Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
February 4, 2017
The Native Hawaiians Study Commission was created by the Congress of the United States on December 22, 1980 (Title III of Public Law 96-565). The purpose of the Commission was to "conduct a study of the culture, needs and concerns of the Native Hawaiians." The Commission released to the public a Draft Report of Findings on September 23, 1982. Following a 120-day period of public comment, a final report was written and submitted on June 23, 1983 to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.
The 747-page majority report of the NHSC begins with an executive summary and list of conclusions and recommendations, followed by 14 major chapters written by experts, focused on Hawaii's ancient and modern history, demographics, culture, religion, and reports about responses to the unique needs of Native Hawaiians by federal and state governments, and private institutions. At the end are glossaries explaining Hawaiian-language words, a list of references, and an appendix. For each of the 747 pages of the majority report a photo of the page (click to magnify for easy readability) is next to a simple text version of its contents that is digitized and searchable.That webpage is at
BACKGROUND -- HOW THE NHSC REPORT WAS CREATED, HOW POLITICAL DIFFERENCES RESULTED IN MAJORITY REPORT VS. MINORITY REPORT, AND HOW THE MAJORITY REPORT FOUND A HOME ON THE INTERNET
The 747-page majority report of the NHSC begins with an executive summary and list of conclusions and recommendations, followed by 14 major chapters written by experts, focused on Hawaii's ancient and modern history, demographics, culture, religion, and reports about responses to the unique needs of Native Hawaiians by federal and state governments, and private institutions. At the end are glossaries explaining Hawaiian-language words, a list of references, and an appendix.
There were sharp, angry political differences among the Commissioners, resulting in a majority report vs. a minority report. The bitterness was comparable to what happened following the election of President Trump in 2016 when people on the losing side refused to accept defeat, staging delays in Congress and protests in the streets.
The minority report was written by Hawaiian sovereignty activists who insisted that the U.S. owes ethnic Hawaiians massive racial entitlement programs as compensation for what they regard as the U.S. overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.
For about 25 years the minority report was the only part of the NHSC report that was easily available in libraries and on the internet, because of the political zealousness of the activists and the megabucks that might become available to social service agencies for racial entitlement programs. To find the minority report and hundreds of individual testimonies by the activists, simply use the Google search engine and put in "Native Hawaiians Study Commission" including the quote marks.
The majority report was first made available on the internet by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii around 2006. Many thanks to Jeremy Krischel for the massive amount of work he did to scan every page, correct the errors made by the optical character reader, digitize the text, and create the webpage.
Following a reorganization of the GRIH website and temporary unavailability, the majority report is now available (thanks again to Jeremy Krischel for rebuilding the webpage) at
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NHSC REPORT IN CURRENT CONTROVERSIES REGARDING HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY AND RACIAL ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS
The NHSC examined the history of Hawaii and the current conditions (1980) of Native Hawaiians. One purpose of the commission was to explore whether Native Hawaiians have special needs, and what those needs might be. Another purpose of the commission was to explore whether the United States has any historical, legal, or moral obligation to meet the special needs of Native Hawaiians by providing them with political sovereignty or race-specific group rights.
The commission found that Native Hawaiians have higher rates than other ethnic groups for indicators of dysfunction in health, education, income, etc. The commission concluded that the U.S. has no obligation to remedy those problems in any way other than the usual assistance given by government to all people afflicted with difficulties.
Portions of the "Conclusions and Recommendations" section of the NHSC final report focus on topics of special interest regarding the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill) pending in Congress from 2000 through 2012; and the final rule 43CFR50 to facilitate creation of a Hawaiian tribe and give it federal recognition, proclaimed by the Department of Interior by publication in the Federal Register on October 14, 2016.
Two conclusions of NHSC relevant to the alleged U.S. obligation to help create a Hawaiian tribe might be described as follows:
1. There is no historical, legal, or moral obligation for the U.S. government to provide race-based reparations, assistance, or group rights for Native Hawaiians.
2. Affirmative outreach is appropriate to ensure Native Hawaiians are given the assistance they need; but race-based or racially exclusionary programs are not recommended. Native Hawaiians may be disproportionately afflicted by some specific medical or social problems. Native Hawaiians should receive affirmative outreach to ensure they are aware of and receive help from existing programs open to all needy people. When considering what new programs government should sponsor, care should be taken to target some of those new programs to areas of concern which disproportionately afflict Native Hawaiians. However, the NHSC carefully worded its recommendations to avoid proposing race-based or racially exclusionary programs or group rights.
Following are some quotes from the "Conclusions and Recommendations" section of the NHSC report. These particular quotes are highlighted because of their relevance to the alleged U.S. obligation to help create a Hawaiian tribe. The full set of conclusions can be found on pp. 23-32 of the report. The conclusions regarding lack of a federal trust relationship with Native Hawaiians, and lack of any obligation to pay reparations, are more fully explored in the NHSC section entitled "Existing Law, Native Hawaiians, and Compensation" found on pp. 333-370 including 198 footnotes citing both Kingdom of Hawaii and U.S. government actions and legal decisions.
NHSC CONCLUDES THERE IS NO HISTORICAL, LEGAL, OR MORAL OBLIGATION FOR THE U.S. TO GIVE RACE-BASED REPARATIONS, GROUP RIGHTS, OR POLITICAL SOVEREIGNTY TO NATIVE HAWAIIANS -- QUOTES FROM THE REPORT
"To summarize the Commission's findings with regard to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy: Based upon the information available to it, the Commission concluded that Minister John L. Stevens and certain other individuals occupying positions with the U.S. Government participated in activities contributing to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy on January 17, 1893. The Commission was unable to conclude that these activities were sanctioned by the President or the Congress. In fact, official government records lend strong support to the conclusion that Minister Stevens' actions were not sanctioned." (page 29)
"Besides the findings summarized above, the Commission concludes that, as an ethical or moral matter, Congress should not provide for native Hawaiians to receive compensation either for loss of land or of sovereignty. Reviewing the situation generally, including the historical changes in Hawaii's land laws and constitution before 1893, the Hawaiian political climate that led to the overthrow, the lack of authorized involvement by the United States, and the apparent limited role of United States forces in the overthrow, the Commission found that on an ethical or moral basis, native Hawaiians should not receive reparations." (page 29)
"The relations between the United States and Hawaii up to the time of annexation were relations between two separate, sovereign nations, not between a sovereign and those subject to its sovereignty." (page 25)
"Generally, the most likely possible theories for the award of compensation to native groups for loss of land were aboriginal title or recognized title doctrines." (page 25)
"The law has developed specific tests for establishing aboriginal title: the group must be a single land-owning entity; there must be actual and exclusive use and occupancy of the lands; the use and occupancy must be of a defined area; the land must have been used and occupied for a long time before aboriginal title was extinguished. Additionally, title must have been extinguished by the government of the United States, not by another body, such as the government of Hawaii before the United States annexed Hawaii. Finally, some law must give the native group, here the native Hawaiians, a right to compensation for loss of aboriginal title. The Commission finds that the facts do not meet the tests for showing the existence of aboriginal title." (pp. 25-26)
"Even if the tests had been met, the Commission finds that such title was extinguished by actions of the Hawaiian government before 1893, and certainly before annexation, which was the first assumption of sovereignty by the United States." (page 26)
"Finally, even if these tests had been met, neither the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution nor current statutes provide authority for payment of compensation to native Hawaiians for loss of aboriginal title." (page 26)
"The law also has developed specific legal requirements for compensation of loss of lands by recognized title. The Commission examined the question of whether treaties and statutes, the Joint Resolution of Annexation, or the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provide a basis for payment under the theory of recognized title, and concluded that no basis exists." (page 26)
"The Commission examined whether a trust or fiduciary relationship exists between the United States and native Hawaiians and concluded that no statutes or treaties give rise to such a relationship because the United States did not exercise sovereignty over the Hawaiian Islands prior to annexation, and the Joint Resolution of Annexation, No. 55 (July 7, 1898) did not create a special relationship for native Hawaiians." (page 26)
"The Commission considered whether native Hawaiians are entitled to compensation for loss of sovereignty, and found no present legal entitlement to compensation for any loss of sovereignty." (page 26)
NHSC CONCLUDES THERE SHOULD BE AFFIRMATIVE OUTREACH TO NATIVE HAWAIIANS BUT NO RACE-BASED OR RACIALLY EXCLUSIONARY PROGRAMS -- QUOTES FROM THE REPORT
The commission recommended that government programs be targeted to deal with problems that disproportionately affect Native Hawaiians, to ensure that they receive the help they especially need. But notably the commission did not recommend singling out a specific racial group for benefits that would exclude other groups. Benefits are to be given to all individuals afflicted with a particular problem, regardless of race; and if Native Hawaiians are disproportionately afflicted then they will receive a disproportionate share of the benefits of such programs without any need for programs limited by race.
The "Conclusions and Recommendations" section of the NHSC report makes clear that there should be special outreach to Native Hawaiians to ensure that they are made aware of government programs from which they could get assistance, and to ensure that new and existing programs be focused on problems that disproportionately affect Native Hawaiians. But the Commission's recommendations never propose to create race-based programs exclusively for Native Hawaiians. Here are some quotes illustrating the careful wording of recommendations for affirmative outreach but avoiding race-based or racially exclusionary programs:
"[C]onsideration should be given to a wide variety of Federal programs that are already available or that could be made available to help address specific needs. Private, local, and State officials in Hawaii should take the initiative to become aware of available programs, secure and disseminate information on them, and ensure that native Hawaiians have equal access to those programs." (page 28)
"The Commission recommends: ... Making sure that Federal programs for vocational training funded through block grants are targeted to groups most in need, including native Hawaiians. ... Initiating efforts to ensure that information on specific Federal programs (for example, supplemental food program for women, infants, and children) is disseminated through native Hawaiian organizations, and recruit eligible native Hawaiians to participate in these programs. Ensuring that a fair share of Federal block grant monies are directed toward alleviating specific health problems, including those of concern to native Hawaiians, such as infant mortality and child and maternal care. Giving higher priority to native Hawaiian sites in considering nominations for the National Register of Historic Places; activating the State Historic reservation Plan and revising, in consultation with native Hawaiians, the plan in an effort to ensure protection of ancient Hawaiian artifacts and sites." (page 29)
"The Commission also recommends that the heads of all Federal departments and agencies act to ensure that the needs and concerns of native Hawaiians, to the extent identified and defined in the Commission's Report, be brought to the attention of their program administrators; that these administrators consult officials in Hawaii for further guidance on specific programs; and, once this guidance is received, consider actions that could be taken to ensure full and equal access by native Hawaiians to various assistance programs." (page 30)
KEN CONKLIN'S CONCLUSION BASED ON THE MAJORITY REPORT OF THE NATIVE HAWAIIANS STUDY COMMISSION:
The United States owes to Native Hawaiians the same things it owes to all citizens -- things like protection of life, liberty, property, and the rule of law; and assistance to individuals who are unable to help themselves. The United States owes nothing less to Native Hawaiians. And nothing more.
KEN CONKLIN'S REFUTATION OF THE NHSC'S NAIVE BELIEF THAT NATIVE HAWAIIANS ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY VICTIMIZED AND THEREFORE NEED AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
In 2016, it is now 35 years since the NHSC report was created. At that time the Commissioners reported that Native Hawaiians have "special needs" and there are "problems that disproportionately affect Native Hawaiians." However, such conclusions were based on naive assumptions about the accuracy and reliability of statistical studies of alleged disproportionate victimhood in disease and social dysfunction.
In recent years it has become clear that racial data in Hawaii are gathered and analyzed in ways that are incorrect. Indeed, the Hawaiian grievance industry profits greatly from statistical malpractice which is difficult for non-mathematicians to understand. Purveyors of Native Hawaiian victimhood studies know that they are engaging in statistical malpractice, yet they continue to do it in order to get money from government and philanthropic institutions and in order to gain political advantage from arousing public sympathy for "the plight of Native Hawaiians." What they are doing is immoral. In fact it's a scam.
Here are the two main factors in explaining why the Hawaiian grievance industry is a scam.
Perhaps 3/4 of people called "Native Hawaiian" have 3/4 of their ancestry being other than "Native Hawaiian"; yet anyone with even one drop of Hawaiian blood is counted as fully Native Hawaiian and is not counted as any of his other ethnicities. That way of counting makes it look like Native Hawaiians have the worst victimhood levels for nearly every disease. The right way to count which races have how much victimhood is to find out the fraction of each race in each victim's ancestry and award that fraction of a victimhood tally mark to each race.
Also, according to Census 2010, Native Hawaiians in Hawaii have an average age of 26 while everyone else in Hawaii has an average age of 42. That's why Native Hawaiians have higher rates of low income, drug abuse, violent crime and incarceration -- those are things that happen to people because they are young, regardless of their race. If entire racial groups are compared, then of course the group whose average age is the lowest will have the worst rates for low income, drug abuse, violent crime and incarceration. The right way to analyze the data is to compare different racial groups within the same age cohort; for example Native Hawaiians age 20-24 compared against ethnic Filipinos age 20-24.
RECOMMENDED READING ABOUT STATISTICAL MALPRACTICE REGARDING NATIVE HAWAIIAN VICTIMHOOD
Native Hawaiian victimhood -- malpractice in the gathering and statistical analysis of data allegedly showing disproportionate Native Hawaiian victimhood for disease and social dysfunction. How and why the Hawaiian grievance industry uses bogus statistics to scam government and philanthropic organizations, politicians, and public opinion.
Ethnic Hawaiians Disproportionately Incarcerated? Not!
A detailed rebuttal to OHA's September 28, 2010 "study" was published by Kenneth Conklin, Ph.D., on October 4, 2010, and updated in June 2012. See
How the Obama Family Will Benefit from the Caucasian Government Reorganization Act of 2040
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