WE THE UNDERSIGNED OPPOSE the Akaka bill, (HB.862, HB.1711, HB.2314, SB.381, SB.708, SB.1011) otherwise known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 because -
Hawaiians are not an American tribe. We are not “Native Americans.”
Hawaiians are people of islands far removed from the North American continent. Hawaiians are in fact an inclusive group consisting of diverse peoples of many races and ethnic backgrounds.
The Akaka bill is being put forth without input or consent of the people of Hawai`i which would allow those affected to present testimony on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.
In 2000 only two days of hearings were held on O`ahu island. All other hearings were cancelled.
The current and past bills addressing the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians to provide a process of recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity were subsequently redrafted and amendments were added with no input or testimony from Hawaiians.
No hearings have ever been held in Hawai`i on the current legislation before the 2009 or 2010 Congress.
The Hawaiian people seek the right to a fair and democratic process that includes hearings on these bills throughout the islands that comprise the state of Hawai`i.
For 10 years, Hawaiians have requested that island wide hearings be rescheduled so that the hundreds of Hawaiians who want to testify can be included and their concerns heard.
The current effort being pursued in the United States Congress violates the most fundamental principles of democracy and human rights.
The Administration of President Barrack Obama came to office promising open government dedicated to truth and justice for all peoples.
We call upon the Obama Administration and the Congress to fulfill that commitment.
We call for Congressional committees to hold hearings on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act in Hawai`i to provide Hawaiians their right to make their views and opinions known.
In contrast to the Akaka bill, we demand a free, fair, impartial "Lahui" process of self-determination to decide what form of reconciliation is acceptable to the majority.
THEREFORE WE THE UNDERSIGNED STRONGLY OPPOSE the Akaka bill in any of its forms (HB.862, HB.1711, HB.2314, SB.381, SB.708, SB.1011,) until Congressional hearings are scheduled and held in Hawai`i on all islands, and in all states on the US continent where a significant population of Hawaiians reside,
in order to provide them the right to a democratic fair, free, and impartial process of self-determination and to empower them with the ability to determine the culturally appropriate mechanism for their own self-governance and future.