Akaka Bill steals sovereignty

SUBHEAD: The upcoming senate bill, if passed, will be the final defeat of the Hawaiian people by the America Empire. By Juan Wilson on 14 March 2010 for Island Breath - (http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2010/03/akaka-bill-steals-sovereignty.html) Image above: Painting, by Herb Kane, of "The Battle of Nuuanu" that signaled the defeat of the independent kingdom of Ohau by Kamehameha with backing of Ango-American forces. From (http://www.herbkanestudio.com/gallery/ancient_hawaii/the_battle_at_nuuanu_pali.html) Today the headline in the Garden Island News is "Native Hawaiians poised to earn federal recognition". What a load. This Associated Press story (see below) touts all the money and lands that will flow to native Hawaiians once the Akaka Bill passes the US Senate. The story never mentions that condition that must be met to receive all these treasures from the US government is the abandonment of any claim of real sovereignty. As has been amply proved on the mainland, The US government's Native American Indian status has proved to be an insult to human dignity. The management of Indian reservations by the Interior Department has been a criminal operation from the get-go. Few native Americans live on the land their culture was founded on. They live in the concentration camps they were forced to inhabit. Even those still living on their land of origin (like the Seneca) are reduced to operating highway convenient stores selling cheap cigarettes and gasoline or running bingo halls. The Akaka Bill is supported by an odd assortment. Those who want further claims of Hawaii independence ended. Those who support casino gambling in Hawaii. Those "Hawaiians who see a windfall of profits in land development. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, who, as a department of the State of Hawaii, will inherit additional powers. Others oppose the Akaka Bill because it "gives" too much to the Hawaiians. This includes the Lingle Administration and many non-native Hawaiians (largely those with American or Japanese heritage, with business interests). The Hawaiian independent sovereignty groups do not support the Akaka Bill, but for the opposite reasons. If you read the historical record you will realize that the State of Hawaii, and its agencies are not the legitimate government of Hawaii, and that Hawaii was illegally annexed by the United States after overthrowing it's legitimate government in 1893. The Akaka Bill forces the native Hawaiian people to accept a final defeat at the hands of America. See also: Ea O Ka Aina: Akaka Bill raises stakes 12/23/09 Island Breath: Hawaiian Nation - Part One 4/25/08 Island Breath: Hawaiian Nation - Part Two 4/30/08
Native Hawaiians poised to earn federal recognition By Mark Niesse on 13 March 2010 for the Associated Press - (http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/state-and-regional/article_5ad29daa-2f43-11df-ac93-001cc4c002e0.html) Their kingdom long ago overthrown, Native Hawaiians seeking redress are closer than they’ve ever been to reclaiming a piece of Hawai‘i.

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States that hasn’t been allowed to establish its own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and 564 Native American tribes.

With a final vote pending in the U.S. Senate and Hawai‘i-born President Barack Obama on their side, the nation’s 400,000 Native Hawaiians could earn federal recognition as soon as this month — and the land, money and power that comes with it. The measure passed the U.S. House last month.

Many Native Hawaiians believe this process could help right the wrongs perpetuated since their kingdom was overthrown in 1893. They also point to the hundreds of thousands who died from diseases spread by foreign explorers before the kingdom fell.

Native Hawaiians never fully assimilated after the first Europeans arrived in 1778: They earn less money, live shorter lives, get sent to prison more often and are more likely to end up homeless than other ethnicities, said Clyde Namuo, CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the state-funded agency founded to improve the conditions of Native Hawaiians.

“It’s about correcting the injustice,” Namuo said. “When you look very closely at the numbers — prison, health, wealth, education — we are not at the level that our colonizers are at.”

However, just what Native Hawaiians would receive if the federal recognition measure passes Congress is uncertain. The bill sets up negotiations between a new Native Hawaiian government, the state of Hawai‘i and the federal government, but it doesn’t specify what resources Native Hawaiians would receive.

Namuo said he hopes the lives of Native Hawaiians would be improved if they had more control of their own destiny.

A disproportionate share of Native Hawaiians find themselves homeless, huddled beneath plastic tarps in beach camps or living in shelters. Native Hawaiians make up 28 percent of the state’s homeless who received outreach services, while accounting for about 20 percent of the population, according to last year’s report by the University of Hawai‘i Center on the Family.

“It’s been far too long for the Hawaiian people to be suffering,” said Bert Beaman, a Hawaiian who lives at Keaau Beach Park. “Whatever Hawaiians can get, get it and be grateful.”

Opponents of the legislation say it would give Native Hawaiians special treatment at the expense of other taxpayers. One study commissioned by a group opposed to a Native Hawaiian government predicted it would cost $343 million a year in lost tax revenue if 25 percent of the state’s lands were transferred.

“It is not the role of government to try and make up for past wrongs,” said Jamie Story, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawai‘i, which promotes free markets and small government.

Supporters view the proposal as a way to provide reconciliation to the Hawaiian people that was urged in the 1993 Apology Resolution, in which Congress acknowledged the United States’ role in the Hawaiian Kingdom’s overthrow 100 years earlier.

They hope Native Hawaiians could eventually get greater access to affordable housing, their own culturally focused education system, health centers and full-time jobs that would include teaching hula or Hawaiian language if the bill passes.

“Things would get better for Hawaiians,” said Jade Danner, vice president of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “When Native Hawaiians are truly empowered to make their own decisions, it’s not that we’ll make better decisions than anybody else. It’s that we know our communities and we know what will work.”

Others are skeptical, including some of the homeless, who wonder whether any of these changes would help them.

“I don’t think it’s going to be enough. Even if we get money, the homeless still need more help after living on the beach for so long,” said Alice Greenwood, who lives in transitional housing.

The amount of money and land at stake could be substantial.

About $338 million is held in trust for Native Hawaiians by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. In addition, University of Hawai‘i law professor Jon Van Dyke, who wrote “Who Owns the Crown Lands of Hawai‘i?”, said a Hawaiian government should receive about 1 million acres — about 20 percent of the state’s land mass that was once monarchy property.

How the trust money and land would be used is a big question, said Kaulana Park, chairman of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, which provides housing to Native Hawaiians on former kingdom lands.

“Where that goes nobody knows, whether it’s housing, economic development or health,” Park said. “The first hurdle is to get it passed.”

A majority of Native Hawaiians favor this process of federal recognition, Namuo said. But it is opposed by pro-independence groups who want the Hawaiian kingdom restored.

About 109,000 Native Hawaiians have registered for Kau Inoa, a signature drive run by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to establish a list of voters who would be eligible for elections associated with a Native Hawaiian government entity.

A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai‘i, said the legislation could reach the Senate floor this month, but because of other national priorities, Akaka’s goal is to get the vote by August.

“This is the moment of truth,” said Van Dyke. “I’m optimistic that we’re going to see it passed, and then it will be exciting to see what happens,” Van Dyke said.


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