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Opinion
Letter: Native Hawaiians are indigenous too


"The Akaka bill sets up a process for affording Native Hawaiians the same type of limited self-government America has afforded for hundreds of years to Native Americans and for decades to Native Alaskans. There is no possible reason why in a nation that prides itself on justice, fair play, and equal treatment that we would want to treat Native Hawaiians as second class among our indigenous peoples.

The special status of Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people of the United States has been recognized by the Congress for almost 100 years. The document admitting Hawaii to the Union recognizes that status, as do more than 100 Acts of Congress. The Akaka bill simply formalizes the relationship.

This type of recognition has helped preserve the language, identity, and culture of other indigenous peoples of America, and it will help do the same for Native Hawaiians. The Akaka bill has the support of Republicans and Democrats in Hawaii; a 2005 resolution supporting the bill passed the Hawaii legislature with only one no vote, and the bill also has the support of all of Hawaii's mayors and our entire congressional delegation."

Get the Story:
Linda Lingle and Mark Bennett: Native Hawaiians Are an Indigenous People (The Wall Street Journal 8/8)

School Admission Policy Decision:
Doe v. Kamehameha Schools (August 2, 2005)

Rice v. Cayetano Election Rights Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion | Concurrence Dissent (Stevens) | Dissent (Ginsburg)

Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill:
Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S.147)

Relevant Links:
Kamehameha Schools - http://www.ksbe.edu
Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Site - http://www.hawaii-nation.org
Native Hawaiian Federal Recognition Site - http://www.nativehawaiians.com

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