Alaska-Hawaii ties stir controversy among Natives
Monday, December 1, 2003

Two Native Hawaiian women who grew up in Alaska have generated debate about Alaska's influence on the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

Though their mother was Native Hawaiian and their father white, Robin and Jade Danner were raised in an Inupiat community. They have many relatives and family among the Inupiats.

Those ties helped the sisters create the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. Modeled after the Alaska Federation of Natives, the group receives a large share of its funding from Alaska Native corporate entities. Since its formation in 2001, it has become a leading supports of a bill that would recognize a Native Hawaiian government. AFN also supports the bill.

But critics say the Danner sisters and their group are a front for Alaska's oil industry. Arctic Power, a pro-drilling group, funneled money to the Hawaii to encourage Native Hawaiians not to get involved in the debate over development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Jade was paid by Arctic Power to support drilling, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R) supports the Native Hawaiian bill. But critics say he wants to set up a corporate model like he did for Alaska's Natives. The Danner sisters say they are not close to Stevens.

Get the Story:
Arctic aloha (The Anchorage Daily News 11/30)

Relevant Links:
Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Site -
Native Hawaiians, Department of Interior -
Native Hawaiian Federal Recognition Site -

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