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The Authority of Congress to Establish a Process for Recognizing a Reconstituted Native Hawaiian Governing Entity

S.310 (text)- Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act of 2007 (Senate)

S.310 (.pdf) -Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act of 2007

H.R. 505 (text)- Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act of 2007 (House)

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Position statement of the ATTORNEY GENERAL of the state of Hawaii (.doc)

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Why the Akaka Bill DOES NOT:

 

Background Information
Factual information, legal analyses and other background material on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act\

"People Seeking Wisdom" chant for the Hawaiian Nation

Na `Oiwi `Olino (words, pdf)

Na `Oiwi `Olino (audio, mp3)


 


New version of federal recognition bill introduced in Congress

On Jan. 17, 2007 - 114 years to the day after the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom - Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka introduced The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 (S. 310) on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The bill would begin a process to form a Native Hawaiian governing entity that could negotiate with the state and federal government on behalf of Hawaii's indigenous people, and would would provide parity in federal policies that empower other indigenous peoples, American Indians and Alaska Natives, to participate in a government-to-government relationship with the United States.

The new version of the bill incorporates language negotiated with the Bush administration in 2005, including increased clarification that no governmental functions or jurisdiction would be transferred from the state or federal governments without further legislation.

Last June, after a small number of Senate opponents had long stalled an earlier version of the bill (S.147) through technical roadblocks, the measure narrowly failed a procedural vote that would have forced it to the Senate floor for a final up-or-down tally. Although senators voted 56-41 in favor of the procedural motion, known as “cloture,” that total was short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure.

As he has done in the past, Hawaii's senior senator, Daniel K. Inouye cosponsored the new version of the recognition bill. A bipartisan group of senators from across the country also signed on as cosponsors: Sens. Dorgan (D-ND), Cantwell (D-WA), Coleman (R-MN), Stevens (R-AK), Murkowski R-AK), Smith (R-OR) and Dodd (D-CT). The bill will now go before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Dorgan.

In his floor statement introducing S.310, Sen. Akaka said: "The legislation I introduce today seeks to build upon the foundation of reconciliation. It provides a structured process to bring together the people of Hawaii, along a path of healing to a Hawaii where its indigenous people are respected and culture is embraced. Through enactment of this legislation, we have the opportunity to demonstrate that our country does not just preach its ideas, but lives according to its founding principles. As it has for America's other indigenous peoples, I believe the United States must fulfill its responsibility to Native Hawaiians." .

Sen. Inouye said: "We have every confidence that consistent with the federal policy for more than 35 years, the restoration of the rights to self-determination and self-governance will enable the Native Hawaiian people, the direct, lineal descendants of the aboriginal, indigenous native people of what has become our nation's 50th state, to take their rightful place in the family of governments that make up our constitutional system of governance."

Concurrently with the measure's introduction in the Senate, Hawaii Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Abercrombie said: "This measure gives the Native Hawaiian community the tools to guide its own destiny and manage the lands and assets set aside for it by law. Native Hawaiians fully deserve a seat at the table and a direct voice on issues critical to their well being and cultural identity."

Congresswoman Hirono said: "I am very proud to join with Senators Akaka and Inouye and Congressman Abercrombie in introducing the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007. Native Hawaiians should have the same rights to self-determination and self-governance enjoyed by the other indigenous peoples of the United States. Passage of this landmark legislation is one of my highest priorities."

Hawaii's Republican Governor, Linda Lingle, has also been a strong supporter of the bill.

The new version of the bill makes clear that:

  • Civil and criminal jurisdiction currently held by the federal and state governments will remain with the federal and state governments, unless further legislation is enacted.

  • The bill does not authorize gaming by the Native Hawaiian governing entity.

  • The Department of Defense is exempt from consultation requirements contained in the bill, however, obligations under existing statues, including the Native Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), remain.

  • Any grievances regarding historical wrongs committed against Native Hawaiians by the United States or by the state of Hawaii are to be addressed in the negotiations process between the Native Hawaiian governing entity and federal and state governments, not through the courts.



Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday 7/10/05 Newspaper Ad
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