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Federal Recognition
Column: Native Hawaiian advocates weigh Plan B


"After the thumping defeat of the Akaka Bill in the United States Senate, the State Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is debating �Plan B� methods to create a Hawaiian tribe.

While Senators Dan Inouye (D-HI) and Dan Akaka (D-HI) pledge to bring the Akaka Bill back for a vote next session, a �Nation Building Proposal to the Trustees� published in the HawaiiReporter.com on June 28th indicates that after 6 years of attempts, OHA is no longer going to continue waiting for the Akaka Bill.

Instead, the document, �Hooulu Lahui Aloha �To Raise a Beloved Nation� outlines a non-Akaka strategy patterned on state-recognized Indian tribes.

The OHA document, labeled �draft-confidential�, outlines six steps ending with �convening of a representative governing entity�. These are followed by a seventh step; �Negotiating the transfer of Hawaiian assets to the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity�. An eighth step envisions further efforts to win federal recognition as a tribe. Without federal recognition, the tribal government is unlikely to succeed in shielding Kamehameha schools and other Hawaiians-only entitlements from federal lawsuits alleging racial discrimination. Also there is also no precedent for a state tribe to organize its own legal system as some federal tribes do."

Get the Story:
Andrew Walden: A State-Recognized Indian Tribe for Hawaii? (The Hawaii Reporter 7/10)

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

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

Civil Rights Commission Report:
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (May 2006)

Civil Rights Commission Transcript:
January 20, 2006 Meeting

Relevant Links:
Office of Hawaiian Affairs - http://www.oha.org

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