By Mark Niesse on 29 April 2011 for the Associated Press -
[IB Editor's note: I'd like to know how the illegal entity that is the "State of Hawaii" can register "native Hawaiians" in their future government. The article below goes on to say this process will lead to a "political body overseeing their affairs". What kind of "sovereignty" is this? The article assumes that the Hawaiians have been left out of the great deal North American native people got when they were "recognized". I.m hoping top hear a response from the Hawaiian sovereignty movement on this.]
Image above: It's good to be a Native American but don't drink the white man's firewater. One of a selection of flasks of "Firewater" available on the internet. From (http://www.authentichistory.com/diversity/native/is2-drunk/index.html).
Laying the foundation for a Native Hawaiian government, lawmakers agreed on legislation Friday that grants them recognition as the indigenous people of the state.
The bill starts the process of registering Native Hawaiians for their future government, and it could lead to the formation of a political body overseeing their affairs.
The measure unanimously cleared its conference committee Friday and advances to final votes in the House and Senate next week.
"It's sending a message to the indigenous Native Hawaiian population that we recognize you, and you can do whatever it takes to empower yourselves so that you can achieve self-determination," said Sen. Malama Solomon, D-Hilo-Honokaa.
Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States who haven't been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to many Alaska Natives and Native American tribes.
Federal legislation for Hawaiian recognition hasn't passed despite more than a decade of efforts by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
But this state initiative gives Hawaiians a way to organize themselves and decide on their form of government, without having to wait for Congress to act first. It also may spur the federal government to act.
"It really is fundamentally a very significant step for self-determination for Native Hawaiians," said Clyde Namuo, CEO for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
The bill calls for a five-member commission responsible for creating a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians interested in participating in their government.
Those eligible for the roll include Native Hawaiians and others who have maintained significant cultural, social or civic connections to the Native Hawaiian community.
Once the roll is established, they could hold a convention and create founding documents of their Native Hawaiian nation.
"It restores a modicum of dignity to the first people of these islands, whose kingdom was stolen illegally," said Sen. Clayton Hee, D-Kahuku-Kaneohe.
A previous effort by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, called Kau Inoa, gathered about 110,000 signatures of people showing interest in a Hawaiian governing entity.
The people on the Kau Inoa list could form a starting point for creating the new roll of Native Hawaiians, if they decide to join, Namuo said.
In all, there are about 400,000 Native Hawaiians in the world, with about half of them living in Hawaii.
"The Hawaiian people will have their own destiny they can create for themselves instead of having other people telling them what they need to do," said Rep. Faye Hanohano, D-Pahoa-Kalapana.
Funding of $110,000 over the next two years will be paid by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which will administer the roll commission, Namuo said.
The roll commission would be appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, with one commissioner from each of Hawaii's four main counties along with one at-large commissioner.