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Africa and Aboriginal Tuesdays: Text of H.R.309/S.147: The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005.


Editor's Note. The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 was introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka and is now clear for a vote by the full Senate. The stated purpose of H.R.309/S.147 is to allow for the establishment and recognition of an indigenous governing body to service Native Hawaiians. Review the text of Act and read the related articles we have posted in our News Section.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds that--

(1) the Constitution vests Congress with the authority to address the conditions of the indigenous, native people of the United States;

(2) Native Hawaiians, the native people of the Hawaiian archipelago that is now part of the United States, are indigenous, native people of the United States;

(3) the United States has a special political and legal responsibility to promote the welfare of the native people of the United States, including Native Hawaiians;

(4) under the treaty making power of the United States, Congress exercised its constitutional authority to confirm treaties between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii, and from 1826 until 1893, the United States--

(A) recognized the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaii;

(B) accorded full diplomatic recognition to the Kingdom of Hawaii; and

(C) entered into treaties and conventions with the Kingdom of Hawaii to govern commerce and navigation in 1826, 1842, 1849, 1875, and 1887;

(5) pursuant to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 (42 Stat. 108, chapter 42), the United States set aside approximately 203,500 acres of land to address the conditions of Native Hawaiians in the Federal territory that later became the State of Hawaii;

(6) by setting aside 203,500 acres of land for Native Hawaiian homesteads and farms, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act assists the members of the Native Hawaiian community in maintaining distinct native settlements throughout the State of Hawaii;

(7) approximately 6,800 Native Hawaiian families reside on the Hawaiian Home Lands and approximately 18,000 Native Hawaiians who are eligible to reside on the Hawaiian Home Lands are on a waiting list to receive assignments of Hawaiian Home Lands;

(8)(A) in 1959, as part of the compact with the United States admitting Hawaii into the Union, Congress established a public trust (commonly known as the `ceded lands trust'), for 5 purposes, 1 of which is the betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiians;

(B) the public trust consists of lands, including submerged lands, natural resources, and the revenues derived from the lands; and

(C) the assets of this public trust have never been completely inventoried or segregated;

(9) Native Hawaiians have continuously sought access to the ceded lands in order to establish and maintain native settlements and distinct native communities throughout the State;

(10) the Hawaiian Home Lands and other ceded lands provide an important foundation for the ability of the Native Hawaiian community to maintain the practice of Native Hawaiian culture, language, and traditions, and for the survival and economic self-sufficiency of the Native Hawaiian people;

(11) Native Hawaiians continue to maintain other distinctly native areas in Hawaii;

(12) on November 23, 1993, Public Law 103-150 (107 Stat. 1510) (commonly known as the `Apology Resolution') was enacted into law, extending an apology on behalf of the United States to the native people of Hawaii for the United States' role in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii;

(13) the Apology Resolution acknowledges that the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii occurred with the active participation of agents and citizens of the United States and further acknowledges that the Native Hawaiian people never directly relinquished to the United States their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people over their national lands, either through the Kingdom of Hawaii or through a plebiscite or referendum;

(14) the Apology Resolution expresses the commitment of Congress and the President--

(A) to acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii;

(B) to support reconciliation efforts between the United States and Native Hawaiians; and

(C) to consult with Native Hawaiians on the reconciliation process as called for in the Apology Resolution;

(15) despite the overthrow of the government of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Native Hawaiians have continued to maintain their separate identity as a distinct native community through cultural, social, and political institutions, and to give expression to their rights as native people to self-determination, self-governance, and economic self-sufficiency;

(16) Native Hawaiians have also given expression to their rights as native people to self-determination, self-governance, and economic self-sufficiency--

(A) through the provision of governmental services to Native Hawaiians, including the provision of--

(i) health care services;

(ii) educational programs;

(iii) employment and training programs;

(iv) economic development assistance programs;

(v) children's services;

(vi) conservation programs;

(vii) fish and wildlife protection;

(viii) agricultural programs;

(ix) native language immersion programs;

(x) native language immersion schools from kindergarten through high school;

(xi) college and master's degree programs in native language immersion instruction;

(xii) traditional justice programs, and

(B) by continuing their efforts to enhance Native Hawaiian self-determination and local control;

(17) Native Hawaiians are actively engaged in Native Hawaiian cultural practices, traditional agricultural methods, fishing and subsistence practices, maintenance of cultural use areas and sacred sites, protection of burial sites, and the exercise of their traditional rights to gather medicinal plants and herbs, and food sources;

(18) the Native Hawaiian people wish to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations of Native Hawaiians their lands and Native Hawaiian political and cultural identity in accordance with their traditions, beliefs, customs and practices, language, and social and political institutions, to control and manage their own lands, including ceded lands, and to achieve greater self-determination over their own affairs;

(19) this Act provides a process within the framework of Federal law for the Native Hawaiian people to exercise their inherent rights as a distinct, indigenous, native community to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity for the purpose of giving expression to their rights as native people to self-determination and self-governance;

(20) Congress--

(A) has declared that the United States has a special responsibility for the welfare of the native peoples of the United States, including Native Hawaiians;

(B) has identified Native Hawaiians as a distinct group of indigenous, native people of the United States within the scope of its authority under the Constitution, and has enacted scores of statutes on their behalf ; and

(C) has delegated broad authority to the State of Hawaii to administer some of the United States' responsibilities as they relate to the Native Hawaiian people and their lands;

(21) the United States has recognized and reaffirmed the special political and legal relationship with the Native Hawaiian people through the enactment of the Act entitled, `An Act to provide for the admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union', approved March 18, 1959 (Public Law 86-3; 73 Stat. 4), by--

(A) ceding to the State of Hawaii title to the public lands formerly held by the United States, and mandating that those lands be held as a public trust for 5 purposes, 1 of which is for the betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiians; and

(B) transferring the United States' responsibility for the administration of the Hawaiian Home Lands to the State of Hawaii, but retaining the authority to enforce the trust, including the exclusive right of the United States to consent to any actions affecting the lands that comprise the corpus of the trust and any amendments to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 (42 Stat. 108, chapter 42) that are enacted by the legislature of the State of Hawaii affecting the beneficiaries under the Act;

(22) the United States has continually recognized and reaffirmed that--

(A) Native Hawaiians have a cultural, historic, and land-based link to the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who exercised sovereignty over the Hawaiian Islands;

(B) Native Hawaiians have never relinquished their claims to sovereignty or their sovereign lands;

(C) the United States extends services to Native Hawaiians because of their unique status as the indigenous, native people of a once-sovereign nation with whom the United States has a political and legal relationship; and

(D) the special trust relationship of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians to the United States arises out of their status as aboriginal, indigenous, native people of the United States; and

(23) the State of Hawaii supports the reaffirmation of the political and legal relationship between the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the United States as evidenced by 2 unanimous resolutions enacted by the Hawaii State Legislature in the 2000 and 2001 sessions of the Legislature and by the testimony of the Governor of the State of Hawaii before the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate on February 25, 2003.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) ABORIGINAL, INDIGENOUS, NATIVE PEOPLE- The term `aboriginal, indigenous, native people' means people whom Congress has recognized as the original inhabitants of the lands that later became part of the United States and who exercised sovereignty in the areas that later became part of the United States.

(2) ADULT MEMBER- The term `adult member' means a Native Hawaiian who has attained the age of 18 and who elects to participate in the reorganization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity.

(3) APOLOGY RESOLUTION- The term `Apology Resolution' means Public Law 103-150, (107 Stat. 1510), a Joint Resolution extending an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the participation of agents of the United States in the January 17, 1893, overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

(4) COMMISSION- The term `commission' means the Commission established under section 7(b) to provide for the certification that those adult members of the Native Hawaiian community listed on the roll meet the definition of Native Hawaiian set forth in paragraph (8).

(5) COUNCIL- The term `council' means the Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council established under section 7(c)(2).

(6) INDIGENOUS, NATIVE PEOPLE- The term `indigenous, native people' means the lineal descendants of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people of the United States.

(7) INTERAGENCY COORDINATING GROUP- The term `Interagency Coordinating Group' means the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group established under section 6.

(8) NATIVE HAWAIIAN- For the purpose of establishing the roll authorized under section 7(c)(1) and before the reaffirmation of the political and legal relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian governing entity, the term `Native Hawaiian' means--

(A) an individual who is one of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii and who is a direct lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who--

(i) resided in the islands that now comprise the State of Hawaii on or before January 1, 1893; and

(ii) occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian archipelago, including the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii; or

(B) an individual who is one of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii and who was eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (42 Stat. 108, chapter 42) or a direct lineal descendant of that individual.

(9) NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNING ENTITY- The term `Native Hawaiian Governing Entity' means the governing entity organized by the Native Hawaiian people pursuant to this Act.

(10) OFFICE- The term `Office' means the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations established by section 5(a).

(11) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. 4. UNITED STATES POLICY AND PURPOSE.

(a) Policy- The United States reaffirms that--

(1) Native Hawaiians are a unique and distinct, indigenous, native people with whom the United States has a special political and legal relationship;

(2) the United States has a special political and legal relationship with the Native Hawaiian people which includes promoting the welfare of Native Hawaiians;

(3) Congress possesses the authority under the Constitution, including but not limited to Article I, section 8, clause 3, to enact legislation to address the conditions of Native Hawaiians and has exercised this authority through the enactment of--

(A) the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 (42 Stat. 108, chapter 42);

(B) the Act entitled `An Act to provide for the admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union', approved March 18, 1959 (Public Law 86-3, 73 Stat. 4); and

(C) more than 150 other Federal laws addressing the conditions of Native Hawaiians;

(4) Native Hawaiians have--

(A) an inherent right to autonomy in their internal affairs;

(B) an inherent right of self-determination and self-governance;

(C) the right to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity; and

(D) the right to become economically self-sufficient; and

(5) the United States shall continue to engage in a process of reconciliation and political relations with the Native Hawaiian people.

(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to provide a process for the reorganization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the reaffirmation of the political and legal relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian governing entity for purposes of continuing a government-to-government relationship.

SEC. 5. UNITED STATES OFFICE FOR NATIVE HAWAIIAN RELATIONS.

(a) Establishment- There is established within the Office of the Secretary, the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations.

(b) Duties- The Office shall--

(1) continue the process of reconciliation with the Native Hawaiian people in furtherance of the Apology Resolution;

(2) upon the reaffirmation of the political and legal relationship between the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the United States, effectuate and coordinate the special political and legal relationship between the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the United States through the Secretary, and with all other Federal agencies;

(3) fully integrate the principle and practice of meaningful, regular, and appropriate consultation with the Native Hawaiian governing entity by providing timely notice to, and consulting with, the Native Hawaiian people and the Native Hawaiian governing entity before taking any actions that may have the potential to significantly affect Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands;

(4) consult with the Interagency Coordinating Group, other Federal agencies, the Governor of the State of Hawaii and relevant agencies of the State of Hawaii on policies, practices, and proposed actions affecting Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands; and

(5) prepare and submit to the Committee on Indian Affairs and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives an annual report detailing the activities of the Interagency Coordinating Group that are undertaken with respect to the continuing process of reconciliation and to effect meaningful consultation with the Native Hawaiian governing entity and providing recommendations for any necessary changes to Federal law or regulations promulgated under the authority of Federal law.

SEC. 6. NATIVE HAWAIIAN INTERAGENCY COORDINATING GROUP.

(a) Establishment- In recognition that Federal programs authorized to address the conditions of Native Hawaiians are largely administered by Federal agencies other than the Department of the Interior, there is established an interagency coordinating group to be known as the `Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group'.

(b) Composition- The Interagency Coordinating Group shall be composed of officials, to be designated by the President, from--

(1) each Federal agency that administers Native Hawaiian programs, establishes or implements policies that affect Native Hawaiians, or whose actions may significantly or uniquely impact Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands; and

(2) the Office.

(c) Lead Agency-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Department of the Interior shall serve as the lead agency of the Interagency Coordinating Group.

(2) MEETINGS- The Secretary shall convene meetings of the Interagency Coordinating Group.

(d) Duties- The Interagency Coordinating Group shall--

(1) coordinate Federal programs and policies that affect Native Hawaiians or actions by any agency or agencies of the Federal Government that may significantly or uniquely affect Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands;

(2) ensure that each Federal agency develops a policy on consultation with the Native Hawaiian people, and upon the reaffirmation of the political and legal relationship between the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the United States, consultation with the Native Hawaiian governing entity; and

(3) ensure the participation of each Federal agency in the development of the report to Congress authorized in section 5(b)(5).

H.R.309 sponsored in the House by Rep. Neil Abercrombie [HI]

House co-sponsors are the following:
Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo [GU]
Rep. Ed Case [HI-2]
Rep. Eni F. H. Faleomavaega [AS]
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva[AZ-7]
Rep. James P. Moran[VA-8]
Rep. Nick J. Rahall II [WV-3]
Rep. Don Young [AK]



S.147 sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka[HI]

Senate Co-Sponsors are the following:
Sen. Maria Cantwell[WA]
Sen. Norm Coleman [MN]
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye [HI]
Sen. Lisa Murkowski [AK]
Sen. Gordon H. Smith [OR]





Tuesday, March 29, 2005

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