The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, also known as the Akaka bill, has been introduced and reintroduced in Congress continuously from 2000 to now. There have been more than a dozen different versions of the bill, but the only one that ever had hearings locally in Hawaii was the first one, in August 2000, when independent reporter Bob Rees estimated that 5 days of testimony ran in a ratio of 9-1 in opposition. In 2009 a Zogby poll found a majority of Hawaii's people oppose the bill. It passed the U.S. House on three occasions. In the Senate it has been kept off the floor by holds and filibusters ever since it was first introduced; and it failed a cloture motion in 2006 following 5 hours of heated debate over a two-day period. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has repeatedly and strongly opposed the bill; President Bush sent a letter to the Senate saying he would veto the bill if it ever came to his desk; President Obama said he would be happy to sign it but Congress never sent it to him.
The current, active version of the Akaka bill is always identified, and its text is made available, at
A neutral compilation of all significant news reports and commentaries, including transcripts from the Congressional Record, for the current 112th Congress, with links to similar compilations for the entire period from 2000 to now, is at
For Media and the Public: Up-to-Date, Basic, Quick Information About The Hawaiian Government Reorganization Bill (Also known as the Akaka bill) with the most recent major events at the top:
On September 13, 2012 the worst version of the Akaka bill in 12 years was introduced in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, where it passed in one minute. The bill is bad for the people of Hawaii, bad for the genuine Indian tribes, bad for the entire U.S. It authorizes casinos in Hawaii and on the mainland; worsens racial balkanization in America by redefining "tribe" in the Constitution to mean "indigenous"; abandons protections for Hawaii's people that were in previous versions; grants federal recognition to a tribe not yet created. Text of the bill, news reports, and a detailed analysis of what makes it so bad is at
Hundreds of articles opposing the Akaka bill have been written by well-known commentators and institutions, including the Wall Street Journal and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (repeatedly), and published in newspapers and magazines of national circulation. An index to all of them in chronological order, with links to the full text of each one, is at
SUMMARY OF MAIN POINTS AGAINST THE AKAKA BILL
The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill is highly controversial, unconstitutional, and dangerous to all 50 states. Also known as the Akaka bill, it would authorize federal recognition for a phony Indian tribe invented out of thin air. The purpose is to protect over 160 race-based programs under court challenge because of a Supreme Court decision. It would carve up Hawaii by race and set a precedent for similar balkanization throughout America. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has repeatedly condemned this bill as race-based and divisive. 20% of Hawaii's people, completely integrated and intermarried, living working and praying side by side with everyone else throughout all neighborhoods, would be singled out by law solely because they have a drop of native blood, and given a new government. 75% of them have less than 25% native blood. Many of them oppose the whole idea of a race-based government. Beginning January 17, 2004 and continuing ever since with intensive advertising and community outreach, fewer than 25% of ethnic Hawaiians have placed their names on a racial registry expected to be used as a tribal roll. But if the bill passes Congress, a race-based government can be created to protect the wealth and power of Hawaii's race-based institutions and to keep federal dollars flowing to Hawaii. There will never be a vote by all ethnic Hawaiians or by all Hawaii's people on this issue, even though a newspaper poll yielded 75% opposed, two scientific surveys a year apart showed 67% opposed, and a Zogby poll released December 2009 showd most people are opposed. Ethnic Hawaiians who sign up for the "tribe" get to vote for a "tribal" council and get federal recognition; ethnic Hawaiians who oppose it (probably a majority), and the remaining 80% of Hawaii's people, are shut out. The bill allows a negotiated settlement dividing up Hawaii's lands and resources without any ratification vote by the tribe's members or by the people of Hawaii. No other state has 20% of its people eligible for an Indian tribe whose members also vote for the governor and legislators who will negotiate with the tribe. The U.S. Department of Justice under President Bush repeatedly objected to the bill; while the DOJ under President Obama forced major changes to it as a condition for supporting it. 200 years ago Kamehameha the Great unified all the Hawaiian islands into a single multiracial Kingdom; today the Akaka bill seeks to split up Hawaii.
The Hawaiian "tribe" would be the largest in America. According to Census 2000 it would have over 400,000 possible members. 240,000 of them live in Hawaii, 60,000 in California (more than any current California tribe), and 100,000 in the other 48 states. A population study in September 2005 projects nearly a million "Native Hawaiians" by year 2050. This huge "tribe" would compete against genuine tribes for federal handouts at the expense of all America's taxpayers. Hawaii Senators Inouye and Akaka sat on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee for many years, even though there have never been any tribes in Hawaii. They constantly inserted "Native Hawaiians" into legislation intended to benefit real Indians and Alaska natives. Because of court challenges, they now want Congress to make it official that "Native Hawaiians" are federally recognized as a tribe. Nearly all Hawaii politicians, both Democrat and Republican, favor the bill to make all America's taxpayers keep sending money to Hawaii! Bill supporters justify it partly by saying that ethnic Hawaiians have the worst statistics for income, education, unemployment, drug abuse, and diseases; but such victimhood claims are mostly bogus because they ignore that ethnic Hawaiians are 13 years younger on average than other groups, and about 3/4 of "Native Hawaiians" each have more than 3/4 of their ancestry from Asia and Europe.
The precedent set by the Akaka bill would strengthen demands by millions of "indigenous" people throughout the U.S. not currently eligible for tribal membership, casinos, or government handouts to form new federally recognized tribes simply because they have a drop of Indian blood. Their people and businesses living on "tribal" lands would be exempt from many income taxes, sales tax, environmental regulations, and civil and criminal laws; and would be subjected to whatever laws are created by "tribal" government insiders without recourse to U.S. Constitutional protections. Indian groups throughout America are claiming special rights to race-based control of "sacred places." In Hawaii, the old pagan religion is being revived and used to support political claims for racial supremacy in land use policy, based on a sacred genealogical family relationship among the gods, the ethnic Hawaiians, and all the lands of Hawaii.
The balkanization of America is already well underway through racial and ethnic identity politics. The California gubernatorial recall election in 2003 showed this dramatically. Cruz Bustamante got huge campaign contributions from California Indian tribes who expected him to protect their special interests -- the money came from untaxed tribal income from casinos and tribal businesses. Bustamante's enthusiastic membership in a radical hispanic group drew major attention -- MEChA claims a right to organize a race-based nation for all people having any Aztec (Mexican) ancestry, converting California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas (all former Mexican territory) into a new independent Nation of Aztlan. The legal and moral basis for doing this is similar to the rationale for the Hawaiian bill -- historical grievances against the U.S. and demands for money and power for allegedly poor, downtrodden "indigenous" people. Other nations have suffered grievously because of laws and government policies establishing racial supremacy. Fiji, with a history similar to Hawaii, enforces Native Fijian racial supremacy over descendants of Asian sugar plantation workers through a legal system resembling what Hawaiian sovereignty activists are seeking. Hawaiian activists, including Senator Akaka and government officials, see the Akaka bill as a way to keep federal dollars flowing to them even while continuing to seek full independence.
Join with Senators Alexander, Cornyn, Craig, Enzi, Kyl, McConnell, Sessions, and Sununu who spoke strongly against this bill on the Senate floor in June 2006 (see below for link to their speeches), some of whom were also speaking and writing against this bill in several previous years. Join with Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R, WI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who wrote a letter to Speaker Hastert in 2001 demanding that the bill be killed, or referred to his committee for hearings on its unconstitutionality. Join with the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution which took notice of the bill and held a hearing to oppose it in July 2005. Join in the spirit of more than a hundred major articles and editorials opposing this bill published by nationally-known commentators, newspapers, and magazines, plus hundreds more by less well-known writers. Despite all this opposition, a very powerful Senator Inouye (D, HI) continues making backroom deals and trading votes; and an agency of the Hawaii state government is spending millions advertising and lobbying for the bill. That's why your opposition to this bill must be communicated to your two Senators and one Representative. Please demand that your Senators and Representatives oppose the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, also known as the Akaka bill.
BELOW ARE WEBPAGES PROVIDING DOCUMENTATION AND FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE MAIN POINTS IN OPPOSITION TO THE AKAKA BILL. The webpages near the top are of general interest to all Americans, while those near the bottom are of special interest to citizens of Hawaii.
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights "recommends against passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005, or any other legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege" in its major report of May 4, 2006.
U.S. Commission on Civil rights letter to Congress opposing the Akaka bill (by 6-2 vote), on official letterhead, dated August 28, 2009, with signatures. The letter cites Hawaii's history as a multiracial nation with full equality, including the kokokahi sentence of the Constitution of 1840.
Akaka bill hearing before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, in Washington D.C., on Tuesday July 19, 2005. Audio files of testimony, written statements of witnesses, news reports. Chairman's conclusion: "Race alone does not and should not be the basis for creating a sovereign entity. It is the antithesis of our form of government and contrary to the principles on which this country was founded. ... America should not be a place where governments are defined by race or ancestry or the color of one's skin. And, it should not be a place neighbors, who may have lived next to each other for decades, are suddenly subject to two different civil and criminal standards because of race."
June 7, 2006 letter from Assistant Attorney General William Moschella to the U.S. Senate, on official stationery, opposing the Akaka bill
Letter from Executive Office of the President, dated October 22, 2007, on official stationery, warning House leaders that President Bush would veto the Akaka bill if Congress passed it.
Hundreds of major articles have been published opposing the Akaka bill during the ten years it has been in Congress. Many of these commentaries are authored by writers of nationwide stature, and appeared in publications with nationwide readership. An index lists all of them from 2000 to 2010, in chronological order, with links to the full text of each one:
Open letter to President Barack Obama asking him to change his mind and oppose the Akaka bill, on account of ideals he publicly espoused (especially in his 2008 speech at the Berlin Wall); his personal and racial background (focusing on the struggle for equal rights); and his expertise from being a professor of Constitutional law. The impact of the Akaka bill on Hawaii would be 50% worse than the effect on all of America if a Nation of New Africa were to be created for all Americans having at least one drop of African blood.
Affirmative Action Gone Berserk -- Racial Entitlement Programs in Hawaii, and the Attempt to Create a Phony Indian Tribe to Defend Them
Hawaiian Nationalism, Chicano Nationalism, Black Nationalism, Indian Tribes, and Reparations -- The Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill Sets a Precedent for the Balkanization of America
Hawaii's Fifth Column: Anti-Americanism in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement
The Akaka Bill And Secession: The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill) is seen by its supporters as a step toward total independence for all of Hawaii
The Akaka bill can be rejected for reasons that do not attack the legitimacy of the genuine Indian tribes.
Attorney Paul M. Sullivan 65-page "Killing Aloha", a point-by-point rebuttal to the Akaka bill, with cartoons by Daryl Cagle, updated August 2009 for S.1011 and H.R.2314 (before it was amended) in the 111th Congress
Ryan William Nohea Garcia 78-page scholarly article in current issue of Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal says Akaka bill likely to fail in the courts because it tries to convert an ethnic group into a political entity despite the multiracial character of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
OHA and other pushers of the Akaka bill constantly spew the propaganda that there are only 3 groups of U.S. indigenous people: Native Americans, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians. And of course the Native Hawaiians are horribly victimized by being the only indigenous group that lacks federal recognition. Wrong! There are more than 560 federally recognized tribes, each unique and distinct. Some had wars against others. If U.S. actually recognized "Native Americans" or "indigenous people" there would be only one huge Indian tribe with several million members. Note that most Americans who are racially Indian do not belong to any tribe and would not be eligible to join one. Also, many people living on tribal reservations are not racially Indian. Also, there are hundreds of Indian groups seeking federal recognition, including many who have been refused recognition or had previous recognition rescinded.
U.S. Federally Non-Recognized Tribes: 226 federally non-recognized tribes are listed here. Updated 06/18/08. "Federally Non-Recognized Tribe" is defined as a formally organized entity that has: A. Applied for federal recognition and is not yet approved; or B. Previously recognized and recognition was rescinded; or C. Applied for federal recognition and was rejected.
Also: "State recognized tribes" are Native American Indian Tribes and Heritage Groups that are recognized by individual states for their various internal government purposes. "State recognition" confers limited benefits under federal law and is not the same as federal recognition, which is the federal government's acknowledgment of a tribe as a sovereign nation. However, in some states, state recognition has offered some protection of autonomy for tribes not recognized by the federal government. For example, in Connecticut, state law protects reservations and limited self-government rights for state-recognized tribes. See a heavily footnoted list of state recognized tribes which includes details of each group's quest for recognition.
Fiji, with a history similar to Hawaii, enforces Native Fijian racial supremacy over descendants of Asian sugar plantation workers through a legal system resembling what Hawaiian sovereignty activists are seeking. See:
Roundup of evidence from 2000 to 2006 showing that most Hawaii people, including most ethnic Hawaiians, oppose the Akaka bill. Includes text of questions and results of two telephone polls by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii which called every landline in Hawaii listed in the telephone directory; plus newspaper polls, eyewitness journalist report on Honolulu hearing in 2000, surveys asking people to rank the priority they attach to solving various social problems, etc.
OHA has paid for biased polls to to claim people support Akaka bill -- questions like Should Hawaii's indigenous people enjoy the same recognition given to America's other indigenous people? (Well, duh!) But professional, high-reputation ZOGBY POLL in December 2009 showed the majority of Hawaii's people oppose Akaka bill and even larger majority want local hearings and ballot referendum.
What Does the United States Owe to Native Hawaiians? Two reports commissioned by Congress contain the answers, which are directly applicable to the Akaka bill. U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs 808-page (Morgan) report in February 1894 includes 2 months of testimony under oath in open session under cross examination, repudiating the Blount Report. Native Hawaiians Study Commission report (1983), following two years of testimony and data-gathering, concluded that there is no historical, legal, or moral basis for political autonomy or racially exclusive government benefits for ethnic Hawaiians, although social and medical problems make it important to do outreach programs to be sure they are offered the benefits available to all Americans. See summaries and links to both reports:
The apology resolution of 1993 is heavily cited in both the Akaka bill and the independence movement. But it is filled with historical inaccuracies.
Constitutional scholar-attorney Bruce Fein's booklet "Hawaii Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand" -- about half of it is a point by point refutation of the apology resolution.
Apology resolution has no bearing on Hawaii ceded lands; ceded lands belong to State of Hawaii in fee simple absolute on behalf of all people regardless of race. The U.S. Supreme Court 9-0 ruling in March 2009 made that clear. A webpage includes major legal briefs, court rulings at all stages along the way, and a compilation of news reports and commentaries.
Apology resolution and annexation resolution are both legally binding but have vastly different effectiveness due to "now therefore" clauses: comparison at
The divisiveness and far-reaching consequences of the Akaka bill are explored in the 302-page book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" at
Essay: "Three Choices For Hawai'i's Future: Akaka Bill vs. Independence vs. Unity and Equality"
A series of hard-hitting one-minute audio messages oppose the Akaka bill, accompanied by corresponding YouTube videos and transcripts. Each item focuses on one historical figure who is of major importance in Hawaiian history or culture but would not be recognized as Hawaiian according to the Akaka bill; or one aspect of the Akaka bill that is contrary to the ideals of unity, equality, and aloha. The webpage offering the audios and videos was launched in February 2009 with 10 audios and 5 accompanying videos. More will be added from time to time. Please visit
There is at least an ethical duty, and perhaps a legally enforceable obligation, for any ethnic Hawaiian who is a federal, state, or county government official to recuse himself from (i.e., step away and not participate in) any voting or decision-making related to supporting the Akaka bill, or especially implementing the bill after it passes. Ethnic Hawaiians in such high positions would need to recuse themselves so frequently, from so many matters, that it behooves ethnic Hawaiians not to run for office, or to resign from office if already in place. But since they are not likely to do that, it is unfortunately necessary for the rest of us to do it for them -- to discriminate against them by never voting for or appointing ethnic Hawaiians to such high-level positions in the first place. For a deeper analysis of this terrible consequence of the Akaka bill, see the webpage at
Disastrous effects of Akaka bill on Hawaii businesses and communities. Some of those effects are described here, including a compilation of articles by business owners and property owners in areas of the U.S. mainland impacted by tribes, such as upstate New York.
Tribes in California have used numerous legal maneuvers to avoid lawsuits on grounds of sovereign immunity, and have been successful in getting huge concessions from state and local governments who must pay enormous infrastructure costs even though the tribes avoid the taxes that would pay for them. The article cited here is focused on gambling casinos; but the concepts are relevant to all issues.
See also the "Real Stories" section of the website of the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance
"Neighbors Living Under Different Laws -- Example of State Sex Offender Registry" (How Minnesota court decision would apply here. If a registered child molester decides to move to the Waimanalo Hawaiian Homestead he would then be outside state jurisdiction and could get away with not registering his new address, even though he now lives conveniently close to Blanche Pope elementary school. Actual names, addresses, and property values where registered sex offenders lived in the Waimanalo homestead in 2005):
Beacon Hill Institute economics study says "state tax and lease revenues would fall by $342.8 million to $689.7 million. The burden of replacing this lost revenue would fall on all tax-paying Hawaiians through higher excise and income taxes."
The loss of democratic and constitutional rights that ethnic Hawaiians would suffer if the Akaka bill passes -- the impact would be felt by those Hawaiians who join the tribe, and to a lesser extent by those who do not join it. Benefits now being given to individuals from federal or state Hawaiians-only programs will henceforth get benefits only from the tribal council -- fed and state give goodies to the tribe, whose chiefs then pass them out to the members. Non-members get nothing unless they join the tribe. Members who are buddies with the chiefs get favored treatment. Cannot file a lawsuit or appeal to fed or state courts -- sovereignty means the tribal court rules.
"NATIVE HAWAIIAN" VICTIMHOOD CLAIMS -- what are they, why are they being asserted, and how can the bad statistics be explained? Advocates for race-based programs frequently justify them by asserting claims that "Native Hawaiians" have the worst statistics among all Hawaii ethnic groups for education, income, unemployment, drug abuse, incarceration, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. Such claims are asserted in the "findings" preamble of the Akaka bill and are included more extensively in the accompanying committee report. But such claims are rarely accompanied by the documentation that would allow researchers to verify them independently. Most economic and social "victimhood" statistics are probably due to the fact that "Native Hawaiians" on average are only 25 years of age -- 13 years younger than the average of other ethnic groups. Most health statistics are probably explained by the strange counting method which allocates full tally marks to "Native Hawaiian" victimhood for victims whose native blood quantum is very low -- about 3/4 of all "Native Hawaiians" each have more than 3/4 of their ancestry from Asia, Europe, or America; thus, most of their victimhood tally marks should be awarded to races other than "Native Hawaiian." See:
Akaka Bill Dialogs (collection of several series of published articles where supporters and opponents engage each other)
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SEE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AKAKA BILL
SEE WEBPAGES ABOUT HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY ISSUES IN ADDITION TO THIS BILL