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Governor enacts bill to further self-determination for Native Hawaiians

(Photo courtesy of Hawaii Senate Majority)


Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday signed into law a measure that recognizes Native Hawaiians as the indigenous people of Hawaii.

Act 195 gives the governor the power to appoint a five-member Native Hawaiian Roll Commission that will build the foundation for self-determination.

“This is an important step for the future of Native Hawaiian self-determination and the ability for Native Hawaiians to decide their own future,” Abercrombie said. “This commission will put together the roll of qualified and interested Native Hawaiians who want to help determine the course of Hawaii’s indigenous people.”

Act 195 starts the process that will eventually lead to Native Hawaiian Recognition. While in the U.S. House of Representatives, then-Congressman Abercrombie worked closely with U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka on moving the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which was first introduced in 1999.

In 2000 and 2007, Abercrombie successfully shepherded the legislation through the U.S. House of Representatives committees and won approval by the full House.

Akaka praised the bill signing stating: “The enactment of this bill is yet another example of Hawaii’s ongoing desire to recognize the unique contributions and traditions of the Native people in our state. Native Hawaiian values shape our sense of identity, our sense of aloha for one another, and our sense of what is pono, what is just. This new law complements our efforts in Congress and demonstrates that the people of Hawaii strongly support the right of Native Hawaiians to reorganize and perpetuate their culture and way of life.”

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said: “The passage of this bill by the Legislature and enactment by the Governor will aid our efforts in Washington to recognize the self-determination rights of Native Hawaiians. This parallel course demonstrates a measure of support by the people of Hawaii for the recognition of the native people of this land and will facilitate their efforts toward self-governance. It is right, just, and long overdue.”

Akaka and Inouye originally were scheduled to attend Wednesday’s bill signing in Honolulu, but stayed in Washington, D.C. due to Senate business involving ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.

More than 150 people attended the bill signing ceremony at Washington Place, including groups representing the alii societies and trusts; OHA trustees, Native Hawaiian civic clubs, and state lawmakers.

Abercrombie has 180 days to appoint the five-member Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. The Commission will be responsible for preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians as defined by the Act. The roll is to be used as the basis for participation in the organization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. The Commission is composed of five members, one from each county and one at-large seat. Once its work is completed, the Governor will dissolve the Commission.

“We recognize the special relationship to Native Hawaiians that is part of our public conscience, enshrined in our laws, and entrusted to our leaders,” Abercrombie said. “With the signing of this bill, the State of Hawai’i is closer to the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. As Native Hawaiians rise, all of Hawai’i rises.”

The Office of the Governor will announce the application process for consideration to be named to the Commission later this week.

In addition, Abercrombie has signed into law the following measures:

Senate Bill 1073 increases the amount of a surcharge paid when filing a complaint or an appeal. The increased amounts are to be phased in over time and will be used to increase funding for the Indigent Legal Assistance Fund.

Senate Bill 283 incorporates the definitions and guiding principles of the Hawaii 2050 sustainability plan into the Hawaii state planning act. This will add sustainability as a priority guideline for the state.

Senate Bill 285 requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to implement a mobile medical van telehealth pilot program operated by a qualified provider. It also requires the DHS to assess the implementation of the program at least six months but no later than 12 months after it begins operations.

Senate Bill 1342 requires disabled parking placards to be hung from the front windshield mirror of a vehicle when the placard is in use. It also allows the placard to be displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard if the design of the vehicle’s rearview mirror precludes secure hanging of the placard.

Senate Bill 1153 makes it easier for farmers to get loans and on favorable terms. This will help further agriculture in Hawaii and make farming easier in Hawaii Reduces, the new farmer program loan interest rate.

Senate Bill 281 authorizes the use or rental of division of animal industry property or facilities for commercial purposes; establishes the animal industry special fund; and allows the Department of Agriculture to lease out the quarantine facility at Halawa now that it is not needed and obtain critically needed revenue to fund its activities.

Senate Bill 1025 establishes a new offense of unauthorized entry in a dwelling in the first degree as a class B felony. This bill also repeals the reckless state of mind required for the attendant circumstance that another person was lawfully present in the dwelling at the time of entry; and amends the offense of unauthorized entry in a dwelling by designating it as an unauthorized entry in a dwelling in the second degree.

Senate Bill 742 allows the state fire council to hire a full-time administrator and administrative assistant.

House Bill 605 establishes a reduced ignition propensity cigarette program special fund for the state fire council to administer.

House Bill 227 makes entering or remaining unlawfully on unimproved or unused agricultural lands without permission an offense of criminal trespass in the second degree if the lands are fenced, enclosed, or secured, or a sign is displayed.

Abercrombie continues to review legislative bills that he must either veto or sign into law by July 12.

For more information on Senate Bill 1520:

He Manawa ‘O Nā Kanaka Maoli
A Chronology of Events in the History of the Native Hawaiian People

Puka ke Ao
Humankind is born to Wākea (k) and Papa (w).

c. 300 A.D.
First Kanaka Maoli arrive in Hawai‘i.

c. 1300 A.D.
Polynesian priest Pa‘ao institutes new religion, Kū worship and governance: ali‘i, kāhuna, maka‘āinana and kauwā classes develop.

Jan. 1778
Captain Cook arrives. Cook’s men estimate Kanaka Maoli population at about 400,000. Gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, guns, alcohol and tobacco introduced.

1782 – 1795
Kamehameha I, in continuing battles ending with the Battle of Nu‘uanu, takes control of the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and O‘ahu.

April 1796
An attempted invasion of Kaua‘i by Kamehameha I fails.

April 1810
Kaumuali‘i cedes Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau to Kamehameha I. The Kingdom is unified.

May 8, 1819
Kamehameha I dies; Liholiho becomes Mō‘ī Kamehameha II.

June 1819
The kapu system is abolished.

Mar. 31, 1820
First American Calvinist missionaries arrive.

July 1824
Kamehameha II dies of measles in London.

June 6, 1825
Kauikeaouli, age 11, becomes Mō‘ī Kamehameha III; Ka‘ahumanu is Kuhina Nui.

1825 – 1826
Whooping cough and influenza kill thousands. Kanaka Maoli population at 135,000.

June 1832
Ka‘ahumanu dies. LaPlace forces French Catholicism and wine upon Kanaka Maoli. Leprosy introduced; further reduces population. Kanaka Maoli population now 100,000.

June 7, 1839
Declaration of Rights is issued by King Kamehameha III.

Oct. 8, 1840
First Constitution is proclaimed by King Kamehameha III.

Dec. 19, 1842
The United States recognizes the sovereignty of Hawai‘i.

Feb. 25, 1843
Lord Paulet seizes Hawai‘i for Great Britain.

July 31, 1843
Adm. Thomas restores kingdom’s sovereignty– Lā Ho‘iho‘i Ea (Restoration Day).

Nov. 28, 1843
Treaties recognize independence of Hawai‘i – Lā Kū‘oko‘a (Independence Day).

Diarrhea, influenza and measles break out. Kanaka Maoli population at 85,000.

Mar. 8, 1848
Mahele divides 4 million acres between 250 chiefs and the government.

June 1850
Kuleana Act grants 28,600 acres to 11,000 commoners and allows foreigners to own land

June 14, 1852
Second Constitution enacted.

May 1853
Smallpox kills 7,000; Kanaka Maoli population at 73,000.

Dec. 15, 1854
Kamehameha III dies and is succeeded by Alexander Liholiho as Kamehameha IV.

Measles and whooping cough; Kanaka Maoli population at 70,000.

Nov. 30, 1863
Kamehameha IV dies and Lot Kapuāiwa becomes Mō‘ī Kamehameha V.

Aug. 20, 1864
Kamehameha V declares Third Constitution.

Dec. 11, 1872
Kamehameha V dies; William Lunalilo elected King Lunalilo.

Feb. 3, 1874
King Lunalilo dies; David Kalākaua elected King Kalākaua.

The Trade Reciprocity Treaty with United States is negotiated.

Dec. 1882
‘Iolani Palace completed.

July 7, 1887
Bayonet Constitution forced upon King Kalākaua by all-white Hawaiian League.

Jan. 20, 1891
King Kalākaua dies in San Francisco; Lili‘u Kamaka‘eha becomes Queen Lili‘uokalani.

Jan. 17, 1893
Queen Lili‘uokalani deposed; illegal Provisional Government declared.

Kanaka Maoli population decimated – less than 40,000.

Dec. 18, 1893
President Cleveland’s message to Congress urges restoration of the Queen as sovereign.

July 4, 1894
Attempt at annexation having failed, Republic of Hawai‘i declared without a vote.

Jan. 6, 1895
Attempt by Royalists to restore the Queen is crushed. The Queen and 200 others are jailed. The Queen abdicates under duress to prevent the execution of others.

July 7, 1898
President McKinley signs illegal resolution to annex Hawai‘i to the United States.

June 14, 1900
Organic Act is approved creating the government of the Territory of Hawai‘i. It includes a provision for the appointment of the Governor of Hawai‘i by the U.S. President.

Nov. 1902
Prince Kūhiō elected second Delegate to the U.S. Congress from Hawai‘i.

Oct. 1921
Prince Kūhiō secures passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act by US Congress; 204,000 acres set aside.

Dec. 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor is attacked. Marshal Law is declared; Military Governor takes office.

World War II ends with surrender documents signed on U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Admission Act enacted (March) and Hawai‘i Statehood is proclaimed (August) by U.S. Congress; establishes “ceded lands” trust.

A cultural and political renaissance spurs new initiatives by grassroots organizations for study of the causes of the conditions suffered by Hawaiians and a desire to establish a new State agency or organization which would manage Hawaiian assets and improve welfare of Hawaiian people.

Nov. 7, 1978
New State Constitution is ratified, creating the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

June 7, 1979
Act 196, SLH 1979, enacts Chapter 10, H.R.S., which governs OHA.

June 16, 1980
Act 273, SLH 1980, sets 20% as OHA’s share of the “ceded lands” revenue.

Nov. 1980
The first Trustees of OHA are elected.

June 1991
The State Legislature establishes the Sovereignty Advisory Council (SAC) to “develop a plan to discuss and study the sovereignty issue” and report its findings.

Sep. 1991
Over 30 Kanaka Maoli groups form Hui Na‘auao and receive a U.S. Administration for Native Americans grant for Sovereignty and Self-Determination Education Projects.

Jan. 17, 1993
Onipa‘a! Over 20,000 gather to commemorate the centennial of the Overthrow.

July 1, 1993
Act 359, SLH 1993, establishes the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Commission (HSAC) and proposes a plebiscite asking: “Shall a Hawaiian convention be convened to propose an organic document for the governance of a Hawaiian sovereign nation?”

Nov. 23, 1993
PL 103-150, the “Apology Resolution”, which acknowledges the United States’ role in the illegal usurpation of the Hawaiian government in 1893 and offers an official apology to the Kanaka Maoli, is signed by President William Clinton.

1994 – 1996
In ensuing sessions, the State Legislature renames HSAC the Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council (HSEC), and charges it to hold a plebiscite “to determine the will of the indigenous Hawaiian people to restore a nation of their own choosing,” then extends its term and mandates that it conduct an election for the Native Hawaiian people to exercise their right to self-determination. HSEC carries out the Native Hawaiian Vote of 1996, under which Kanaka Maoli voters are asked the question: Shall the Hawaiian people elect delegates to propose a Native Hawaiian government?”

July 1996
An overwhelming plurality (3 to 1) of the electorate of the Native Hawaiian Vote authorizes the election of delegates to propose a Native Hawaiian government.

1997 – 1999
With the aim of being independent of State control, an initiative named Hā Hawai‘i is formed and carries out the continued process toward Native Hawaiian self-determination.

Jan. 17, 1999
A world-wide election of Kanaka Maoli delegates by Kanaka Maoli voters is held, resulting in the election of 77 delegates to ‘Aha Hawai‘i ‘Ōiwi.

Feb. 23, 2000
In Rice v. Cayetano, the U.S. Supreme Court holds that elections of OHA Trustees by th “Hawaiian only” voters are invalid under the 15 Amendment because they are State-run and not the same as the internal elections of a recognized Native American nation.

July 6, 2011
Governor Abercrombie signs Senate Bill No 1520, of the 2011 Legislative Session. The Native Hawaiian people are officially recognized by the State of Hawai‘i as “the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai‘i” and a Native Hawaiian Roll Commission is authorized to gather an official roll of the Native Hawaiian people. Compiled by H.K. Bruss Keppeler, Esq. Printing underwritten by JTSI, Inc., a Native Hawaiian Organization-owned 8(a) firm.

2 Responses to “Governor enacts bill to further self-determination for Native Hawaiians”

  1. Bronson says:

    How can this Act 195 is law when there is no treaty of Annexation, leaving the United States without authority because they are not the true title holders of the lands?

  2. Bronson says:

    The U.S. Laws does not have any jurisdiction, their jurisdiction has powers only within the boundaries of the United States.. They are interfering with another countries jurisdiction….


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