Thursday, June 02, 2016


Hawai`i Free Press - May 10, 2015 - by Andrew Walden

Its been nearly a year since thousands of native Hawaiians at dozens of public hearings angrily rejected what the Feds called "Procedures to Reestablish a Government-to-Government Relationship with the Native Hawaiian Community."

Now, a different set of rules proposed May 8, 2015 by the US Department of the Interior (DoI), at the urging of Robin Danner's Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, would create a path to federal recognition in three steps:

1) The 1920 Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) provides for "the rehabilitation of native Hawaiians." On page 2 of the proposed rules, the DoI informs readers that "The Department of the Interior interprets the term 'rehabilitation' to include political cultural and social reorganization that would facilitate the stated goals of rehabilitation.(1) By providing a clear process for the Department's review and approval of land exchanges and HHCA amendments, this regulation will further the goals of the HHCA, including rehabilitation." (emphasis added)

2) Page 25-26 of the proposed rules reads, "The Secretary will determine that Congressional approval is required if the proposed amendment ... Allows the use of proceeds and income from the Hawaiian home lands for purposes other than carrying out the provisions of the HHCA...."

3) The Hawaii State legislature then need only enact a bill amending the HHCA to authorize use of Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) funds for the "political reorganization" of native Hawaiians. Under the DoI interpretation outlined on page 2 the bill would be deemed to be in line with the intent of the HHCA. Based on this interpretation, the Secretary of Interior would determine that Congressional approval is unnecessary because the expenditure lies within the purposes of the HHCA. (The Legislature has at least twice approved bills including language authorizing the use of DHHL funds for "rehabilitation" through "political processes.")

The HHCA is written into the Hawaii Admission Act. The Admission Act of a State can only be amended by vote of both the state legislature and the US Congress. It is Congress which has consistently protected native Hawaiians from being turned into a fake Indian tribe by Hawaii's money grubbing politicians. The new DoI interpretation is an attempt to illegally sidestep Congress.

This explains why Robin Danner told the Star-Advertiser May 8, 2015: "We were high-fiving (upon learning the news.) It means the door is open and it can't be shut. This is just the beginning of what I anticipate will be five to six years of rule-making...."