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History of the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill from July 1 through August 31, 2009. House Committee on Natural Resources markup set for July 9 postponed at last minute because Republican minority ranking member demands to know Dept of Justice and Obama administration's views on the bill, and perhaps because of OHA and Native Hawaiian Bar Association objections to restrictions on the powers of the Akaka tribe. ON THURSDAY AUGUST 6 THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS HELD A HEARING ON S.1011. Webcast, written statements by invited witnesses, news reports are provided. U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS BLASTS AKAKA BILL.


(c) Copyright 2009 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

The history of the Akaka bill during the entire 111th Congress, January 2009 to December 2010, is divided into subpages covering several time-periods. The index of topics for the entire 111th Congress, with links to the subpages, can be found at
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaHist111thCong.html

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HERE IS THE INDEX OF ITEMS FROM July 1 through August 31, 2009. FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

July 1: Editorials by two OHA trustees in the OHA monthly newspaper for July: (1) Walter Heen says when the Akaka bill passes there will be a firestorm of resistance and opposition from numerous Hawaiian sovereignty groups; (2) Boyd Mossman says Hawaii is part of America now, and when the Akaka bill passes, ethnic Hawaiians will need lots of help from American government to help the new Akaka tribe provide benefits to its members.; (3) OHA "clarifies" what is the Akaka bill definition of "native Hawaiian" for Star-Bulletin newspaper; (4) OHA chair Haunani Apoliona responds to Bob Jones' June 24 article which said it's time to kill the Akaka bill.

July 8: (1) Ken Conklin straight news report in Hawaii Reporter that the House Committee on Natural Resources is scheduled to meet to markup Akaka bill on July 9, including live webcast; (2) Honolulu Advertiser reports online breaking news that the Akaka bill markup has been postponed for an undetermined number of weeks because the Native Hawaiian Bar Association warns that some bill provisions would cripple the Akaka tribe; (3) Ken Conklin updates Hawaii Reporter article to announce the postponement and to describe the protections in the current language of the Akaka bill which caused the Native Hawaiian Bar Association to file objections and delay the markup; (4) Ken Conklin commentary explains why "The Akaka Bill Can be Rejected for Reasons that Do Not Attack the Legitimacy of the Genuine Indian Tribes"; (5) Letter defends Bob Jones Midweek commentary of June 24 that had said it's time to kill the Akaka bill

July 9: (1) Ranking Republican on the House Committee on Natural Resources, Doc Hastings, issues press release demanding the Dept of Justice and Obama administration state their position on the Akaka bill before a committee markup is held (The Honolulu Advertiser news report about the postponement had touted only the Native Hawaiian Bar Association testimony as being the cause of the postponement); (2) Honolulu Advertiser publishes in its print edition a slightly improved version of yesterday's online breaking news report that the House committee meeting was postponed, but still describing the NHBA testimony as the only reason; (3) Scott Crawford (Hawaiian secessionist blogger) published the contents of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association letter to the House committee which caused the committee to postpone the markup meeting.

July 12: Winona Rubin, retired Kamehameha Schools administrator, and activist in numerous racial separatist institutions, writes commentary in Honolulu Advertiser supporting the Akaka bill (even while she acknowledges it is flawed), and ranting against the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii claiming it is a front organization for mainland groups seeking to abolish native Hawaiian rights.

July 16: President emeritus of Grassroot Institute notes that Akaka bill is based on federal apology for alleged federal misdeeds in 1893; yet the burden will be placed on Hawaii residents to pay for it.

July 28: (1 and (2) 2 articles report the remarks of Senators Akaka and Inouye on the Senate floor regarding their resolution celebrating Hawaii's 50th anniversary of statehood. Their comments indicate the U.S. has an obligation in view of the apology resolution of 1993 to pass the Akaka bill. (3) The Hawaii Independent (an ethnic Hawaiian online newsaper promoting an independent nation of Hawaii) has a lengthy and very insightful article about Senate procedures for passing the Akaka bill and who are the Senators to watch.

July 29: Attorney H. William Burgess, a member of the Hawaii Advisory Committee, publishes his letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights describing the most important civil rights issues facing Hawaii. The Akaka bill is high on his list.

July 30: (1) Honolulu Advertiser reports BREAKING NEWS THAT THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS WILL HOLD A HEARING ON THE AKAKA BILL ON THURSDAY AUGUST 6. (2) Tom Macdonald, spokesman for Aloha For All, notes an article published in the Sacramento Bee indicating that if the Akaka bill passes then many thousands of ethnic Hawaiians living on the mainland are likely to "return" to Hawaii and become a burden on the state's social service network.

July 31: Tom Macdonald reports a list of reparations (land, money, jurisdiction) which OHA said in 1993 would be the result of the apology resolution; these are outcomes the Akaka bill is intended to produce.

August 3: (1) Tom Macdonald published a list of demands for transfer of land, money, and jurisdiction to a Native Hawaiian government that was published by OHA in 1993 in relation to the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy and were included in draft legislation for a Native Hawaiian restoration bill to accompany the apology resolution, and compares that list with the actual list of negotiating topics contained in and empowered by the current Akaka bill; (2) Robert R. Kessler open letter to U.S. Senate opposing Akaka bill on grounds it is racially divisive, would cause uncertainty and instability in the already-depressed business environment, and would encourage the secessionist movement.

August 6-7: ON AUGUST 6 THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS HELD A HEARING ON S.1011, THE AKAKA BILL. Provided on this webpage are the webcast, and written testimonies of invited witnesses, a summary of the oral testimony focusing on the 14th Amendment, and several news reports and commentaries.

August 9: Both the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin devote their Sunday editorials to supporting the Akaka bill.

August 10: (1) Columnist Brian Darling in "Human Events" magazine opposes Akaka bill as unconstitutional and because of its impact in Hawaii; (2) "News report" in Honolulu Advertiser says some ethnic Hawaiian activists reject statehood, saying it's a crime because of illegal overthrow of monarchy, illegal annexation, and illegal statehood vote in 1959.

August 11: (1) Hawaii Reporter has detailed news report about major issues raised by all sides in the U.S. Senate committee hearing of August 6 on the Akaka bill; (2) "Aloha For All" communications director issues challenge to Honolulu Advertiser to back up erroneous claims of fact is made in its editorial of August 9 which supported the Akaka bill.

August 14: Earl Arakaki points out that the Akaka bill is well-named, because in Hawaiian language the word "akaka" is both a noun and verb which means split, crack, or separation.

August 18: (1) Commentary in Honolulu Advertiser by leaders of Aloha For All says "Akaka bill clashes with Hawaii ideals"; (2) "Indian Country Today" reports on Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on Akaka bill on August 6, and emphasizes deep divisions over the bill within the Native Hawaiian community.; (3) Andrew Walden publishes in-depth analysis of the Akaka bill amendments being demanded by OHA and the Native Hawaiian Bar Association, and the devastating effects they would have.

August 19: Honolulu weekly editor Ragnar Carlson first describes his personal opinions in favor of the Akaka bill, and then provides a plain-English description of what's in the Akaka bill which Carlson claims is straightforward and unbiased.

August 24: (1) Jon Van Dyke, UH law professor and frequent paid spokesman for OHA, published commentary in Honolulu Star-Bulletin entitled "Akaka Bill would be 'win-win'"; (2) Michael Bates open letter to Senate opposing Akaka bill; (3) Ken Conklin "Anti-American Rage in Hawaii -- Hawaii golden jubilee includes ripping the 50th star off the U.S. flag and burning it." Says passing Akaka bill would empower radical, racist, anti-Americans.

August 25: (1) Earl Arakaki notes that Senator Akaka's name aptly describes what his bill would do to Hawaii: in Hawaiian "akaka" means a rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale; (2) The Pacific Citizen (Japanese American Citizens League newspaper) reports that Native Hawaiians are divided on the Akaka bill. "We have been supportive of Native Hawaii sovereignty from the beginning," said Floyd Mori, JACL national director. "Their history is too much like Native Americans who had their land taken away and left to fend for themselves in unwanted spaces. Hawaiians deserve the dignity that is due to them as the original inhabitants of the islands."

August 26: (1) "Native Hawaiian Convention" hears speeches urging support for Akaka bill; (2) President Obama's associate director of community engagement will speak to the convention tomorrow on behalf of the President.

August 27: (1) "[W]hether you focus on the 94 percent approval rate of those actually voting, or the 60 percent approval rate counting all those eligible to vote, a solid majority voted in favor of statehood in 1959."; (2) "Akaka Bill Would Destroy Hawaii's Precious Gift of Aloha"

August 28: (1) U.S. CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION letter to Congressional leaders once again blasting the Akaka bill, on official stationery with Commissioners' signatures; (2) Letter to editor from ethnic Hawaiian opposing Akaka bill; (3) News report about speech to Native Hawaiian Convention by Obama spokesman praising ethnic Hawaiians for perseverance.

August 29: 2 letters to editor: Conquerors have enjoyed benefits, now must show sympathy to poor downtrodden Hawaiians (so pass Akaka bill); Supreme Court says ceded lands belong to all Hawaii citizens, so Akaka bill is now anachronistic.

August 30: (1) Honolulu Advertiser (finally!) reports new letter to Congress from U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that blasts the Akaka bill, but Advertiser story spins the "news" report by telling very little of what was in the letter, while giving Rep. Abercrombie's views much more space; (2) Ken Conklin letter in Maui News says learning the truth about Hawaii history takes time and effort far beyond the propaganda phrases in the newspaper, and offers a webpage and a book for readers to study.

August 31: "Akaka Bill a zero-sum game, not 'win-win'" -- rebuttal to Jon Van Dyke's August 24 commentary, by Aloha For All leaders

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FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), July, 2009, page 27

The Coming Storm

by Walter M. Heen, OHA trustee.

I'm sure you are all aware that the Akaka Bill, S. 1011 and H.R. 2314, has been reintroduced in the United States Congress and H.R. 2314 has had a hearing in the House of Representatives. The bill is intended to express the United States' policy regarding its "relationship with Native Hawaiians" and also "to provide a process" for the United States to recognize "the Native Hawaiian governing entity." President Barack Obama has stated that he will sign the bill if it is passed by Congress.

Upon passage, the procedures outlined in the bill will move forward. When they do, I anticipate considerable turmoil in our Hawaiian community. I expect that there will be resistance to the process from the very beginning and from the same individuals and groups who loudly and stridently opposed the concept some 10 years ago. In particular, those groups oppose the basic concept of, and here I paraphrase, having the United States tell Native Hawaiians how they must "establish" a government that the United States will recognize. Those protesters believe in the inherent right of Native Hawaiians to re-establish our own sovereign entity. Additionally, there were, and are, groups who claim to be the restored sovereign government (think "occupation" of ‘Iolani Palace).

Those groups and individuals have not gone away and, in fact, since those early events, have gained other allies. They will resist any and all attempts to establish the governing entity envisioned by the Akaka Bill.

They will protest the establishment of the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations as provided for in the bill because it continues a "subjugated" position for Native Hawaiians. They will proclaim that the only thing that needs to be reaffirmed is the inherent sovereignty of Native Hawaiians. Thereafter, Native Hawaiians will determine for themselves the form of government to be re-established.

I also anticipate that there will be considerable complaint made about the formation and appointment of the commission that will determine who is eligible to participate in the reorganization of the governing entity. The protesters will carry forward the theme of their complaint about the concept of the Akaka Bill and will insist that a law passed by Congress cannot declare who is or is not a Hawaiian. They will declare that the establishment of a "roll" of Hawaiians eligible to participate in the "reorganization" is simply contrary to their inherent right as Native Hawaiians.

The irony of the Akaka Bill is that it supports the basic premise of the protesters. Section 2 (22) (B) states that, "Native Hawaiians have never relinquished their claims to sovereignty or their sovereign lands[.]" One can easily argue from that statement that the United States recognizes the illegality of its occupancy of the Hawaiian Islands and should restore Native Hawaiian sovereignty. That, of course, is more easily said than done. It is one thing for the United States to acknowledge the claim; it is another to agree to restoration of Hawaiian sovereignty.

So, where are we? In spite of the storm that is coming we need to continue to support the passage of the Akaka Bill, because it is the only viable step forward for Native Hawaiians toward eventual restoration of sovereignty. As Shakespeare said:

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

And as Kehau Watson has said, "I will take every little bit by every little bit, because I know that in the end I will get it all."

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Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), July, 2009, page 27

Kamehameha lei draping, the Akaka Bill and a visit to Washington

by Boyd P. Mossman, OHA trustee

Aloha nö.

Having returned from Washington, D.C., where several of us were privileged to witness the first lei draping of the Kamehameha statue in Emancipation Hall, and having participated in discussions and planning regarding the Akaka Bill hearing in the House of Representatives, I cannot help but reflect upon the many benefits we have as American citizens. The event was culturally uplifting and the rainbow above the king's head was intriguing while those in attendance and who danced were awesome if only in numbers alone. The talks by Sen. Daniel Akaka and Reps. Mazie Hirono and Eni Faleomavaega were right on, and our Chair, Haunani Apoliona, was most enthusiastic with her words of encouragement to those assembled at the foot of the statue.

And thus in the heart of our country's seat of government, we gathered to honor an icon of Hawai‘i and Native Hawaiians, one of our own, a true leader, a man of physical, mental and spiritual strength, one chosen to lead and to succeed. The fact that we were holding the event in a new venue was a feat in and of itself since the statue for decades was hidden behind a pillar and other statues in Statutory Hall in the Capitol. To accomplish the move and then to hold our ceremony at his feet required acts of Congress, literally. But the mixed atmosphere of two nations, the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom, led one to reflect on not only the occasion but one's allegiance for these two nations.

Truly our ancestors, as aptly represented by King Kamehameha, not only as an ali‘i but a kanaka maoli who practiced honor and excelled in all things, have left us with a physical bond to the past. The highly developed civilization they created surpasses much of what we experience today. Their spirit lingers on and in the land and ocean we know they somehow are present. Thus we, today, do have a tie to this land of ours via the blood, sweat and spirit of those who gave us our identity.

On the other hand, by virtue of history, we are now American citizens, living in a free country, able to choose to work hard and see the benefits of our labors or be lazy and suffer the consequences of idleness and attitude. Today we are reaping the harvest seeded by an inspired law, the Constitution of the United States, by which we can ensure reconciliation with the U.S. government as Native Hawaiians while enjoying the advantages of U.S. citizenship.

There is so much promise for the future of Hawaiians if we can secure what we enjoy and receive today and build from there with the sanction of the nation and state within which we live. A Hawaiian governing entity would be much better able to address Hawaiian needs and establish a solid Hawaiian presence in Hawai‘i and the nation. We as Hawaiians have much to prepare for with passage of the Akaka Bill, and it will take a commitment to better our conditions in concert with each other and all others. We have much support now; we will need even more when it comes to identifying our citizenship and selecting our leadership, whether corporate, administrative, legislative or other.

Our people need education. We need our language. We need our scientists and engineers and doctors. We need housing and jobs and better health. We need to strengthen our culture and traditions and to protect our family relationships. We need to produce better and greater leaders who with no malice aforethought and without guile will dedicate themselves to the betterment of our people and thus to our nation and to our God.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20090701_Akaka_Bill_defines_native_Hawaiian_broadly.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 1, 2009

Akaka Bill defines native Hawaiian broadly

By June Watanabe

Question: What is the legal definition of "native Hawaiian" as the term is used in the Akaka Bill and other legislation in effect or pending at this time?

Answer: Under the Akaka Bill (officially the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009), native Hawaiian is defined as being of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii who were in the Hawaiian Islands on or before Jan. 1, 1893, and occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian archipelago; or who was eligible in 1921 for programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; or is a direct lineal descendant of those individuals.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, however, is proposing that anyone who can prove their ancestors were here before Capt. Cook arrived in 1778 would be considered native Hawaiian, said Crystal Kua, director of communications.

"In essence, anybody who can prove they're Hawaiian could fall under this definition," she said.

Another reason OHA is pushing for the 1778 standard is because about 150 federal laws dealing with native Hawaiian programs all use that definition, she said.

Other definitions, including the one used in the state law setting up the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, sets a blood quantum qualification.

Chapter 10 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes says a native Hawaiian is "any descendant of not less than one-half part of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778," as defined by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, "provided that the term identically refers to the descendants of such blood quantum of such aboriginal peoples which exercised sovereignty and subsisted in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778 and which peoples thereafter continued to reside in Hawaii."

Despite that, Kua said OHA is not pushing for a blood quantum for the Akaka Bill, emphasizing that the aim is "to help as many Hawaiians as possible."

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, in deciding who qualifies for homestead land under the federal Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, also specifies a 50 percent blood quantum: "You must be a native Hawaiian, defined as 'any descendant of not less than one-half part of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778.'"

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http://www.midweek.com/content/columns/lte_article/letters_to_the_editor919/
Midweek, July 1, 2009, Letter to Editor

Wrong on Akaka

In his column "Is It Time To Kill The Akaka Bill?" Bob Jones' flawed understanding of the bill misrepresents facts and leads to a conclusion that is at best, faulty; at worst, ignorant.

Mr. Jones says that he can't seem to get his sympathies wrapped around what he calls the "Native Hawaiian Government Recognition Proposal." We are not after his sympathies, but we would appreciate him getting the facts straight, starting with the name of the bill: the Native Hawaiian

Government Reorganization Act. Mr. Jones asserts that the legislation is "clearly" race based. This is simply not the case: It is based on the political status of the indigenous people of Hawaii, the Native Hawaiians.

Neil Abercrombie has always championed this legislation in the U.S. House, long before his gubernatorial run. Our congressional delegation understands the U.S.'s responsibility to the native people whose lands became part of the United States of America.

Agencies like the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are meant to help Hawaiians set back by a tumultuous history, which no one is trying to rewrite - we're simply trying to mitigate the effects.

Mr. Jones'most ignorant statement is that "we'd be better off continuing to integrate Hawaiians into the fabric of the state." Native Hawaiians have been the fabric of these islands since time immemorial. The argument is not over giving governance to a bloodline, but rather restoring some semblance of sovereignty to an indigenous people whose sovereignty was forcefully suppressed.

Mr. Jones correctly points out that American Indians and Alaska Natives have a process of federal recognition, and without the same kind of recognition for Native Hawaiians, programs that benefit Hawaiians could be struck down in the courts. Joe Garcia, a tribal leader and president of the National Congress of American Indians, said in congressional testimony in support of the Akaka Bill, "This is a matter of fundamental fairness. Like American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians deserve the right to determine their own future."

For the latest on the federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, visit NativeHawaiians.com. All may not agree on the Akaka Bill, but we feel that it is the best way forward, affirming history by opening up a process to move forward from the injustices of the past.

Haunani Apoliona
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?bcfc7f68-b6aa-4228-8113-9110e9ecfd56
Hawaii Reporter, July 8, 2009, 10:45 AM

Akaka Bill House Committee Markup Early Thursday Morning
Audio/video webcast live at 4 AM Hawaii time

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

On Thursday July 9, 2009, the House Natural Resources Committee, led by Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), will meet in open session to mark up H.R. 2314, the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009", informally known as the Akaka bill.

The meeting will begin at 10:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Savings Time), or 4:00 AM Hawaii time, in Room 1324, Longworth House Office Building.

Five bills will be marked up, with the Akaka bill coming first on the agenda. The list of all five bills, including their names and brief descriptions, can be seen on the official agenda at http://tinyurl.com/n3qvc2

The meeting will have a live audio and video webcast, which can be watched by going to the following link shortly before the meeting begins, or anytime during the meeting: http://tinyurl.com/bal5s7

Committee markup is a hearing where committee members consider possible changes in the bill, ranging from technical corrections to major amendments or even a substitution of a completely new bill in place of the original one. The normal result of a committee markup meeting is to approve a bill (possibly amended) and send it to the floor of the House where the Speaker will decide when to schedule it for debate and a vote. Once the bill has been reported out of the committee it will be sent to the Rules Committee which creates a unique "rule" for each bill specifying the length of time for floor debate, a limit on the number of amendments that can be introduced, and other procedural matters.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has indicated publicly that it would like several changes in the Akaka bill, and has probably been working on them behind the scenes with Representative Abercrombie. Thus the bill that comes out of the committee could be significantly different than it was when the committee hearing was held on June 11.

On Friday June 5 the Honolulu Advertiser reported in "breaking news" that the OHA trustees "voted to urge Hawaii's congressional delegation to support three amendments to the current version of H.R. 2314 and S. 1011.

OHA recommends:

[1] Changing the definition of 'Native Hawaiian to include the 1778 definition to support a broader and more inclusive definition of 'Native Hawaiian.
[2] Deleting all references to 'Commission.' American Indians and Alaska Natives apparently have not been required to form such a commission and the role of the 'commission' will be duplicative of what Native Hawaiians will be required to do themselves.
[3] Reviewing sections of the bill that seek to address any claims of the Native Hawaiian people to determine necessary amendments. OHA stands ready to assist in the review."

** Note from Ken Conklin: Later on Wednesday July 8, the Honolulu Advertiser, never having reported the fact that a committee meeting was scheduled for Thursday, nevertheless published a "breaking news" story online saying that the committee had been cancelled because the Native Hawaiian Bar Association had filed objections to the bill's language. That Advertiser article was then published in the July 9 print edition, and is copied below. After the Advertiser's breaking news report that the committee meeting was postponed, Ken Conklin then published his own updated essay in Hawaii Reporter, copied below the Advertiser breaking news article.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090708/BREAKING01/90708061/House+committee+postpones+key+vote+on+Akaka+bill+
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, July 8, 2009
BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES Updated at 11:49 a.m. HST

House committee postpones key vote on Akaka bill

By John Yaukey
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — A House panel has postponed a key vote originally scheduled for tomorrow on legislation known as the Akaka bill, which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

The House Natural Resources Committee is expected to reschedule a vote on the bill, written by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, for sometime in the next week or two.

"We're all just trying to make sure everyone is coordinated and on the same page before we go forward," said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, an Akaka spokesman.

If passed, the legislation could reshape the political landscape in Hawaii. It would give Native Hawaiians virtually the same rights conferred on Native Americans and Alaskans, and greater control over their highly valuable ancestral lands.

The vote postponement follows some written criticisms of the bill by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian legal community.

In a four-page analysis of the legislation sent to the Natural Resources Committee, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association voiced concern that some provisions would grant the federal government too much immunity against potential claims by Native Hawaiians, especially for land.

"The bill's provisions on claims and federal sovereign immunity appear to be overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians," the bar association wrote. "They create an extraordinarily unusual circumstance in which Native Hawaiians are barred from bringing an action."

At stake ultimately — in addition to the political future of the Native Hawaiians — is control over some 1.8 million acres of land that many Native Hawaiians believe was taken illegally in the United States' annexation of Hawaii in 1898.

Approval of the Akaka bill in the Natural Resources Committee would send the bill to the full House for a vote. The Senate has not acted on the bill yet.

Its first test in the Senate would be before the Indian Affairs Committee, where Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, is a senior member. Akaka is hoping the committee will take it up before Congress begins its August recess.

Originally proposed in 2000, the Akaka bill has been passed repeatedly in the House but has hit walls in the Senate, where single lawmakers can hold bills at will.

The legislation came closest to passing in 2007, when it cleared the full House, but it was never brought to the Senate floor for a full vote.

The Akaka bill's mostly Republican opponents, who have quashed the legislation in the past, contend it is race-based. But they now face an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress and a Hawaii-raised president who has vowed to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?bcfc7f68-b6aa-4228-8113-9110e9ecfd56

UPDATE: Akaka Bill House Committee Markup POSTPONED

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. , 7/8/2009 10:45:50 AM

Late in the day on Wednesday, July 8, the House Committee on Natural Resources postponed its markup of the Akaka bill that had been scheduled for early Thursday morning.

The Honolulu Advertiser Washington bureau reporter John Yaukey published a "breaking news" article at about noon Hawaii time (6 PM Washington time) explaining why the markup is postponed:

"The vote postponement follows some written criticisms of the bill by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian legal community. In a four-page analysis of the legislation sent to the Natural Resources Committee, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association voiced concern that some provisions would grant the federal government too much immunity against potential claims by Native Hawaiians, especially for land."

Yes indeed. What that really means is that OHA and the other racial separatists are afraid that the way the bill is written contains too many restrictions that will prevent them from ripping off all the land and money and jurisdictional authority they so desperately crave.

Here are some of the contents of the current version of the Akaka bill that the racial separatist Evil Empire is worried about. The fact that they don't like these provisions tells us what they really want to do to Hawaii if they can pass the bill without these protections:

Section 8 [excerpts]

"Nothing in this Act ... creates obligations that did not exist in any source of Federal law prior to the date of enactment of this Act; or ... is intended to create or allow to be maintained in any court any potential breach-of-trust actions, land claims, resource-protection or resource-management claims, or similar types of claims brought by or on behalf of Native Hawaiians or the Native Hawaiian governing entity for equitable, monetary, or Administrative Procedure Act-based relief against the United States or the State of Hawaii, whether or not such claims specifically assert an alleged breach of trust, call for an accounting, seek declaratory relief, or seek the recovery of or compensation for lands once held by Native Hawaiians. ..."

"... the United States retains its sovereign immunity to any claim that existed prior to the enactment of this Act (including, but not limited to, any claim based in whole or in part on past events), and which could be brought by Native Hawaiians or any Native Hawaiian governing entity. Nor shall any preexisting waiver of sovereign immunity (including, but not limited to, waivers set forth in chapter 7 of part I of title 5, United States Code, and sections 1505 and 2409a of title 28, United States Code) be applicable to any such claims. This complete retention or reclaiming of sovereign immunity also applies to every claim that might attempt to rely on this Act for support, without regard to the source of law under which any such claim might be asserted."

" ... It is the general effect of section 8(c)(2)(B) that any claims that may already have accrued and might be brought against the United States, including any claims of the types specifically referred to in section 8(c)(2)(A), along with both claims of a similar nature and claims arising out of the same nucleus of operative facts as could give rise to claims of the specific types referred to in section 8(c)(2)(A), be rendered nonjusticiable in suits brought by plaintiffs other than the Federal Government."

"Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, the State retains its sovereign immunity, unless waived in accord with State law, to any claim, established under any source of law, regarding Native Hawaiians, that existed prior to the enactment of this Act. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to constitute an override pursuant to section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment of State sovereign immunity held under the Eleventh Amendment."

SEC. 9. [excerpts]

"The Native Hawaiian governing entity and Native Hawaiians may not conduct gaming activities as a matter of claimed inherent authority or under the authority of any Federal law, including the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) or under any regulations thereunder promulgated by the Secretary or the National Indian Gaming Commission."

"The foregoing prohibition in section 9(a)(1) on the use of Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and inherent authority to game apply regardless of whether gaming by Native Hawaiians or the Native Hawaiian governing entity would be located on land within the State of Hawaii or within any other State or Territory of the United States."

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including but not limited to part 151 of title 25, Code of Federal Regulations, the Secretary shall not take land into trust on behalf of individuals or groups claiming to be Native Hawaiian or on behalf of the native Hawaiian governing entity."

"The Indian Trade and Intercourse Act (25 U.S.C. 177), does not, has never, and will not apply after enactment to lands or lands transfers present, past, or future, in the State of Hawaii. If despite the expression of this intent herein, a court were to construe the Trade and Intercourse Act to apply to lands or land transfers in Hawaii before the date of enactment of this Act, then any transfer of land or natural resources located within the State of Hawaii prior to the date of enactment of this Act, by or on behalf of the Native Hawaiian people, or individual Native Hawaiians, shall be deemed to have been made in accordance with the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act and any other provision of Federal law that specifically applies to transfers of land or natural resources from, by, or on behalf of an Indian tribe, Native Hawaiians, or Native Hawaiian entities."

"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)."

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?6e2913d9-8a24-4025-87cb-76c6e88194ec
Hawaii Reporter, July 8, 2009

The Akaka Bill Can be Rejected for Reasons that Do Not Attack the Legitimacy of the Genuine Indian Tribes

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

SUMMARY

The "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization" bill, informally known as the Akaka bill, has had many versions since it was first introduced in July 2000. Three versions have already been introduced in six bills in the House and Senate during 2009 alone. The version that seems to be moving forward is H.R.2314 and its Senate companion S.1011.

From 2000 to 2009 there have been numerous attacks on all versions of the Akaka bill, arguing that the basic concept of the bill is both unconstitutional and immoral. Most of those attacks would apply not only to the Akaka bill but also to several hundred federally recognized Indian tribes. For example, the Akaka bill is attacked on the grounds that it violates the Constitution's 14th Amendment equal protection clause prohibiting racial discrimination; the 15th Amendment clause prohibiting the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on account of race; the guarantee that every state shall have a republican form of government; the prohibition against titles of nobility; etc.

The Indian tribes consider it important to support the Akaka bill in order to protect their own existence, because federal recognition of an Indian tribe carries with it permission to exercise sovereignty based on racially exclusive membership and voting rights, racial discrimination, tribal governments that need not be democratic, etc. Tribes are allowed to engage in racial discrimination in ways that are prohibited to states and local governments, for reasons described in section 4 below.

However, the tribes run a great risk by allying themselves too closely to the Akaka bill. If Congress or the courts reject the Akaka bill for the broad Constitutional or policy reasons described above, then the tribes will thereby also suffer Congressional disfavor or come under attack in the courts. If the tribes insist that the reasons justifying their own existence are the same as the reasons why the Akaka bill is legitimate, then the inevitable defeat of the Akaka bill in Congress or the courts will take down the tribes as well.

There are important reasons why the Akaka bill is wrong historically, legally, and morally. Some of those reasons are unique to the proposed Akaka tribe. Therefore there will be no consequences to the genuine tribes if the Akaka bill is rejected by Congress or ruled unconstitutional by the courts for reasons that are unique. It's safer for the tribes if the Akaka bill is rejected by Congress, because a vote can be cast without giving any reason for it, or giving only reasons that are unique to the Akaka bill. The greatest danger for the tribes is if the bill passes Congress and then comes under scutiny by the courts, because courts might very well overturn the Akaka bill for broader reasons that would also affect the tribes.

Hopefully Congress, the judiciary, media commentators, and tribal leaders will go through the door this essay opens for them to reject the Akaka bill for reasons that do not attack the legality or morality of the genuine tribes. Politicians and pundits will now have a valid explanation for truthfully saying that they oppose the Akaka bill but do not oppose the existence of the tribes.

*1. WHY RACIAL IDENTITY GROUPS FAVOR THE AKAKA BILL

Groups focused on racial grievance or racial entitlements have always supported the Akaka bill. For example: JACL (Japanese American Citizens League), La Raza, LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and numerous less-known groups including National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, National Organization of Pacific Islanders in America, Organization of Chinese Americans.

It's no surprise that such groups favor the Akaka bill. They desperately need to defend government programs that provide money to racial groups; and laws or policies giving racial preferences or affirmative action in hiring, college admissions, contracting, etc. These groups realize that passing the Akaka bill will undermine the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, which has been used successfully in recent years to challenge race-based programs. Congressional passage of the Akaka bill could be cited in future court cases as establishing a precedent that racial entitlement programs are "political questions" requiring the courts to give deference to the legislative branch of government.

African-American organizations observe the favors granted by Congress to ethnic Hawaiians, and hope for similar treatment. In 1993 Congress passed a resolution apologizing to ethnic Hawaiians (alone) for the alleged U.S. role in overthrowing the Hawaiian monarchy (despite the fact that the Kingdom government and voter list were thoroughly multiracial).

Now comes the Akaka bill, proposed as a step toward the "reconciliation" (and perhaps reparations) called for in that apology. The Akaka bill cites not only the apology resolution but also racial victimhood statistics portraying ethnic Hawaiians as disproportionately afflicted by poverty, heart disease, diabetes, drug abuse, incarceration, etc. (the same afflictions suffered by blacks). Now the time has come when black leaders see a chance to jump on the same bandwagon.

Both the Senate and House passed resolutions in June 2009 apologizing to African-Americans for slavery, and blaming slavery for today's negative statistics. So black leaders might reasonably hope that passing the Akaka bill will set the stage for their own organizations to be granted governmental powers, or at least massive reparations.

Focusing on short-term gains from government handouts, black leaders seem ready to ignore the long-term injustice and devastation of using governmental power to treat people differently based solely on race.

The radical group MEChA (Moviemento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) also supports the Akaka bill, because it would establish the principle that Congress has the power to create a government for any group of so-called "indigenous" people (such as Mexican-Americans, who nearly all have at least one Aztec or Mayan ancestor) and then to grant them money, land, and political power facilitating eventual secession. See "Hawaiian Nationalism, Chicano Nationalism, Black Nationalism, Indian Tribes, and Reparations -- Akaka Bill Sets a Precedent for the Balkanization of America" at
http://tinyurl.com/722l4

*2. WHY INDIAN TRIBES FAVOR THE AKAKA BILL

Indian tribes, and organizations representing them, have also supported the Akaka bill. For example: NCAI (National Congress of American Indians), AFN (Alaska Federation of Natives), and numerous less-known groups including the Governors' Interstate Indian Council, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, National Indian Education Association, Tribal Education Departments National Assembly, Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life.

But it's surprising that Indian tribes support the Akaka bill, in view of the fact that the Akaka tribe would be the largest one, with over 400,000 members. Why would existing tribes, many of which are quite small, support the creation of a monstrously huge competitor for government handouts?

To avoid opposition from existing tribes, the Hawaii delegation has amended the Akaka bill to include several provisions that appear to insulate the tribes from competition. The bill now prohibits the Akaka tribe from operating casinos, not only in Hawaii but in any other state. It also prohibits members of the Akaka tribe from benefitting from any programs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and instead provides that benefits will be funded through special legislation and coordinated by a new federal agency working exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians.

Nevertheless, it's easy to foresee that in future years such restrictions on gambling, and institutional segregation of tribal benefits, will be nullified either through lawsuits brought by the Akaka tribe or through new legislation purportedly for the purpose of consolidating programs or streamlining government bureaucracy.

So why do the genuine Indian tribes so strongly support the Akaka bill, when the bill seems at present to be neutral to their economic interests and opens the possibility of future detrimental competition? For the same reason that battlefield commanders build outposts, send scouting parties, launch diversionary attacks, and are willing to sacrifice a company of soldiers to save an entire regiment.

Challenges to federal Indian policy are growing in number and strength. The great majority of Supreme Court Indian-law decisions in recent years have ruled against tribal interests and sovereignty. Tribes are beginning to fear a possible return to the historical period of termination, or even the allotment and assimilation era.

The Akaka bill grossly expands Congressional power under the Indian commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, and violates the 14th Amendment equal protection clause. The legal and political foundations of the Akaka tribe would be far weaker than the foundations of the genuine Indian tribes. The Akaka tribe would be a freakish mutation of what a real tribe should be.

Thus the Akaka tribe will become the biggest target of lawsuits and political activity, diverting challenges to the current concept of tribal self-determination and especially tribal sovereignty. Existing tribes consider it a worthwhile gamble to risk future competition from a huge phony new tribe, in return for a long period when attacks on overall federal Indian policy are diverted.

The Akaka bill contains a provision putting Congress on record that ethnic Hawaiians never relinquished their right to sovereignty or to their communal lands; thus the Akaka bill would not be seen as a granting of powers by Congress but rather as a Congressional acknowledgment that the Akaka tribe is beyond the authority of Congress. Such a provision would set a precedent greatly expanding the powers of existing tribes -- especially those who merely acquiesced to U.S. authority in the 1800s but did not sign a treaty giving up their lands or sovereignty.

*3. WHY THE GENUINE TRIBES HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE IF THE AKAKA BILL IS DEFEATED IN CONGRESS; AND WHY THE TRIBES HAVE EVERYTHING TO LOSE IF THEY CLAIM THAT "NATIVE HAWAIIANS" ARE ENTITLED TO FEDERAL RECOGNITION ON THE SAME BASIS AND FOR THE SAME REASONS AS NATIVE AMERICANS AND NATIVE ALASKANS

There are two primary reasons unique to "Native Hawaiians" for persuading Congress to defeat the Akaka bill, or persuading the courts to overturn it. These reasons do not in any way impinge on the usual arguments for or against the existence of Indian tribes. The legal reason is focused on the fact that the proposed Akaka tribe is historically, legally, and morally unjustifiable and unconstitutional by contrast to the genuine tribes. The policy reason is focused on the fact that the Akaka tribe would have an enormous negative impact on the State of Hawaii, unlike the much smaller impact the real tribes have on the states where they are located.

The fact that the Akaka tribe is radically different from the genuine tribes, in both foundational principles and practical effects, means that defeating or overturning the Akaka tribe on account of those differences will have no effect on federal Indian policy and will not damage the genuine tribes. It also means that it is dangerous for the genuine tribes to assert that the Akaka tribe is entitled to federal recognition and sovereignty for the same reasons that they themselves are so entitled. Because if such an assertion is believed by policymakers or by the courts, then the inevitable defeat or destruction of the Akaka tribe will drag down the genuine tribes and bring an end to the modern era of federal Indian policy. The Akaka bill is a tar baby which the tribes would do well to avoid.

*4. WHAT ARE THE HISTORICAL, LEGAL, AND MORAL DIFFERENCES THAT MAKE THE PROPOSED AKAKA TRIBE PHONY BY COMPARISON WITH THE GENUINE TRIBES?

The Akaka bill uses race as the sole criterion for deciding who can belong to the Akaka tribe. Every person who has at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood can belong, and nobody else can belong. There are no other requirements.

By contrast, the genuine tribes must meet many requirements before they can be granted acknowledgment (recognition) by the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and Congressional bills to recognize tribes generally follow those requirements. The basic concept is that a tribe is recognized when it has a government which has exercised substantial authority over its members from before Western contact continuously until the present; and when its members mostly live separate and apart from surrounding populations and maintain distinctive culture, language, and religion. The seven mandatory criteria are spelled out in 25 CFR 83.7. A list of the criteria and discussion of how ethnic Hawaiians fail to satisfy them can be found at http://tinyurl.com/74496

The "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization" bill claims to be reorganizing something that, in fact, never existed. There was never a native Hawaiian government that exercised sovereignty over a unified archipelago of the Hawaiian islands and whose leaders were exclusively native Hawaiian, as the Akaka bill seeks to reinvent.

Kamehameha The Great was the first person who ever succeeded in unifying the Hawaiian islands under a single government; and two of the highest ranking members of his governing council were Englishmen with no Hawaiian native blood. Isaac Davis was appointed Governor of Oahu.

John Young was so important to Kamehameha's success in unifying the islands that he was appointed Governor of Kamehameha's home island (Hawaii Island), was given land and a house immediately next to the great sacred heiau (stone temple) Puukohola, was given one of Kamehameha's daughters in marriage, fathered a son who became the highest ranking member of the government except for the King himself, and had a granddaughter who grew up to become Queen Emma.

John Young's tomb is in Mauna Ala (the Royal Mausoleum) along with 6 of the 8 monarchs, and is the only tomb built to resemble a heiau and guarded by a pair of puloulou (sacred taboo sticks).

As the Kingdom continued, more and more non-natives became high government officials. Most cabinet ministers, department heads, and judges had no native blood; large numbers of non-natives were born in Hawaii, or became naturalized Kingdom subjects, with full voting rights; and at various times between 1/4 and 1/3 of the Legislators had no native blood.

By the time the monarchy was overthrown in the revolution of 1893, only 40% of Hawaii's people had even one drop of native blood. No Indian tribe has such a history of overwhelming non-native membership as both members and leaders. There has never been an Indian tribe where most of the chiefs are not Indians.

This is not to say that ethnic Hawaiians were so generous and welcoming but now are to be punished for such inclusiveness by denying them race-based sovereignty on account of it. What it does mean is that the Kingdom was founded and prospered as a multiracial nation with full partnership by non-natives, and it would be wrong to now exclude non-natives from a "reorganized" Hawaiian government.

Federal Indian policy is based on the theory that tribes rightfully possess a remnant of the sovereignty they enjoyed before the United States came into existence. Each tribe had its own clearly defined membership, lived apart from other tribes, and had its own system of governance that exercised great authority over the lives and property of individual members. When tribes were defeated by the U.S. military, or made treaties, and moved onto reservations, their sovereignty was subjected to the plenary power of Congress. But tribal members continued to be governed inside the reservations by their own laws, customs, and leaders.

Tribal members are free to leave the reservation and live as assimilated Americans, or can stay on the reservation living a native lifestyle under the authority of tribal laws, which may be very different from the laws of surrounding communities. Tribal sovereignty includes the right to give special benefits (and detriments) to members and to discriminate against outsiders. Thus many elements of the U.S. Constitution do not apply to Indian tribes. The benefits they distribute are for members only, their election laws allow only members to vote, and they enjoy sovereign immunity from lawsuits by members or outsiders. In other words, the tribes and their businesses have a license to practice racial discrimination, tax evasion, etc.

As described above, tribes are allowed to engage in racial discrimination and other violations of the U.S. Constitution because those are logical and natural outgrowths of the tribes' residual sovereignty continuing from before the Constitution was written. But the Akaka bill runs that historical scenario in reverse. The (il)logic of the Akaka bill goes like this: All Indian tribes are authorized to engage in racial discrimination; ethnic Hawaiians are engaging in racial discrimination; therefore ethnic Hawaiians should be recognized as an Indian tribe. Any student in Logic 101 can recognize that syllogism as not valid.

The Kingdom of Hawaii was multiracial with full partnership and voting rights for many residents and leaders with no native blood. The first sentence of the first Kingdom Constitution (1840) said "God has made of one blood all races of people, to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness." The modern State of Hawaii, by contrast, has established a plethora of government programs and private institutions that are racially exclusionary for the benefit of ethnic Hawaiians alone.

The primary purpose of the Akaka bill is to rescue those programs and institutions from court challenges, by creating a phony Indian tribe out of thin air to legitimize them. So the Akaka bill begins with blatant racial discrimination in a fully integrated modern multiracial society, and backtracks a justification for it by inventing an Indian tribe where none ever existed. The genuine tribes have nothing to fear when this bass-ackwards scenario is exposed and defeated.

Supporters of the Akaka bill say that the U.S. has three groups of indigenous people: Native Americans, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians; and only the third group lacks federal recognition and is therefore entitled to it. But that statement glosses over a fundamental fact.

The U.S. does not give recognition to "indigenous people." The U.S. does not give recognition to either Native Americans or Native Alaskans. Instead it gives recognition only to several hundred individual tribes each defined by a unique history, culture, and language. Most people who are racially Indian are not members of any tribe and would not be eligible to join one.

The Akaka bill uses race as the sole requirement for membership, and allows everyone having a drop of that race's blood to belong. If such a definition were applied to Native Americans, there would be just one huge tribe of nearly 5 million spanning the lower 48 states, and one tribe including all Eskimos in Alaska.

The Akaka bill can be passed only by adopting a new theory of the Constitution, that Congress has the power to arbitrarily single out a fully integrated and widely dispersed racial group with no tribal history and create a "tribal" government for it. If that principle were adopted in its most general form, then the U.S. could create a tribal Nation of New Africa for 40 million African-Americans; or a tribe of Cajuns, or a tribe of Amish spanning several states. If the principle is restricted to so-called "indigenous" people, then Mexican-Americans could have their own tribal Nation of Aztlan because nearly every Mexican-American has at least one drop of indigenous Aztec or Mayan blood, with ancestors who exercised sovereignty in most portions of the U.S. that formerly belonged to Mexico and were subsequently swallowed up by the U.S. (just as Hawaii was swallowed up by the U.S.). Interestingly, "Indian Country Today" ran a commentary on June 16, 2009 pointing out close similarities between the Aztlan proposal and the Akaka bill, claiming that both are based on indigenous status whereas Cajuns would be less entitled to tribal status because they are not indigenous.
http://tinyurl.com/ph8fq3

*5. SIZE REALLY MATTERS. MOST TRIBES ARE SMALL COMPARED TO THE SIZE OF THE STATES THAT HOST THEM, BUT THE AKAKA TRIBE WOULD BE HUGE AND THREATENS TO TAKE OVER THE ENTIRE STATE OF HAWAII.

Sheer size can change a difference of degree to a difference of kind. The Akaka bill would create America's largest Indian tribe. According to Census 2000, 60% of America's 401,000 ethnic Hawaiians live in Hawaii and comprise 20% of the entire population of Hawaii. No other state has such a large percentage of its population who are racially "Indians", and especially who would be eligible to joint a single "tribe."

The lands described by ethnic Hawaiian activists as belonging collectively to them include the "ceded lands" comprising 95% of all the public lands of the state. Hawaii's largest private landowner, Kamehameha Schools, is worth between $9-15 Billion and owns about 9% of all the land in Hawaii; and would undoubtedly choose to place itself inside the newly recognized Akaka tribe.

With 20% of the population belonging to the "tribe", and claiming more than half the land area of the state as "tribal lands," dividing up the lands and people of Hawaii along racial lines would resemble an apartheid regime. By contrast, the genuine tribes and their lands are nearly all very small as a percentage of state population and land.

Furthermore, the Akaka tribe's likely lands are widely dispersed throughout all islands and most neighborhoods, causing a nightmare of jurisdictional disputes and conflicting laws. By contrast the genuine tribes usually each have their lands concentrated in one area, which is often remote from the non-tribal population.

The primary justification for the Akaka bill is the 1993 apology resolution, in which the U.S. apologized to ethnic Hawaiians alone for its alleged role in overthrowing a multiracial Kingdom government. But it is expected that the lands to be transferred to the Akaka tribe will come almost entirely from the public lands of the State of Hawaii. By contrast, when genuine tribes were recognized, most of the lands they were given were federal lands or, more recently, lands purchased by the tribe.

The Akaka bill places the burden on the people of Hawaii to pay reparations to fulfill the federal government's apology to ethnic Hawaiians -- an apology that should have been directed to all the people of Hawaii (if indeed any apology were owed in the first place). That's one reason Congress likes the Akaka bill -- it makes the people of Hawaii pay for the alleged misdeeds of the federal government against Hawaiians. Blame the victim and make him pay!

In all cases where the federal government recognizes an Indian tribe either through the Bureau of Indian Affairs or through Congressional action, the question whether to grant recognition is never placed on the ballot for a vote by the citizens of the affected state. But in Hawaii it's important to place the issue of creating the Akaka tribe on the ballot, because of the enormous size of the proposed tribe as a percentage of population and percentage of lands; and because the burden of paying for it will fall heavily upon the people of Hawaii. The supporters of the bill adamantly refuse to place it on the ballot (they realize the voters would defeat it).

Consider this analogy.

Would it be good to round up all 40 million African-Americans, defined by the one-drop rule, and declare that they are a tribe with the power to create a racially exclusionary government and negotiate for money, land, and legal jurisdiction? Would that be good for America? Would it be good for African-Americans? Would it be consistent with the dream of Martin Luther King? Or does it sound more like a nightmare? Should we undo our hard-won racial integration and allow creation of different laws for different races, including conflicting jurisdictions between adjoining neighborhoods scattered throughout a city? Should those African-Americans who wish to create a tribe of New Africa with lands and governmental powers be allowed to do so, even if most African-Americans and/or most of the American people oppose the idea?

The racial divisiveness of the Akaka bill would be 50% more devastating for Hawaii than the creation of the African-American tribe would be for all of America. Here's why. According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey for the most recent 3-year period (2005-2007), 13.1% of all the people of America are at least partly African-American. And about 20% of the people of Hawaii are at least partly native Hawaiian.

Thus the impact the Akaka tribe would have on Hawaii is 50% more devastating and divisive than the impact on America of creating an African-American tribe, because the percentage of Hawaii's people who are ethnic Hawaiian is 50% larger than the percentage of the U.S. population who are African-Americans, all according to the same one-drop rule used in the Akaka bill.

The Akaka tribe would be the largest tribe in America. In Census 2000 there were more than 401,000 people who checked the box as having Hawaiian ancestry (Current estimates are much larger, but the Census Bureau groups ethnic Hawaiians with other Pacific islanders making it hard to separate them). By contrast, in 2005-2007 Census ACS, the three largest tribal groups are Cherokee tribal grouping (including several different tribes) at 298,510, Navajo tribal grouping 288,682, Chippewa tribal grouping 108,880. In the Bureau of Indian Affairs the phony Akaka tribe will be the elephant in the room, grabbing federal money that formerly went to the real tribes.

That same "elephant" issue is also true for some of the states. According to Census 2000, more than 60,000 ethnic Hawaiians lived in California (recent estimates say 65,000). The Akaka tribe would probably be the largest tribe in California! An additional 100,000 were living in the other 48 states outside Hawaii and California. Local branches of the Akaka tribe would be formed in every state and might buy land, put it into federal trust, operate tax exempt businesses competing against private corporations and genuine Indian tribes, and open casinos when the Akaka bill prohibition against that is overturned by the courts or future legislation.

There is one policy issue that far outweighs all others in opposing creation of an Akaka tribe. This issue simply does not arise in regard to any of the genuine tribes. The Akaka tribe threatens to take over the entire State of Hawaii and perhaps remove it from the United States.

There are already two branches of state government providing benefits exclusively to ethnic Hawaiians, plus one of the eight major islands that is destined by existing law to be turned over to the Akaka tribe upon the event of recognition. There are over 160 federally funded programs exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians. Kamehameha Schools, which will certainly place itself under jurisdiction of the Akaka tribe, is worth $8-15 Billion and is the largest private landowner in Hawaii.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs already owns an entire valley on Oahu plus 40 square miles on Hawaii Island plus numerous other parcels and businesses; and OHA receives 20% of all government revenue from the public lands (which is more than 100% of net income after expenses are paid by the state). A compliant state legislature, elected by a population that includes a 20% ethnic Hawaiian swing voting bloc, seems eager to turn over to the Akaka tribe nearly all of the public lands.

Passing the Akaka bill would give economic and political power to a group of leaders who seem favorable to eventual secession of Hawaii to become once again an independent nation. For details see the book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" at
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa
and the webpage "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" at
http://tinyurl.com/4cho6

CONCLUSION

Among the historical, legal, and moral reasons for Congress to defeat the Akaka bill and for the courts to overturn it if it passes, there are many reasons which are unique to Hawaii and to the Akaka bill. Those reasons do not in any way threaten the genuine Indian tribes. Hopefully Congress, the judiciary, media commentators, and tribal leaders will go through the door this essay opens for them to reject the Akaka bill for reasons that are unique and do not attack the legality or morality of the sovereignty of the genuine tribes.

It's safer for the tribes if the Akaka bill is rejected by Congress, because a vote can be cast without giving any reason for it, or giving only reasons that are unique to the Akaka bill. The greatest danger for the tribes is if the bill passes Congress and then comes under scutiny by the courts, because courts might very well overturn the Akaka bill for broader reasons that would also affect the tribes. Opponents of the Akaka bill seeking to overturn it in court would certainly use all the arrows in their quiver, including general attacks on the legal foundations of tribal sovereignty.

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http://www.midweek.com/content/columns/lte_article/letters_to_the_editor920/
Midweek, Wednesday July 8, 2009

Vote on Akaka

Bob Jones' column " Time To Kill The Akaka Bill" makes a lot of sense. I have been in Hawaii since 1964, and while it is possible that there is popular support for Hawaiian race-based sovereignty, as OHA claims, I know few people who, in private, feel this way. Since there has been no vote taken, and polls on sensitive issues such as this are often skewed to the politically correct position, as they apparently were before the earlier vote on gay marriage, I think there should be a process for every Hawaii resident to have a say before this act that will affect us all is passed into law.

After all, the Kingdom of Hawaii was not a race-based society. Why then should sovereignty resulting from the overthrow of the kingdom be granted solely on Hawaiian racial ancestry?

Bruce Miller
Kahalu'u

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http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1854

U.S. House Committee On Natural Resources, Official Minority (Republican)Webpage, July 9, 2009

Ranking Member Hastings' Statement on Decision to Postpone Markup of Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill

Administration's Position Still Unknown, Sources say Department of Justice Seeks Changes to Bill

July 9, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement today regarding Chairman Nick Rahall's decision to postpone consideration of H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009, at today's Committee markup:

"Mr. Chairman, I commend you for not calling up H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian recognition bill. I would respectfully request that a markup of that bill be postponed until after the Members of the Committee have had ample opportunity to evaluate the views of the Obama Administration and, in particular, the concerns of the Department of Justice.

To date, I am unaware that the Administration has expressed any views on this bill. I have seen reports that President Obama supports Native Hawaiian recognition, notwithstanding that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Department of Justice previously raised constitutional concerns over what they called ‘race-based classifications.'

It is my understanding from sources in the Administration that the Department of Justice wants changes made to this bill, but no one on my side of the aisle has been informed of what these are. Perhaps if a witness from the Administration had testified at the hearing on this bill, their concerns would be clearer.

I would hope that a markup of this bill can be held off until such time as all Members of the Committee are well-acquainted with the Administration's views and recommendations."

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090709/NEWS23/907090321/Panel+delays+vote+on+Akaka+bill
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 9, 2009

Panel delays vote on Akaka bill

House committee will reschedule in next week or two

By JOHN YAUKEY
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — A House panel has postponed a key vote originally scheduled for today on legislation known as the Akaka bill, which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

The House Natural Resources Committee is expected to reschedule a vote on the bill, written by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, for sometime in the next week or two.

"We're all just trying to make sure everyone is coordinated and on the same page before we go forward," said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, an Akaka spokesman.

The bill would give Native Hawaiians virtually the same rights conferred on Native Americans and Alaskans, and greater control over their highly valuable ancestral lands.

The vote postponement follows some written criticisms of the bill by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian legal community.

In a four-page analysis of the legislation sent to the Natural Resources Committee, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association voiced concern that some provisions would grant the federal government too much immunity against potential claims by Native Hawaiians, especially for land.

"The bill's provisions on claims and federal sovereign immunity appear to be overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians," the bar association wrote. "They create an extraordinarily unusual circumstance in which Native Hawaiians are barred from bringing an action."

At stake ultimately — in addition to the political future of the Native Hawaiian people — is control over some 1.8 million acres of land that many Native Hawaiians believe was taken from them illegally in the United States' annexation of Hawai'i in 1898.

Approval of the Akaka bill in the Natural Resources Committee would send the bill to the full House for a vote. The Senate has not acted on the bill yet.

Its first test in the Senate would be before the Indian Affairs Committee, where Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, is a senior member.

Akaka is hoping the committee will take it up before Congress begins its August recess.

Originally proposed in 2000, the Akaka bill has been passed repeatedly in the House but has hit walls in the Senate, where single lawmakers can hold bills at will.

The legislation came closest to passing in 2007, when it cleared the full House.

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http://www.hawaiiankingdom.info/C608676235/E20090709092202/index.html
Hawaiian Independence Blog (Scott Crawford), July 9, 2009

NATIVE HAWAIIAN BAR ASSOCIATION TESTIMONY ON AKAKA BILL

Testimony Of The Native Hawaiian Bar Association Before The House Committee On Natural Resources On The Akaka Bill, HR 2314, The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act
June 11, 2009

Chairman Rahall, Ranking Member Hastings, and members of the committee:

As members of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association (NHBA) Board of Directors, we are writing to express our support for H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Akaka bill, which was reintroduced on May 7, 2009, and provides a self-determination process for Native Hawaiians to be federally recognized by the U.S. government. However, we condition our continuing support of the bill as it moves forward in the process on the hope that certain major concerns will be addressed.

The Native Hawaiian Bar Association is a membership organization of Native Hawaiian judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals. Founded in 1992, the NHBA promotes unity, cooperation and the exchange of ideas among its members and within the broader legal community. The NHBA strives for justice and effective legal representation of Native Hawaiians and provides a forum for discussion, examination and resolution of legal issues affecting Native Hawaiians. It has offered symposia, amicus curiae and other collaborations in the areas of self determination, access and gathering protection, Hawaiian Home Lands and ceded lands breach of trust claims.

Since the first introduction of the Akaka bill in 2000, the NHBA has monitored the legislation's progress and the challenges it has faced within our Hawaiian community, policymakers in Washington, D.C, and Hawaii, and the general public. During 2006, the NHBA Board of Directors worked very closely to secure the support of the American Bar Association in a resolution urging Congress to pass legislation to establish a process to provide federal recognition and to restore self-determination of Native Hawaiians.

Our major concerns with H.R. 2314 are as follows:

Role of the U.S. Department of Defense

The exclusion of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) as it relates to the Office for Native Hawaiian Relations and the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group (ICG) in section 5 (c) and section 6 (e) is unnecessary. First, the provisions contain no mandatory or onerous requirements for DOD. For the Native Hawaiian ICG, the President has the authority to designate which federal officials comprise the ICG.

Second, DOD already interfaces with the Hawaiian community under a multitude of federal laws, regulations, policies, and processes closely affiliated with DOI, including the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act, to name a few.

Most recently in September 2008, the DOD invited the Hawaiian community to review and comment on a draft DOD Native Hawaiian Organizational Consultation Protocol. The protocol is expected to provide guidance to DOD civilian and military personnel who are required to consult with Native Hawaiian organizations in accordance with the requirements of federal laws, regulations, and policies. During its outreach to the Hawaiian community, DOD worked closely with the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs in its efforts. DOD's draft protocol proposes language in its preamble recognizing that Native Hawaiians have a unique heritage and the distinction of being indigenous peoples that have maintained a rich tradition and culture developed over generations.

Lastly, the participation of federal agencies, including DOD, is a common practice and beneficial to the overall federal relationship with various communities in our nation. Recent examples include the Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) and the Interagency Working Group on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (IWG). The IGIA provides advice on the establishment or implementation of federal policies concerning American Samoa, Guam the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The IWG provides advice on improving access to federal opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. DOD participates in both interagency groups.

Role of the U.S. Department of Justice

The bill should include the provision in previous versions of the Akaka bill authorizing the designation of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) representative to assist the Interior Department's Office for Native Hawaiian Relations in the implementation and protection of the rights of Native Hawaiians and their political, legal, and trust relationship with the United States, and upon the recognition of the Native Hawaiian government, the implementation and protection of the rights of the Native Hawaiian government and its political, legal, and trust relationship with the United States.

Given the history of federal treatment toward Native Hawaiians, including the inconsistency in its federal policy on self-determination and federal programs, it is important to clarify that DOJ has a mandatory role to safeguard the rights of Native Hawaiians in the federal-Native Hawaiian relationship.

Claims and Sovereignty Immunity

We believe it is unnecessary and premature to include provisions on claims and sovereign immunity prior to federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian Government and recommend that these provisions under section 8(c) be taken out of the bill. Such provisions could be contemplated during implementation legislation after federal recognition is conferred and negotiations between the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity and the State of Hawai‘i and Federal Government are completed.

The bill's provisions on claims and federal sovereign immunity appear to be overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians for claims that could be pursued by any other member of the general population. For instance, under section 8(c)(2)(B), the Federal Government not only retains sovereign immunity but revokes any preexisting waiver of sovereign immunity including waivers under the Administrative Procedures Act and the Quiet Title Act. Moreover, this revocation appears to apply to claims of individual Native Hawaiians, not just possible claims of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. Thus, a Native Hawaiian who owns land next to a Federal Government facility and wishes to bring a quiet title action within the applicable 12-year statute of limitations against the United States to clarify boundaries would be foreclosed from doing so, but any other person in similar circumstances could bring such an action. Under a literal reading of the provision, this would be the result whether or not the Native Hawaiian lived in Hawai‘i or the property was located in Hawai‘i.

The negative impacts of this provision are also amplified in section 8(c)(2)(C) by applying the prohibition to "claims of a similar nature and claims arising out of the same nucleus of operative facts[.]" The provision goes on to state that such claims would be rendered nonjusticiable when brought by any plaintiff "other than the Federal Government." This provision thus creates the situation in which only the Federal Government can bring claims against itself – surely an anomalous result and one that cannot have been purposefully intended.

The federal sovereign immunity provisions also raise strong Equal Protection concerns in prohibiting claims by Native Hawaiians in situations where others could bring claims. They also create an extraordinarily unusual circumstance in which Native Hawaiians are barred from bringing an action and allowing only the Federal Government to bring an action against itself.

Conclusion

In summary, we look forward to further discussions on the concerns raised in our testimony and will continue to review other areas of the bill, including the issues of state sovereign immunity and civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Self-determination is a critical issue for our Hawaiian community. We wish to participate in this process and continue the progress made with our Federal Government since the enactment into law of the 1993 Apology Resolution (P.L. 103-150) and the reconciliation efforts previously initiated by the Departments of Interior and Justice and reflected in their 2000 report "From Mauka to Makai: The River of Justice Must Flow Freely."

We respectfully request that the members of the House Natural Resources Committee work with our Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation and the NHBA and our Hawaiian community as H.R. 2314 moves through the legislative process.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090712/OPINION03/907120333/To+build+a+nation
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, July 12, 2009

To build a nation

By Winona Kealamapuana Ellis Rubin

Aloha kakou. In my 80 years of living as a Hawaiian, having grown up in a family where both parents spoke Hawaiian and nurtured us in all aspects of the culture and values, I am saddened by the actions of well-meaning but shortsighted thinking on the matter of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (Akaka Bill).

Unfortunately, I see history repeating itself. Hawaiians are closing doors to future opportunities for designing a stronger nation by complaining about the lack of hearings and other concerns, instead of focusing on the basic concept of Hawaiians sitting at the same table with the federal government and state to address our rights and priorities. No matter how imperfect the bill is (and this can be remedied by convening Hawaiians to make choices over time), the bill opens the door for direct negotiations by Hawaiians with the federal government.

I recall the early years at the state Legislature when some homesteaders were opposing any legislation which allowed a successor of 25-percent blood quantum. For decades, hearing after hearing was held and the divided Hawaiians stalemated. It was finally passed by the Legislature and affirmed by Congress, but fear and mistrust of our own people had delayed our children from the opportunity of living on Hawaiian home lands.

My father, who had the koko, never attained his dream after waiting a lifetime. At that time, and still today, those of less Hawaiian blood continue to give deference to those of 50 percent or more Hawaiian blood. I have faith in our people. Many of the younger generations speak the language and practice the culture. They probably outnumber the homesteaders who may speak the language today, but they still respect the kupuna and perpetuate our culture with the needed passion for our future survival. While we re-build a nation, our guidelines for the definition and apportionment of voters should address the understandable concern raised by homesteaders. That comes later. This is not the time to build a wall against an opportunity to make our own choices clear, face-to-face. That comes with the passage of the NHGRA.

If this imperfect legislation survives its birth after 10 years of struggling at the congressional level, Hawaiians will have a chance at improving upon this enabling legislation. It took Alaska natives, after they stopped fighting each other, 35 years of continuously amending portions of their original bill every year. Now, they know few boundaries to opportunities for their people.

Though not perfect, the NHGRA gives Hawaiians a foot in the door before it closes for good. I believe that in the next few years the door will be tightly shut against nation-building. If we have not begun already, then we collectively must take the blame for it. Instead, all Hawaiians should be clamoring for passage of NHGRA so we can get to the serious business of nation-building. We are very late. Our population in Hawai'i now has newcomers outnumbering all local-born residents.

In this day and age, unless we see and act upon the larger picture rather than bickering about smaller time-consuming details, groups such as Grassroot Institute, who have come from the continent to infiltrate Hawai'i's economic structure, will destroy progress that indigenous people have made to date in moving toward a better tomorrow. The latter group is well-funded from sources outside Hawai'i and does not intend for Hawaiians to succeed. It wants the Hawaiian lands and assets badly. Opposition to the imperfect Akaka bill leaves Hawaiians out in the cold in negotiating any future, and it plays right into the group's hands.

Unknowingly, failure to unite on things that count and arguing about the lesser details (now rather than later) will lead to fashioning our own destruction. Maka'ala kakou! Let us surf the wave as it crests rather than fighting the undertow.

Winona Rubin is a retired DOE and Kamehameha Schools administrator and former director of the state Department of Human Services. She wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?c1af34b3-c580-45a9-8157-ebed9b044599
Hawaii Reporter, July 16, 2009

Thinking is Sometimes Hard
Akaka Tribe Bill Back in the News

By Dick Rowland

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (S1011/ HR2314), otherwise known as the Akaka Bill, is now before the 111th Congress. In a recent edition of The Honolulu Advertiser, the lead headline was "Allies defend Akaka Bill". The story reported that Rep. Nick Rahall, (D. W. Va.) the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources called the revolution of 1893 overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii "a dark chapter in U.S. history".

Based on his statement, you would think Rep. Rahall would be calling for the U.S. government to provide large reparations, perhaps in the billions, to atone for these alleged misdeeds. Instead, he is supporting the Akaka Bill, which imposes huge costs on the citizens of the State of Hawaii, even though they had nothing to do with anything that occurred over 100 years ago. Rep. Rahall, with no skin in this game, wants you, me, and thee to pay for his loose talk and poor reasoning. Talk is cheap and thinking is hard, Congressman.

The June 11 U.S. House hearing about the proposed Akaka Bill was a cruel joke on the democratic concept of public hearings (speaking of which there has not been any public hearings on this Bill and the last time it was even officially discussed in Hawaii was 2005). The deck was stacked 5-to-1... five testifiers for the Bill and only one testifying against the measure. It was blatant and arrogant.

Representative Abercrombie, now running for Governor of Hawaii, stated "It has to do with the land." Yes, indeed, the persons who perceive themselves to be part of the future governing elite in the new Akaka Tribe see the tribal government controlling much of Hawaii's valuable land. What they do not see is any of their subjects (serfs) in the new government personally owning any of it. They plan no fee-simple ownership nor do they really want any individual self-government. No, they plan on "governing" their serfs, just as American Indian Tribal members are governed.

Mr. Abercrombie sees himself becoming Governor with a new Akaka Tribe forming in Hawaii. This will allow him to carve out thousands of acres of valuable public land and give it all to the Tribe. His legacy? A divided and poorer state filled with racial tensions.

To find out more please read the first economic study ever done on the Akaka Bill in our report;

"The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii"
http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/commentaries/thinking-is-sometimes-hard

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?2a1fbc5c-e1c0-4fbb-bc7b-52e1ec8f4196
Hawaii Reporter, July 28, 2009

Embracing the Aloha Spirit as a Way of Life

By U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii

[U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye today introduced a Senate resolution honoring the 50th Anniversary of Hawaii's Statehood. The resolution was approved by the Senate this evening without objection. Senator Akaka's floor statement as prepared for delivery appears below]

I rise to speak on the resolution offered by my colleague and dear friend, Senator Inouye. It is a resolution honoring the historic milestone of Hawaii's 50th Anniversary of Statehood.

In the center of the Pacific, on islands rising from the bottom of the ocean, Hawaii joined our great and diverse nation as its 50th state – 50 years ago.

Like the 49 states that came before it, Hawaii has something unique to share with the world.

Everyone who is born in Hawaii - or comes to Hawaii - embraces the Aloha Spirit as a value and way of life. The Aloha Spirit is good for the United States, and it is good for the world.

I was a teacher at Kamehameha Schools when Congress voted to make Hawaii the 50th State in March of 1959. Firecrackers and sirens went off across the island of Oahu in celebration. The bells at historic Kawaihao Church started to ring and hundreds of people gathered there. The next day, the newspaper headlines hailed the good news.

My brother, Reverend Doctor Abraham Akaka, who was minister at Kawaihao, gave a sermon. Brother Abe nicknamed Hawaii "The Aloha State," and 50 years later we still call it that.

I would like to quote a few words my brother said on that historic day in March of 1959:

"Aloha consists of this new attitude of heart, above negativism, above legalism. It is the unconditional desire to promote the true good of other people in a friendly spirit, out of a sense of kinship. Aloha seeks to do good, with no conditions attached. We do not do good only to those who do good to us. One of the sweetest things about the love of God, about Aloha, is that it welcomes the stranger and seeks his good. A person who has the spirit of Aloha loves even when the love is not returned. And such is the love of God."

This is the meaning of Aloha, Hawaii's gift to the cultural fabric of the United States and the world.

While we celebrate this landmark anniversary next month, we must remember that the privileges of Statehood came with obligations.

Hawaii, and the United States, have a sacred trust relationship with the indigenous people of Hawaii that still remains to be fulfilled.

In admitting Hawaii as the 50th State, Congress and the people of Hawaii have recognized the importance of addressing the needs of Native Hawaiians and preservation of their culture and traditions.

I am proud to continue this legacy, as we must move forward with that promise.

I congratulate Hawaii and its people on 50 years of Statehood. I am proud to represent this great state in the Senate.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090729/BREAKING01/307290006/Senate+honors+Hawaii's+50+years+of+statehood
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES
Updated at 2:09 p.m., Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Senate honors Hawaii's 50 years of statehood

By JOHN YAUKEY
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Senate unanimously passed a resolution honoring Hawaii's 50 years of statehood Tuesday after some confusion was settled the day before over the legitimacy of President Obama's birth there, which was mentioned in the language of the resolution.

On Monday, Hawaii's Health Department confirmed that Obama's Aug 4, 1961, birth certificate was official, quashing claims by some conspiracy theorists — also known as "birthers" — that the 44th president was born in Kenya and not qualified to be president.

"The state of Hawaii has been a rich cultural addition to the United States thanks to the ancient culture of the Native Hawaiians, the diverse multiracial society created by generations of Asian and European immigrants, and the stunning natural beauty of our tropical climate," Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, said in a Senate floor speech Tuesday.

Inouye made a point of noting that "Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States, was born and raised in downtown Honolulu."

Hawaii's congressional delegation is working to pass legislation written by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, that would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

And that was touched on Tuesday.

In his floor speech, Inouye pointed out a central tenet in the argument for the Akaka bill, namely that Hawaii was once sovereign and that the United States has officially apologized for the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893.

That apology was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

"That kingdom was overthrown but the Congress of the U.S., realizing that the takeover was not done in a democratic fashion, issued an official apology to the people of Hawaii," Inouye said.

The state was admitted to the union on Aug. 21, 1959.

Akaka, a Native Hawaiian, extolled the virtues of the Aloha spirit in his floor speech.

"Everyone who comes to Hawaii embraces the Aloha spirit," he said. "Aloha seeks to do good with no conditions attached. ... This is the meaning of Aloha."

Akaka alluded to his own legislation when he said the United States has a "sacred trust with the indigenous people of Hawaii that still remains to be fulfilled."

A House resolution honoring Hawaii's 50th anniversary, written by Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, passed 378-0 Monday night.

The line in the House resolution that read, "Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961 ..." appeared to be construed by birthers as a thinly veiled attempt to get Congress to affirm Obama's U.S. citizenship. That created a buzz on the Internet, but was largely ignored on Capitol Hill.

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http://thehawaiiindependent.com/page-one/read/the-akaka-bills-5-most-important-players/
The Hawaii Independent, July 28, 2009

The Akaka Bill's 5 most important players

By Jarrett Keohokalole

Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka, pictured above in Maui, are among supporters of the controversial Akaka Bill who hope that a Democrat dominated government will be enough to move the legislation forward.

It has been a long, hard road for the Akaka Bill, which has seen nine years of controversy both at home and in Washington with numerous attempts and failures to get the bill to the President's desk. But Sen. Daniel Akaka is hoping that in this go-around the new faces in Washington will hold the key to success for the bill.

Democrats control the House of Representatives and the Senate by wide margins, as well as the White House. In this new world of DC Democrat domination, Sen. Akaka and the rest of the Hawaii Congressional delegation believe that 2009 will be the year his dream of Native Hawaiian recognition will become a reality—if certain players on Capitol Hill are on board.

In Washington, things aren't always as they seem. The bill came frustratingly close to passing in 2006, when Sen. Akaka was confident he had secured the two-thirds majority he would need in the Senate to block a filibuster of the bill. Things looked promising until President George W. Bush sent down a memo days before the vote indicating that he would veto the bill if it passed. The majority quickly vanished, as did the bill's chances.

The newest version of the Akaka Bill is currently in a holding pattern in both the House and Senate, as both Sen. Akaka and Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-HI, the bill's sponsor in the House of Representatives, gear up for what they hope to be the final push to get the bill passed.

For his part, Abercrombie has in past attempts mustered strong support for the bill from both Democrats and Republicans in the House. The bill actually passed in the House twice before eventually fading in the Senate.

President Obama has indicated that he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk, so the Senate appears to be the last major hurdle the bill needs to clear.

Sen. Akaka has had less success developing bipartisan support for the bill in the Senate. On several occasions, different tactics allowed by Senate rules have been employed by Senate Republicans to stall or kill the bill, sometimes by unnamed Senators who refused to identify themselves. Though they have lost ground in the Senate, Republicans can still put up a fight regardless of support from the Democrat bloc.

Their most powerful tool up to this point has been the filibuster, where Senators deliberately debate the bill for an indefinite amount of time to prevent a vote. A senator can motion to end the debate in order for a vote to take place, but a two-thirds majority is required to do so. This equates to 60 votes in the Senate, which Sen. Akaka has been unable to gather up to this point.

The new political environment in Washington presents both opportunities and problems for Sen. Akaka.

Aside from the Hawaii Congressional delegation and the President, there are several key groups of senators that will play an important part in the life or death of the bill. The following are five individuals from each of these factions to watch for. They may hold the key to either the long-awaited success of the Akaka Bill, or it's again celebrated demise:

5. Sen. Al Franken, D-MN – The Freshman

Sen. Al Franken is one of the fresh faces in Washington that Sen. Akaka hopes will tip the scales in his favor. Franken represents the much heralded 60th vote for the Democrats in Senate, giving them a filibuster-proof "supermajority."

There are ten new senators in this session of Congress, eight of which are Democrats. According to Office of Hawaiian Affairs administrator Clyde Namu'o, the Democratic Caucus has indicated support for the bill. However, expecting bloc support for the bill from these new senators is not guaranteed.

Todd Gaziano, Director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies for the Heritage Foundation (a conservative public policy institute), believes that while there are more Democratic votes in the Senate than there were in 2006, the numbers aren't going to add up the same way.

"It doesn't necessarily change the vote tally completely from the last time the Akaka Bill was in the Senate," Gaziano said.

He believes that while the new Democratic majority means more Democrats in Congress, it also means that there are more Democrats who are representing traditionally Republican states. These senators, along with other Democrats who will be running for reelection in 2010, may be be squeamish about supporting more controversial legislation at the same time that health care, energy, and other divisive issues are being debated.

It remains to be seen whether these new senators will support the bill or not, and with so many other high profile issues stealing the spotlight, it's unlikely that we'll see anyone take a position until they have to. So Sen. Akaka can't be sure which way any of them are leaning until the bill hits the floor of the Senate for debate.

That is with the exception of Franken. He and Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, also a freshman senator, are both members of the Committee on Indian Affairs, where the bill will be heard and debated before it reaches the floor of the Senate.

Being on the committee gives Franken and Udall a chance to review and bring up concerns about the bill before the other six freshman Democrats have their chance on the floor of the Senate. This should provide a clue into whether either of them intend to support the bill or have reservations about it.

The Democrats do hold a majority in the Committee on Indian Affairs, and it should pass through without issue.

If Franken or Udall have issues with the bill, they'll be the first of the freshmen Democrats in the Senate to make them known.

4. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-NE – The Blue Dog

Sen. Nelson is a prominent conservative Democrat who serves with Sen. Akaka on the Senate Armed Services Committee and with Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-HI, on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

Conservative Democrats, sometimes known as "Blue Dogs," are currently key players in the health care debate. Blue Dogs in the House have threatened to block the legislation because of its price tag, and Nelson has come out in opposition of the bill and also attempted to delay it in the Senate, a clear break from the party that has been applauded by conservatives and vilified by liberals.

Gaziano believes that Blue Dogs may also balk at the thought of supporting another potentially controversial piece of legislation while they are fighting their own party and the President on health care.

"Blue Dogs are being forced to vote on a lot of things and they don't like it," Gaziano said.

On the other hand, Nelson could be a key ally for Sen. Akaka in negotiating bipartisan support for the bill. He was part of a group of Republican and Democratic senators who were able to broker a deal to pass the Economic Stimulus bill earlier this year and has worked on several occasions with Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, to reach compromises between the parties.

Although Nelson did vote for cloture in 2006, it does not confirm that he is in favor of the current version of the bill, or even if he was in support of the latter version. That particular vote simply meant that he would allow the bill to come up for a vote.

3. Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV – The Senate President

Does he really want to talk about the Akaka bill right now? Senate President Harry Reid certainly has a lot on his plate. Just last week he admitted that Congress will not meet President Obama's deadline on health care, meaning that if the issue is resolved, it will not be before Congress reconvenes in the fall.

Reid also needs to bring the energy bill before the Senate, which narrowly passed in the House of Representatives and should be hotly contested in the Senate.

Assuming the Akaka Bill passes out of committee, what will be interesting to see is when Reid decides to bring the Akaka Bill to the floor of the Senate.

Ilya Shapiro, a Senior Fellow for the Cato Institute (a Washington DC based conservative public policy research institute), believes that Republicans would only be able to stall, not kill the bill.

"If he [Sen. Akaka] can convince the party leadership to make this a higher priority, then it could happen this year," Shapiro said.

And that's a big "if."

At best, Shapiro believes the bill will have to wait its turn until the President's legislative agenda has been addressed.

Once the bill does get to the floor, it will take time to argue the bill – but will that time be available?

2. John McCain, R-Arizona – Republican who voted for cloture in 2006

Twelve Republicans in the Senate voted to invoke cloture in 2006. There are a variety of reasons these Republicans did this. Several, like Inouye's longtime ally Sen. Ted Stevens, R-AK, supported the bill.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, is a co-sponsor.

Other senators reportedly exchanged votes for support of their own legislation. The question is, will these senators do it again?

Of the twelve Republicans, seven are still in office. Senators Chuck Hagel and Pete Domenici retired, while the other three were defeated, two by Democrats. One of the defeated senators was Norm Coleman, who was beaten by Franken.

Of the remaining seven, McCain is the most well known. He also serves on the Indian Affairs committee.

The reason McCain and the other Republicans who voted for cloture are so important is that for many of them, their stance on the bill is unclear. Again, a vote for cloture doesn't necessarily mean a vote to pass it.

McCain was originally opposed to the bill, but apparently changed his opinion of the legislation after Gov. Linda Lingle lobbied congressional Republicans to support it.

In 2006, Sen. Akaka was four votes short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture—with these twelve Republicans supporting it. According to a source familiar with the situation, Sen. Akaka had 61 senators pledge to vote for cloture but ended up with only 56 after Bush issued the veto threat, so it's likely there were several more Republicans who initially gave Sen. Akaka the green light.

If McCain and the remaining Republicans who supported the bill in 2006 do so again in 2009, Sen. Akaka would very likely have the votes to put the Akaka Bill to a decision.

1. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona – The Leader of the opposition

If there is one person in Washington who has been most responsible for the stoppage of the Akaka Bill these past nine years, it would arguably be Kyl.

"Jon Kyl is the leader of the efforts against the Akaka Bill," Shapiro said.

Kyl is the minority whip and thus the number two ranking member of the Senate. He has been a staunch critic of the bill since it was first introduced. He has testified several times that he believes the Akaka Bill will promote the creation of an unconstitutional race-based government.

In 2004, the bill stalled in the Senate because a senator who had declined to identify himself (which is allowed by Senate rules) placed a hold on the bill. OHA later discovered that the anonymous Senator was Kyl.

There are other Republican Senators, such as Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, that stand in opposition of the bill. But a Senate insider who declined to be named said that the bill once again may come down to Sen. Kyl.

With all of that said, in 2006 Kyl was in fact one of the twelve Republicans to vote for cloture. This apparently happened as a result of a trade off with Sen. Akaka. When asked about the vote for cloture, Kyl said, "I made a commitment, and I honor my commitments."

However, the vote simply meant that Kyl would not filibuster the bill.

According to Gaziano, even if cloture is voted on and passed, Sen. Kyl still has one valuable ally on his side that will ultimately determine the fate of the bill: time.

The process of invoking cloture can only take place after a minimum amount of debate and amendments have been argued on the Senate floor. If Democrats try to rush things, Kyl can stir up a hornet's nest of opposition by using delay tactics including shutting down the Senate.

"It might take a week or slightly more to get the cloture vote," Gaziano said.

Once cloture is invoked, Senators are allowed another minimum amount of time to testify before the motion is put to vote, which could take up an estimated 50 to 80 hours of additional floor time. "The Senate normally doesn't meet for 50 hours in a week," he added. Gaziano pointed out that if Democrats try to bully the bill through on the floor, Republicans in the minority can shut down all committee hearings while the bill is being debated on the floor, forcing the Senate to grind to a halt to debate a single bill.

In addition to the President's ambitious package of legislation, the majority of time Congress spends in session is already spoken for by the myriad of mandatory authorization and appropriation bills that are required to be passed in every session.

So if Kyl does decide to press the issue when the Akaka Bill hits the Senate floor, will Democrat leaders be willing to invest a week or more of valuable floor time to get the bill passed?

"It could happen, but it would be very costly to liberals to spend that time," Gaziano said.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?31751924-ace9-42c9-8feb-04f27ef6d313
Hawaii Reporter, July 29, 2009

Hawaii's Most Important Civil Rights Issues
Open Letter to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

By H. William Burgess

To: Gerald A. Reynolds, Chairman, and members
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
624 Ninth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20425

Aloha Chairman Reynolds and members of the Commission.

As you may recall, I am a member of the Hawaii State Advisory Committee. This letter responds to the USCCR's June 12, 2009 request to State Advisory Committee members to rank the most important civil rights issues in their states. Mr. Chris Byrne advised me by email that the deadline for response was extended to July 24, 2009.

In my opinion, the most pressing need for civil rights attention in Hawaii is the pervasive and escalating dominance by forces favoring supremacy for Native Hawaiians. Special privilege and political superiority for anyone with at least one drop of Hawaiian ancestry have become the accepted norm among those who hold the rule in Hawaii.

America's largest charitable trust, Bishop Estate, with vast land holdings in Hawaii and subsidized by Federal, State and County tax exemptions worth a $ Billion or more annually, continues to discriminate in its admission policy against school age children in Hawaii on the basis of their race. How the IRS justifies allowing the exemption is a continuing civil rights scandal of major proportions. It should be looked into promptly by the Hawaii Advisory Committee.

The same charitable trust has compromised Hawaii's government (See Broken Trust by Judge Sam King and Randy Roth) and supports the Akaka bill. (See the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement web site.) Each should be examined by our committee.

The State of Hawaii, Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Hawaiian Homes Commission/Department of Hawaiian Home Lands have together just since 1990 spent and set aside value of well over $1 Billion exclusively for persons of Hawaiian ancestry. In addition they have spent over $2 million of public funds and continue to spend more to lobby for, advertise, and advocate enactment of the Akaka bill (the latest version, S. 1011/H.R. 2314 is now pending in Congress).

The Akaka bill would bring Apartheid to Hawaii; secession from the jurisdiction of the United States Constitution; sponsor break up and giveaway of some, perhaps all of the domain, power, authority and jurisdiction of the State of Hawaii. The bill would thus usurp the unalienable political power and sovereignty of all the people of Hawaii, equally with those of Hawaiian ancestry, over the entire State of Hawaii promised by the United States in the valid terms of the 1959 Admission Act. The Hawaii Advisory Committee should promptly advise that Congress and the Administration reject the Akaka bill permanently. In addition the disproportionate spending and use of public lands for the benefit of Native Hawaiians should be examined.

In addition, the Federal Government, according to proponents of the Akaka bill, provides over $50 million per year annually exclusively for Native Hawaiians for health, education, housing and other entitlements for Native Hawaiians. This calls for civil rights analysis and recommended action.

Other specific projects which should be examined by the Hawaii State Advisory Committee include the following:

Repeal of the 1993 Apology Resolution. Without notice or opportunity to be heard by the public, the 1993 resolution ignored at least three thorough investigations: The Morgan Report, the 1980 Native Hawaiian Claims Commission and the Bellows Environmental Impact Statement.

On March 31, 2009 the Supreme Court of the United States in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs held that the 1993 Apology Resolution created no substantive rights; and that the 37 "whereas" clauses would "raise grave constitutional concerns" if they are read to retroactively "recognize" that the native Hawaiian people have unrelinquished claims over the ceded lands. The cloud created 16 years ago by the Apology resolution suggesting that one class of citizens has special claim to the State's public lands, has been removed. Hawaii SAC should recommend to the USCCR that it be formally laid to rest.

Repeal of Sec. 4 of the 1959 Admission Act requiring the new State of Hawaii to adopt the explicitly racial Hawaiian Homes Commission Act which still continues to mandate that the State of Hawaii continue to discriminate. Both President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush recommended that the United States role in forbidding amendment or termination of the HHCA be ended.

Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission. Sets aside exclusively for one race public lands equitably owned by all the citizens of Hawaii.

NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) and the related Hawai'i statutes. The law often interferes with and sometimes prevents individuals and families from pursuing their own rights to trace and prove their genealogies and from doing DNA testing.

Papahanaumokuakea -- the Northwest Hawaiian Islands National Monument. The law provides special rights for Native Hawaiians to have access to all parts of the 1200-mile-long archipelago for cultural and religious purposes even when such purposes are not related to cleaning or preserving the natural environment; whereas non-Native Hawaiians have no such rights. However, the bones of Caucasians and Japanese are scattered throughout the area (not just in the more openly accessible area around Midway), not only because of ships sinking and airplanes being shot down during WW2 battles, but also because even in ancient times there were seafarers transiting the area, Okinawan sailors for example. Why should ANYONE with a drop of native blood have special access rights not available to others; even when a particular ethnic Hawaiian has no known ancestors who visited those areas previously and no individual history of cultural or religious activity specifically related to those areas?

The right of Native Hawaiians to own their DHHL homeland lots in fee simple. An arrangement should be worked out to allow existing Hawaiian homesteaders to acquire the fee simple interest in their homestead lots at no or discounted price as part of a global settlement of all claims for entitlement/sovereignty/independence and termination of OHA, DHHL and all federal and state programs giving Hawaiians or native Hawaiians any benefit not given equally to other persons.

The City & County of Honolulu Ordnance granting tax exemption to any kuleana property where at least one of today's owners is a Native Hawaiian who can prove lineal descent from the original grantee of a Royal Patent Deed.

Hate crimes specifically directed against haoles are far more numerous and more vicious than hate crimes against any other races in Hawaii. The whole concept of extra punishment for hate crimes might be a bad idea, since it punishes thoughts rather than deeds. But IF there's going to be a hate crime enhancement for punishment, then all races including Caucasians should be equally eligible to be seen as victims of hate crimes.

H. William Burgess is an Attorney at Law in Honolulu. Reach him at
hwburgess@hawaii.rr.com

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090730/BREAKING01/90730076/Senate+committee+hearing+on+Akaka+bill+set+for+Aug.+6
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday July 30, 2009
Breaking News Updated at 1:58 p.m.

Senate committee hearing on Akaka bill set for Aug. 6

by Advertiser Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has announced a hearing to consider the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (S.1011), sponsored by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii).

The hearing is scheduled to take place at noon Aug. 6 in Room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, immediately following a standard committee business meeting that begins at 2:15 p.m. The committee is chaired by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota).

"With the 50th anniversary of statehood less than a month away, we are reminded of our sacred trust relationship with the indigenous people of Hawaii that today remains unfulfilled," Akaka said. "Both Congress and the people of Hawaii have recognized our responsibility to help Native Hawaiians perpetuate their culture and traditions. Thursday's hearing will be an important next step forward towards providing Native Hawaiians parity with the other indigenous people of the United States."

More information about the hearing will be posted on the committee's Web site:
http://indian.senate.gov/

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?0ea74025-e0f5-416f-aba9-1f9cb73cd308
Hawaii Reporter, July 30, 2009

Sacramento Newspaper Reports Thousands of California Hawaiians Ready to Return to the Islands
Representation Without Taxation?

By Tom Macdonald

The Sacramento Bee recently reported that many of the 21,000 Sacramento area residents with native Hawaiian ancestry "hope to play a role in the re-born Hawaiian government" that would be authorized by U.S. House Bill 2314, commonly known as the "Akaka Bill."

The Bee reported that many of these local Hawaiians "trace their roots to Hawaiians and Indians who built Sacramento and married during the Gold Rush" and are now members of Indian tribes such as the Miwok Indians, who recently celebrated the grand opening of their Red Hawk Casino "with native Dances and Hawaiian songs."

Members of the tribe told the Bee that the "tribe is keenly aware of the power of sovereignty, which has given them access to land, federal health and education money, and the right to make their own laws…"

The latest U.S. census showed over 160,000 Hawaiians and part Hawaiians living on the mainland, with over 100,000 in western states. California alone has over 60,000 Hawaiian and part Hawaiian residents. All 160,000 mainland Hawaiians and part Hawaiians would be eligible for citizenship and benefits under the new native Hawaiian government proposed in the Akaka Bill. It is not known how many of these mainland residents have signed up to become citizens of the new Hawaiian government under the Kau Inoa ancestry registration program.

Questions have been raised, however, about what the possible impact might be on the depressed Hawaiian economy if significant numbers of these mainland Hawaiians decided to return to Hawaii, or to apply from the mainland, for benefits available from the new Hawaiian government.

In recent months there have been numerous reports of the difficulties that local social service providers are already having in providing services to the needy under current public budget cuts.

** Note by Ken Conklin: The news report mentioned in this article was in the Sacramento Bee of May 13, 2009, at
http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifornia/story/1856567.html

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?efab2b40-b298-4cf1-b760-9e2ed7923c8c
Hawaii Reporter, July 31, 2009

Just What Do Hawaiians Want from the Akaka Bill?

By Tom Macdonald

US Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, stated several times that the Akaka Bill (H.R. 2314/S.1011) is "about land and about money." Indeed, Section 8 of the Bill calls for negotiations with the State and U.S. governments over "lands, natural resources, and other assets" to be transferred to the proposed new Hawaiian government. But neither Abercrombie nor OHA ever states just what land and how much money.

However, we can get some idea of what will be demanded from a tabloid that OHA published on the one-hundredth anniversary of the 1893 revolution, detailing just what "land and money" Hawaiians wanted for a new Hawaiian government:

"All lands gained by the federal government" resulting from the actions in 1893, "with military lands needed for national security leased back to the U.S. at fair market value."

"Joint management and leaseback agreements of national parks on Hawaiian lands."

"Hawaiian Home Lands and the equivalent of 20% of the lands now held by Hawaii which were crown and government lands in 1893, …subject to the same provisions as federal lands."

"As damages for its part in the 1893 overthrow and for the illegal taking and 100 year use of Kingdom lands…payment by the United States of $10 Billion."

"The State would pay the Native Hawaiian government 20 percent of revenues generated from activities on (the 80% of) public lands retained by state." These demands were put forth in 1993 by OHA as items to be contained in the first Native Hawaiian Restoration and Restoration Act, to be introduced in Congress.

During the next several years, while waiting for Congress to act, the State and OHA negotiated extensively and intensely over demands for the transfer of portions of the crown and government lands, now referred to as the "ceded lands."

Finally, after several inconclusive negotiations in 1999, then-Governor Ben Cayetano offered a settlement of $251 million in cash and 20% of all the ceded lands—about 365,000 acres—conditioned upon OHA agreement that this was a final settlement of all native Hawaiian claims.

OHA came back with a counter offer of $304.6 million and no final settlement agreement. As a result, Cayetano broke off further talks. (Ben: A Memoir, page 360)

From the initial extravagant demands for vast tracts of federal and State land and $10 Billion in cash, and the $304.6 million plus the 365,000 acres of ceded lands later demanded from the State by OHA in 1999, it is clear that the amount of "land and money" any new Hawaiian government authorized by the Akaka Bill will be demanding will be huge.

At a time when the State is forced to drastically cut its budget and is negotiating furloughs and layoffs of State employees, it can ill afford to be transferring "land and money" to a new native Hawaiian government.

Tom Mcdonald, with Aloha 4 All, can be reached at
tjmacdonald@earthlink.net

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?fc5b4315-e466-4f25-a22f-13b0f2e4ef40
Hawaii Reporter, August 3, 2009

Outlining the Demands for Transfer of Lands and Money to New Hawaiian Government

By Tom Macdonald

*Payment of $10 Billion by U.S. as damages for the 1893 overthrow and 100 years of illegal land use.

*All lands taken by the U.S. government, with vital military lands leased back to the U.S. at market value.

*Joint management and leaseback to U.S. of national parks on formerly Hawaiian lands.

*All Hawaiian Home Lands and additional lands equal to 20% of 1893 Crown and Government lands.

*20% of revenues generated from the *80% of Crown and Government lands retained by the State.

*Demands for Grant of Government Powers to:

*Define who will be members (citizens) of the new native Hawaiian government.

*Regulate conduct of members through legislation.

*Adopt ordnances for health, safety and welfare.

*Regulate domestic relations and inheritance.

*Administer justice.

*Levy taxes, zone lands, produce income from, and regulate conduct on, Hawaiian lands.

*Hold and manage land or other resources and administer any trust.

*Issue allotments, assignments, leaseholds, or homesteads.

The above demands were listed in a tabloid publication issued by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on January 17, 1993, the one-hundredth anniversary of the 1893 revolution. The publication stated that OHA, in conjunction with other native Hawaiian groups and Hawaii's Congressional delegation, prepared this list of demands for inclusion in a draft Hawaiian government restoration Bill to be introduced in Congress-the original "Akaka Bill."

While the current Akaka Bill (HR 2314/S1011) does not specifically enumerate all these demands, Section 8 of the Bill does call for "negotiations" between "the U.S., the State of Hawaii, and the native Hawaiian governing entity" for an agreement on:

*the transfer of lands, natural resources, and other assets…

*the exercise of governmental authority over any transferred lands, natural resources, and other assets…

*the exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction over the transferred lands

*the delegation of governmental powers and authorities to the native Hawaiian governing entity

*grievances regarding assertions of historical wrongs committed against native Hawaiians by the U.S. or the State

In other words, the demands in the current bill are essentially the same as in 1993, but cleverly phrased in general terms, so that the true consequences of the Akaka Bill cannot be known until after the Bill becomes law.

Tom Macdonald is with Aloha 4 All

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?151ab76d-df37-48cc-9275-890702b9f23a
Hawaii Reporter, August 3, 2009

Open Letter to US Senate: Please Oppose the Akaka Bill

By Robert R. Kessler

To: Senator Byron Dorgan, Chair, Committee on Indian Affairs
(Fax) 202-224-1193 and
Senator John Barrasso, Vice Chair, Committee on Indian Affairs
(Fax) 202-224-1724

Subject: OPPOSITION TO THE AKAKA BILL

I urge you to vote against S.1011, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (the Akaka Bill).

The bill has several serious flaws and raises Constitutional issues about racial preferences. It's passage would open the door to chaos in the state of Hawaii by imposing two distinctly different governing ‘entities' – one State and one Native Hawaiian – divided along racial lines and with potentially different laws and tax structures. Besides creating racial tensions, the strong potential for claims against property would disrupt an already damaged business climate and create uncertainty among the non-Native Hawaiian citizens of our state.

Passage of this bill will further encourage those Native Hawaiian groups who advocate full Hawaiian sovereignty. There is serious concern that a Native Hawaiian government will initiate secession from the United States, in direct contradiction of the referendum that approved Statehood by an overwhelming majority.

You may have been told by Hawaii's Congressional delegation and by Hawaii's Governor that there is strong support in our state for this bill. That simply is not true. While there has been no published scientific polling on this issue, every straw poll and survey indicates very strong opposition to this bill in Hawaii, even among many Native Hawaiian groups. Our State government has carefully avoided public debate or public referenda on this subject so that claims of popular support cannot be refuted. I urge you to challenge Hawaii's Senators concerning their claims that this bill is supported by Hawaii's citizens.

Please kill this bill.

Robert R. Kessler, a Hawaii resident, can be reached at
Kessler.hawaii@hawaiiantel.net

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

ON THURSDAY AUGUST 6 THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS HELD A HEARING ON S.1011, THE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION BILL, INFORMALLY KNOWN AS THE AKAKA BILL.

The live webcast of the hearing has been archived and can be seen by clicking here:
http://www.senate.gov/fplayers/I2009/urlPlayer.cfm?fn=indian080609&st=1501&dur=10074

The written testimonies of all the invited witnesses are now available at
http://indian.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=d42e1eda-e9ed-47e3-a020-8f03eb911a32

The witness list was as follows:

Panel 1
THE HONORABLE SAM HIRSCH
Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC

Panel 2
THE HONORABLE HAUNANI APOLIONA
Chair, Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs

PROFESSOR STUART M. BENJAMIN
Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Research, Duke Law School, Durham, NC

THE HONORABLE MICAH A. KANE
Chairman, Hawaiian Homes Commission, Honolulu, HI

MR. H. CHRISTOPHER BARTOLOMUCCI
Partner, Hogan & Hartson LLP, Washington, DC

MS ROBIN PUANANI DANNER
President & CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Honolulu, HI

A major essay by witness Stuart Minor Benjamin is available here:
"Equal Protection and the Special Relationship: The Case of Native Hawaiians," The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 3, December 1996, pp. 537-612. That article included 294 footnotes referring to numerous cases regarding Indian law, with special emphasis on tribal status, tribal law, special relationships with tribes vs. racial preferences for non-tribal individuals or groups.
http://tinyurl.com/l6cy32

Below are the most important news reports and commentaries from Thursday and Friday, August 6-7, 2009.

Ken Conklin's comments:

Here are a few of my own first-impression summaries of testimony on Constitutional issues, especially regarding 14th Amendment "equal protection" issues. These "breaking" summaries were written while listening to the live webcast on Thursday, so I may have missed some points. The archived webcast and the written statements by witnesses are available as noted above.

The first witness to testify was Honorable Sam Hirsch, Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice. His testimony was of great interest and concern for political reasons. Throughout the previous eight years under President Bush, the Department of Justice took strong positions in opposition to the Akaka bill, leading President Bush to issue an announcement that he would veto the bill if it passed. However, President Obama indicated during his campaign that he would sign the Akaka bill if Congress passes it. Deputy Associate Attorney General Hirsch's testimony is described extensively and celebrated in published news reports below. He strongly supported the Akaka bill.

Career civil rights attorneys in the Department of Justice have now been overruled by political appointees including President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder and the assistants and deputies he hired. Political interference with career professionals in the Department of Justice was illustrated only a few days before this hearing when national news media reported that the Department of Justice's high-level political appointees dismissed charges of voter intimidation pending against Black Panthers, stemming from their actions during the election of November 2008 when televised videotape shows them standing with weapons outside at least one polling place to intimidate people who might be likely to vote against Mr. Obama. The dismissal of charges happened despite strong objections from career attorneys at DOJ, and denials by political appointees that there had been political interference.

Following the testimony of the Deputy Associate Attorney General, Senator Akaka engaged him in what appeared to be a prearranged dialog. The first question Senator Akaka asked him was whether the Akaka bill would allow secession; and of course Mr. Hirsch replied that the bill contains no such language (but he did not mention that the bill also does not prohibit secession and that there is a very active and aggressive secessionist movement in Hawaii).

In his brief oral testimony Professor Benjamin pointed out that no federally recognized tribe is so attenuated as ethnic Hawaiians, many of whom have low native blood quantum and 40% of whom live outside Hawaii. Professor Benjamin also emphasized that the Kingdom of Hawaii was multiracial from the time it was founded, with full citizenship for many people with no native blood; yet the Akaka bill proposes to recognize a new government restricted by race to ethnic Hawaiians. In conclusion he discussed whether the Supreme Court would give deference to Congress passing the Akaka bill. He said the fact that the Court allows an act of Congress to stand does not mean that act is constitutionally permissible. He said that when he had worked in President Clinton's Department of Justice, there were many occasions when decisions had to be made which staffers knew would never go to the courts, but nevertheless the staffers making those decisions felt compelled to consider Constitutional issues to ensure the Constitution was followed; and he urged Congress to adopt the same attitude when considering the Akaka bill.

Attorney H. Christopher Bartolomucci has been employed as a "hired gun" by the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs, for whom he been paid to write papers arguing that the Akaka bill is constitutionally permissible. He is a partner in the lobbyist law firm Hogan & Hartson LLP, Washington, DC, which describes itself as an international law firm with more than 1100 lawyers in 27 offices worldwide. His testimony was partly a rebuttal of some of Professor Benjamin's points. In particular, Bartolomucci emphasized the Supreme Court decision known as "Lara" in which the Court ruled that Congress does have the power to re-recognize a tribe which had been previously recognized but had then been extinguished. The thrust of that point seemed to be [Conklin's interpretation of what he intended] that the U.S. had recognized the Kingdom of Hawaii and had treaty relations with it, but then extinguished the Native Hawaiian government through annexation, and now could re-recognize a new Native Hawaiian government.

Senator Akaka asked Mr. Bartolomucci about criticisms that the Native Hawaiian nation and its governing entity would be race-based; and Mr. Bartolomucci responded that the tribes enjoy a government-to-government relationship with the U.S. and the courts do not consider that to be a racial matter.

Senator Akaka asked Mr.Bartolomucci whether the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, and the equal protection component of the 5th Amendment, apply to Indian tribes. Mr. Bartolomucci gave a lengthy explanation that at the time the 14th Amendment was passed it explicitly did not apply to "Indians not taxed," and that Indians were not U.S. citizens. He said that the Akaka bill does for Native Hawaiians the same thing that the Indian Reorganization Act did for the continental tribes following the period of allotment. In conclusion he said that the Akaka bill is constitutional, and that the 14th Amendment allows separatism between Indian tribes and the federal and state governments, and that the 14th Amendment will not apply to the Native Hawaiian governing entity or its members.

At no time were there any questions for Professor Benjamin.

At the end of the hearing each witness was given a minute or two to make an informal concluding statement. Mr. Bartolomucci said that there must be a very broad membership definition for the Akaka tribe during the initial period of organization, and that once they are organized they can then redefine for themselves who is a tribal member. Mr. Benjamin asked "Who gets to decide?" and said that having such a broad definition allowing low blood quantum and membership from all 50 states could be a focus of legal challenges, and it might be advisable to change the bill to provide a narrower definition of who is "Native Hawaiian."

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090807/NEWS01/908070367/Obama+backs+Native+Hawaiian+self-governance+bill

Friday, August 7, 2009, NEWSPAPER HEADLINE STORY

Obama backs Native Hawaiian self-governance bill
President's endorsement clear during Senate hearing

By John Yaukey
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration came through on its promise to support Native Hawaiian self-governance yesterday with a powerful statement to a Senate panel, backing a bill that would give Native Hawaiians the same rights as Native Americans and Alaskans.

The full-throated endorsement came from Sam Hirsch, deputy associate attorney general, to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

The panel was weighing nine-year-old legislation, authored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, that would set up a process for Native Hawaiian autonomy within the state and federal systems.

"The Department of Justice strongly supports the core policy goals of this bill, and I am pleased to testify on this historic legislation," Hirsch said.

He rejected arguments that political recognition of Native Hawaiians would constitute a "race-based" distinction. He said that the federal government had an obligation to establish a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian people, who have been living in political limbo for more than a century following the overthrow of their kingdom.

"The general history of the Native Hawaiian people bears significant similarities to the history of Indian tribes," he said. "The United States has recognized the Kingdom of Hawai'i as a sovereign power and dealt with it as such through much of the 19th century."

This was a stark turnaround from the Bush administration. In 2006, the Justice Department under President George W. Bush argued that the so-called Akaka bill would "divide people by their race."

In a June House hearing on the Akaka legislation, a Bush appointee suggested that Native Hawaiian recognition could lead to some form of mild sedition.

"It is clear that many ethnic Hawaiians will not regard the new government as deriving its powers solely from federal delegation," said Gail Heroit, a Republican appointee on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. "Rather, they will argue that it derives its power from their own inherent sovereignty and is thus not subject to any of the limitations on power found in the U.S. Constitution."

AN ISSUE OF PARITY

Yesterday, Akaka sought to bring the debate back to its central pivot point: that Native Hawaiians are no different from any other indigenous people who have political contracts with the federal government.

"The legislation before us today provides parity," he said. "It enables Hawai'i's indigenous people to establish a government-to-government relationship with the United States. The process is consistent with Constitution, federal and state law."

Eventually, it could give Native Hawaiians greater control over their highly valuable ancestral lands.

The Akaka legislation would develop a process for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government.

If it passes in the Indian Affairs Committee, as expected, then the full Senate would take it up. Passage in the heavily Democratic House is virtually assured.

But even if the Akaka bill passes, it remains potentially vulnerable to court challenges. Civil rights legislation is typically challenged for years after passage.

In 2000, the Supreme Court shot down special privileges Native Hawaiians enjoyed in special elections for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, threatening a vast network of Native Hawaiian political and social structures.

9 YEARS OF TRYING

Yesterday's Senate hearing marks the seventh time Congress has taken up the legislation since it was first introduced in 2000.

The bill has already passed the House twice but has never been able to clear the Senate, where legislation can sometimes require 60 of 100 votes to pass and a single senator can place a hold on a bill.

Akaka said he expects he'll need 60 votes to pass the bill.

At stake — in addition to the political future of the Native Hawaiian people — ultimately is control over some 1.8 million acres of land that many Native Hawaiians believe was taken from them illegally in the annexation of Hawai'i in 1898.

Passage of the Akaka bill would provide for negotiations on the disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?8ad7aa88-26bc-4d9e-84b3-914a168b0cdd
Hawaii Reporter, August 6, 2009

Hawaiian History Dictates the Importance of Akaka Bill's Passage

Testimony before the US Senate
By US Senator Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii

This is the STATEMENT OF SENATOR DANIEL K. INOUYE BEFORE THE AUGUST 6, 2009 HEARING ON S. 1011 THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION ACT

I would like to thank Chairman Dorgan and Vice Chairman Barasso for scheduling this important hearing today on a bill that Senator Akaka and I have worked tirelessly on for the past 10 years.

So much of what we are here to consider today arises from events that took place long ago. On January 16, 1895, the United States Minister John L. Stevens, who served as the Ambassador to the court of Queen Liliuokalani, directed a marine company on board the U.S.S. BOSTON to arrest and detain Queen Liliuokalani.

She was placed under house arrest in her bedroom at Iolani Palace for nine months. This event was engineered and orchestrated by the Committee of Public Safety, which consisted of Hawaii's non-Native Hawaiian businessmen, and with the approval of Minister Stevens.

President Grover Cleveland appointed James Blount to conduct a special investigation in Hawaii and write up his findings. His report was the first report that provided "evidence that officially identified the United States' complicity in the lawless overthrow of the lawful, peaceful government of Hawaii." In contrast to the Blount report a year later the Senator John T. Morgan, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations also issued an investigative report that said the United States did no wrong. This was clearly written to exonerate the parties involved.

On January 17, 1895, Queen Liliuokalani temporarily yielded her authority to the United States. A new government, the Republic of Hawaii, was established and requested annexation by the United States. But after examining the circumstances and events leading to the illegal overthrow, President Cleveland refused to annex the Republic. In 1898, President McKinley, unable to obtain the necessary Senate consent to ratify a treaty of annexation, signed a Joint Resolution annexing Hawaii as a United States' territory.

As part of the annexation agreement, former crown lands were transferred to the United States. Discussions on the status of Native Hawaiians immediately began throughout Hawaii, for this was their land, their government, and their people, but they were now outcasts. In 1921, Hawaii's delegate to Congress, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, led Congress in enacting the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920. In adopting this Act, Congress compared its relationship with Native Hawaiians to its relationship with Indian tribes and relied on this special relationship to return certain crown lands to the Territory for the benefit of Native Hawaiians.

For those of us born and raised in Hawaii, as I was, we have always understood that the Native Hawaiian people have a status that is unique in our State. This status is enshrined in our State Constitution and is reflected in the laws of our State. It is found in well over 188 federal statutes including the Hawaii Admissions Act. This unique status reflects our deep gratitude to the native people who first welcomed is to their shores and who gave us the opportunity to live in their traditional homelands.

Mr. Chairman, in my 30 years of service on this committee, I have been fortunate to learn a bit about the history of our country and its relations with the indigenous, native people, who occupied and exercised sovereignty on this continent.

As a nation we have changed course many times in the policies governing our dealings with Native people. We began with treaties with native people, and then we turned to war. We enacted laws recognizing Native governments, and then we passed laws terminating our relationships with those governments. We repudiated our termination policy and restored our relationships with Native governments. Finally for the last 39 years we adopted a policy of recognizing and supporting the rights of this nation's First Americans to self-determination and self-governance. We have been firm in our resolve to uphold that policy.

Native Hawaiians have had a political and legal relationship with the United States for the past 183 years as shown through treaties with the United States and other sovereign governments and entities, and scores of federal statutes. But like tribes whose federally recognized status was terminated, Hawaii's monarchy was also terminated. Even after the Native Hawaiian government was illegally overthrown, the Native Hawaiian people never gave up their expression of political status through the Royal Societies and later through the Hawaiian Civic clubs. Through these groups cultural, political, social and activities and relationships unique to the Native Hawaiian people were kept in tact.

As one who has served the citizens of Hawaii for over 50 years, as a member of the Territorial Legislature, a member of Congress, and now a member of the United States Senate, I believe that there is broad based support in our State for what the Native people are seeking, full restoration of the government to government relationship they had with the United States.

Lastly, the courts have concluded that termination can only be reversed by an act of Congress. Reconciliation is long overdue and I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and my colleagues to ensure that the Native Hawaiian people are given their right to self-determination and self-governance back.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?98bfe676-101e-400a-8727-adcffe8c3e9a
Hawaii Reporter (online), August 6, 2009

Senator Inouye's Testimony to Senate Committee Contains Several Historical Inaccuracies

By Jere Krischel

The Honorable US Senator Dan K Inouye needs better staffers. His testimony to the Senate on August 6, 2009, has so many historical fictions it is difficult to know where to start.

[See full testimony here: "Hawaiian History Dictates the Importance of Akaka Bill's Passage"]

1) The Hawaiian Revolution was on January 17, 1893 NOT January 16, 1895 as stated by Mr. Inouye.

2) The Queen was detained not during the 1893 Hawaiian Revolution, but during the 1895 failed rebellion against the Republic of Hawaii. Furthermore, she wasn't detained by the US, but by the Republic of Hawaii, an independent, sovereign and universally recognized nation which lasted from 1894-1898. At the time of the 1895 rebellion, the US position towards Hawaii was decidedly antagonistic.

3) All the peacekeepers landed from the USS Boston remained completely neutral, and did not partake in hostilities on either side. Furthermore, through the machinations of Cleveland's secret emissary, Blount, their position as peacekeepers was ended on April 1, 1893, leaving the door open for any sort of resistance if there had been any.

4) The Morgan Report was the only bi-partisan and impartial investigation into the 1893 Hawaiian Revolution. They took testimony under oath, and found numerous problems with Blount's obvious bias, which they took him to task for when he himself testified.

5) It was originally the Provisional Government of the Kingdom of Hawaii which requested annexation, and was rebuffed by Cleveland. The Republic of Hawaii was declared over a year after Cleveland had given his refusal.

6) The so-called "crown lands" were not transferred to the United States as a separate entity from the public lands of the Republic of Hawaii. All "crown" lands became part of the public lands in 1894, with the declaration of the Republic.

7) The idea that annexation created "outcasts" of native Hawaiians is a complete fiction. Native Hawaiians held the majority vote because of the disenfranchisement of Asians during the early Territorial period, and our first two Congressional Representatives were actually participants in the 1895 rebellion! Prince Kuhio and Robert Wilcox, both once royalists, were proud Americans after annexation.

So besides getting the dates off by two years, mistaking Republic of Hawaii forces for US forces, ignoring the only impartial bi-partisan investigation of the Hawaiian Revolution, ignoring the dominance of the Territorial government by native Hawaiians, and concocting a fiction of "crown" lands, Mr. Inouye manages to give us little reason to support this ill conceived legislation.

The most atrocious gloss, however, is the complete lack of mention of the multi-racial nature of the Kingdom of Hawaii, from its very inception. Kamehameha, along with a multi-racial coalition including his British son-in-law John Young, forged a unified Hawaiian Islands. The first constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1840 declared all people "of one blood". By the time the 1893 Hawaiian Revolution ended the monarchy, Hawaii was more than half non-native Hawaiian, and for the past over 100 years of association with the United States, has been a veritable case study in how multi-racial communities live and work together under a unified identity.

Mr. Inouye has it wrong on the facts, and wrong on the future. Hawaii is a place, not a race, and separating our people simply by bloodline is a violation of our civil rights, and a slap in the face to our kupuna whose wisdom helped create a society where all people were treated equally.

He Hawaii au; he mau Hawaii kakou a pau. I am Hawaiian; we are all Hawaiians.

Grassroot Institute member Jere Krischel is a volunteer historian and civil rights activist who has been discussing and studying the Akaka Bill and its historical basis online and in print since 2004. Born and raised in Hawaii, he attended Punahou and later graduated from the University of Southern California.

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

** Associated Press (AP) nationwide news report reprinted in hundreds of newspapers, including

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/northwest/story/1018508.html
The Bellingham Herald (Washington State)
Thursday, Aug. 06, 2009

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_us_native_hawaiians_government.html
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
August 6

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/breaking/52609142.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
August 6

New government for Native Hawaiians gains support

By KEVIN FREKING - Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON A new administration has brought a change of view about the legality of Native Hawaiians establishing their own government.

During the past decade, members of Hawaii's congressional delegation have worked to pass legislation allowing for the reorganizing of a Native Hawaiian government that was overthrown in 1893. Their legislation sets up a process for that reorganization and would allow Native Hawaiians to be treated on par with more than 560 American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

Sam Hirsch, deputy associate attorney general for the Justice Department, told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Thursday that the department "strongly supports the core policy goals" of a bill allowing for self-governance by Native Hawaiians.

Once established, the new government would negotiate with the state and the federal government over which assets the new government would own. Currently, the state administers 1.2 million acres of former monarchy land, and some of that land could revert to the new Native Hawaiian government. Prospects for the legislation seem better than ever now that Democratic lawmakers have strengthened their majority in Congress and President Barack Obama has voiced his support.

That's a marked shift from the Bush administration's viewpoint. Two years ago, the White House threatened to veto a comparable bill, saying it would "formally divide sovereign United States power along suspect lines of race and ethnicity."

Hirsch took issue with some of the key issues raised by the Bush administration, which cited court rulings stating the "history of indigenous Hawaiians .... is fundamentally different from that of indigenous groups and federally recognized Indian Tribes in the continental United States." Hirsch said Native Hawaiians have much in common with Indian tribes. Congress recognized that similarity when it set aside lands expressly for their benefit. He noted that Native Hawaiians exercised self-rule prior to the arrival of Western explorers, and have collectively worked to preserve traditional culture just as Indian tribes have.

Hirsch also said no court has squarely answered the question of whether Congress has the authority to treat Native Hawaiians in the same manner as members of an Indian tribe.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held that chamber's first hearing of the year on legislation establishing a Native Hawaiian government, though Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, noted that it's the 10th time the committee has met to consider the issue.

The hearing was for informational purposes only and no vote occurred. The legislation is commonly referred to as the Akaka Bill because of his sponsorship.

"The United States has not always acted honorably in its treatment of our nation's first people," Akaka said. "However, I am proud that as a country we have pursued actions acknowledging past wrongs and building a mutual path forward."

Stuart Benjamin, a professor at Duke Law School, told the committee that the bill would test the minimum requirements for what constitutes an Indian tribe. "No tribe has ever had the paucity of connections that exist among Native Hawaiians," he said in his written testimony.

Benjamin said that limiting the organizers of the new government to Native Hawaiians who are state residents would prevent people connected to Hawaii only through an ancestor from participating in the reorganization effort.

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?34e996d9-5407-495a-9595-8ad16dd1d7a8
Hawaii Reporter, August 6, 2009

Obama Administration Expresses Strong Support for Akaka Bill at Senate Hearing

By Jesse Broder Van Dyke [Public relations spokesman for Senator Akaka]

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing today on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (S. 1011), sponsored by Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) and co-sponsored by Senators Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and Committee Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota).

"The legislation before us today provides parity," Senator Akaka said in his hearing testimony. "It enables Hawaii's indigenous people to establish a government-to-government relationship with the United States, the same type of relationship natives of Alaska and tribes in the lower 48 have. The process is consistent with the Constitution, federal and state law. This is needed because in 1893, the Native Hawaiian government led by Queen Lili‘uokalani was illegally overthrown by agents of the U.S. and U.S. military force. The overthrow resulted in generations of Native Hawaiians being disenfranchised from their government, culture, land, and way of life.

"This legislation provides a structured process to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity to exercise self-governance and self-determination. Once federally recognized, the Native Hawaiian governing entity can enter into discussions with the State of Hawaii and the United States. Any agreements reached by the three parties will require implementing legislation at the state and federal level. This legislation will honor the needs of our state, preserve its cultural heritage, and address issues that have lingered without resolution since the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii."

Today's hearing marked the first occasion that the Obama Administration Justice Department formally made its position known on this legislation:

"The Department of Justice strongly supports the core policy goals of this bill, and I am pleased to testify on this historic legislation," said Deputy Associate Attorney General Sam Hirsch in his prepared testimony. "In recognizing a Native Hawaiian sovereign entity, Congress would in effect determine that Native Hawaiians constitute a distinct community as it has done with Indian tribes. The history of Native Hawaiian sovereignty and the extent to which Native Hawaiians continue to function as an organized community – engaging in collective action and preserving traditional community and culture – are relevant to this analysis."

"Despite the overthrow of the monarchy, a community of Native Hawaiians continued to act collectively to preserve their culture and institutions in many ways, and the United States and the State of Hawaii gave a variety of forms of legal recognition and legal status to those distinctive institutions and culture," Hirsch continued.

Senators Inouye, Murkowski, and Dorgan also expressed their support of the legislation at the hearing.

"I want to let my Hawaiian colleagues know that for yet another round, the Alaskans will stand by you as we try to advance this important legislation for recognition of Native Hawaiians," said Senator Murkowski. "It's something that we've been working on for many years and I think some of the questions that come up, about how will this work in Hawaii, can be resolved when you look at how we have handled the recognition of our Alaska Natives."

Chairman Dorgan said, "We, as Congress, have a distinct and undeniable trust responsibility towards the first Americans of the United States, and with the passage of this legislation, the Native Hawaiian people will once again have an opportunity for self governance and self determination. This I think is an important step for our country and an attempt to redress the wrongs that our government has committed against the Native Hawaiian people."

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act:

· DOES NOT allow for private lands or businesses to be taken

· DOES NOT permit Hawaii to secede from the Union

· DOES NOT authorize gaming in Hawaii.

A video highlights of the hearing are available at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDXRIJRf-UE

An audio clip of testimony from Akaka and Hirsch is available at
http://demradio.senate.gov/actualities/akaka/akaka090806.mp3

More information on today's hearing, including an archived webcast, witness list and testimony, is available at
http://www.indian.senate.gov
More information on the "Akaka Bill" is available at
http://www.akaka.senate.gov

A hearing on an identical version in the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsored by Congressman Neil Abercrombie, was held on June 11. The Senate and House bills are expected to be considered by the committees when Congress resumes in the fall.

In addition to the witnesses who offered live testimony today, everyone is invited to send testimony to be included in the hearing record, which will be kept open for 2 weeks after the hearing, through August 21. Individuals or organizations interested in submitting testimony for the record are requested to include a heading at the top of the testimony with their name, date, organizational affiliation and title (optional) and topic of the hearing. Senate mail processing security procedures may delay delivery; it is recommended testimony be submitted via email or fax, though mailed copies will be accepted.

Testimony may be addressed to:

The Honorable Byron L. Dorgan, Chairman and The Honorable John Barrasso, Vice Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs

Written Testimony of ___ Hearing on S.1011, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 Date

Email
testimony@indian.senate.gov

Testimony may be provided in Word Perfect, Word or PDF.

Include "S. 1011 Testimony for the Record" in the subject line.

Fax
(202) 228-2589 Mail

The Honorable Byron L. Dorgan, Chairman and The Honorable John Barrasso, Vice Chairman Committee on Indian Affairs U.S. Senate 838 Hart Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Jesse Broder Van Dyke is the Deputy Communications Director for United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii)

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090809/OPINION01/908090338/Hawaiian+federal+recognition+gets+its+shot
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, August 9, 2009
EDITORIAL

Hawaiian federal recognition gets its shot

Over the nearly 10-year span of its life, the Akaka bill — the Congressional proposal to enable federal recognition of Native Hawaiians as a political entity — has always faced an uphill battle. The fact that the U.S. Senate is deeply embroiled in current controversies over health care reform, economic recovery and other crucial matters underscores the challenge that remains.

But there's never been quite the political momentum that exists right now to propel the measure, now called S. 1011, over the hump. And it's never been more important for supporters of the measure to add their weight to the push.

There is, for the first time in years, the practical possibility of achieving the 60 votes needed to shepherd the bill through to passage without the procedural blockade of a filibuster.

Hawai'i 's Congressional delegation as well as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs must work aggressively to cement that support in both chambers — a task more difficult for the Senate, with a thinner Democratic majority.

But the goal has been moved within easier reach with the election of President Obama, who has signaled general support for a federal acknowledgment of Hawai'i's aboriginal people as a political entity, somewhat akin to the status of Native Americans and Native Alaskans.

That sentiment was driven home by a White House spokesman at Thursday's Senate committee hearing, with a clarity unprecedented even during the previous sympathetic presidency of Bill Clinton.

The endorsement was delivered by Sam Hirsch, a deputy associate attorney general, who disputed the core criticism of the Bush administration that the bill would create "race-based" distinctions. Hirsch rightly pointed out that establishing a government-to-government relationship with native "first nations" has been treated as a federal obligation quite distinct from racial classifications. America's native peoples all had nationhood before being ceded to the U.S. Native Hawaiians should be treated no differently.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act sets strict limits on what sovereignty is possible for a Native Hawaiian government. Federal and state laws still apply to its members; gambling would not be allowed; and the final settlement on resources of land and money that will belong to the new nation will involve negotiations among the stakeholders.

The bill simply establishes the framework through which the government can be organized so that it can be recognized and talks can begin.

Much of the body of resources already has been set aside for Native Hawaiians, including the multimillion-dollar trust fund fed by revenues from the former Hawaiian kingdom's lands. Since the overthrow of that kingdom more than 100 years ago, federal and state governments have shown a commitment to reconciliation through various entitlement programs.

Responsibility for managing these resources should be turned over to a self-reliant native government, rather than its people continuing as wards of the federal and state governments. The state, removed from that role, should focus its attention on a broader mandate to serve all Hawai'i's people.

Settlement remains a long way off, but the Akaka bill would allow the first steps to be taken. It's a goal worth the trek.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090809_Refine_Akaka_Bill_to_survive_fight.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 9, 2009
EDITORIAL

Refine Akaka Bill to survive fight

Endorsement of Hawaiian sovereignty by President Barack Obama's Justice Department came as no surprise, since Obama was co-sponsor of U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's bill as a senator and voiced his support during his presidential campaign. With the Akaka Bill's enactment and Obama's signature virtually assured, the bill's sponsors should concern themselves with issues that surely will be argued in a court challenge.

The bill defines native Hawaiians as those who can trace their ancestry to "aboriginal, indigenous, native people" who lived in Hawaii before the 1893 overthrowing of the kingdom. Opponents of the bill, including the George W. Bush administration's Commission on Civil Rights, maintained that the bill was race-based because it was pegged to the overthrow of the multiracial kingdom but included only aboriginal Hawaiians.

Westerners actually had been allowed to be naturalized into Hawaii as early as 1840 and been treated as ordinary subjects of the kingdom. Many had positions of authority within the government.

Deputy Associate U.S. Attorney General Sam Hirsch testified to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday that Congress has "plenary power" under the Constitution to recognize Indian tribes and "tribes that have had aspects of their sovereignty diminished."

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has suggested that the bill's definition of native Hawaiian be pegged instead to 1778, the year that English explorer Captain James Cook set foot on the islands, instead of 1893. That would clarify that descendants of Westerners in the islands at the time of the overthrow would not face racial discrimination.

But it is not so simple, testified Stuart Minor Benjamin, a law professor at Duke University who has no client involved in the issue of Hawaiian sovereignty. He pointed out that Westerners were among the advisers to Kamehameha the Great and helped him unite Hawaiians of all islands under his rule in 1810.

That being the case, Benjamin pointed out, "then the legislation would probably need to create several tribes (i.e. with different rulers over different islands.)" If the goal is to create a single native Hawaiian government, he added, the bill "would probably need to define 'Native Hawaiian' as of 1810 at the earliest." He added that doing so "might mean the inclusion of some Westerners who are not descended from pre-1778 inhabitants."

Creating separate Hawaiian "tribes" to reflect 1778 would not be realistic, even if native Hawaiians were able to trace their lineage with that specificity. Sovereignty of Indian tribes such as the Sioux, Navajo, Crow and Apache are based on treaties, and their descendants know their lineage by tribe.

Cognizant of the court battles ahead, the Akaka Bill sponsors should be prepared to respond in detail to charges that it was race-based. At this point, changes to the bill are in order.

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

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=33067
Human Events, August 10, 2009

Native Hawaiian Separatism

by Brian Darling

** Ken Conklin's note: Part 3 of a column about actions by Congress in the past week

The Senate and House are working on separate versions of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. This bill would create a race-based government in Hawaii for the purposes of soliciting federal monies to buy up lands and create other programs to benefit individuals who fit the race-based category of "Native-Hawaiian." This bill is unconstitutional, as it violates the equal protection clause. But that hasn't stopped chief sponsor Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii).

The bill would create (in the Department of the Interior) the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations. This office would "effectuate and coordinate the special political and legal relationship between the Native Hawaiian governing entity" and the United States. One part of the legislation that directly implicates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution is the provision that limits membership to the "indigenous, native people of Hawaii." This race-based definition of membership troubles many, including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Alexander explained in HUMAN EVENTS in 2006 that setting up race-based governance is offensive to the whole idea that we're one nation, not separate, racially-based islands. Alexander wrote that being an American "is unique because, under our constitution, becoming an American has nothing to do with ancestry. America is an idea; Americans are a people, not a race."

Many in Hawaii are concerned that the controversial Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) will become the de-facto governing entity of the Native Hawaiians and will use the Native Hawaiian designation as a means to enrich some Hawaiians to the detriment of others. Native Hawaiians are free to celebrate their unique history -- but this legislation would do nothing to promote the proud heritage of all Hawaiians. Conservatives are offended by the idea of setting up a separatist governing institution for some Native Hawaiians and moving the United States away from the unifying idea that residents of Hawaii are Americans, not a separate nation.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090810/STATEHOOD/908100347/Some+Hawaiian+activists+reject+statehood++saying+it's+a++crime+
Monday, August 10, 2009

Some Hawaiian activists reject statehood, saying it's a 'crime'
Activists point to illegal acts, starting with the overthrow

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

In 1959, what opposition there was to Hawai'i statehood was based on a variety of factors, from fears that communists had infiltrated the territory's labor unions to concerns that statehood would further disenfranchise its Native Hawaiian population.

Fifty years later, Hawaiian activists are calling for an end to the statehood era, not as a goal unto itself but as a necessary step in remediating a series of illegal acts through which, they say, the United States robbed Hawai'i of its rightful status as a sovereign nation.

Contemporary opposition to statehood, and by extension the larger Hawaiian sovereignty movement, is largely the result of a re-examination of Hawaiian history sparked by the so-called second Hawaiian renaissance.

As Native Hawaiian political activism flourished throughout the 1970s and '80s — notably with the hard-fought success of the Protect Kaho'olawe 'Ohana — a new generation of Native Hawaiian scholars turned a critical eye to the circumstances that surrounded the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, the U.S. annexation of Hawai'i in 1898, and Hawai'i's entry to the union in 1959, and began to formulate legal bases for Hawaiian independence.

The cause of Hawaiian self-determination has been taken up by myriad organizations large and small, from the state-affiliated but largely autonomous Office of Hawaiian Affairs, to grassroots organizations like Ka Lahui Hawai'i and Kanaka Maoli Tribunal Komike, to the estimated 20 or more individuals and groups that have claimed status as independent Hawaiian kingdoms, republics or other governmental forms.

U.S. APOLOGY

While the specific terms of independence each group advocates may vary widely, the justifications are typically predicated on the grounds that the overthrow, annexation and statehood were all achieved via illegal means.

The Apology Resolution of 1993 — introduced by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, passed by both houses of Congress, and signed by then President Clinton — acknowledged "that the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii occurred with the active participation of agents and citizens of the United States and ... that the Native Hawaiian people never directly relinquished to the United States their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people over their national lands, either through the Kingdom of Hawaii or through a plebiscite or referendum."

Though the resolution did not directly provide for or require any redress for Native Hawaiians, the fact of its very existence has served to bolster Hawaiian sovereignty claims.

"Because of onipa'a (the massive demonstration of Native Hawaiian sovereignty advocates in observance of the 100th anniversary of the overthrow) in 1993, because of that pressure, Sen. Akaka felt compelled to investigate and that's why they drafted the apology," said physician and noted Hawaiian activist Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell. "They apologized for their role in the overthrow. They admitted it was a violation of treaties and international law and that they have violated the sovereignty of Native Hawaiian people and their right to self-determination.

"Now they have to apologize for annexation and statehood," he said. "These are major crimes."

NO FORMAL TREATY

Native Hawaiian scholars argue that annexation was illegal both in relation to the overthrow and in the way in which it was approved by Congress by resolution (requiring a simple majority vote) versus formal treaty, which would have required a two-thirds majority vote.

As Lilikala Kama'eleihiwa, former director of the University of Hawai'i's Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, argues: "Because of the queen's restraint (in ordering no military resistance to the overthrow) and because there was no Hawaiian conflict with the American military, the taking of Hawai'i as an American territory in 1900, without a vote of the citizens of Hawai'i, and against the anti-annexation petitions signed by 95 percent of the Native Hawaiian population, continues to be illegal today."

The argument against statehood seemed less clear until the 1990s, when Hawaiian scholars learned of Hawai'i's theretofore little-known inclusion on the United Nations' 1946 list of "non-self-governing territories."

In 1953, the U.N. General Assembly passed Resolution 742, which held that inhabitants of non-self-governing territories were entitled to various options for self-government, including statehood, free association, commonwealth status or independence, with preference given to independence.

In 1960, a year after statehood was accepted by Hawai'i voters, the U.N. General Assembly reviewed the list and adopted a declaration stating that all non-self-governing territories were entitled to independence and self-determination.

Hawaiian sovereignty advocates argue that the "yes or no" options on the statehood ballot unfairly limited voters' options to immediately accept statehood or remain a territory (the default assumption for a "no" vote), thereby denying them the opportunity to pursue options for self-governance.

Blaisdell said he and other kupuna are working to bring the issue to the attention of U.N. member nations in hopes of having the matter brought before the U.N. General Assembly.

"Our Hawaiian nation does not have a seat in the U.N., so we have to go through a member nation that is willing to help us. To do that, we have to properly inform them."

Blaisdell and a coalition of Hawaiian leaders and community activists have also written to President Obama asking for a meeting to address Native Hawaiian grievances and requesting his help in suspending action on the controversial Akaka bill.

'LEGALLY DUBIOUS'

Richard Falk, an emeritus professor of international law at Princeton University and U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the 1959 plebiscite was "legally dubious because it did not allow Hawaiians to exercise their full sovereign and inalienable right of self determination."

"Of course, the long passage of time and the absence of effective opposition in 1959 could be argued to amount to a waiver," Falk said. "However, if Hawai'i was once a sovereign entity, and if the right of self-determination remains operative, then the people of Hawai'i remain entitled to some sort of assessment of their preferences as to status."

Falk added that while the limited options on the ballot do not necessarily invalidate the plebiscite, "it is easier to suggest that changing circumstances and the improper limitation of options in 1959 mean that the plebiscite was defective and needs to be superseded by a new more authoritative expression of the will of the Hawaiian people."

Yet, sovereignty advocates remain steadfast in their efforts to attain self-determination.

For scholar-activists like Kama'eleihiwa, the urgency of the mission is evident in the appalling demographic profile of Native Hawaiians: low life expectancy and high infant mortality; increasing homelessness; disproportionately high numbers of Native Hawaiians in prison; disproportionately low numbers of Hawaiians in higher education, whether as students, faculty or administrators.

"Of course, the most galling issue is lack of access to our ancestral lands," Kama'eleihiwa said. "We are a sea-going people, but lucky if 1 percent of us can afford land on the ocean anymore. We want land upon which to live and raise our children, upon which to build our houses and schools, where we can speak our ancestral language, and upon which we can plant our kalo and 'uala, and practice our culture. We are the only natives in the Pacific that do not control a land base."

And for those problems to begin to be resolved, Kama'eleihiwa, Blaisdell, Niheu and a growing number of others argue, the era of statehood must give way to something new.

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?1fce7b20-e07e-4b5a-9c10-3e245d624ba6
Hawaii Reporter, August 11, 2009

More Details on the U.S. Senate Committee Hearing on Akaka Bill Witness were one legal scholar vs. a lobbyist, three heads of Hawaiian institutions, and President Obama's Deputy Associate Attorney General

By Ken Conklin

The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on S.1011, the Akaka bill, on Thursday, August 6. The hearing was webcast live from a link on the committee's webpage at http://indian.senate.gov/ The witness list was as follows:

Panel 1

THE HONORABLE SAM HIRSCH
Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC

Panel 2

THE HONORABLE HAUNANI APOLIONA
Chair, Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs

PROFESSOR STUART M. BENJAMIN
Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Research, Duke Law School, Durham, NC

THE HONORABLE MICAH A. KANE
Chairman, Hawaiian Homes Commission, Honolulu, HI

MR. H. CHRISTOPHER BARTOLOMUCCI
Partner, Hogan & Hartson LLP, Washington, DC

MS ROBIN PUANANI DANNER
President & CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Honolulu, HI

The hearing opened at about 2:30 PM Washington time with a short statement from committee chairman Senator Byron Dorgan, who then left to attend a meeting of another committee. Senator Dorgan turned over the chair to Senator Akaka.

The first witness to testify was Honorable Sam Hirsch, Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice. His testimony was of great interest and concern for political reasons. Throughout the previous eight years under President Bush, the Department of Justice took strong positions in opposition to the Akaka bill, leading President Bush to issue an announcement that he would veto the bill if it passed. However, President Obama indicated during his campaign that he would sign the Akaka bill if Congress passes it.

Career civil rights attorneys in the Department of Justice have now been overruled by political appointees including President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder and the assistants and deputies he hired. Political interference with career professionals in the Department of Justice was illustrated only a few days before this hearing when national news media reported that the Department of Justice's high-level political appointees dismissed charges of voter intimidation pending against Black Panthers, stemming from their actions during the election of November 2008 when televised videotape shows them standing with weapons outside at least one polling place to intimidate people who might be likely to vote against Mr. Obama. The dismissal of charges happened despite strong objections from career attorneys at DOJ, and denials by political appointees that there had been political interference.

Following the testimony of the Deputy Associate Attorney General, Senator Akaka engaged him in what appeared to be a prearranged dialog. The first question Senator Akaka asked him was whether the Akaka bill would allow secession; and of course Mr. Hirsch replied that the bill contains no such language (but he did not mention that the bill also does not prohibit secession and that there is a very active and aggressive secessionist movement in Hawaii).

The committee then recessed for about 15 minutes to allow the members to go to the Senate floor to vote on confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to become a Supreme Court Justice.

Haunani Apoliona, Micah Kane, and Robin Danner are well known in Hawaii, and are strongly favoring the bill, whose primary purpose is to protect the racial entitlement programs that have sent hundreds of millions of dollars through their institutions.

Following the recess, Ms. Apoliona's testimony focused on OHA's strong objections to the portions of the Akaka bill that would restrict claims by ethnic Hawaiians against the state and federal government. She would like some major amendments to the bill.

Professor Stuart Minor Benjamin is a scholar who wrote an important article "Equal Protection and the Special Relationship: The Case of Native Hawaiians," The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 3, December 1996, pp. 537-612. That article included 294 footnotes referring to numerous cases regarding Indian law, with special emphasis on tribal status, tribal law, special relationships with tribes vs. racial preferences for non-tribal individuals or groups. Professor Benjamin is now Associate Dean for Research at Yale University. His 1996 article is available for download at http://tinyurl.com/l6cy32

In his article Professor Benjamin argued that there is no federal trust relationship with Native Hawaiians, and that it would be doubtful whether Congress or the State of Hawaii could treat Native Hawaiians in the same way as an Indian tribe. That article provided many of the arguments used successfully by plaintiffs in the Rice v. Cayetano decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in February 2000 that it was illegal for the State of Hawaii to require Hawaiian native ancestry for citizens to be allowed to vote for trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

In his brief oral testimony, Professor Benjamin pointed out that no federally recognized tribe is so attenuated as ethnic Hawaiians, many of whom have low native blood quantum and 40% of whom live outside Hawaii. Professor Benjamin also emphasized that the Kingdom of Hawaii was multiracial from the time it was founded, with full citizenship for many people with no native blood; yet the Akaka bill proposes to recognize a new government restricted by race to ethnic Hawaiians. In conclusion he discussed whether the Supreme Court would give deference to Congress passing the Akaka bill. He said the fact that the Court allows an act of Congress to stand does not mean that act is constitutionally permissible. He said that when he had worked in President Clinton's Department of Justice, there were many occasions when decisions had to be made which staffers knew would never go to the courts, but nevertheless the staffers making those decisions felt compelled to consider Constitutional issues to ensure the Constitution was followed; and he urged Congress to adopt the same attitude when considering the Akaka bill.

Attorney H. Christopher Bartolomucci has been employed as a "hired gun" by the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs, for whom he been paid to write papers arguing that the Akaka bill is constitutionally permissible. He is a partner in the lobbyist law firm Hogan & Hartson LLP, Washington, DC, which describes itself as an international law firm with more than 1100 lawyers in 27 offices worldwide. His testimony was partly a rebuttal of some of Professor Benjamin's points. In particular, Bartolomucci emphasized the Supreme Court decision known as "Lara" in which the Court ruled that Congress does have the power to re-recognize a tribe which had been previously recognized but had then been extinguished. The thrust of that point seemed to be that the U.S. had recognized the Kingdom of Hawaii and had treaty relations with it, but then extinguished the Native Hawaiian government through annexation, and now could re-recognize a new Native Hawaiian government.

Following testimony from Micah Kane regarding the Hawaiian Homelands, Senator Inouye announced it was necessary for him to leave because of his responsibilities as chairman of the budget committee, regarding an amendment (presumably pertaining to the cash-for-clunkers bill then being debated on the Senate floor). About 15 minutes later Senator Inouye did in fact make a speech on the Senate floor regarding a proposed amendment to that bill.

During the question period Senator Akaka remarked on the lei draping of the Kamehameha statue in the new Capitol visitor center on Kamehameha Day, and asked OHA chair Haunani Apoliona whether Hawaiian culture is still alive. She responded that the chants, hulas, and lei draping demonstrated on that day are clear evidence that the culture lives.

Senator Akaka asked Hawaiian Homelands chairman Micah Kane whether ethnic Hawaiians living on the mainland for many years sometimes are awarded a homestead lease and return "home" to Hawaii, and Mr. Kane said that is true. Senator Akaka asked Mr. Kane about the relationship between the Homelands and their neighboring communities, and Mr. Kane replied that such relationships are friendly and cooperative.

Senator Akaka asked Mr. Bartolomucci about criticisms that the Native Hawaiian nation and its governing entity would be race-based; and Mr. Bartolomucci responded that the tribes enjoy a government-to-government relationship with the U.S. and the courts do not consider that to be a racial matter.

Senator Akaka asked Robin Danner, head of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, whether Native Hawaiian programs benefit the wider community; and she described some of those benefits. She also described her experience living on a native homeland in Alaska, and as a Homesteader in Hawaii. She said that a government-to-government relationship is very helpful.

Senator Akaka asked Mr. Bartolomucci whether the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, and the equal protection component of the 5th Amendment, apply to Indian tribes. Mr. Bartolomucci gave a lengthy explanation that at the time the 14th Amendment was passed it explicitly did not apply to "Indians not taxed," and that Indians were not U.S. citizens. He said that the Akaka bill does for Native Hawaiians the same thing that the Indian Reorganization Act did for the continental tribes following the period of allotment. In conclusion he said that the Akaka bill is constitutional, and that the 14th Amendment allows separatism between Indian tribes and the federal and state governments, and that the 14th Amendment will not apply to the Native Hawaiian governing entity or its members.

At no time were there any questions for Professor Benjamin.

At the end of the hearing each witness was given a minute or two to make an informal concluding statement. Mr. Bartolomucci said that there must be a very broad membership definition for the Akaka tribe during the initial period of organization, and that once they are organized they can then redefine for themselves who is a tribal member. Mr. Benjamin asked "Who gets to decide?" and said that having such a broad definition allowing low blood quantum and membership from all 50 states could be a focus of legal challenges, and it might be advisable to change the bill to provide a narrower definition of who is "Native Hawaiian."

Senator Akaka concluded the hearing by saying that aloha and love are the legacy of Native Hawaiians; and despite many difficulties they have endured, it's time to move forward by passing the bill. He said the hearing record will remain open until August 21 (presumably to allow Senators to ask further questions of witnesses and for witnesses to extend and clarify their remarks). The hearing adjourned at about 4:50 PM Washington time.

It remains to be seen whether the testimony of one scholar can be effective against the testimony of a highly paid lobbyist, the heads of three wealthy and powerful Hawaiian institutions, and a high-level political appointee of the Department of Justice who is pushing aside the advice of career staff attorneys who believe the Akaka bill is unconstitutional.

Dr. Conklin's book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" is in the library or can be viewed and ordered at http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?a4c8adb0-4b90-4990-a265-94bbc7711292
Hawaii Reporter, August 11, 2009

Challenge to Honolulu Advertiser: Back Up Your Facts in Akaka Editorial

By Tom Mcdonald

Aloha For All challenges The Honolulu Advertiser to document the statements in its August 9 lead editorial that the Akaka Bill "sets strict limits on what sovereignty is possible for a Native Hawaiian government" and that "State and federal laws still apply to its members."

In fact, Section 8 of the Bill requires the State and the U.S. to negotiate with the proposed Hawaiian government over "the exercise of governmental authority...," "the exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction." and "the delegation of governmental powers and authorities" to the new government.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) made it very clear early in the native Hawaiian re-organization process that it intends to be a completely sovereign "full service" government and listed among its demands the governmental powers to:

*. Regulate conduct of members through legislation

* Adopt ordinances for health safety and welfare

* Administer justice

* Levy taxes, zone lands...

* Regulate hunting, fishing, gathering...

Just as OHA quietly removed from its website the possibility of secession from the U.S. as one alternative for the new government when that possibility caused negative public reaction, it has quietly de-emphasized the broad extent of the governmental powers it wishes to exercise over its citizens and any others occupying or travelling across current OHA and DHHL lands, and any other lands it may receive from the State or from Bishop Estate.

In short, the Akaka Bill is just like the Apology Resolution that was enacted with assurances that it was indeed only an apology to soothe the hurt feelings of native Hawaiians, but later was used in court to attempt to justify controls over all 1.3 million acres of ceded lands. Let's not be fooled a second time with a monstrous bait and switch scheme.

Tom Macdonald is the Communications Director for Aloha 4 All

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?9b2a75f1-6c46-4a52-8733-db91f6eff450
Hawaii Reporter, August 14, 2009

The Akaka Bill, A Befitting Name

By Earl Arakaki

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009, S1011/HR2314 is known as the Akaka bill.

Akaka; a rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale. (Hawaiian Dictionary, by Mary Kawena Pukui, and Samuel H. Ebert, c. 1971, University of Hawaii Press, page 12)

I find the title "The Akaka bill" very appropriate as the meaning of the word "akaka" literally describes what will surely happen to the people of Hawaii, and the nation if it becomes law.

If the Akaka bill becomes law and upheld by the courts it will be the akaka (chink) in the armor of citizens individual rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.

There will be akaka (separation) throughout Hawaii along racial lines. Families will akaka (split) along bloodlines and ancestry. Businesses, schools, and entire communities will akaka (rent, tear apart).

The legacy of Senator Akaka's bill will not be remembered for his name, but for the meaning of the word "akaka" and the destruction it caused.

Earl Arakaki is a Ret. Sgt. with the Honolulu Police Department. Reach him at
arakakie003@hawaii.rr.com/

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090818/OPINION03/908180306/Akaka+bill+clashes+with+Hawai+i+ideals
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Akaka bill clashes with Hawaii ideals

By H. William Burgess and Thomas Macdonald

It is widely known that the Akaka bill would enable federal recognition of Native Hawaiians as a political entity. It is not so widely known that the bill defines "Native Hawaiian" as anyone, anywhere in the world with at least one ancestor indigenous to Hawai'i. And it defines "indigenous to Hawai'i" to mean anyone who lived in Hawai'i before 1778 when Captain Cook and westerners first arrived.

Duke professor Stuart Benjamin, formerly with the Clinton Justice Department, was the only impartial constitutional law expert called on to testify Aug. 6 before the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He stated that the above definition of Native Hawaiian was too broad, with members having too little connection to a historic tribe, or to each other, to be considered a tribe. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Breyer, joined by Justice Souter, concurring in Rice v. Cayetano, said that defining membership this broadly "created a vast and unknowable body of potential members that goes beyond any reasonable limit ... not like any actual membership classification created by any actual tribe."

The two justices and Professor Benjamin were not just addressing abstract legal issues. Using the spurious definition of Native Hawaiian, the Akaka bill would allow a vast and unknowable number of persons, many of whom have surely never been to Hawai'i, to participate in carving a separate government out of the state of Hawai'i while excluding from even participating in the process 80 percent of the citizens who now call Hawai'i home.

The Akaka bill does not set any limits on the extent of sovereignty that can be negotiated under Section 8 of the bill. For example, the state Legislature could grant the broad spectrum of powers that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs demanded in 1993, including powers to levy taxes, adopt ordinances, administer justice, share control of national parks and collect market rent for the military's use of ceded lands.

The bill would allow only Native Hawaiians to vote on the organic governing documents that define the powers and limitations of the new government. Implementation of the transfers of public lands, natural resources, governmental power and authority and civil and criminal jurisdiction to the new government only requires the approval of the political branches of the state and federal government.

The bill does not require the prior consent of the people of Hawai'i, or even their subsequent ratification of these potentially huge changes to the state and the lives, liberty and property of all its citizens.

Since the avowed purpose of the bill's promoters is to protect existing race-based entitlements from attack under the U.S. Constitution, it is not likely that the new government's charter will include due process or equal protection clauses. Without those, the Native Hawaiian government would be free to discriminate between persons, even its own citizens, as its leaders see fit. Native Hawaiians themselves would be wise to consider the examples of recognized Indian tribes who arbitrarily oust disfavored tribe members and confiscate their properties.

In 1959, after a 94 percent vote in favor of statehood, Congress promised in the Admission Act that the state of Hawai'i would consist of all the major islands and that its constitution would always be republican in form and not repugnant to the Constitution of the U.S. and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

Congress now proposes to break up and give away much of the state, without the consent of the people of Hawai'i, and transfer it to a brand new government commissioned as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people, a vast and unknowable body of potential members, without even any effort to obtain their consent. This whole enterprise is repugnant to the founding principles of both the United States and the Kingdom of Hawai'i, whose constitution began: "God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on Earth in unity and blessedness."

Thomas J. Macdonald and H. William Burgess are with Aloha for All. Macdonald is the former president of Hawaiian Trust Co. and Burgess was the attorney for the plaintiff in Arakaki v. State of Hawai'i. They wrote this commentary The Advertiser.

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http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/politics/53224732.html
Indian Country Today, August 18, 2009

Akaka Bill gets Obama approval

WASHINGTON – With the backing of the Obama administration, the Akaka Bill has received a big boost of support that may provide enough weight to push the proposed legislation through Congress this year.

Hawaii's congressional delegates have tried to pass some version of the Akaka Bill for almost 10 years. The bill is named after its originator, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. Supporters of the bill – the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act – welcomed the endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice at a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing Aug. 6.

"The Department of Justice strongly supports the core policy goals of this bill and I am very pleased to testify on this historic legislation today," said Deputy Associate Attorney General Sam Hirsch. "Despite numerous obstacles, Native Hawaiians have a sustained history of acting collectively and creating institutions to preserve Native Hawaiian forms of social organization, religious practice, family and cultural identity and other distinctive cultural practices."

The latest version of the Akaka Bill would authorize a process for establishing a Native Hawaiian governing entity and would grant the equivalent of federal recognition to Native Hawaiians, allowing them to be treated on par with American Indians and Alaska Natives. However, it would not allow gaming, create reservation trust lands, give any land back to Native Hawaiians without legislative approval, or change any existing laws.

The governing entity would negotiate with the United States and the State of Hawaii over the transfer of lands, civil and criminal issues, and grievances by the Native Hawaiian community.

Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., noted that Congress has passed more than 150 statutes dealing with Native Hawaiians. He said the Akaka Bill "is an important step for our country. It's an attempt to redress the wrongs our government has committed against the Native Hawaiian people."

Dorgan reminded the hearing that Congress previously has recognized Native Hawaiians as the indigenous people of Hawaii, notably in the Apology Resolution signed into law in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton on the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

The apology acknowledged the illegality of the U.S. government's military-backed regime change of "the sovereign Hawaii nation" in 1893 and its support for the illegally created "provisional government" in violation of treaties and international law. The insurgents were wealthy American and European financiers and colonists who owned sugar plantations.

The key statement in the apology reiterates Hawaii's continuing independence: ‘‘The indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum."

The Bush administration opposed the act, claiming it would divide people on the basis of race. Bush claimed the act could lead to secession and threatened to veto the bill if it passed.

"Does the legislation permit secession?" Akaka asked.

"Senator Akaka, absolutely not," Hirsh said.

Also testifying were Haunani Apoliona, Office of Hawaiian Affairs chair; Micah Kane, Hawaiian Homes Commission chair; Robin Puanani Danner, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement president; and constitutional attorneys Stuart M. Benjamin; Douglas B. Maggs, law professor and associate dean for research at Duke Law School; and Christopher Bartolomucci, a partner at the Washington firm of Hogan & Hartson.

Benjamin and Bartolomucci had differing views on the constitutionality of the bill. Benjamin argued that Native Hawaiians are too broad and diverse to meet a constitutional definition of a tribe.

"The legislation would probably need to create several tribes" or define Native Hawaiians as of 1810 or exclude the estimated 40 percent living away from the islands.

Bartolomucci said none of the scores of laws dealing with American Indians, Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians have ever been struck down as racially discriminatory.

"Congress' broad power to deal with Indian tribes allows congress to recognize Native Hawaiians as having the same sovereign status as other Native Americans," Bartolomucci said.

While all those testifying were generally in favor of the Akaka Bill, no representative of Hawaii's sovereignty movement was invited to speak. The sovereignty movement seeks full independence from the United States based on decolonization and de-occupation under international law.

Representatives of the movement have been excluded from the discourse in Congress and in the recent Supreme Court case, which ruled earlier this year that Congress' apology for overthrowing the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 bears no moral, political or legal weight in stopping the State of Hawaii from selling 1.2 million acres of land seized during the illegal regime change before land claims by Native Hawaiians are resolved.

David M. K. Inciong, II of Pearl City, a Native Hawaiian, said the hearing was "farcical."

"Here we are, foreign nationals made stateless in our own country and the U.S. wants to forcibly incorporate us into their country as indigenous Native Americans; yet again through their domestic laws to be under the plenary authority of U.S. Congress.

"Instead of living a lie by creating more lies, the U.S. needs to take stock of its situation, de-occupy Hawai'i, and return our already recognized sovereign nation-state back to us who love our country as much as the U.S. Americans love theirs. We are peers to the U.S. as nation-to-nation. Why would we submit to being a lesser status of a nation within a nation which is translated into a belligerent occupation which we already live under?"

Kehaulani Kauanui, a Native Hawaiian and associate professor of American Studies at Wesleyan University, said the discussion of constitutionality was inadequate.

"What was missing, of course, is the fact that under the U.S. Constitution, the Hawaiian Kingdom was regarded as a foreign nation, an independent sovereign state. Foreign nations do not have any relationship to the U.S. Department of the Interior precisely because that department is about areas considered by the U.S. government as internal to the U.S.A, (Indian tribes, U.S. Island Territories and National Parks). Foreign nations relate to the U.S. Department of State.

"… This legislation has caused a very deep divide throughout our communities – both those in our island homeland and those residing on others Native nations' lands in North America."

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http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1037/Akaka-Bill-hearings-OHA-lawyers-balk-at-giving-up-nepotism-greenmail.aspx
Hawaii Free Press, Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Akaka Bill hearings: OHA, lawyers balk at giving up nepotism, greenmail

by Andrew Walden

For years, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has expended every resource to create a Hawaiian Indian tribe. Now, with its goal finally in sight, disputes over how much of Hawaii the Akaka Tribe should grab and how quickly to grab it threaten to torpedo the entire project.

Greenmail is one of the key sticking points. The Native Hawaiian Bar Association (NHBA) argues:

"The bill's provisions on claims and federal sovereign immunity appear to be overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians for claims that could be pursued by any other member of the general population."

NHBA lawyers seek to avoid losing the legal basis for the PASH-decision-based greenmail lawsuits, such as the Hokulia case, which have made them millions of dollars in legal fees.

Not only are they concerned about losing the right to file existing greenmail suits, but they want the Akaka Bill (HR 2314 / S. 1011) to create more causes for action. Representing the US Department of Justice at the August 6 Senate Indian Affairs committee hearing, former Dan Inouye staffer Sam Hirsch emphasized:

"…the legislation contains provisions that specifically state that Congress does not intend to create any new legal claims against the United States. The Department supports these provisions and believes they should remain in the bill. In particular, the Department supports section 8(c) in S. 1011, which provides that nothing in the bill creates a cause of action against or waives the sovereign immunity of the United States."

In other words, the negotiations to create the Akaka Tribe become the sole venue for resolving any claims stemming from passage of the Akaka Bill.

But Robin Danner of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) disagrees. In her Senate Committee testimony she demanded 8(c) be replaced with language stating:

"Nothing in this Act is intended to serve as a settlement of any claims against the United States or the State of Hawaii."

Given the pliant attitude of the Hawaii State Judiciary and Honolulu's Federal Courts, the risk of the Akaka Bill creating new causes for action, just as the 1993 Apology Resolution did, should not be underestimated. Likewise one should not overestimate the value of any concessions made by the OHA gang.

In addition to continuing and expanding their lucrative greenmail industry, the would-be founders of the Akaka Tribe may also be seeking their own tribal jurisdiction. A tribal jurisdiction could be exempt from State law and many federal laws. It could easily become a legal shield for future corrupt trustees to protect their activities investigation or prosecution by the State Attorney General. In fact the corrupt Broken Trust trustees in 1995 commissioned ex-Governor John Waihe'e to study relocation of Bishop Estate. Waihe'e's proposal? Relocate Bishop Estate to the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian reservation—the most "sovereign" of all US Indian Reservations.

Testifying before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Micah Kane, outgoing Chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, and a newly selected Trustee of Kamehameha Schools, did not directly address the dispute over amendments but he did choose to explain:

"Because of our unique legal history, the Hawaiian Homes Commission exercises certain authority over Hawaiian home lands, subject to state and federal law, similar to that being proposed under S. 1011….

"The State and Counties exercise criminal and civil jurisdiction on Hawaiian home lands….and the Commission cannot levy taxes over Hawaiian home lands." (emphasis added)

The DoJ's Hirsch added:

"The Department also supports the bill's civil rights protections. Section 7(c)(2)(B)(iii)(I)(cc) and section 7(c)(4)(A)(vi) require the native Hawaiians governing entity, in its constitution or other organic governing document, to expressly protect the civil rights of Native Hawaiians and all persons affected by the governing entity's exercise of its governmental powers and authorities."

Why did Kane and Hirsch feel the need to assert this? Should their testimonies be seen jointly as reflecting the views of some or all of the current KS Trustees, DHHL, Senator Inouye, Governor Linda Lingle, and President Obama's US DoJ? Do the conflicting views presented before the Committee reflect a discussion which is going on outside of public view?

A clue comes from Robin Danner of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) who asks for removal of S 1011 Section 9(e), which reads:

"Nothing in the Act alters the criminal or civil 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 only change as a result of further legislation, if any, enacted after the conclusion, in relevant part, of the negotiation process established in section 8(b)."

In its place Danner wants language which immediately vests "the Native Hawaiian government…with the inherent powers and privileges of a native government…." Her demand comes in spite of the fact that S. 1011 creates a mechanism for the negotiated creation of a Native Hawaiian Government, rather than creating the government itself.

Danner's demand contrasts with Kane's testimony:

"Amendments to the trust document, the Hawaiian Home Commission Act, requires State legislative approval and in some instances, Congressional consent."

Also related to the jurisdictional issue, Kane emphasizes:

"Hawaiian Home Lands cannot be sold, except by land exchanges upon the approval of the United States Secretary of the Interior."

OHA takes a different line. In her June 11, 2009 House Committee Testimony, OHA Chair Haunani Apoliona explains:

"We don't seek to have our lands held in trust by the United States or the State of Hawai'i, or to have our assets managed by the Federal or State governments."

OHA has already transferred OHA lands such as Waimea Valley, O'ahu to the management of Hi'ilae Aloha, an OHA-owned Limited Liability Corporation. OHA unsuccessfully sought transfer of large portions of Moloka'i Ranch to another LLC connected to OHA Trustee Collette Machado. In recent legislative debates over possible Ceded Lands revenues settlements, Hawaiian activists have sharply questioned OHA's land management practices, nepotism, transparency, and accountability. Avoidance of a US trust over the lands of a future Akaka Tribe would increase the opportunity for tribal insiders to continue OHA's practices.

The US House Committee on Natural Resources canceled its July 9 "markup" vote on HR 2314, the House version of the Akaka Bill apparently due to the unresolved disputes over amendments. The US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs likely intends to vote on the S 1011 version of the Akaka Bill in September. Failure to come to agreement on the amendments could block the Senate Committee vote as it has in the House.

Is the Akaka Tribe worth more to the OHA gang than greenmail and corruption? We will soon find out.

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http://honoluluweekly.com/editors-notes/2009/08/editors-note-8-19-2009/
Honolulu Weekly, August 19, 2009
Editor's Note

BY RAGNAR CARLSON

As we noted last week, it's been a quiet summer on the statehood front. Maybe people aren't quite as excited about the semi-centennial as many news and media organizations predicted: It seems like broadcast and print outlets have been hyping 50th anniversary stuff since the second half of 2008, no doubt expecting a lot of energy from all sides of the statehood-sovereignty spectrum.

It was a fair expectation. There are other parts of "American territory" (as Defense secretary Robert Gates described us earlier this summer) where citizens routinely discuss fundamental questions of political sovereignty–Guam and Puerto Rico come to mind–but none of them are among the 50 states. That our international image is one of tranquility and warmth is no small irony–and of course, no small accident. The 50th state is in some ways the most restive of them all.

This week, as Hawaii marks 50 years as a full-fledged member of the American union, Congress is slowing moving toward legislative action that would constitute the most significant transfer of political autonomy since 1959. The Akaka bill, if enacted, would allow Hawaiians a chance at self-determination–though not sovereignty–for the first time since at least the late 19th century, and maybe much longer, depending on how you count.

And yet in conversations, I've always been struck by how few of us understand the Akaka bill. Maybe it's all the rancor over the bill from passionate advocates on all sides, maybe it's just a lack of paying close attention. It might even be the informal title we've been using to discuss the legislation: this is once case in which the bill's official name–The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act–puts things more plainly. In any event, the confusion extends beyond the potential long-range issues raised by the bill–too many of us simply don't know what the bill would actually do.

In trying to address that gap for this week's cover story (see page 5), I wanted to leave out my own biases by keeping the piece simple, factual and point-by-point. At the same time, Congress is considering paving the way for a new Hawaiian nation, federally recognized and semi-autonomous. It's hard to imagine how anyone who cares about this place could remain neutral.

For what it's worth, I support the Akaka bill. I'm also sympathetic to those who oppose it, both on assimilationist grounds and on revolutionary ones, though I don't think either the cohesiveness of our society or the ongoing effort by some Hawaiians to achieve full independence from the United States will be negatively affected by passage of the Akaka bill.

Ultimately, I'm convinced that the creation of a Native Hawaiian nation will be a step forward for Hawaii as a whole. As concerns native Hawaiians, this is first and foremost a question of justice. But the experiences of similar communties in the Pacific and in North America suggest that some form of Hawaiian autonomy will be positive for Hawaiians and non-natives alike. The flowering and development of traditional resource management and agricultural practices, just to name one example, has already paid off in New Zealand.

In North America, native communities have begun to move beyond casinos: through economic innovation, the once-shattered Choctaw Nation in Mississippi has become the largest employer in what was previously one of America's most impoverished counties. That's not to say it will be easy to get there. The process will almost certainly be painful at times. But if we give it a chance, there is precedent to suggest that a Hawaiian nation can make Hawaii a stronger, richer, most prosperous community for everyone.

I can't speak for the two beautiful young people on the cover this week, but I have spent quite a bit of time over the past few days looking at their expressions in Christen Vidanovic's extraordinary photograph. What's interesting is that they knew what we were up to–those two don't look sad because someone told them to imagine their hamsters dying. Christen and production manager Manny Pangilinan coaxed various poses and looks out of them, but the kids knew we were doing a story about Hawaii and the United States and the future.

Hard to shake the feeling that they're calling you out a little bit, isn't it?

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http://honoluluweekly.com/cover/2009/08/nationhood/
Honolulu Weekly, August 19, 2009
COVER STORY

Nationhood
Understanding the Akaka bill

BY RAGNAR CARLSON

This feature aims to explain the fundamental effects of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act–the Akaka bill–currently before the United States Senate. This piece of legislation has the power to shape Hawaii's future for generations.

We've done our best to isolate the direct, legal processes this bill would set in motion. In some cases–the bill's connection to Hawaiian independence, the arguments over whether or not it is race-based–some degree of analysis or inference has been unavoidable, but we've tried to keep it to a bare minimum. This report is the result of extended close reading of Senate Bill 1011, conversations with local attorneys and research into the history of this legislation and other efforts, in the United States and elsewhere, to create reconciliation between modern governments and native peoples.

What will the Akaka bill do?

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act establishes a process by which a Native Hawaiian government may be created. It also guarantees that once a Native Hawaiian government is established, the United States will formally recognize that government, and will recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people.

If there is a new Native Hawaiian government, doesn't this mean there would be a new nation?

Yes, in the sense that the word is used to refer to Native American tribes such as the Lakota nation, the Cherokee nation, etc. The Native Hawaiian nation would not be a new country with, for example, its own foreign policy or armed forces. It would be a self-governing entity within the United States, similar in many respects to a county.

What is the process contained in the Akaka bill? What kind of government does it create?

The bill does not create a government. It lays out a series of steps by which Native Hawaiians can form a government of their own choosing. If the bill emerges from Congress and is signed into law by the president, it will set in motion the following process:

v The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with Native Hawaiian organizations, will create a commission responsible for organizing a list of all Native Hawaiian adults who want to be involved in the creation of the new Native Hawaiian government [the bill calls it a "governing entity"]. The commission is also responsible for certifying that everyone on the list meets the temporary definition of "Native Hawaiian" established by the bill. The commission will be made up of nine members, and its only requirements for membership will be at least 10 years of study of Native Hawaiian geneaology and the ability to translate Hawaiian documents into English.

The commission has two years to deliver its list to the Interior Department.

How does the bill determine eligibility? Who is a "Native Hawaiian" according to this proposal?

For the purposes of the list of Native Hawaiians authorized to participate in the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government, a person must have direct descent from the indigenous people who lived in Hawaii prior to January 1, 1893, or descent from someone eligible in 1921 for the Hawaiian Homes programs. In practical terms, these requirements include anyone whose ancestors were in Hawaii prior to the arrival of Captain Cook, and exclude anyone whose ancestors were not.

The bill also says that as part of the creation of the Native Hawaiian government, the definition of "Native Hawaiian" and the right to participate in the affairs of the new nation is up to this group of Hawaiians to decide.

What happens once the list is complete?

The next step will be the formation of the Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council through an election open to everyone on the commission's list. Native Hawaiians will establish criteria for service in the interim council and determine its structure.

In what amounts to a constitutional convention, the members of the interim council would be required to draft proposed governing documents for the membership, leadership and structure of the new Native Hawaiian nation.

Will the interim council determine the shape of the Native Hawaiian government?

No. The council's job is to draft a proposed government. Whatever definitions and structure the interim council creates will be put up for a vote by everyone on the Native Hawaiian list. Until a majority of the voters on the list approve the governing documents, the council's proposals remain proposals only. Once they meet with the approval of the Native Hawaiian community, and are judged by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to sufficiently enable the new nation to negotiate on behalf of native Hawaiians with the state and federal governments, officers would be elected and the new Native Hawaiian government would take shape.

Are there restrictions on the kind of government Hawaiians may create?

No. It could take any form of government known to us, or create a new one. The new Hawaiian government will be created democratically, but there is no requirement that it take the form of a modern representative republic.

How long will it take to reach this point?

It's difficult to say, but given the enormity of the tasks involved, five years seems like an absolute minimum. And that is assuming that the process is not delayed by litigation, which is entirely possible.

What would be the purpose of this new Native Hawaiian government? What would it do?

The bill recognizes, among other things, that Hawaiians as the indigenous, native people of what is now the State of Hawaii have the right "to autonomy in their internal affairs…an inherent right to self-determination and self-governance [and] the right to become economically self-sufficient." The Native Hawaiian government would administer, regulate or facilitate those and other activities as is the case among members of Native American tribes or nations in North America.

That process begins with negotiations between the new Native Hawaiian government and the State and Federal governments–but mostly the State–for the transfer of assets from the State of Hawaii to the Hawaiian nation.

What assets would be transferred? What would the Hawaiians control?

The bill establishes a process, not any specific outcome. That said, negotiations, and the ultimate assets of the Native Hawaiian government, would clearly include some combination of cash, land and rights (such as rights to a share of natural resources).

It is widely expected that the so-called ceded lands and possibly also the crown lands could provide a starting point for negotiations. These lands, held in part for the benefit of Native Hawaiians under the terms of Hawaii's admission to the Union, in addition to the Hawaiian Homes lands, could be transferred in whole or in part.

Would the Native Hawaiian government be able to seize private land?

No. The transfer of assets will be a negotiation, not a land grab. If private land were transferred, it would require the approval of the state and federal governments.

Could the Native Hawaiian government set up a different system of criminal laws?

No. The bill specifies that the authority and jurisdiction of the state and federal criminal and civil code will remain intact throughout the state of Hawaii, including lands transferred to the native Hawaiian government.

Could the native Hawaiian government eventually set up casinos?

Yes, although not as the law currently exists. Casinos are directly prohibited under the bill as it now exists, but that could change in the future . Legalized gambling could be the subject of future negotiation.

What other kinds of economic activity might the Native Hawaiian government allow or engage in?

The possibilities are extensive and, once again, will be at least in part the subject of negotiations. In other cases, native people have secured hunting, farming and fishing rights–for example, rights to a share of the catch from a certain fishery, or exclusive rights to conduct fishing in specific areas. Water rights could be involved as well. There is also revenue to be gained from leases granted to public and private enterprises doing business on Hawaiian-owned land. Admission fees granting access to cultural or historic sites on Hawaiian land now freely accessible are possible.

What about the descendants of people who lived here at the time of the overthrow but are not necessarily considered "Native Hawaiian?" Would they also be recognized?

No. Though it references the 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, of which some non-Hawaiians were citizens and many others residents, the bill is aimed at recognizing Hawaii's native, indigenous people, similar to the kind of recognition of many Native American tribes.

The Hawaiian society in 1893 was multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. Why is the U.S. only acknowledging Native Hawaiians?

Since the post-colonial movements that began in earnest in the second half of the 20th century, indigenous people around the world have succeeded in winning back some measure of economic, cultural and political autonomy. Both U.S. and international law respect the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination.

The United States apologized for its role in the overthrow in a 1993 resolution, and the bill's text mentions the apology among its findings. The political process that led to the drafting of the bill is rooted in the apology's call for a process of reconciliation between Hawaiians–the indigenous people of these Islands– and the United States.

The Akaka bill does not directly link the fall of the monarchy to what it calls the Hawaiian right to self-determination. Rather, it calls this right "inherent" to the native inhabitants of all lands that later became part of the United States. Thus, the bill's authors posture that because the right to self-government is inherent, it does not emerge from the events that led to the United States' apology, but exists independently.

Significantly, the Akaka bill does make reference to the 1893 overthrow in both its findings and in the context of the definition of "Native Hawaiian." Some observers believe that because of the multi-ethnic nature of the Hawaiian nation at that time, the use of that date muddies the distinction between the original native inhabitants of the Islands and all of the people who lived in the kingdom at the time of the overthrow.

Native Hawaiians are one of a very few remaining groups of indigenous Americans without formal recognition, some form of self-government, and a process of reconciliation–ongoing or resolved–with the government of the United States. The Akaka bill would bring Hawaiians into a very similar–though not identical–relationship to the U.S. governments as currently exists among Native Americans and Innuit (native Alaskan) people.

All Americans are promised equal protection, and discrimination on the basis of race is illegal. Isn't this whole project unconstitutional?

It is virtually certain that the Akaka bill would be challenged in court immediately upon being signed into law. Federal courts have struck down many Hawaiians-only laws, programs and policies in recent years. It is possible that the courts would reject Hawaiian self-government and the transfer of state assets as unconstitutional by finding that the creation of a Native Hawaiian nation discriminated against non-Hawaiians.

Is there precedent for the Akaka bill?

Similar processes of reconciliation have taken place between indigenous people and larger sovereign states over the past 40 years. Those efforts include the Maori movement in New Zealand and the efforts of Native Americans in the United States.

These processes have taken decades to unfold, and have been contentious, at times highly so. If the experiences of other native peoples are any guide, we can expect both the government-formation process and later the negotiation for assets to be drawn-out and contentious.

Is this bill a first step toward the independence of Hawaii from the United States?

Not in a legal sense. In fact, the Native Hawaiian government would surrender its right to pursue sovereignty-related claims in federal court in exchange for federal recognition.

Does the bill end the right of Native Hawaiians to pursue independence/full sovereignty?

While Native Hawaiians must give up federal sovereignty-related claims against the United States in exchange for recognition as indigenous Americans, the United States can be expected to fiercely oppose Hawaiian independence as a matter of fundamental sovereignty in any case. Also, the right to independence more likely exists under international law, which is not affected by the Akaka bill. Under international law, and specifically under the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, native people have the right to self-determination and to autonomy. Some Hawaiian nationalists are in the process of seeking the sponsorship of a UN member nation through which to advance their claims to independence. It's difficult to see how the Akaka bill would alter that process in any way.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/guesteditorials/20090824_Akaka_Bill_would_be_win-win.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 24, 2009

Akaka Bill would be 'win-win'

By Jon M. Van Dyke

The Star-Bulletin's editorial on Aug. 9 suggested redrafting the Akaka Bill to protect it against court challenges. This bill has been redrafted many times and its current version is designed to provide flexibility to the Hawaiians, to allow the Hawaiian people to decide how they want to govern themselves and to define their own membership. Although court challenges may be filed, the bill will certainly be found to be constitutional, because it is fully consistent with U.S. and international law.

The editorial characterized Hawaii before the 1893 overthrow as a "multiracial kingdom," observing that some Westerners had become naturalized. But Hawaii was hardly a happy, peaceful "multiracial kingdom" in the early 1890s. It was seething with fierce struggles for power.

The Bayonet Constitution, forced upon King Kalakaua in 1887 by Westerners, introduced sharp racial divisions with regard to voting. Only those "of Hawaiian, American or European birth or descent" could vote, which excluded Asians, even if they had been born in Hawaii or had become naturalized. Contract-laborers from Portugal and Puerto Rico could vote, but not Asians -- "a clever device for securing to the [foreigners] the control of the Kingdom," as stated in the 1959 "The Hawaiian Revolution: 1893-94."

But the Hawaiians did not give up, and in the 1890 election the National Reform Party, led by Hawaiian leader Robert Wilcox, took control of the Legislature, and forced the Cabinet, including Lorrin Thurston, to resign. These deep divisions came into clear focus in the 1893 overthrow and 1898 annexation.

This divide continue to resonate in our islands. Although we cannot turn back the clock, we must try to achieve some measure of justice, in light of the wrongs that took place at the time of the overthrow and annexation. Congress observed in its 1993 Apology Resolution that the participation of U.S. agents in the overthrow was "illegal" and violated "international law." This Resolution states that the Crown and Government Lands were transferred to the United States in 1898 without "the consent of or compensation to the Native Hawaiian people," and calls for a reconciliation to heal these wounds. The Akaka Bill would be a major step forward in this reconciliation process and would allow the Hawaiian people to control their destinies once again.

The U.S. Constitution recognizes that indigenous peoples have a separate and distinct status within the U.S. political system, and our national government stated formally in 1970 that native groups are entitled to govern their own lands and to maintain their culture and heritage. The United Nations in 2007 passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which confirms the right of native people to control their lands and resources through their own governmental bodies. Native Hawaiians are "indigenous" under U.S. and international law, as our federal and state legislature have said repeatedly. The fact that the kingdom's monarchs sought advice from Westerners in no way undercuts the right of the Hawaiian people to reform a governmental entity and to define their membership in a manner that is appropriate for them.

The Hawaiian people were resourceful and self-sufficient before Western contact, developing aquaculture in a way that still marvels us; navigating across vast oceans; creating beautiful dances, chants, songs, and feather capes; and building formidable temples and intricate tools for fishing and hunting. Their culture was cut short by diseases and the efforts of others to control their land and government. They deserve a chance to come together once again, to build upon their dynamic heritage.

The Maori in New Zealand (Aotearoa) also suffered great losses after Westerners came, but their experiences during the past 35 years provide a road map we can examine as we move forward with passage of the Akaka Bill. The people of New Zealand established the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975 to permit the Maori to pursue their claims. This Tribunal, after lengthy hearings, made recommendations for each Maori group, which led to settlements negotiated with the government. The Maori have received lands, factories, fishing vessels and fishing rights, and are now economic players, leading to greater prosperity for all the people of New Zealand. Similarly, passage of the Akaka Bill will be a "win-win" solution, addressing and resolving long-festering injustices, and encouraging our host people to once again play a major role in our economy and community.

Jon M. Van Dyke, law professor and Carlsmith Ball Faculty Scholar at the William S. Richardson School of Law, UH-Manoa, authored "Who Owns the Crown Lands of Hawaii?" and is an occasional Office of Hawaiian Affairs consultant.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?48b34bf2-8272-4d35-b407-ebdfaf17e95f
Hawaii Reporter, August 24, 2009

Akaka Bill is Racist Legislation, Will Divide People of Hawaii by Race
Open Letter to the US Senate

By Michael K. Bates

This testimony was submitted to the Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee in the United States Senate in Washington, DC on the Akaka Bill, S. 1011 by Michael Kirchner Bates in Kamuela, Hawaii,
michaelkbates@aol.com

Mr. Chairman:

My family has been resident of the Territory of Hawaii since 1905. My grandfather was a member of the United States Asiatic Fleet. He served aboard Admiral Dewey's Battle Cruiser Olympia and fought in the Battle of Manila Harbor in the Philippines in 1898 and he settled in Hawaii after the war. My father was raised and educated in Honolulu.

He moved to the Island of Maui in 1938 and was employed by Maui Agricultural Company. I was born in Paia, Maui in 1940. The plantation is now part of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, the largest sugar plantation in the United States.

Growing up in the Territory of Hawaii in the 1940's and 50's was a wonderful experience. We plantation kids all grew up together, Hawaiians, Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos, Portuguese, Koreans and Haole (Caucasians).

We were all treated equally in school and on the playing field, but one had to earn the respect of our peers. We had our differences, but learned respect for each other and were bound by honor for ones word and actions were paramount in our relationships.

Today, 60 years later many of these individuals are still my friends. This is what makes Hawaii so unique and such a wonderful place to live. This is Hawaii's gift to America and possibly the world.

Now we have the Akaka bill. This bill is going to destroy all that I learned and valued as a child growing up in Hawaii. It simply is a racist bill that's sole purpose is to enrich a few at the expense of the majority.

A Hawaii that will be a result of this ill conceived and dangerous bill will destroy 150 years of harmonious racial relations between our peoples. It will cause divisions between Hawaiians and all the others …. let's call them non Hawaiians and will change the whole fabric of our society.

I predict the results will bring ruin on all the people who live here, including fighting over the spoils of land and government. Hawaii's government will cease to function as a viable entity serving all its citizens.

Akaka says the bill will correct the injustices of the past. It's interesting, but living in these islands for 69 years I find it impossible to find what he is talking about. The whole bill really represents a simple taking of land, money and power by a small vocal minority, who are really anti American, at the expense of the silent majority.

SOLUTION: All the people of Hawaii deserve the opportunity to be heard. Establish the framework for a Plebisite. Let everyone have the right to vote for our future. That is the American way, rather then have this terrible racial Akaka bill be shoved down everyone's throat. Please assist all of Hawaii's citizens keep Hawaii the wonderful racially balanced and tolerant place we all call home.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?3a124d0f-58e4-4e74-aca7-e4f19a284a62
Hawaii Reporter, August 24, 2009

Anti-American Rage in Hawaii
Hawaii golden jubilee includes ripping the 50th star off the U.S. flag and burning it.

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

August 21, 2009 was the golden jubilee of Hawaii statehood -- 50 years since the 50th state had been admitted to the union of states. It was a day to be celebrated with parades and fireworks. Wasn't it? Well, in a manner of speaking it was.

The only people parading through the streets were anti-statehood protesters. They carried an effigy of Uncle Sam and beat him with sticks to knock his head off. From inside his head they took out an American flag, and used a knife to cut off the 50th star. Then they burned the star -- the only fireworks on this day.

* That desecration of Uncle Sam and Old Glory can be seen at the end of a video about the parade from KITV television:
http://www.kitv.com/video/20500749/index.html

* A 10-minute YouTube video was produced by the protesters themselves, proudly showing not only the cutting-off of the 50th star but also their yelling and screaming of anti-American sentiments INSIDE the Convention Center where the Statehood Day commemorative conference was in progress.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rtv39lfXOU

The Honolulu daily newspapers printed photos:

* The 50th star being cut off the U.S. flag. Photo from Honolulu Star-Bulletin August 22, 2009 with original URL
http://media.starbulletin.com/images/280*186/20090822_nws_stateLEDE.jpg


* The flag with a hole where 50th star had been and a protester grinning through the hole. Photo from Honolulu Advertiser August 21, 2009 with original URL
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=M1&Date=20090821&Category=STATEHOOD01&ArtNo=908210813&Ref=PH&Params=Itemnr=5#gallerytop


* The 50th star being burned. Photo from Honolulu Advertiser August 21, 2009 with original URL
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=M1&Date=20090821&Category=STATEHOOD01&ArtNo=908210813&Ref=PH&Params=Itemnr=6#gallerytop


Excerpts from newspaper reports are provided at the end of this article, describing not only the main protest in Honolulu but also other protests on Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Island (the "Big island").

What motivated this outpouring of anti-American rage? The reasons are complex and dangerous not only for Hawaii but for all America.

The fact that militant secessionists were successful in preventing any celebration and then staging anti-statehood marches should serve as a warning that Congress must not pass the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (S.1011 and H.R.2314), also known as the Akaka bill. The main purpose of that bill is to authorize creation of a phony Indian tribe -- a racially exclusionary government which will then negotiate with the U.S. and State of Hawaii for money, land, and jurisdictional authority. Some ethnic Hawaiians favor that bill, while most probably oppose it. Some ethnic Hawaiians are secessionists or racists, while most (the silent majority) are proud to be American but too mild-mannered or intimidated to stand up in public.

Although the Akaka bill is not explicitly secessionist, it can be seen as a trojan horse for secession. If the bill passes it will end up sending money, land, and political power to be controlled by the most radical, racist, and anti-American members of this ethnic group. And the bill itself would establish a precedent for the creation of a Nation of Aztlan demanding the secession of several Southwestern states. See the book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" at
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa
See also "Hawaiian Nationalism, Chicano Nationalism, Black Nationalism, Indian Tribes, and Reparations -- Akaka Bill Sets a Precedent for the Balkanization of America" at
http://tinyurl.com/722l4

Also "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"
http://tinyurl.com/4cho6
and
"Hawaii's Fifth Column: Anti-Americanism in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement"
http://tinyurl.com/5t3nc

Rubellite Kawena Johnson is a patriotic ethnic Hawaiian Professor Emerita of Hawaiian Language and Literature, with 50% native blood quantum, who is descended from Kamehameha The Great and also from two Mayflower pilgrims. She says passing the Akaka bill would split her personally in half, would split Hawaii in half, and would begin the breakup of America.
http://tinyurl.com/3mdmv

Examples of the cultural and emotional divisiveness of the Akaka bill can be found in a series of one-minute videos and audios provided at
http://akakabill.org/audio-downloads/
Examples of racist attitudes proudly proclaimed by well-educated Hawaiian activists can be seen at "Dialogs with a racist" at
http://tinyurl.com/laewws

How was it decided there should be no celebration of Hawaii's 50th anniversary? What happened in previous years?

The official Hawaii 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission made a decision more than a year beforehand that there would be no celebration, but only a commemoration. There would be no parades or fireworks, only a low-key conference at the Hawaii Convention Center including a jobs fair and various panels discussing predictions and hopes for the next 50 years. Also, each week for 50 weeks before the golden anniversary there would be a one-minute public service announcement on TV and radio featuring nostalgic reminiscences about what Hawaii had been like 50 years ago, or how excited people were when President Eisenhower had made his announcement.

The politically correct word "commemoration" was chosen after extensive discussion by the planning Commission, because any real celebration would certainly have spawned noisy protests from a militant secessionist minority among Hawaii's 20% minority of ethnic Hawaiians. The secessionists claim that the State of Hawaii is a fake state. To understand these historical claims and why they are bogus, see "Hawaii Statehood -- straightening out the history-twisters. A historical narrative defending the legitimacy of the revolution of 1893, the annexation of 1898, and the statehood vote of 1959" at
http://tinyurl.com/n2zzeo

The secessionists claim Hawaii has been under belligerent military occupation by an oppressive foreign power (the U.S.) for more than a century, just as Hungary was occupied by the Soviet Union and Tibet remains occupied by China; and it's time for the U.S. to withdraw. Fearing possible violence from the militant secessionists, Hawaii was not allowed to have a celebration but only a commemoration, much as we commemorate the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Although Statehood Day has long been an official holiday in Hawaii (state and local government workers get the day off with pay), there have been no celebrations for many years. The reasons include fear and intimidation; but also leftist "political correctness", plus a general attitude of love and respect for Hawaiian culture and the people who created it. Hawaii's state bird is the endangered nene; and the state fish is the colorful humuhumunukunukuapuaa. The state's highly favored race is ethnic Hawaiians, who have been informally adopted by Hawaii's multiracial society as a sort of state pet or mascot, dearly beloved and entitled to race-based control over three branches of the state government plus exclusive benefits from hundreds of race-specific federal, state, and private programs. See "Native Hawaiians as the State Pet or Mascot: A Psychological Analysis of Why the People of Hawaii Tolerate and Irrationally Support Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism"
http://tinyurl.com/3he27

State Senator Sam Slom decided to personally organize a celebration in 2006, after Governor Linda Lingle refused to authorize a government event. In his August 8 announcement of his plans in Hawaii Reporter (online) he wrote "The last major observance took place in Candlestick Park, San Francisco. Then Gov. Ben Cayetano was quoted as saying a celebration in Hawaii had become too controversial and 'might now be perceived as culturally insensitive by Native Hawaiian leaders.'"

The 2006 celebration organized by Senator Slom was set for the grounds of Iolani Palace. That building, now a museum, was exactly the historically correct place for a Statehood Day celebration. It served as the Territorial capitol building from 1898 to 1968, where the Territorial Legislature and Governor had their offices. The transition from Territory to State took place there in 1959, where huge crowds celebrated. See photos and news reports from 1959 at
http://tinyurl.com/4ja77m

But in recent years, since a new state capitol was built, the Palace has been where the secessionists stage large rallies, because they regard it as their capitol of a still-living Kingdom of Hawaii. See photos at
http://tinyurl.com/8aloj

On Statehood Day, Friday August 18, 2006, a gang of militant secessionists arrived at the Palace before Senator Slom's celebration was scheduled to begin. They hung their banners from the trees, set up a sound system, and played loud music. They walked up to the children of the Kalani High School Band who were seated with their instruments, made threats, and yelled through a megaphone "You'd better leave because bad things are going to happen." So of course the parents, fearing for the childrens' safety, took them back to the bus. The militants then swarmed the would-be celebrants, cursing and screaming in their faces. Although Senator Slom had an official permit to use the Palace grounds, there was no security; and police who were on duty in the Palace basement never came out to restore order. For a compilation of news reports and commentaries about what happened, see
http://tinyurl.com/pdt88

Let's review how successful the anti-American secessionists have been at intimidating patriotic Americans and the State government. In 2006 they disrupted and destroyed a Statehood Day celebration at the very place where Statehood had been proclaimed and celebrated in 1959 -- they scared away the children and parents of a high school band by threatening them, and then swarmed the would-be celebrants who included a State Senator and State Representative, screaming anti-American nonsense in their faces -- while police in the basement of the building did not come out to protect the celebrants or restore order.

In 2008 they intimidated the government 50th Anniversary of Statehood Day Planning Commission into replacing a celebration with a mere commemoration for fear that otherwise there would be violence, and they also intimidated the commission into not allowing any government commemorative events to happen at the place where Statehood happened in 1959.

In 2009 on Statehood Day they marched through the streets, bashed the head off an effigy of Uncle Sam, cut the 50th star off the U.S. flag, and burned it. Then they entered the Convention Center where a commemorative conference was underway, and loudly shouted anti-American slogans for an extended period of time. They never applied for a parade permit but were given one at the last minute anyway; a congenial Police Department assisted the marchers by coning off one or two lanes of a busy street; and Convention Center management made a prior agreement to allow the protesters to enter and use a stage and sound system. Meanwhile neither the government nor any private group dared to actually celebrate the official state holiday.

As noted earlier, if the Akaka bill passes it will end up sending money, land, and political power to be controlled by the most radical, racist, and anti-American members of the "Native Hawaiian" ethnic group. Why in the world would Congress want to do that?

Anti-American, anti-statehood protests happened not only in Honolulu but throughout the islands. Here are a few excerpts of news reports about the anti-statehood protest on August 21, 2009 in Honolulu (Oahu), Lihue (Kauai), Kahului and Wailuku (Maui), and Hilo (Hawaii Island).

Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, August 21, 2009
"Donald Cataluna, a trustee of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and a member of the Statehood Commission, fought against any statehood event at 'Iolani Palace, which he believes could have led to bloodshed and unwanted nationwide attention for Hawai'i. At least 30 Hawaiian sovereignty groups represent 30,000 Native Hawaiians, Cataluna said. "And many, many Hawaiians — many Hawaiians — would be very, very upset," Cataluna said. "It would not be a good idea to have an event at the site of the overthrow of their queen. It would be a horrible mess there. I had visions of blood spilling and I didn't want that."

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 21, 2009
"About 1,000 demonstrators who would rather see Hawaii's independence restored are expected to rally today outside the conference at the Hawaii Convention Center. 'We want to show how U.S. imperialism has spread across the Pacific and across the world,' said Lynette Cruz, an organizer of the Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance. 'It'll be fun.' ... Last year, police arrested 23 members of a Hawaiian pro-sovereignty group that broke into the palace, locked its gates and posted signs that read, 'Property of the Kingdom of Hawaiian Trust.' 'The state is very cognizant of Hawaiian protests, and I think they don't want to have any bad press,' said Dean Saranillio, a student who wrote his dissertation on how statehood came at the expense of Hawaiian self-determination. 'There's a very vibrant and vocal Hawaiian community that's well-versed in the history. They know statehood was a product of the overthrow.'"

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 22, 2009
"Thirteen chanters performed about an hour of Hawaiian oli, or chants, at Iolani Palace yesterday in tribute to Queen Liliuokalani — a protest of Hawaii's 50th anniversary of statehood. They chanted about the queen's glory, her loss and a desire to reclaim what Hawaiians lost. While they hold different views of Hawaiian sovereignty, they all support Hawaiian independence, said Manu Kaiama, the protest organizer. ... Another attendee was Lynette Cruz, who organized a protest at the Hawai'i Convention Center earlier in the day. Hawaiians need to gather to celebrate their history and culture, and the solemn palace protest was a proper setting, she said. She said it contrasted the earlier political protest, where a lot of rage was released."

The Garden Island (Kaua'i), August 21, 2009
"A half-century after becoming de-facto citizens of America's 50th state, some Hawaiians still believe joining the union was a poor decision, arguing it was illegal and has undermined Hawai‘i's rich cultural heritage. ... A number of kanakas reached by The Garden Island this week argued that statehood is based on lies, and said educating Hawai‘i's youth about the true nature of the Islands' history is key to preserving the local culture. ... 'We are celebrating, but we're celebrating the unity and freedom of our country,' Sylva said, referring not to America, but to Hawai‘i. Others echoed Sylva's upbeat tone, expressing optimism and hope for a future free from what Sausen described as 'suppression, oppression and depression at the hands of American invaders."

The Maui News, August 19, 2009
"Two Maui protests are set to take place, said organizer Foster Ampong of Kahului. The first will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the State Building on the corner of High and Main streets in Wailuku, since government workers have Statehood Day off on Friday. The second will run from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, the 50th anniversary of statehood, at the bridge on Keolani Place right before the Kahului Airport, Ampong said. 'We want to raise awareness that the whole process of statehood was really a fraud,' said Ampong, who hopes for hundreds of protesters, even on short notice. 'Most people who voted for statehood (in June 1959) were not even Native Hawaiians.'"

Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo, the "Big Island"), Friday, August 21, 2009
"In Hilo, a vigil that began Thursday at the Kamehameha I statue will continue until Saturday, with people lining Kamehameha Avenue to wave signs protesting the illegal occupation by the United States. Kihei Soli Niheu, 66, who lives in the Pu'ukapu district near Waimea, said the last legal constitution was promulgated in 1864. ... A kanaka maoli who supports America is not a Hawaiian, he said. Niheu has spent decades organizing Hawaiian communities and has founded or supported various organizations. He founded Hawaii United for Liberation Independence in the 1970s, and is a supporter of Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, another sovereignty movement. While Niheu, Kaleleiki and others may have their differences, today members of the Hawaii independence movement put aside their differences stand together against the common enemy -- America."

Dr. Conklin's book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" is in the Hawaii Public Library, and also at

http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20090825_Letters_to_the_Editor.html

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 25, 2009, Letter to editor

Akaka Bill lives up to name

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (S1011/HR2314) is known as the Akaka Bill.

The definition of "akaka": a rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale ("Hawaiian Dictionary" by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert, page 12).

I find the title "The Akaka Bill" very appropriate as the meaning of the word "akaka" literally describes what will surely happen to the people of Hawaii, and the nation, if it becomes law.

If the Akaka Bill becomes law and is upheld by the courts, it will be the akaka (chink) in the armor of citizens' individual rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.

There will be akaka (separation) throughout Hawaii along racial lines. Families will akaka (split) along bloodlines and ancestry. Businesses, schools and entire communities will akaka (rent, tear apart).

The legacy of Sen. Dan Akaka's bill will not be remembered for his name, but for the meaning of the word "akaka" and the destruction it caused.

Earl Arakaki
Ewa Beach

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http://www.pacificcitizen.org/site/details/tabid/55/selectmoduleid/373/ArticleID/398/reftab/87/title/Akaka_Bill_Stirs_Public_Opinion/Default.aspx
The Pacific Citizen (News and Information for the Asian American community), August 25, 2009

Akaka Bill Stirs Public Opinion

Native Hawaiians are still divided on the bill's impact and ability to restore their rights.

By Nalea J. Ko, Reporter

A bill that would establish Native Hawaiian self-governance gained revived attention with the support of a new administration, spurring public opinion in the islands.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, introduced the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Akaka Bill, in 2000. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii. The bill's creation came in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Rice v. Cayetano.

The court voted 7-2 in favor of rancher Harold "Freddy" Rice who challenged the constitutionality of a Hawaiian-only voting restriction, which gave Native Hawaiians the authority to elect the board of trustees to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, or OHA. The agency provides educational, health, housing and other programs for Native Hawaiians. The court's ruling echoed the sentiments of the Bush administration, which strongly opposed the Akaka legislation.

Sam Hirsch, deputy associate attorney general for the Justice Department, spoke of the historical case while expressing the department's support of the Akaka Bill in the Aug. 6 hearing before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

"As for Native Hawaiians specifically, the Supreme Court has never decided whether Congress has the authority to treat the native Hawaiian community in the same manner as an Indian tribe," said Sam Hirsch. "Indeed in its 2000 decision in Rice v. Cayetano, the court expressly avoided that question, calling it ‘difficult to reign.' And in the decade since the Supreme Court decided Rice, no court has squarely addressed that issue." Hawaii-born President Barrack Obama previously expressed his support of the bill.

Hirsch said recognizing Native Hawaiians as a sovereign entity, would acknowledge them as a distinct community. No vote was made in the hearing. Akaka said it was the 10th time the committee convened to discuss the bill.

Supporters of the bill said its passage would address past wrongs to Hawaiians. But, opponents said the legislation would give Native Hawaiians unfair race-based entitlements.

Hawaii-based attorney H. William Burgess wrote in his testimony that the Akaka Bill would encourage "Hawaiian supremacists."

"A firm rejection of the Akaka Bill by this committee would reassure the people of Hawaii that racial supremacy and separatism are not acceptable," Burgess wrote in his testimony. "That, in the eyes of government, there is only one race here. It is American."

The Kingdom of Hawaii

To understand the sentiments expressed about the Akaka Bill requires a look at the historical relationship between Hawaii and the United States.

During the 1800s coffee and sugar plantations sprouted up in Hawaii, which is comprised of the eight islands. Soon the concept of private landownership was introduced in Hawaii with the Great Mahele, or "Division or Lands," in 1848. The Mahele gave commoners and foreigners land ownership rights.

Iolani Palace opened in 1882 in downtown Honolulu. It was the primary residence for Queen Liliuokalani.

In 1887 the monarchy's power was limited when a group of businessmen, among others, forced the then-king to sign the document in what became know as the "Bayonet Constitution."

Taking the throne after her brother died, Queen Liliuokalani said she would proclaim a new constitution for the Kingdom of Hawaii. The announcement fueled anti-royalists. A group called the Committee of Safety, which was lead by Lorrin A. Thurston, said the queen was infringing on their safety and property rights. U.S. sailors and marines were later positioned outside of the Iolani Palace.

"I Liliuokalani, by the grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a provisional government of and for this kingdom," wrote Queen Liliuokalani in Jan. 17, 1893.

The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 without bloodshed. When royalists attempted to restore the queen to the throne in 1895, she was arrested and imprisoned in her upstairs bedroom in the palace. Today docent-guided tour groups are lead through the same palace once traversed by the queen.

Nearly 100 years later the U.S. government issued an apology for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, but supporters of the Akaka Bill said the wounds are still fresh.

"The bill provides needed parity, enabling Native Hawaiians to establish a government-to-government relationship with the United States," said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, in a written statement to the Pacific Citizen. "The structured process in the bill empowers the people of Hawaii to honor the needs of our state, preserve our cultural heritage, and address issues that have remained unresolved since the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii."

The 50th State

Hawaii gained statehood in August of 1959 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Commemorative events for the 50th anniversary of statehood were subdued this year, mirroring the similar mixed feelings about the Akaka Bill. And do not expect a victory parade if the bill passes, said Akaka Bill opponents.

"No, it [the Akaka Bill] will not stop racially-motivated lawsuits. It will not benefit most Hawaiians materially. It will not increase self-governance nor self-determination," said Ikaika Hussey, with the Movement for Aloha No Ka Aina, or MANA. "It will lead to more political control over Hawaiians being located in Washington, D.C. not in Hawaii. And it will be misinterpreted by many people as being a victory for Hawaiians, when in fact it will be most useful as a way of closing ‘the Hawaiian problem.'"

About 8.5 percent of the population in Hawaii is Native Hawaiian or of other Pacific Islander descent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A Native Hawaiian is defined under the Akaka Bill as someone whose relatives resided in the islands before Jan. 1, 1893.

Opponents to the Akaka Bill said the legislation would also separate Hawaii by ethnicity.

"The Akaka Bill will be the destruction of Hawaii's social and economic foundation as we all know it," said Hawaii resident Jimmy Kuroiwa, who said he is related through marriage to Akaka. "Hawaii will become a state of us verses them by race (ethnic group)."

If passed, the bill would establish a "single Native Hawaiian" government that would negotiate assets with the state and federal government. The Hawaiian government would be similar to the federal government's relationship with indigenous people of North America, except the Hawaiians cannot "conduct gaming activities." Akaka said the bill neither permits the transfer of private businesses or lands nor permits secession from the Union.

In 1920 the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act reserved about 203,500 acres of land for Hawaiian homesteads. About 6,800 Native Hawaiian families live on those lands, according to the Akaka legislation. Approximately 18,000 people are on the waiting list. Under the legislation about 1.2 acres of state land, which Native Hawaiians believe was illegally stolen, could be at stake.

Also at stake are future Native Hawaiian programs, said Haunani Apoliona, OHA board chairwoman. She said since 2000, Native Hawaiian programs have been attacked as discriminatory and the "assaults" continue.

"In the absence of the act, Native Hawaiian programs, benefits and assets currently serving Native Hawaiians in the areas of human services, employment training, health, education, economic development, housing, perpetuation of Hawaiian language and culture, policy advocacy, protection of traditional and customary rights will remain in ‘harms way,'" Apoliona wrote in an e-mail to the Pacific Citizen.

Civil rights organizations like the Japanese American Citizens League, which publishes the Pacific Citizen, said it is time to repay Hawaiians for the past wrongs committed.

"We have been supportive of Native Hawaii sovereignty from the beginning," said Floyd Mori, JACL national director. "Their history is too much like Native Americans who had their land taken away and left to fend for themselves in unwanted spaces. Hawaiians deserve the dignity that is due to them as the original inhabitants of the islands."

Despite apparent divisions about the bill, some Native Hawaiians said the community is not as divided about the legislation as might be interpreted.

Native Hawaiian activist William Aila, Jr. said he is "in the middle" about the bill, explaining the legislation has been modified to gain passage. But Aila said the bill sets the foundation for correcting the injustices of the past on the Hawaiian community.

"It's not as divided as it appears," Aila said. "I think the majority of Hawaiians support the creation of a native entity. They clearly identify the injustices of the past and the need to make amends."

The Akaka Bill has never been successful in the Senate, but has passed in the House twice. If the Akaka Bill passes in the Indian Affairs Committee it will move to the full Senate.

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/522792.html?nav=5031
The Maui News, August 26, 2009
Also
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090826/BREAKING01/90826015/Native+Hawaiians+optimistic+at+convention+with+speeches+on+federal+recognition
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, August 26, 2009
BREAKING NEWS Updated at 6:50 a.m.
and many other newspapers (Associated Press).

Native Hawaiians applaud recognition
Akaka Bill is advancing in Congress

By MARK NIESSE, The Associated Press

HONOLULU - Native Hawaiians rallied around speeches Tuesday urging them to embrace pending federal legislation intended to give them more control of their future.

Unlike pro-independence protesters during last week's 50th anniversary of statehood, this crowd of more than 1,000 gave a standing ovation in support of U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's fiery address seeking a government-sanctioned Hawaiian entity.

''Make no mistake about it: The entire fate of the Hawaiian people is going to be decided in the next 10 years,'' the Hawaii Democrat said at the eighth annual Native Hawaiian Convention. ''We will never, never have an opportunity again to have a president of the United States and a Department of Justice that's on our side.''

The bill would grant Hawaiians some self-governance by treating them similarly to Native American tribes and Alaskan natives.

They also applauded a similar message from Lt. Gov. James ''Duke'' Aiona.

''As a Native Hawaiian, I appreciate the conflicting feelings many of us have about statehood given the events surrounding the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy,'' said Aiona, a Republican. ''When will we as a community be able to achieve consensus on these important issues and turn talk into results?''

The legislation, called the Akaka Bill after Hawaii Democratic U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, is again advancing in Congress after a decade of efforts. It could become law as soon as this year.

The Native Hawaiian Convention this week features sessions on indigenous programs, culture and priorities. It is sponsored by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement at the Hawaii Convention Center.

''We know that our future is up to us,'' said Robin Puanani Danner, president of the council, following Aiona's speech.

On the Net:
Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement: www.hawaiiancouncil.org/

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090826/NEWS23/908260367/Obama+has+a+message+for+Native+Hawaiians
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Obama has a message for Native Hawaiians
Aide Kal Penn will give position on issues today at 8th annual convention

Kal Penn, the one-time "Harold and Kumar" actor who is now President Obama's associate director of community engagement, will speak at the eighth annual Native Hawaiian Convention tomorrow morning at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

Penn will give a message from Obama on the administration's position on Native Hawaiian issues, said Robin Puanani Danner, president and chief executive of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the convention sponsor.

The Obama administration recently threw its support behind the Akaka bill, which establishes a process that could lead to federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian government.

About 1,100 people are attending the three-day event at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090827/OPINION02/908270310/1108
Honolulu Advertiser, August 27, 2009, Letters to editor

A SOLID MAJORITY VOTED 'YES' IN 1959

Supporters of the Akaka bill have recently been publicizing incorrect numbers about the supposedly small number of voters who participated in the 1959 statehood vote. Some have falsely maintained that as few as 32 percent of eligible voters participated and, therefore, that the 94 percent approval vote was far from a majority of all eligible voters. Supposedly this shows that a majority of voters in effect voted against statehood by refusing to vote.

Actual figures from the 1960 census have now been made available, however, showing that there were only 218,000 eligible voters in Hawai'i at that time and that more than 132,000, or more than 60 percent of those eligible, voted "yes." Of the total of 140,000 actually voting, 132,000, or 94 percent, voted yes.

The number of eligible voters was far smaller than the Hawai'i population in 1959 because the following groups did not meet the qualifications to be eligible to vote:

Persons under age 21 and therefore ineligible: 279,000 Aliens not yet resident for one year: 64,000 Military voting in their home states: 69,000

So whether you focus on the 94 percent approval rate of those actually voting, or the 60 percent approval rate counting all those eligible to vote, a solid majority voted in favor of statehood in 1959.

Tom MacDonald
Kane'ohe

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?1230770a-0f20-4b66-a657-a2f36f91cc38
Hawaii Reporter, August 27, 2009

Akaka Bill Would Destroy Hawaii's Precious Gift of Aloha

By Thomas E. Stuart

Our mainland forebears fought a deadly and bloody war between the states beginning 148 years ago to keep the Union intact. It was a war that pitted neighbor against neighbor, even father against son.

The aftermath of that war, contrary to Lincoln's wishes for reconciliation with our brothers and sisters in the South, was more than a century of post war veangence, bitterness, recrimination and poisonous racism.

For that reason, I respectfully requested that congress not open the Pandora's box of racism and tumult against . . . . which passage of S. 1011 (also known as the Akaka bill) would almost surely unleash.

Our 50th state is as close to heaven on earth as one can get. Hawai'i is a living demonstration to the rest of America as to what the motto on our coinage, E PLURIBUS UNUM, really means. This is perhaps the one place on earth where people cherish each other regardless of ethnicity or background. To risk destroying that precious gift of aloha that was passed on to all of us by the original Kanaka Maoli -- who risked their lives "in peril on the sea" to navigate by the stars, voyage to this island chain and create this paradise -- that would be in my opinion a rank obscenity.

Thomas E. Stuart is a Public School Teacher in Kapa'au, Hawaii

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

***** August 28, 2009: U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS letter to Congressional leaders once again blasting the Akaka bill: calling it unconstitutional, racially divisive, setting a bad precedent, and contrary to the multiracial polity of the Hawaiian Kingdom. On official stationery signed by Commissioners.
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaUSCCR082809.pdf

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?518fcc93-e153-4395-bb0d-e9a1f1aaa216
Hawaii Reporter, August 28, 2009

Akaka Bill Would Ruin Hawaii's Society

By Pila Sunderland

As a native Hawaiian living in Hawaii, I am opposed to the Akaka Bill becoming federal law.

The Akaka Bill, which would divide Hawaii by race and create a native Hawaiian government, is just another attempt by our lawmakers to engineer society.

How many times will arrogance and hubris lead our representatives to take hasty action on something that has nothing to do with history and will do nothing but exacerbate race relations between and within families?

There are many examples in Hawaii of failed government programs, which attempted to control and manipulate behavior.

Operation Green Harvest may have eliminated some marijuana, but the program ushered crystal methamphetamine, a much worse drug, right into its place.

Bringing the mongoose to Hawai'i to control the booming rat population failed. Rats are awake at night and mongoose are awake in the day, so they never meet each other. This government plan accomplished nothing more than the decimation of indigenous ground dwelling bird species.

I am part Hawaiian, and want no part of this disgraceful bill. How can we possibly maintain racial harmony with the government shoving racially divisive legislation down our throats?

If the legislators must play God, let them start their own society and ruin it.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090828/NEWS23/908280357/Hawaiians+praised+for+perseverance
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, August 28, 2009

Hawaiians praised for perseverance
Actor-turned-aide reaffirms Obama's support of Akaka bill

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Actor Kal Penn, in his real-life role as community liaison for the Obama administration, appeared in Honolulu yesterday to urge Hawaiians to continue their work and help "bring change to Hawai'i and to this country."

Penn, who goes by his real name of Kalpen Suresh Modi when representing the president, embraced the theme of this year's Native Hawaiian Convention, "Making Our Future Now," noting that it's similar to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign theme.

Modi, best known as Kumar in the "Harold and Kumar" film comedies, left a recurring role in the TV series "House" after President Obama tapped him to become associate director for the Office of Public Engagement, to act as a liaison between the administration and the Asian and Pacific communities.

"There will be no magic light switch that fixes the problems that took so long to create," Modi told the gathering at the Hawai'i Convention Center. "But it's the tireless work that each of you do that makes this real change possible — the community organizing, the letter writing, the passionate dialogue, the discussion and the direct action that yields results."

Modi reiterated the president's strong support of the Akaka bill, which would create a process that could lead to a Native Hawaiian government entity that would be recognized and negotiate with the federal government. That's a departure from the opposition posed by the Bush administration.

Conference attendee Derek Kauanoe, a fellow with the Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, was among those who met with Modi before yesterday's public remarks.

"The message he brought to us was that President Barack Obama wants to make sure that people out in Hawai'i and the Native Hawaiian community are heard," Kauanoe said. "He really wants to know what's going on."

Also yesterday, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, released a statement announcing that he will push to make more federal resources available to Native Hawaiian groups in the same way that such money is made available to Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Inouye, who left Honolulu yesterday to attend funeral services for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, in Boston today, said he intends to keep his promise not take away from resources available to those groups, but to seek more funding for Hawaiians.

Inouye said he also wants to establish new "set asides" for Native American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians in the areas of renewable energy and broadband technology.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20090829_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 29, 2009, letters to editor (2)

Conquerors must show sympathy

We all enjoy benefits from the decisions that our political forefathers made. There are still outstanding liabilities resulting from these decisions that succeeding generations continue to deny. Our Western system of law is good at passing benefits to descendants. It does little to recognize accrual of massive liabilities. When we enjoy the benefits, we the descendants must face up to the liabilities.

Secondly, kanaka maoli do not benefit as you might sitting in your apartment or house on the slopes of Manoa or Hawaii Kai, and today still have the highest rates of illiteracy, disease and poverty, and lack the positive self-image and access to human development of one who is born to the conqueror class.

Have some compassion. Just as we struggle with the role of the conqueror class, so the victims struggle with their role. The solution lies with the conqueror class embodying compassion in action and the victim embodying victory. Let's facilitate victory and compassion. If not now, when?

Rob Kinslow
Pauoa

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

Akaka Bill hurts common cause

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the ceded royal lands acquired by the state, with statehood, are for the benefit of all legal residents of the state and not to any subgroup of the population, the Akaka Bill became an anachronism.

In Hawaiian terms, we all became kamaaina, or "sons of the soil." This is a concept uniquely understood by the native Hawaiian population, and misunderstood if interpreted to mean "fee simple land tenure." Consequently, the problem's resolution requires not that we isolate some in the past and free others to create a dominant culture's future, but draw all into relationships that transform sharing of land and access into a 21st century model whenever it has a common ownership status.

I, for one, am working on social models that will use ceded lands to benefit all. This becomes an issue of land use, not ownership. This Akaka Bill legitimizes the use of land, not for the common good, but for the exclusive good of a few. If you pass it, it will have to be ruled unconstitutional given the court's recent unanimous decision. This will merely inflame misunderstandings and alienate cooperation.

The state of Hawaii should make proper use of the land for the common good relying upon traditional Hawaiian common-use principles that would make these benefits manifest for all residents of the state. Hawaii's cultural uniqueness then becomes a benefit for all and an example that might resolve similar problems in other cultures, nations and regions.

Robert Tellander
Honolulu

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090830/NEWS23/908300345/Akaka+bill+opposed+by+civil+rights+panel
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, August 30, 2009

Akaka bill opposed by civil rights panel

By John Windrow
Advertiser Staff Writer

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them not to pass the Akaka bill, which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Opponents of the nine-year-old legislation written by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, which has been revised several times, say the legislation goes against the American principle of equality and opens doors to discrimination on the basis of race.

In 2006, the Civil Rights Commission and the Justice Department under President George W. Bush took similar stands against the Akaka bill.

In its letter released Friday, the Civil Rights Commission said it recommended against passage of the Akaka bill "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."

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, said yesterday, "They're just repeating the same rhetoric they've used before in opposing the bill. Repeating it doesn't make it so."

Supporters of the Akaka bill, Abercrombie said, "are working carefully with the Justice Department and the Obama administration to make sure the bill meets all Constitutional requirements, will be one that Congress can pass and the president can sign when it reaches his desk."

Hawai'i-born Obama has said he will sign the legislation if it is passed.

Abercrombie said, "We're very confident that the bill is being carefully vetted in cooperation with the Department of Justice and will pass any Constitutional test."

The bill would develop a process for organizing a Native Hawaiian government. It would give Native Hawaiians virtually the same rights as those established by many of the nation's 562 American Indian tribes and Native Alaskans.

The bill's opponents — most of them Republicans — have stymied the Akaka bill for years. But now Democrats control Congress.

Also at stake is control over some 1.8 million acres of land that many Native Hawaiians say was taken from them illegally in the United States' annexation of Hawai'i in 1898. The Akaka bill, if it becomes law, would provide for negotiations on the disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.

** Comment by Ken Conklin

Advertiser is spinning this story to suit its own agenda.

Why did Advertiser wait two days to report the story (I already had it on my website Friday)?

And why does this newsrag not allow readers to see the actual letter from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights?

Why are there only a couple sentences paraphrasing what the letter says, instead of actual quotes? Why is nearly the entire "news report" devoted to trying to undermine this important document?

Could it be, because Advertiser lives up to its name and takes millions of dollars in advertising from OHA, Kamehameha Schools, and other pushers of the kaka bill?

Here is the complete letter, on official stationery and showing the six signatures of the civill rights Commissioners. The actual words in the letter are totally devastating to the kaka bill. No wonder Advertiser doesn't want you to know what they said.

http://tinyurl.com/kqt39k

Maybe Advertiser will send me some of the money it gives its highly paid editors.

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/522989.html?nav=18
The Maui News, August 30, 2009

Truth found in history's details

A very aggressive group of history-twisters have been filling Hawaii newspapers, blogs, cable TV shows, radio broadcasts and commemorative events with distortions and outright lies about Hawaii's history.

Mark Twain is reported to have said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." It's easy to say a lie in one or two sentences in a Maui News letter. But it takes many pages to tell what's true and many more pages to prove it.

Propaganda is often written with lively, catchy phrases. Truth and proof are often boring and demand hard work from concerned citizens. I'm asking people to read two things which require time to concentrate and think.

A Web page is entitled "Hawaii Statehood - straightening out the history-twisters. A historical narrative defending the legitimacy of the revolution of 1893, the annexation of 1898, and the statehood vote of 1959." There's a medium-length version with limited details and no proof, but the narrative is easy to follow. And there's a longer version with many details and lots of proof. Both versions are available online at
tinyurl.com/n2zzeo .

A book entitled "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" describes the danger to Hawaii's people if the racism, fascism and thuggery of the Akaka Bill and the Hawaiian sovereignty movement are allowed to go unchecked. Twenty-seven copies are available in the Hawaii Public Library system, and portions can be read for free online at
tinyurl.com/2a9fqa .

Kenneth R. Conklin
Kaneohe

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/guesteditorials/20090831_Akaka_Bill_a_zero-sum_game_not_win-win.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Aug 31, 2009

Akaka Bill a zero-sum game, not 'win-win'

By Tom Macdonald and Bill Burgess

Jon Van Dyke's Aug. 24 "Island Commentary" asserts that passage of the Akaka Bill would be a win-win situation for all the people of Hawaii. Everybody would win. We strongly disagree: It is a zero-sum game, where for every winner there is a loser.
[** Conklin's Note: Van Dyke's article is above, in chronological order **]

The main objective of the bill, according to Rep. Neil Abercrombie, one of its major supporters, is the transfer of land and money from ownership of the state, where it benefits all Hawaii's people, to ownership by a new Hawaiian governing body, where that same land and money would be available to benefit only so-called "native Hawaiians." Every dollar or acre of land transferred to the new governing body would be a dollar less, or an acre less, available for the benefit of everyone in Hawaii. That is a classic zero-sum game, not a "win-win."

Let us focus on just who these "native Hawaiians" are who would benefit under the Akaka Bill. The definition of "native Hawaiian" in the bill is so broad as to be ludicrous. Anyone, living anywhere in the world, with at least one ancestor indigenous to Hawaii before 1778, when Captain Cook and Westerners first arrived in Hawaii, would be eligible to participate in the formation of the new Hawaiian governing body. The vast majority of these people would have less than 2 percent Hawaiian blood and large numbers of them would never even have visited Hawaii. Why should they have higher priority to benefit from state land and money than their next door neighbors who do not have that precious drop of Hawaiian blood?

Professor Van Dyke asserts that the bill would "certainly be found constitutional" and he cites the 1993 Apology Resolution as the foundation for his certainty. But earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all the "whereas" clauses that Professor Van Dyke relies on for his argument had no legal force and effect, and did not change the legal landscape in Hawaii. The court ruled that the Republic ceded absolute title free and clear from any trust or claim whatsoever that arose before 1898, whether from native Hawaiians or any other party.

And Professor Van Dyke fails to mention the real constitutional problem with the Akaka Bill: that the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled in Rice v. Cayetano that the definitions of "Hawaiian" and "native Hawaiian," essentially the same ancestral definition used in the Akaka Bill, are racial classifications. The court ruled that use of ancestry as a test for voting was clearly a proxy for race, and violates the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Akaka Bill calls for elections and referenda in which eligibility to vote is restricted by the same unlawful racial restrictions. The bill will almost certainly be found to be unconstitutional.

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission reached a similar conclusion in 2006: Recommending against passage of the bill 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.

Unfortunately, it will take several years for litigation on the Akaka Bill to pass through the lower courts and reach the U.S. Supreme Court. And during that time, the incipient inter-ethnic conflicts we are already beginning to see in Hawaii will in all likelihood grow significantly, and the ethnic harmony that has been a major benefit of living in Hawaii will be severely frayed, perhaps beyond repair.

Much of Professor Van Dyke's commentary rehashes the now discredited "whereas" clauses of the Apology Resolution. The Akaka Bill purports to provide a "reconciliation." But despite Professor Van Dyke's protestations to the contrary, any "reconciliation" provided by the Akaka Bill will be one-sided and lead to more conflict, not more aloha, in Hawaii.

Tom Macdonald and Bill Burgess are founding directors of Aloha for All, a nonprofit group dedicated to equal rights for all citizens of Hawaii. Macdonald is the retired president of Hawaiian Trust Co.; Burgess is a lawyer who has represented Hawaii plaintiffs in several lawsuits pursuing equal rights.


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

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Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

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