would be to give them legal as well as political protection and power needed to survive in a calamity-prone world. Just as physical disaster can wipe out a civilization, so is our continued existence as a people threatened today by legal and political disasters absent recognition. For us to survive we must prepare now, work now, and succeed now by gaining state and ultimately federal recognition of a Hawaiian governing entity for the betterment of Hawaiians and all Hawai‘i.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/sbeditorials/20110403_Akaka_should_submit_bill_that_had_Lingles_support.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 3, 2011
EDITORIAL

Akaka should submit bill that had Lingle’s support

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka has again introduced his bill to recognize Hawaiian sovereignty, as he has since 1999, but alas, the version he chose is not likely to receive the bipartisan support needed for enactment.

In any version, the Akaka Bill faces an uphill battle in the most partisan Congress in the decade that the proposal has come up short. But its only chance of approval, if any, is a return to the version supported by the Lingle administration.

Gov. Linda Lingle supported the Akaka Bill through most of her two terms but backed away after it was altered at the behest of President Barack Obama’s Justice Department.

The change would give the native governing entity broad power from the outset, before even beginning negotiations with the state.

Lingle wrote letters to all Senate Republicans in March of last year declaring her opposition.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye was irritated that Akaka had not consulted Lingle before making the changes. He was appeased after Lingle and her attorney general, Mark Bennett, were brought into the discussion, noting afterward that “significant modifications” of the bill had been made at Lingle's request, “and I believe that it is stronger because of it.”

After further changes, Lingle endorsed the bill last summer, as did the Obama administration, according to Bennett.

Akaka, though, has chosen to reintroduce the bill that did not include Lingle’s input.

“As the U.S. Department of Justice has advised,” his spokesman said, “this version of the bill is stronger because it more closely parallels existing United States policy towards its indigenous people.”

However, equating a native Hawaiian entity with American Indian tribes is difficult, especially regarding tribal reservations, as Lingle wrote to GOP senators. Federal law regarding those tribes “is remarkably undeveloped when it comes to the powers of tribes that lack a land base,” she wrote, noting that the Akaka Bill “does not provide a land base to the native Hawaiian people.”

The Akaka Bill had no problem gaining House approval last year by a 245-164 vote. But Republicans now control the House, and the Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction, is chaired by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who has opposed the bill as race-based.

Hastings was the committee’s ranking Republican when Bennett wrote him and the Democratic committee chairman in December 2009 complaining about the changes proposed by Obama’s Justice Department. While Lingle and Bennett are no longer in office, their concerns when they were in leadership positions in Hawaii will hardly be ignored by fellow Republicans in the current Congress.

The reality of today’s partisan hostility raises questions about the wisdom of reintroducing the most controversial version of a Hawaiian sovereignty bill. Hawaii’s senators and congresswomen should take remedial action, if they are serious about this important bill having any chance of enactment before Akaka’s retirement at the end of next year.

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** Online comment to the editorial by Ken Conklin:

This editorial is a commonsense description of the political realities in Congress -- the Akaka bill version agreed to by Lingle would have a far better chance of passing than the version now introduced. That fact is surely not missed by the pushers of the Akaka bill like OHA and the Hawaii delegation.

That's why I think there's a very credible conspiracy theory, which goes like this. The most radical version of the Akaka bill has been introduced to give the delegation a way of looking like they're offering a very reasonable compromise when they later introduce the version Lingle approved. Their hope is that the Republicans in Congress will then say -- oh, how very reasonable of the Hawaii delegation to introduce such a mild compromise we can all agree on; let's now support it and give dear old Akaka a retirement gift.

But the Republicans are not as dumb as this editorial suggests. The Republicans know that the so-called Lingle bill is also terrible, and they will never support any version of it.

The Akaka bill is like a death sentence for Hawaii and for America. The Advertiser editorial suggests we are given a choice of what method the death penalty will be carried out -- would you prefer firing squad, hanging, or lethal injection? But I say we should not support any death penalty at all. Hawaii's multiracial, multicultural society is a great treasure which must be protected.

We must never support racial separatism, whether it is the currently introduced version of the Akaka bill or the Lingle version of it. Ku'e! Resist!

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http://indian.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?hearingID=5120
U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, notice posted Tuesday April 5, 2011

BUSINESS MEETING to consider: S. 675, S. 676

Thursday, April 7 2011
2:15PM
Dirksen-628

Description:

S. 675, A bill to express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity;

and S. 676, A bill to amend the Act of June 18, 1934, to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes,

To be followed immediately by an OVERSIGHT HEARING on "Promise Fulfilled: The Role of the SBA 8(a) Program in Enhancing Economic Development in Indian Country."

----------------

http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/20110405_Reintroduced_Akaka_Bill_not_a_threat_to_states_authority.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 5, 2011
Commentary

Reintroduced Akaka Bill not a threat to state’s authority

By Jon M. Van Dyke

The Star-Advertiser’s Sunday editorial scolded U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka for reintroducing the version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (frequently called the Akaka Bill) recommended in late 2009 by the career civil servants at the Justice Department, rather than the version that emerged later with amendments based on recommendations of Gov. Linda Lingle and then-Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett (“Akaka should submit bill that had Lingle’s support,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, April 3).

It needs to be emphasized how modest those later amendments were, and how close to complete agreement all of Hawaii’s leaders are on this important bill.

The amendments focused on the immunities that the native Hawaiian governing entity will have between (1) the time the governing entity receives formal federal recognition and (2) the time that Congress passes a separate statute returning lands to the governing entity.

During this interim period, under the Justice Department version, the governing entity could exercise some authority over those on the roll of qualified native Hawaiian constituents, involving, for instance, marriages, adoptions, and custody. It might also engage in some economic activities and administer some lands that it has gained through purchase or other transfer.

Under the Justice Department version, the governing entity would be “vested with the inherent powers and privileges of self-government of a native government under existing law,” except that it could not “conduct gaming activities as a matter of claimed inherent authority or under the authority of any Federal law.” It could thus operate in a manner similar to that of the other 550-plus native nations in the United States.

The Lingle version stated explicitly that the activities of the governing entity would be subject to the state’s regulatory authority with regard to health and safety and would not have immunities from suit in these areas, and that the officers and employees of the governing entity would not be immune from the state’s criminal laws.

It would seem that the state will also retain these essential powers under the Justice Department version, which says that “nothing in this Act shall preempt Federal or State authority over Native Hawaiians or their property under existing law” (Section 9(b)(3)).

The Justice Department has nonetheless opposed the Lingle language, because it might impact the law that has evolved regarding relations between native governments and the state and federal governments.

The Star-Advertiser editorial complains that the Justice Department version “would give the native governing entity broad power from the outset, before even beginning negotiations with the state.”

That appears to be an overstatement, because the governing entity will lack land and resources and will only be able to govern the activities of its members.

But it should be given a chance to start exercising some governing authority, and should have the limited sovereign immunity that all autonomous governments enjoy. That, after all, is the point of this important bill: to recognize the unique status of our host culture and to help rectify the injuries caused by the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893 and the uncompensated takings of the kingdom’s lands by the United States in 1898 by permitting native Hawaiians to govern themselves once again.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/akaka-bill-hearing-set-in-u-s-senate/123
Hawaii Reporter, April 5, 2011
Akaka Bill Hearing Set in U.S. Senate

The Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, nicknamed the ‘Akaka Bill’ after its author U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, will be voted on in the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs this Thursday, at 2:15 p.m. in the Dirksen room 628.

Akaka, who was removed as Veterans Affairs chair earlier this year and said he won’t run for re-election in 2012, was named the chair of the Indian Affairs.

No hearing is expected, Senate sources said. Instead there will bill be a pro forma voice vote of S.676, to create a native Hawaiian sovereign government within the state, and the bill will be sent to the floor.

“The decision to skip a formal hearing in Washington or in Hawaii is part of a long pattern of dodging tough questions and pretending that backroom deals are a fair substitute for an open process. But as dismaying as this is, it ultimately doesn’t matter. This bill couldn’t get through with Democrats in absolute control of Congress and it certainly can’t get through now,” Steven Duffield, former chief counsel to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), told Hawaii Reporter.

Congress has taken up the Akaka Bill more than a half a dozen times since 2000, the year the Akaka Bill was introduced. While it passed the House twice, the Senate never voted on the measure.

The bill was re-introduced in both Houses by the Hawaii congressional delegation in recent weeks.

Critics point out that the bill language has been changed many times since it was introduced, all in private negotiations behind closed doors; that there have been no hearings on the current language of the bill; and there have been no public forums on this new bill in Hawaii.

The legislation was opposed by President George W. Bush and his Justice Department, but is supported by President Barack Obama, a former Hawaii resident. It is fiercely debated among native Hawaiian groups and in political circles.

Native Hawaiian activists who are against the bill say they don’t want the federal government to have authority over them. They believe the Hawaiian government was illegally overthrown in the late 1800s and don’t recognize the state and federal government as authorities. They want Hawaii to revert to a sovereign government.

Conservatives and libertarians who strongly oppose the Akaka Bill believe the legislation is racially divisive, unconstitutional, and problematic on a several levels. The U.S. Civil Rights commission condemned the bill. The Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and in Hawaii, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, along with many others public policy institute, have expressed strong concerns over the measure.

Pushing for the bill are all four members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, Hawaii’s governor and lieutenant governor, elected officers of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and their supporters. The majority of Hawaii lawmakers also back the legislation.

Democrats and other Akaka bill advocates who were concerned they would not get the votes they need in the House and Senate when the newly-elected Congress is sworn in this January, made another failed attempt to get it passed before 2010 came to an end.

The related other bill that Akaka’s committee will consider, S.676, would reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of Interior to take Hawaii lands into trust for an Akaka tribe.

Under this proposal, tribal businesses could be exempt from state and county regulations (such as labor laws and zoning) and from state taxes such as income tax, property tax and excise tax.

Supporters of such measures say native Hawaiians need and deserve an advantage over other races in Hawaii.

Critics of such a measure say that such exemptions would drive competitor businesses out of business and lower the state tax base for the 80 percent of Hawaii’s people who lack native Hawaiian blood.

Meanwhile, the Census Bureau released a report showing that Native Hawaiian owned businesses are being created at a far higher rate than non-native businesses.

FOR MORE INFORMATION See the notice on the website of the Indian Affairs committee for more information on S. 675, S. 676
http://indian.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?hearingID=5120

S. 675, A bill to express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity;

And S. 676, A bill to amend the Act of June 18, 1934, to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes,

To be followed immediately by an
OVERSIGHT HEARING on “Promise Fulfilled: The Role of the SBA 8(a) Program in Enhancing Economic Development in Indian Country.”

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http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/04/us-senators-consider-new-akaka-bill
The Washington Examiner, April 6, 2011

US senators to consider new Akaka bill

By: The Associated Press

The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is holding a meeting to consider legislation granting federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian government.

Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii said the business meeting Thursday will be used to make minor amendments to the bill and possibly vote on it.

If approved, the measure would advance to the full Senate.

Akaka said it's his priority to put Native Hawaiians on equal footing with Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Similar legislation failed to get a vote in the Senate last year following 11 years of efforts by Akaka to get it passed.

Akaka has said he won't seek re-election next year, so this may be his last opportunity to get the legislation passed.

-----------------

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20110406_US_Senate_panel_to_hear_Akaka_Bill.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 6, 2011

U.S. Senate panel to hear Akaka Bill

By B.J. Reyes

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is scheduled to go tomorrow before the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee, whose chairman, Sen. Daniel Akaka, aims to have a vote on the measure.

If favorably reported out of the committee, the bill would be added to the Senate calendar for consideration by the full chamber.

“Providing parity between native Hawaiians and our country’s other indigenous people is a priority,” Akaka, D-Hawaii, said in a statement. “This bill puts native Hawaiians on equal footing with American Indians and Alaska natives and I urge my colleagues to support it.”

Better known as the Akaka Bill after its chief sponsor, the substance of the proposal has never faced a straight up-or-down vote by the Senate.

The bill 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. The federal recognition would be similar to that of American Indians and Alaska natives.

If native Hawaiians were recognized, the negotiation process would be established. The bill does not include provisions to allow for gambling, nor does it set forth a process by which Hawaii may secede from the United States, Akaka said. It also does not allow for private land to be taken or for the creation of a reservation in Hawaii, he added.

Akaka, who has announced plans to retire when his term expires next year, introduced the bill in 1999 and has said he hopes to have it pass before he leaves office. He reintroduced the bill last week. It was co-sponsored by Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye and Alaska Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski.

Language in the current version of the bill was proposed by the White House and negotiated between the U.S. Justice Department and Hawaii’s congressional delegation. It passed the Indian Affairs Committee in 2009 but stalled before reaching the Senate floor.

--------------------

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/119421024.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 7, 2011, Breaking news at 9:11 AM Hawaii time

Akaka Bill passes out of Senate committee

By B.J. Reyes

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill passed out of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee by voice vote today, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's office said.

It now gets placed on the Senate calendar for consideration by the full chamber.

The bill reached a similar point in the legislative process last year, but stalled as the Senate debated weightier matters such as health care reform and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays in the military.

Better known as the Akaka Bill after its chief sponsor, the substance of the proposal has never faced a straight up-or-down vote by the Senate.

"Over the years, we have had extensive hearings on this issue -- all stakeholders have had an opportunity to present their views, and we have strengthened our bill with their input," Akaka said in remarks prepared for the meeting. "Now is the time to move this legislation forward."

The bill 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. The federal recognition would be similar to that of American Indians and Alaska natives.

If native Hawaiians were recognized, the negotiation process would be established. The bill does not include provisions to allow for gambling, nor does it set forth a process by which Hawaii may secede from the United States, Akaka said. It also does not allow for private land to be taken or for the creation of a reservation in Hawaii, he added.

Akaka, who has announced plans to retire when his term expires next year, introduced the bill in 1999 and has said he hopes to have it pass before he leaves office. He reintroduced the bill last week. It was co-sponsored by Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye and Alaska Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski.

Language in the current version of the bill was proposed by the White House and negotiated between the U.S. Justice Department and Hawaii's congressional delegation. It passed the Indian Affairs Committee in 2009 but stalled before reaching the Senate floor.

A companion bill has been introduced in the House.

---------------

http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/04/senate-committee-approves-native-hawaiian-measure
The Washington Examiner, April 7, 2011

Senate committee approves Native Hawaiian measure

By: KEVIN FREKING
Associated Press

A bill that would give Native Hawaiians the opportunity to form their own government has cleared its first and easiest hurdle in the current Congress.

On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approved by voice vote legislation that has been long sought by Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, the committee's chairman.

If the bill were to become law, Native Hawaiians would begin a process of re-establishing a Hawaiian government that could negotiate its responsibilities and assets with the state of Hawaii and the federal government.

The bill would essentially treat Hawaiians on par with 565 federally recognized Indian tribes.

The legislation has strong backing from the state's congressional delegation.

But it's unclear where the measure will go from here as prospects for the legislation dimmed considerably when the GOP took control of the House.

-------------------

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20110407_Panel_passes_Akaka_Bill.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 8, 2011

Panel passes Akaka Bill
A measure extending federal recognition to native Hawaiians advances in the Senate

By B.J. Reyes

A proposal to grant native Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that of American Indians and Alaska natives advanced out of committee yesterday and awaits consideration by the full U.S. Senate.

Since it was first introduced in 1999, the substance of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act has never faced a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate, something its chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, aims to change before he retires next year.

The bill was passed yesterday by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, chaired by Akaka. It reached a similar point in the legislative process last year but stalled as the Senate debated matters including health care reform, the extension of Bush-era tax cuts and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward gays in the military.

“Over the years, we have had extensive hearings on this issue — all stakeholders have had an opportunity to present their views, and we have strengthened our bill with their input,” Akaka said in remarks prepared for the meeting. “Now is the time to move this legislation forward.”

Better known as the Akaka Bill, after its chief sponsor, the bill 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.

The bill does not include provisions to allow for gambling, nor does it set forth a process by which Hawaii may secede from the United States. It also does not allow for private land to be taken or for the creation of a reservation in Hawaii.

Akaka reintroduced the bill last week. It was co-sponsored by Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. A companion bill has been introduced in the House.

Clyde Namuo, chief executive officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, commended Akaka for moving the bill forward.

“Recognition is good for native Hawaiians, and we believe it will be beneficial for everyone in the state of Hawaii,” he said in a statement.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Alapaki Nahale-a, who attended yesterday’s Indian Affairs Committee meeting in Washington, D.C., also offered the state agency’s support of the bill.

“Native Hawaiians should feel heartened that self-determination is on the horizon,” he said.

Wording in the current version of the bill was proposed by the White House and negotiated between the U.S. Justice Department and Hawaii's congressional delegation. It passed the Indian Affairs Committee in 2009 but stalled before reaching the Senate floor. Several GOPsenators balked after then-Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, objected to the changes. A compromise bill was negotiated but never voted on.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/native-hawaiian-successes-census-and-sensibility/123
Hawaii Reporter, April 11, 2011

Native Hawaiian Successes, Census and Sensibility

BY MALIA HILL - Call it the Frankenstein of bad legislation. The Akaka Bill is back in the Senate. And while some pundits don’t give it much of a future in the House of Representatives, the Senate gave it a hearing this past Thursday. In truth, there is far too much riding on this bill for opponents to ever feel secure about defeating it. At least, not unless there is a change in the culture that has created this issue. Part of this is the misapprehension that Native Hawaiians are, as a group, severely disadvantaged . . . a myth that some have done nothing to refute, even though you might imagine that it might be nice to see a little good news now and again. And so–in order to better inform the discussion–consider the latest US census information about Native Hawaiians:

Census Bureau Reports Revenue for Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-Owned Businesses Increased 52 Percent from 2002 to 2007 The number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses increased 31.1 percent between 2002 and 2007, to 37,957 businesses, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. These businesses generated $6.5 billion in receipts in 2007, a 51.6 percent increase from 2002. In contrast, the total number of U.S. businesses increased 17.9 percent between 2002 and 2007; total business receipts rose 32.9 percent.

These new data come from the Survey of Business Owners: Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-Owned Businesses: 2007.
http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/

The survey provides detailed information every five years for Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses, including the number of firms, sales and receipts, number of paid employees and annual payroll.

Data are presented by geographic area (nation, state, county, city and metro area), industry and size of business. Preliminary national and state data were released in July 2010.

“This important look at the economic activity of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses is the only comprehensive and regularly collected data on this group,” said Tom Mesenbourg, deputy director of the Census Bureau. “These data confirm that businesses owned by Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders continue to grow both in number and in sales at rates that are faster than national rates for all businesses.”

People of Native Hawaiian origin owned 55.6 percent of all Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in 2007. Guamanian- or Chamorro-owned businesses accounted for 9.6 percent, Samoan-owned businesses for 8.0 percent, and businesses owned by people of Other Pacific Islander descent, for 24.6 percent.

States with the highest number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses were Hawaii, with 11,383 (30.0 percent of all Native Hawaiian- and Pacific Islander-owned businesses nationwide), and California, with 9,255 (24.4 percent).

Among counties, Honolulu had the largest number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses, with 6,721; followed by Los Angeles, with 2,804; Maui, with 2,111; and Hawaii, with 1,722.

Among metropolitan areas, Honolulu had the largest number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses, with 6,721 (17.7 percent of all Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses nationwide), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, with 3,675 (9.7 percent).

Other highlights:

* Of the 37,957 Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in 2007, 4,172 had paid employees. These businesses employed 38,750 people, an increase of 32.2 percent, and their payrolls totaled $1.3 billion, an increase of 54.1 percent from 2002. Employer business receipts totaled $5.4 billion, an increase of 54.4 percent. Average receipts of these firms were $1.3 million.

* The number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses with no paid employees totaled 33,785, an increase of 33.8 percent. These nonemployers’ business receipts totaled $1.1 billion. Average receipts of these firms were $31,991.

* The number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses with receipts of $1.0 million or more was 884 in 2007.

* The number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses with 100 or more employees increased from 28 to 37 (32.1 percent).

* Construction and retail trade accounted for 44.1 percent of all Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned business receipts.

The Survey of Business Owners defines Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses as firms in which Native Hawaiians, Guamanians, Chamorros, Samoans, and Other Pacific Islanders own 51 percent or more of the equity, interest or stock of the business. Additional data from the survey highlighting other minority- and veteran-owned businesses will be issued over the next few months. Subsequently, separate data sets will be issued highlighting additional characteristics of all businesses and their owners.

The Survey of Business Owners is conducted every five years as part of the economic census. The 2007 survey collected data from a sample of more than 2.3 million businesses. Data collected in a sample survey are subject to sampling variability, as well as nonsampling errors. Sources of nonsampling errors include errors of response, nonreporting and coverage. More details concerning the SBO survey design, methodology and data limitations can be found here.
http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/methodology.html

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http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2011/04/19/10415-inouyes-mission-of-justice/
Honolulu Civil Beat, Tuesday April 19, 2011

Inouye's Mission of Justice

By Chad Blair

** Excerpts related to Akaka bill

In a wide-ranging interview with the Civil Beat editorial board Monday, Inouye reflected on the budget crisis currently afflicting Washington, support for the Akaka bill, the 2012 elections, America's prolonged foreign wars and the next generation of leaders in Hawaii.

What comes across more strongly than anything is Dan Inouye's continuing commitment to justice, and how it has infused nearly everything he has done in his long career of public service.

"This may be my proof of the pudding: I don't believe in partisanship," he said. "And over the years I've been able to be good friends with Republicans. It's no secret I'm a good friend of Bob Dole. We communicate with each other all the time because we were in the hospital together. We were in the same war zone together, we were just one mile apart and one week apart when we got injured."

Inouye continued: "Ted Stevens, he represented a territory and I represented a territory so we had things in common. We got along beautifully..."

One area of agreement, he says, is on federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.

That may surprise many, given that the Akaka bill has floundered for 10 years. But he says the bill does have support in both houses of Congress, and that President Obama's personal involvement in moving the legislation could be the tipping point.

(Inouye said he thought former Gov. Linda Lingle also supports the Akaka bill, even though the latest version does not include language that Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett successfully fought for last year.)

Inouye was perhaps at his most passionate in addressing two issues very close to him: Native Hawaiians, and war.

On the former issue, Inouye is proud of having directed — in his estimate — roughly $1 billion in federal earmarks to help Hawaii's indigenous population in areas like education and health. Sen. John McCain may not appreciate the Hokulea sailing vessel, but Inouye understands to his core how vital a cultural symbol it has been.

Hawaiians, he said, have been treated "like dirt."

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/letters/20110419_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 19, 2011, Letters to the Editor

Akaka consistent on his proposal

The April 4 editorial in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser is completely out of touch ("Akaka should submit bill that had Lingle's support," Our View, Star-Advertiser, April 3).

The version of the bill on federal recognition introduced by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is nearly identical to the bill that Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett supported and provided testimony of that support in 2006.

I guess they were for it before they were against it. Akaka, on the other hand, has been steady and forthright. He has never played politics, nor made the issue partisan.

Blossom Feiteira
Wailuku, Maui

------------------------

http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2011/04/22/10504-hawaii-version-of-akaka-bill-still-alive/
Honolulu Civil Beat, April 22, 2011

Hawaii Version of Akaka Bill Still Alive

By Chad Blair

A bill that would recognize Native Hawaiians as the only "indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people" of Hawaii is moving through conference committee at the Hawaii Legislature.

A conference committee is considering merging that bill, Senate Bill 1520, with another measure, Senate Bill 1, that creates a commission tasked with preparing a roll of qualified Hawaiians for a convention.

If passed and signed into law, SB 1520 could help achieve key goals of the Akaka bill, the federal legislation pending in Congress that calls for recognition of Hawaiians and establishment of a governing entity.

Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria said in conference committee Thursday that his office has been in communication with U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's office regarding the local legislation.

"This could very well turn out to be landmark legislation for Hawaii and for the Hawaiian people," said Galuteria. "(Akaka) was quite enthusiastic that we would be able to support his intitiaves toward federal recognition in D.C. with our efforts at the state level."

Support from OHA

SB 1520 still has some hurdles to clear.

Committee conferees will reconvene Monday morning to consider a Conference Draft 1 that blends the two bills into one.

The draft calls for an unspecified amount of money over the next two fiscal years to pay for the roll commission, money that would be matched by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Sen. Malama Solomon, co-author of SB 1 — the roll commission measure that was deferred in House Finance April 5 — said $65,000 would come from the Legislature and $65,000 from OHA.

Solomon asked House conferees on SB 1520 to consult with House Finance "for their manao" on the funding. Rep. Faye Hanohano agreed that she and her colleagues would look at the Senate's proposal.

Another issue to work out is OHA's desire to name some of the roll commission's nine members.

"We have no problem with that," said Solomon. "The question is, how many do you want? What's reasonable?"

Solomon is determined to see the bill's passage through.

"That's why the roll call becomes important," she said. "It gives us a better opportunity to get federal recognition as a nation — that's all a roll call does."

Meanwhile, the federal Akaka bill — aka the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act — awaits a floor vote in the U.S. Senate while its House companion still awaits a committee vote.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye told Civil Beat Monday that he believed the votes are there in both houses of Congress to pass the legislation, which was first introduced a decade ago by Sen. Daniel Akaka in the Senate and then-Congressman Neil Abercrombie in the House.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/lawmakers-attempt-end-run-around-public-to-pass-akaka-bill/123
Hawaii Reporter, April 27, 2011

Lawmakers Attempt End Run Around Public to Pass Akaka Bill

BY MALIA HILL – As the last days of the 2011 Legislature come to a close, it is important that citizens be ever vigilant of what our lawmakers are doing with the bills, which are now being heard in conference committee

Case in point: House Bill 1405, which started out in the beginning of this session as a bill “relating to planning” that called for the requirement of the Office of Planning “to establish a statewide system of greenways and trails.” HB1405 made it through the House committees in its original form all the way to the first crossover vote, but after being heard in two Senate committees, it was changed into a state version of what could be called the first steps of the Akaka Bill – that is, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. The revised state measure now calls for the establishment of a 9-member Native Hawaiian roll commission, which will appoint an interim council of 9 members to “commence the organization of a convention of qualified Native Hawaiians.”

The Senate committees on Water, Land, and Housing and Ways and Means decided to delete HB1405’s contents and replace them with the contents of S.B. No. 1, S.D. 2, which died in an earlier committee and never made it to the floor of the House for a vote for second crossover.

The last public testimony received was on March 31, 2011, when HB1405 was still in its original form, at least when testimony was submitted. Not one piece of testimony regarding the new version of HB1405 is shown on the state Web site. With the new version of the bill now in conference committee, no public testimony is even allowed.

It will be interesting to see what the members of the conference committee do with this totally gut-and-pasted bill, as they are charged with coming up with a version of the bill that will have to pass in the exact form in both chambers. The conference committee is scheduled to meet at 1:05 p.m. today in conference room 224 for decision making.

See the status of the HB1405 at:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=1405

The public may still send comments to the conference committee chairs via emails to – Sen. Malama Solomon at
sensolomon@capitol.hawaii.gov
and Reps. Jerry Chang at repchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov
and Sharon Har at rephar@Capitol.hawaii.gov
To send an email to all legislators, go to:
sens@capitol.hawaii.gov
reps@capitol.hawaii.gov
Or find your individual Senator or Representative at:
http://www.capitol.hawaii..gov/session2011/members/senate/senatemembers.aspx
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/members/house/housemembers.aspx
To contact the governor, go to:
http://hawaii.gov/gov/contact/
Start a discussion at
http://wwwHawaiiVotes.org
or on HawaiiVotes Facebook.

-------------------

April 29-30: News reports say the Hawaii state legislature conference committee agrees on final text of bill to create a state-recognized Akaka tribe.

** Note from Ken Conklin: The final text of the bill as passed by the conference committee can be found at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/Bills/SB1520_CD1_.HTM and also (with page and line numbers) at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/Bills/SB1520_CD1_.pdf

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20110430_Hawaiian_recognition_foreclosure_aid_bills_advance.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 30, 2011

Hawaiian recognition, foreclosure aid bills advance

By B.J. Reyes

** Excerpts related to Akaka bill

The state would begin the process of formally recognizing native Hawaiians as the indigenous people of the islands by establishing a five-member commission to prepare and maintain a roll of qualified Hawaiians, under a proposal agreed to in the Legislature.

Senate Bill 1520 would have the Office of Hawaiian Affairs fund and administer the program and work toward the continuing development of a native Hawaiian governing entity.

"This gives the native Hawaiian people the standing — in terms of recognition — by the state of Hawaii," said Sen. Malama Soloman (D, Hilo-Honokaa), one of the key backers of the legislation. "It mandates a roll call so that the native Hawaiian nation is actually identified."

The Hawaiian recognition bill was among dozens of bills in play yesterday as lawmakers worked into the night to reach agreement on legislation ahead of next week's adjournment of the 2011 regular session. Any bills had to be completed by midnight so lawmakers could take final votes on them.

The native Hawaiian bill would work hand-in-hand with the proposal at the federal level being pushed by U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka.

Clyde Namuo, Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief executive officer, said the federal bill includes language about organizing and maintaining a roll that would no longer be needed if the state proposal is enacted.

"Once we have a governing entity in place, the federal recognition will be even easier," Namuo said.

OHA would fund the commission that would be dissolved by the governor upon publication of the roll. The Legislature had estimated the cost of the bill at about $55,000 in each of the next two fiscal years. A progress report is due to the Legislature before the start of next session.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/?p=33448
Hawaii Reporter, April 29, 2011

Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill Moves Forward in 2011 Legislature

Senate Bill 1520, which formally recognizes Native Hawaiian people as “the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai’i,” was approved today by a joint conference of the Hawai’i State Senate and House conferees. The bill will now move to both houses of the State legislature for a final vote. If passed, it will then go to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Senator Malama Solomon (D/Sen. Dist.1 – Waimea, Hamakua, North Hilo, portions of South Hilo), who has been a lead negotiator for Native Hawaiian recognition in the 2011 session, said “this is a historic and positive step in the reconciliation process between the State of Hawai’i and the Native Hawaiian people. By having the formal recognition by all of the people of these islands, this bill serves as strong evidence and testimony for our case pending before Congress for federal recognition of the Native Hawaiian people.”

Sen. Solomon, who represents a large portion of the Island of Hawai’i, has been working on the issue of Native Hawaiian recognition for more about three decades. “I well remember meeting with kupuna in the 1960s and ‘70s, and hearing stories of how they felt mistreated or discriminated against because of their ancestry,” she said. “Some progress towards reconciliation has certainly been made since then, but there is still much more to do and hopefully this Bill will move things forward.”

Senator Brickwood Galuteria (D/Sen. Dist 12 – Iwilei-Downtown-Kaka’ako-Waikiki), another lead negotiator of the legislation, echoed Solomon’s remarks. “Native Hawaiians are the original people of this land,” he said “and it’s only right that they be recognized as such and receive the same rights and benefits that are now given to all other native peoples in this country.

In addition to formal recognition by the State of Hawai’i, SB 1520, if passed and signed into law, also formally begins a process of creating a list of people who are of Native Hawaiian descent. Funds will be set aside to create a commission that will collect and register such names.

“We are the native people of this land,” said Sen. Solomon. “Nonetheless, we need to create a roll, a verified listing, of who we are by name and status, so that the whole world will know who we are … and that we stand up to be counted.”

Submitted by Hawaii State Senate communications office

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** This article by Associated Press was distributed nationwide and published in many places. Here's the article in The Connecticut Post

http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Beginnings-of-Native-Hawaiian-government-agreed-on-1359435.php
The Connecticut Post, Saturday April 30

Beginnings of Native Hawaiian government agreed on

MARK NIESSE, Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — Laying the foundation for a Native Hawaiian government, lawmakers agreed on legislation Friday that grants them recognition as the indigenous people of the state.

The bill starts the process of registering Native Hawaiians for their future government, and it could lead to the formation of a political body overseeing their affairs.

The measure unanimously cleared its conference committee Friday and advances to final votes in the House and Senate next week.

"It's sending a message to the indigenous Native Hawaiian population that we recognize you, and you can do whatever it takes to empower yourselves so that you can achieve self-determination," said Sen. Malama Solomon, D-Hilo-Honokaa.

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States who haven't been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to many Alaska Natives and Native American tribes.

Federal legislation for Hawaiian recognition hasn't passed despite more than a decade of efforts by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

But this state initiative gives Hawaiians a way to organize themselves and decide on their form of government, without having to wait for Congress to act first. It also may spur the federal government to act.

"It really is fundamentally a very significant step for self-determination for Native Hawaiians," said Clyde Namuo, CEO for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The bill calls for a five-member commission responsible for creating a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians interested in participating in their government. Those eligible for the roll include Native Hawaiians and others who have maintained significant cultural, social or civic connections to the Native Hawaiian community.

Once the roll is established, they could hold a convention and create founding documents of their Native Hawaiian nation.

"It restores a modicum of dignity to the first people of these islands, whose kingdom was stolen illegally," said Sen. Clayton Hee, D-Kahuku-Kaneohe. A previous effort by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, called Kau Inoa, gathered about 110,000 signatures of people showing interest in a Hawaiian governing entity.

The people on the Kau Inoa list could form a starting point for creating the new roll of Native Hawaiians, if they decide to join, Namuo said.

In all, there are about 400,000 Native Hawaiians in the world, with about half of them living in Hawaii.

"The Hawaiian people will have their own destiny they can create for themselves instead of having other people telling them what they need to do," said Rep. Faye Hanohano, D-Pahoa-Kalapana.

Funding of $110,000 over the next two years will be paid by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which will administer the roll commission, Namuo said.

The roll commission would be appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, with one commissioner from each of Hawaii's four main counties along with one at-large commissioner.

--------------

** The Honolulu Star-Advertiser published only this greatly shortened version of the AP article:

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/121011344.html#comments
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 29, 2011

Native Hawaiian government bill advancing

By MARK NIESSE
Associated Press

The foundation for a Native Hawaiian government within the state is being laid under legislation moving toward approval.

Lawmakers passed a bill out of committee today that starts the process of registering Hawaiians for their future government and recognizing them as the indigenous people of the state.

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous people in the United States who haven’t been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and Native American tribes.

The measure calls for creating a five-person commission charged with forming a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians who want to participate in the future governing entity.

State recognition of Native Hawaiians could help encourage the federal government to pass long-sought legislation recognizing their right to self-government.

-------------------

http://www.oha.org/kwo/2011/05/KWO1105.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), May 2011, page 5

Hawaiian Recognition advances in the U.S. Senate

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Akaka bill, was reported out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, currently Chaired by Sen. Daniel Akaka, on April 7.

S.675 now advances to the Senate floor for further consideration. During the markup, Senator Akaka stated: “Two decades ago, the United States apologized to Native Hawaiians for its participation in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and committed to a process of reconciliation. This bill is the necessarynext step in that reconciliation process.”

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Mazie Hirono introduced a companion measure to the Akaka bill, H.R. 1250, on March 30. H.R. 1250 currently has 51 co-sponsors, including Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.

OHA officials, led by Chairperson Colette Machado, Vice Chair Boyd Mossman and CEO Clyde Nämu‘o, traveled to Washington, D.C. in April to meet with key officials relating to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. This included all of Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation, officials from the Interior and Justice Departments, and key staff of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.

“Thanks to the efforts of Senator Akaka and the Hawai‘i delegation, the Native Hawaiian people will soon have a process to achieve a government-to- government relationship that will help to protect our land, culture and way of life,” said OHA Chairwoman Colette Machado.

“I appreciate OHA’s support of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, and look forward to their kökua in finally enacting this important Legislation,” said Senator Akaka

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2011/05/KWO1105.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), May 2011, page 30

Monthly trustee editorial, by Boyd P. Mossman
Vice Chair, Trustee, Maui

NHGRA recap and update

Aloha All,

I was happy to see that the Akaka bill was revived and reintroduced in both houses of Congress.

Most recently, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Akaka, marked the bill out of committee with no amendments on April 7. After the committee report is filed, the bill will then be put on the Senate calendar for future floor consideration. We have gotten Senate floor consideration only once since the bill was originally introduced about 10 years ago and that was in 2006 when Republican senators indicated they would support the bill at least for the purpose of cloture, which is a procedure the Senate has for getting bills heard if one Senator opposes bringing the bill to the floor for vote. A vote of 60 senators is required and usually at least 64 need to be committed. Last time several senators were absent for personal reasons such as health, family, etc. In addition, at the last moment, the Civil Rights Commission issued an unfavorable report against the bill and the Department of Justice sent out a letter in opposition, which caught all by surprise. The loss of Republican support and the unexpected absence of Democratic senators caused us to garner only 56 votes for cloture. That was not anticipated and we returned from Washington, D.C., licking our wounds and vowing to implement an immediate plan as we awaited the next attempt to pass thebill in Congress.

Kau Inoa was the first step in an effort to ultimately obtain state recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. That effort is not dead – just in transition as we await the state Legislature’s decision on initiating a similar effort from a legislative impetus. In 2008 a new president and a Democratic majority in both houses gave much promise to getting the bill through. We had the cloture votes in the Senate, we had the majority votes in the House, and we had a President who would sign the bill. All the stars were aligned. We even had our Republican governor in full support and so full steam ahead. OHA kept in touch with our legal advisers and lobbyists in D.C. and was following the counts on votes there when .... In December 2009 the bill was suddenly changed to language that Governor Lingle could not accept. Her negative reaction led to the loss of Republican support. The source of groups who were involved in these changes was reported in the Advertiser. OHA has been realistic in its approach to the bill’s passage and has sought to take one step at a time. Better we get something and work to improve as have the Alaskans than demand it all at one time. The only other alternative is get nothing. And that’s what we have at the moment.

In July 2010 agreement was reached between the Lingle administration and Senators Akaka and Inouye, and the bill as passed out of committee was to be amended on the Senate floor to address the concerns of the State. Time, however, ran out and the bill died as a new House Republican majority came into office. Today, the newly introduced bill is similar to the one opposed by the Lingle administration and so absent an agreement to amendment on the Senate floor we’re back to December 2009. On the House side, with a Republican majority we face difficult times. Mere enthusiasm does not trump votes. More votes will.

Hopefully our side will come together to provide something that can be agreed to by us and our opponents in Congress. So let’s get this bill passed for Senator Akaka, and all Hawai‘i.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2011/05/KWO1105.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), May 2011, page 31

Monthly trustee editorial, by Rowena Akana
Trustee, At-large

Uniting to support the Akaka legislation Senator Akaka is responsible for the landmark Apology Resolution and establishing the “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander” category in the U.S. Census

‘Ano‘ai käkou … I am so very grateful that Senator Daniel Akaka has chosen to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. The Senator’s announcement of retirement when his term expires in 2012 came as a shock to me. However, his reason for choosing to lead the Indian Affairs Committee for his final two years in the Senate is obvious.

Senator Akaka’s dedication to all the people of Hawaii has been without question. As a Native Hawaiian, he knows how important it is for our people to achieve native sovereignty. This right, under the U.S. Constitution, exists for hundreds of Native American tribes and Alaska Natives. Hawaiian Natives remain the only group yet to be acknowledged and recognized by the U.S. Native Hawaiians must have the same rights under the law and Constitution that Alaska Natives and Native Americans have.

To ensure our sovereign rights, the U.S. must recognize us as the only Native people of Hawaii. Our culture lives on in our language, history, dance, music and historical sites.

The 2011 Akaka bill, S. 675, can be downloaded through the Library of Congress web site at:
http://thomas.loc.gov.
The language within the bill is nearly identical to S. 1011 as it was passed out of the Indian Affairs Committee back in March 11, 2010.

On April 7, 2011, S. 675 was passed out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and awaits consideration by the full U.S. Senate.

Loretta Tuell named Chief Council , Indian Affairs Commitee

On March 24 the Trustees met with Loretta Tuell, who was appointed by Senator Akaka to be the next Staff Director/Chief Council for the Indian Affairs Committee. Ms. Tuell has previously served on the committee as Counsel to former Chairman Senator Daniel Inouye. She grew up on the Nez Perce reservation and she is a former partner at Anderson Tuell LLP, an American Indian-owned law firm in Washington, D.C.

I have known Loretta for 12 years now and I am confident that her wealth of knowledge and experience in Indian law and her familiarity with issues facing Native Hawaiians will give us the extra push we need to get the Akaka bill passed this time.

Ms. Tuell comes with impeccable credentials, including:
• Graduated from Washington State University
• Earned a law degree from UCLA
• Attended the Senior Executive Program at Harvard University
• Has extensive experience with the Department of the Interior, the Office of American Indian Trust, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs
• Was appointed to the Federal Task Force for Native Hawaiians
• Received the 2009 American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award, a prestigious award for woman attorneys.

State Recognition Update

On April 5, both competing bills to recognize Native Hawaiians as the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawaii – Senate Bill 1 (Senator Solomon) and SB 1520 (Senator Hee) – were heard by the House Finance Committee. The committee decided to pass out SB 1520 and defer SB 1. As of the writing of this column, SB 1520 had passed Third Reading in the House and crossed back over to the Senate. The House and Senate had until the end of April decking deadline to work out a final version of the bill.

Aloha Ke Akua.

Interested in Hawaiian issues and OHA? Please visit my web site at
www.rowenaakana.org
for more information or email me at
rowenaa@oha.org.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/121227678.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 3, 2011, breaking news posted at 6:27 PM Hawaii time
and many other newspapers throughout the U.S.; for example:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/05/native-hawaiian-self-government-bill-passed
The Washington Examiner, May 3, 2011, breaking news posted at 5:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time (Five and a half hours earlier than the Honolulu newspaper)

Native Hawaiian self-government bill passed

By: The Associated Press

Legislation that starts the process for Native Hawaiians to form their own government is heading to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his approval. The Hawaii House and Senate voted Tuesday to approve the bill, which recognizes Native Hawaiians as the indigenous people of the state.

The measure is meant to support a related proposal pending in Congress that would protect Native Hawaiian programs and allow them to create a self-governing entity.

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States who haven't been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to many Alaska Natives and Native American tribes.

The bill calls for a five-member commission responsible for creating a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians interested in participating in their government.

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http://blogs.starbulletin.com/inpolitics/bring-it-on/
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 4, 2011
Online commentary blog by political reporter Derrick DePledge

`Bring it on’

The most heartfelt discussion in the state Senate floor session on Tuesday was over the bill for the state to recognize native Hawaiians as an indigenous people.

Senators of native Hawaiian descent – state Sen. Gilbert Kahele, state Sen. Malama Solomon, state Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria, state Sen. Pohai Ryan, state Sen. J. Kalani English, and state Sen. Clayton Hee – spoke movingly about what the bill could mean for Hawaiians who have fought to preserve their language and culture in their home land. They spoke of the importance of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.

But the discussion also had a cutting edge. Solomon said she did not want her daughter to be brought up in a Hawaii with the weight of the overthrow still hanging over her head. Ryan said the remedy for injustice was long overdue. English said he hoped passage of the bill might finally convince the state House – and the Abercrombie administration – to support using both Hawaiian and English in state documents, an idea passed several times in the Senate.

Hee said that during conference committee, state House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro warned that somebody might file a lawsuit against the bill if it becomes law. Hee wondered whether Oshiro – who is gay – would have had the same worry about the civil-unions bill passed earlier this session and signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie as Act 1.

Just as the majority leader of the House, in conference, said: `Somebody going to sue.’

Of course somebody going to sue. If this legislation wasn’t important, nobody would sue. It is because it’s important.

But could you imagine my thoughts when listening to the House majority leader that somebody going to sue? After we passed Act 1? Somebody going to sue? Of course, because Act 1 is important legislation.

And no wordsmith of the new law of this importance could prevent (conservatives like) Bill Burgess, Kenneth Conklin, (Thurston) Twigg-Smith, from filing a lawsuit.

Bring it on. Bring it on. Because the facts of history will not change, the feelings of the indigenous will not change, and this issue will not go away.

---------------

** Ken Conklin's comment submitted to the DePledge blog (comment still "awaiting moderation" and unlikely to ever be posted)

It's very sad for Hawaii that this bill has passed. Mahalo to Senator Sam Slom, the only one of 76 legislators who had the guts to vote against it.

The bill by itself actually does very little, but it sets in motion a process whose expressed purpose is to break apart Hawaii along racial lines.

The bill does two things. (1) It hangs the label "indigenous" on all persons who have a drop of Hawaiian native blood, regardless whether that label is factually or historically correct. (2) It authorizes a 5-member committee to begin a process of enrolling all such "indigenous" people who wish to sign up for a "members-only" club, provided that they have participated in at least one other ethnic Hawaiian membership group (such as attending Kamehameha Schools, signing up for the OHA-sponsored Kau Inoa racial registry, or being a lessee or applicant for Hawaiian homelands).

But eventually, if Klub Kanaka gets created, survives court challenges, and elects leaders, then it will begin making demands to take away land, money, and jurisdictional authority that currently belong to all the people of Hawaii. There will be an adversarial competition as the tribe says gimme, gimme while the State tries to defend its land and power. There will be more and more racial strife, and more and more lawsuits. Hawaii will be forever divided. Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together again.

There is hope that the process will wither and die. That's what happened with the Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council and the Native Hawaiian Convention. Delegates were elected, a convention was held, two conflicting constitutions were written, but in the end the whole process simply died without much of a whimper.

See my webpage commentary about SB1520 at
http://tinyurl.com/3rzjdrf

And see my book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State." 27 copies are available in the Hawaii Public Library system, and portions of it are online at
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

The comments on the floor of the Senate illustrate the racial divisiveness of this bill, especially Clayton Hee's vicious "Bring it on!" For my reply, I quote the statement of a proud American who led a rebellion against the ruthless killers who had hijacked an airplane to use it as a weapon: "Let's roll." The analogy is a good one. Ten years ago it was Islamists who hijacked airplanes for use as weapons to blow up buildings in pursuing a religious and ethnic ideology. Today it's the "Hawaiian Caucus" who are hijacking the state legislature with a bill whose ultimate result and stated purpose is to blow up unity and equality in the State of Hawaii.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/hawaii-forming-state-recognized-tribe/123
Hawaii Reporter, May 4, 2011
Short URL: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/?p=33628
Hawaii Legislature Forming State Recognized Tribe
and
http://hawaiipoliticalinfo.org/node/3878
Hawaii Political Info, May 5, 2011
Hawaii Starts Creating a State-Recognized Tribe

On May 3, 2011, the Hawaii legislature passed SB1520 to begin the process of creating a state-recignized ethnic Hawaiian tribe. None of the 51 Representatives voted against it. Sam Slom was the only one among 25 Senators who had the guts to vote "No." Governor Abercrombie will undoubtedly sign it while making a bombastic speech.

Full text of the bill is at
http://tinyurl.com/4xlh5xb
or also, in pdf format with page and line numbers, at
http://tinyurl.com/3phwuno

This bill is irrational, contrary to historical fact, damaging to Hawaii's unity and the Aloha Spirit, and probably unconstitutional. It's a prime example of how Hawaii's people, and especially politicians, often support racial separatism and ethnic nationalism
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa
because they treat ethnic Hawaiians as a romanticized state mascot or pet.
http://tinyurl.com/3he27
Ethnic Hawaiians are "Da punahele race."
http://tinyurl.com/2sa6y

By itself the bill seems harmless. It does only two things: (1) It arbitrarily declares that ethnic Hawaiians are Hawaii's only indigenous people; (2) It empowers the Governor to appoint a 5-member commission to create a membership roll for a new private members-only group which I shall call "Klub Kanaka." To join KK someone must prove he/she is ethnic Hawaiian, at least 18 years old, and has "maintained a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community and wishes to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity." But harmless as that may sound, SB1520 sets in motion a process whose expressed purpose and eventual result is to break apart Hawaii along racial lines.

Further analysis of SB1520, including the question whether ethnic Hawaiians are an indigenous people, is at
http://tinyurl.com/3rzjdrf

But the legislature is not concerned with fact; it is concerned with politics. No court of law would overturn SB1520 on account of historical or anthropological facts regarding whether ethnic Hawaiians are "indigenous." The courts would call this a "political question" meaning that the doctrine of separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution requires courts to give way to the legislative and executive branches unless something they do is a clear violation of Constitutional rights.

Here are some likely results of SB1520:

The independence activists will use SB1520 to demand secession on account of the U.N. Declaration's Article 3, quoted in bold print in the bill, that "Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."

There is nothing in SB1520 that restricts membership in Klub Kanaka to citizens or residents of Hawaii (or even of the United States). Approximately half of all ethnic Hawaiians are not residents of Hawaii. If land or services are being given to members of KK at the expense of the State of Hawaii, tens of thousands of ethnic Hawaiians are likely to "come home" to a welfare magnet Hawaii they have never seen, in order to cash in. And if KK decides to send annual checks to all members (as many Indian tribes do with casino profits), they can continue living elsewhere while spending Hawaii's money there.

Once Klub Kanaka has established its membership roll and elected its leaders, it will begin to make demands for the transfer from the State of Hawaii to KK of lands, buildings, money, and jurisdictional authority. Over the years there have been repeated assertions that all the "ceded lands" (95% of all the public lands of Hawaii) rightfully belong to ethnic Hawaiians. Hawaii will eventually be reduced to a shrunken, impoverished shell while Klub Kanaka thrives. In an interview published in "Indian Country Today" on March 22, 2005, now-Governor Abercrombie proclaimed that all the ceded lands should belong to Klub Kanaka. He said "We're talking about 2.2 million acres of land. And the capital now residing with the OHA is between $350 and $500 million, depending on the stock market, with an income stream from leases on ceded land and so on of tens of millions of dollars."

Ethnic Hawaiians who hold leadership positions in the state and county governments have a clear conflict of interest when they make decisions about handing over land, money, and jurisdictional authority to the state-recognized Klub Kanaka or to a future federally recognized Akaka tribe. Since everyone over age 18 who has a drop of Hawaiian native blood (and belongs to any "Hawaiian" groups) is eligible to join Klub Kanaka and the Akaka tribe, all ethnic Hawaiian state and county decision-makers will be in a position of handing over government resources to themselves and their families. A detailed analysis of this racial conflict of interest is at
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaHawnConflictRecuse.html

That conflict was blatantly and unashamedly displayed in the state Senate during final passage of SB1520. Political reporter Derrick DePledge described the racialist attitude and "cutting edge" of comments on the Senate floor by state Sen. Gilbert Kahele, state Sen. Malama Solomon, state Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria, state Sen. Pohai Ryan, state Sen. J. Kalani English, and state Sen. Clayton Hee, who "... spoke movingly about what the bill could mean for Hawaiians who have fought to preserve their language and culture in their home land. ... Solomon said she did not want her daughter to be brought up in a Hawaii with the weight of the overthrow still hanging over her head. Ryan said the remedy for injustice was long overdue. ... Hee said that during conference committee, state House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro warned that somebody might file a lawsuit against the bill ... Of course somebody going to sue. ... [Hee added] And no wordsmith of the new law of this importance could prevent (conservatives like) Bill Burgess, Kenneth Conklin, (Thurston) Twigg-Smith, from filing a lawsuit. Bring it on. Bring it on. Because the facts of history will not change, the feelings of the indigenous will not change, and this issue will not go away." The full DePledge blog is at
http://blogs.starbulletin.com/inpolitics/bring-it-on/

Clayton Hee is right -- "... the feelings of the indigenous will not change, and this issue will not go away." That's exactly why Hawaiian racialists like those named by DePledge, who put their race ahead of the people of Hawaii they're supposed to represent, should be removed from their government positions as soon as possible. The members of Klub Kanaka and the Akaka tribe will happily give them leadership jobs.

The best outcome for Hawaii would be for the process set in motion by SB1520 to fizzle and die. That's what actually happened with a similar process that started more than a decade ago and was funded by Hawaii taxpayers. As the bill itself recounts: Hawaii "has supported the Sovereignty Advisory Council, the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Commission, the Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council, and Native Hawaiian Vote, and the convening of the Aha Hawai‘i ‘Oiwi (the Native Hawaiian Convention)." That convention produced two proposed Constitutions (one for an independent nation and one for an Akaka tribe). But in the end the whole process simply died without much of a whimper; although Hayden Burgess (alias Poka Laenui), who became the final chairman of the convention, continues to bemoan the demise of the convention on his radio program and calls for it to be reconvened. In his mind both the Hawaiian Kingdom and the Native Hawaiian Convention still are alive, just like some nostalgia buffs say about Elvis Presley and now also Osama Bin Laden.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/?p=33880
Hawaii Reporter, May 11, 2011

Public Agencies Outspend Private Business in Washington Lobbying

BY JIM DOOLEY -

Hawaii government agencies spent double the amount of money on Washington lobbying expenses as private business did in the first quarter of this year, according to federal records.

The big Washington spenders so far this year — and last year as well — are InfraConsult, Inc., which lobbies for the City and County of Honolulu’s $5.5 billion rapid transit project, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which for years has been seeking Congressional passage of the Native Hawaiian recognition bill.

InfraConsult spent $80,000 of the City’s money on D.C. lobbying from January through March, according to U.S. Senate lobbying disclosure records. That’s the same amount of money it spent quarterly in 2110 when the expenses totaled $320,000.

OHA has scaled back it’s lobbying this year, spending $60,000 so far.

Since 1999, OHA has spent $3.5 million in its futile effort to secure passage of the Akaka bill, named after its sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

The total does not include at least $2 million more spent by OHA on maintaining an office in Washington.

The single largest year of OHA lobbying in Washington was 2005, when the government agency spent $660,000.

So far this year, all Hawaii-based interests have spent $307,500 on D.C. lobbying, according to the disclosure files.

Of that total, $185,000 has come from Hawaii state and local government.

Here’s the breakdown of government lobbying:
City & County of Honolulu $80,000
Office of Hawaiian Affairs $60,000
Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands $20,000
Maui Memorial Medical Center $15,000
County of Maui $10,000

Private interests based in Hawaii spent $122,500 in federal lobbying during the first quarter:
Hawaii Medical Services Assn. $22,500
James Campbell Co. $20,000
Green Path Technologies $20,000
VisionSafe Corp. $15,000
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. $15,000
Celiana, Inc. $10,000
Pacific Marine/Navatek $10,000

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http://www.nc-cherokee.com/theonefeather/2011/05/12/senate-committee-approves-native-hawaiian-bill-2/
Cherokee One Feather, May 12, 2011

Senate Committee approves Native Hawaiian bill

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P., ONE FEATHER STAFF

Native Hawaiians are one step closer to having a government-to-government relationship with the federal government thanks to a bill (S. 675) that just passed through a Senate Committee. The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2011 recently passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and is now on the Senate calendar.

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), chairman of the committee, introduced the legislation. “Two decades ago, the United States apologized to Native Hawaiians for its participation in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and committed to a process of reconciliation. This bill is the necessary next step in that reconciliation process.”

The bill states in part, “this Act provides a process within the framework of Federal law for the Native Hawaiian people to exercise their inherent rights as a distinct, indigenous, native community to reorganize a single unified Native Hawaiian governing entity for the purpose of giving expression to their rights as a native people to self-determination and self-governance.”

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) commented, “This measure begins a process of establishing a government-to-government relationship between the U.S. and the native people of Hawaii….federal recognition for the Native Hawaiian people is long overdue.”

But, not everyone is thrilled at the idea of the bill. David M.K. Inciong is a Native Hawaiian and member of the Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance. He calls the bill “repugnant” and in a recent statement said the bill is “railroading native Hawaiians into a nefarious U.S. hostage box.”

Inciong goes on to say, “We do not desire to be on equal footing with American Indians under the Department of the Interior nor subjected to its paternalistic practices.”

Sen. Akaka’s bill has a similar bill going through the House of Representatives that was introduced by Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirano (D-HI). “I will be reaching out to the many new members (of the House) who are not familiar with Hawaii’s history and do not know Native Hawaiians had their own sovereign nation, with their own language, culture, religion and traditional economy.”

The House bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. This marks the seventh time that a bill has been introduced into Congress on the issue. Most recently, in 2010, bills were passed by committees in the House and Senate, but never made it to the floor for a vote.

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie has lent his support to the bills. “This measure is long overdue as enabling legislation allowing Native Hawaiians and the State of Hawaii to resolve outstanding issues fairly and comprehensively.”

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http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/4287/Hawaii-Republicans-Pass-firstever-Resolution-Against-Akaka-Bill.aspx
Hawaii Free Press, Sunday May 15, 2011

Hawaii Republicans Pass first-ever Resolution Against Akaka Bill

By Andrew Walden

By an overwhelming voice vote, Hawaii Republicans meeting at the GOP State Convention on Kauai Saturday approved a resolution opposing the Akaka Bill.

Although numerous polls show wide opposition to the Akaka Bill, very few elected officials openly speak up against it. In the eleven years since Sen. Akaka first introduced the so-called Native Hawaii Government Reorganization Bill in the wake of the ouster of his beloved Broken Trustees from Bishop Estate, this is the first time that either Hawaii political party has approved a resolution against it.

The silence is over.

Here is the full text:

RESOLUTION IN OPPOSITION TO THE AKAKA BILL

Whereas the Akaka Bill violates the fundamental values inherent in the Hawai'i Republican party’s LLIFE Platform;

Whereas the Akaka Bill imposes an entirely new level of governance upon the Hawaiian people;

Whereas the Akaka Bill trades away individual Liberty in exchange for government grants and favors;

Whereas the Akaka Bill denigrates the principles of Individual Responsibility;

Whereas the Akaka Bill creates unequal opportunities, fiefdoms of favoritism, and artificial barriers to our citizens;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Hawai'i Republican Party in convention at Lihue, Hawai'i, May 14, 2011, hereby expresses its unalterable opposition to the Akaka Bill and to any iteration of it that robs Hawaiians of Liberty and Equal Opportunity or imposes more government and the fiscal and moral calamities such a course inevitably brings;

Therefore be it further resolved, that copies of this resolution be posted on the Hawaii Republican Party website, distributed to Hawai'i elected officials and media for public dissemination.

** Note from Website editor Ken Conklin:

The following URL allows direct access to the Hawaii Republican Party individual resolution opposing the Akaka bill:
http://tinyurl.com/3w34yap
The path to finding it on the Republican Party website is:
Go to Hawaii Republican Party website at
http://www.gophawaii.com
Then hover the cursor over "About us"
And use the pull-down menu to click on "2011 Resolutions."

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http://oha.org/kwo/2011/06/KWO1106.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), June 1, 2011, pages 4 and 12

State recognition bill passes

By Diana Leone

A bill that would begin Native Hawaiian government reorganization at the state level is historic in its import, state Sens. Malama Solomon and Clayton Hee agreed in a joint interview last month.

“I just can’t explain the feeling of – the na‘au is so there – for us to be a part of a historical moment,” Solomon said of the May 3 passage of the final version of Senate Bill 1520, which Gov. Neil Abercrombie is expected to sign into law.

“It’s such a great opportunity,” Hee said. “It is the first opportunity for the indigenous people of these islands to get organized in a very …” “Dynamic way,” Solomon said, completing his sentence. “I really say my prayers that ke Akua will continue to guide as we move forward,” said Solomon (D, Hilo-Hämäkua).

“What this sets forth is a legitimacy of the Hawaiian people as the first nation of these islands,” said Hee (D, Käne‘ohe-Kahalu‘u). He called the bill a “significant step forward” in the “long journey for Hawaiian people to reclaim what was taken in 1893” with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

The bill’s passage – with only one “no” vote in the Senate – “sends a strong message to Congress that the Hawai‘i Legislature supports the efforts for recognition,” Hee said. So, as Congress considers the Akaka bill “there should be no questions, particularly with the senators from the South, where the Legislature stands and the people of Hawai‘i stand.”

However, even if the federal recognition bill doesn’t pass Congress this year, the state bill would still start a roll of eligible Native Hawaiians who can be a part of forming a Native Hawaiian government. The Akaka bill, S. 675, awaits scheduling for Senate floor consideration. If approved by the Senate, the bill would also have to pass the House, since prior passage in the House was of earlier versions of the bill in prior Congresses.

There is no conflict between state and federal recognition, the Senators said. “You can have parallel state and federal recognition,” Hee said.

OHA Chief Advocate Esther Kia‘äina praised Solomon, Hee and others involved for finding common ground between the two distinct bills they introduced at the beginning of this year’s legislative session. She called the compromise bill “a wonderful symbol of how to show unity at the end of the day.”

The bill “has completely changed the landscape for nation-building for Native Hawaiians and it’s exciting,” Kia‘äina said.

The Legislature didn’t give OHA any additional money for the new commission, so it will have to find the funds in its existing budget.

Hee emphasized that the state bill was crafted using “models that have been tested, held to be constitutional for indigenous people.” The bill refers to people living in Hawai‘i before Western contact, rather than referring to a “race,” he said.

“I believe the Governor of Hawai‘i will sign this bill into law and the Attorney General of Hawai‘i will defend this bill,” Hee said.

Abercrombie’s staff is still reviewing the bill, “However, it’s likely that the Governor will support it,” his press secretary Donalyn Dela Cruz said. “Governor Abercrombie has always supported Native Hawaiian recognition, including self-determination.”

The state recognition bill would:

• Create a five-member commission to create a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians to participate in reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government. Members, one from each county and one at-large, will be appointed by the Governor from a pool of candidates recommended by Hawaiian individuals and organizations. The commission is to be appointed within six months of the bill becoming law.

• Require the commission to publish the roll to facilitate a convention to decide how the Native Hawaiian government will be organized. The mechanics of a convention are not spelled out in the bill. They will be worked on by Native Hawaiian groups, including OHA, and could require additional enabling legislation. Once the roll is published, the commission is dissolved.

• Require a report to the 2012 Legislature on the commission’s progress.

Solomon said she is urging Abercrombie to sign the bill sooner than his July 12 deadline, to begin the process of appointing the commission. Hee and Solomon said they hope Hawaiian organizations will bring potential commissioners’ names to his attention as soon as possible.

Like the federal Akaka bill, the state recognition bill requires participants in the nation-building process to show their ancestors were living in Hawai‘i before 1778 and/or were eligible for Hawaiian Homes Commission Act programs in 1921 – plus show that they have “maintained significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community and wish to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity.”

Said Hee: “I think at the end of the day being able to prove your genealogy is sufficient, because your ancestors may have been involved with cultural activities. … It’s trying to be inclusive.”

Solomon envisions that after the roll is created, [page break to continue on page 12] the preparation for a nation-building convention might be similar to the way the Democratic Party is organized in Hawai‘i – perhaps the precinct level being replaced by ahupua‘a, then representation by moku.

Both Hee and Solomon said the passage of the state recognition bill is a milestone in their work as public servants – both with OHA, where both have served as Trustees, and in the Legislature. It moves toward making right the wrong of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

“This is an expression of a mandate given to our generation by our küpuna,” Solomon said. “This is how I was raised. Every generation has a responsibility and an obligation to push forward. Senator Hee and I have been involved in this political process over 30 years, and we have conscientiously been working toward this goal.”

Said Hee: “Sometimes we forget, for Senator Solomon and I, our grandparents were citizens of the nation. They were born before the kingdom was overthrown.”

“For me,” Solomon said, “this has been a very long and painful journey. I have sat through many hearings where I’ve heard and experienced people’s grief and tears, so my position now with this bill is that it’s up to the Nä Po‘e O Hawai‘i, the future generations succeeding us. They can come and they can carry on where they want to take the Hawaiian nation into the future.”

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http://oha.org/kwo/2011/06/KWO1106.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), June 1, 2011, page 35

Legislative wrap up: State Recognition bill passes!

by Rowena Akana, trustee at-large (individual trustee's monthly column)

Ano‘ai kakou … Congratulations to the Native Hawaiian Caucus for all of their hard work in getting the State Recognition bill, SB 1520, passed. As one of OHA’s Legislative Liaisons, I worked closely with Senators Malama Solomon, Clayton Hee and Brickwood Galuteria. Also, a special mahalo to Representative Faye Hanohano for her tireless effort to pass SB 1520 over on the House side.

SB 1520 establishes a new law that recognizes Native Hawaiians as the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawaii. It also establishes a process for Native Hawaiians to organize themselves as a step in the continuing development of a reorganized Native Hawaiian governing entity and, ultimately, the federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.

SB 1520 requires that:

• A five-member Native Hawaiian Roll Commission be established and housed within OHA for administrative purposes. The Commission will then prepare and maintain a roll of “qualified Native Hawaiians,” which includes individuals (18 years or older) who are a descendant of Hawaii’s aboriginal peoples prior to 1778 or is a direct lineal descendant of an individual who was eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

• The Governor, within 180 days of the effective date, appoints the members of the Commission from nominations submitted by qualified Native Hawaiian membership organizations. To qualify, a Native Hawaiian organization must have been working for the betterment of the conditions of the Native Hawaiian people for at least 10 years;

• Four members of the five-member Commission must reside in the four counties, with one member to serve atlarge;

• The Commission must publish the roll to facilitate commencement of a convention for the purpose of organization;

• The Governor will dissolve the commission after publication of the roll;

In addition, SB 1520 clarifies that:

• The bill shall not diminish rights or privileges enjoyed by Native Hawaiians;

• Nothing in the new law is intended to serve as a settlement of any claims or affect the rights of Native Hawaiian people under state, federal or international law;

• The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 shall be amended, subject to approval by Congress, if necessary, to accomplish the purposes set forth in this Act;

• OHA will provide funding for the Commission;

• The Commission, in cooperation with OHA, will report to the Governor and the Legislature prior to the regular session of 2012 on the status of the preparation of the roll, related expenditures, and concerns or recommendations; and

• OHA is urged to work with the Commission by utilizing the current Kau Inoa Native Hawaiian registration list, with the approval of the individual registrants, to support the Commission’s purpose of preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians. This process will be voluntary. Hawaiians may opt out of the process if they wish.

More details will be available once the Commission has been established.

I encourage all those who signed up for the Kau Inoa to take this opportunity to participate in shaping a positive future for the Native Hawaiian people.

Unlike past attempts to organize, this effort has the blessing of the State of Hawaii and the full financial and administrative support of OHA. Let’s all get involved with this important effort now, and let us agree to disagree if we choose and wait to work out our differences in the Constitutional Convention.

Also, a special Mahalo to Senator Akaka who is working diligently to pass the Akaka bill before he leaves office.

Aloha Ke Akua.

================

Send comments or questions to:
Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

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