Editorial: Native Hawaiians are not an Indian tribe

"Last Wednesday, the House voted 261-153, with an incredible 39 Republicans in the majority, to approve the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, sponsored by one of Hawaii's two representatives, Democrat Neil Abercrombie.

The other, Democrat Mazie K. Hirono, says: "This is a historic vote and one that helps to perpetuate righteousness by righting a historic wrong."

The bill would essentially classify "native Hawaiians" as the rough equivalent of an American Indian tribe, with similar rights to form a separate governing entity with the power to negotiate with state and federal governments over issues such as control of natural resources, lands and assets.

But under the definition of "tribe" established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, "native Hawaiians do not qualify as a tribe." The people who make up a tribe must be geographically isolated as a group like, say, the Navaho or Cherokee nations.

The 400,000 or so "native Hawaiians" are interspersed among the general populations of all 50 states. And, unlike American Indians, native Hawaiians didn't have their lands taken by force but willingly joined the United States."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Hawaii Oh-Oh (Investor's Business Daily 10/29)

Roll Call:
On Passage: Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act | On Motion to Recommit with Instructions | On Agreeing to the Resolution | On Ordering the Previous Question

Statement of Administration Policy:
H.R. 505 – Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 (October 22, 2007)

Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act:
H.R.505 | S.310

Relevant Links:
Office of Hawaiian Affairs - http://www.oha.org
Native Hawaiian Recognition - http://www.nativehawaiians.com

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