Last try

May 20th, 2012
By

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye will make a last run at federal recognition for Native Hawaiians — which would treat Hawaiians as indigenous people with the right to self-government — before Akaka’s term expires in January 2013.

The Hawaii Democrats will likely look to attach language to a federal spending bill, which would sidestep a stand-alone vote in the Senate, a tactic that failed last year and may have even poorer odds in an election year when the political control of the Senate is in the balance.

From Jesse Broder Van Dyke, Akaka’s spokesman:

Like Alaska Natives and American Indians, Native Hawaiians were a sovereign people before their homelands became part of the United States, but Native Hawaiians remain the only federally recognized indigenous people without a government-to-government relationship with the U.S.

As chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, Senator Akaka continues to pursue all available options to bring the goals of his bill into law this year, providing parity for Native Hawaiians with the United States’ other recognized native peoples.

4 Responses to “Last try”

  1. Ken Conklin:

    “but Native Hawaiians remain the only federally recognized indigenous people without a government-to-government relationship with the U.S.”

    NO. They are not federally recognized — that’s what the Akaka bill is supposed to do — give them federal recognition. To say they are the only federally recognized indigenous people without a government-to-government relationship with the federal government is self-contradictory.

    This new form of doublespeak replaces an older version, which went like this:

    There are three groups of indigenous people in the U.S.: Native Americans, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians [notice the clever language making Hawaiians sound just like the others], and the only one not yet recognized is Native Hawaiian. But of course that’s silly. The U.S. doesn’t recognize “Native Americans all lumped together as a single group. The U.S. recognizes over 560 individual tribes, each with its own unique history and government, some of which had wars with other tribes. The U.S. also has failed to recognize about 300 so-called tribes which have asked for recognizion, and has actually considered and rejected a lot of those. There’s a process whereby groups applying for federal recognition file an application and must prove they qualify. Ethnic Hawaiians would fall short on many of those criteria. That’s why OHA has never applied — they know they would fail. So they keep trying in Congress, to get around the normal process. Let’s hope “Native Hawaiians” will be among those rejected.


  2. Goober:

    Neither are Nene Goose, indigenous to Hawaii.

    I believe those who created a civilization in Hawaii should be recognized.

    Americans are indigenous to Nowhere.


  3. Goober:

    Seems one is just jealous because he is not indigenous to any country.


  4. PolitiNalo Guy:

    I hope this happens for our community, but hope isn’t enough in an election year. From a national perspective this is unfortunately controversial (to some) legislation that likely doesn’t have a chance in the less than 170 days until Nov. 6th.


Leave a Reply