Opinion: Native Hawaiians are indigenous people

"The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, or Akaka Bill, has been wildly mischaracterized and misinterpreted since its passage by the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 24, nowhere more so than in George Will's recent column ("Tribal politics," Nov. 29 and PghTrib.com).

Mr. Will claimed that under the bill, "Native Hawaiians would be members of a new 'tribe' conjured into existence by Congress."

As the House and Senate sponsors of the legislation, we can assure you that our bill conjures into existence no new "tribes."

Rather, it acknowledges the historic fact that Native Hawaiians were on their land centuries before anyone from the United States ever came ashore and allows the federal government to recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people of the United States, very much like Native Americans or Alaska natives."

Get the Story:
Sen. Daniel K. Akaka and Rep. Neil Abercrombie: Hawaii's 'tribal' politics (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 12/9)

More Opinions:
Authur E. Lemay: The Nonsensical Akaka Bill (The Hawaii Reporter 12/7)
Elaine Willman: Setting the Record Straight on the Small Business Hawaii Debate Over the Akaka Bill (The Hawaii Reporter 12/7)

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

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)

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

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