Feds Lay Out ‘Pathway’ To Native Hawaiian Self-Governance

Today is a major step forward in the reconciliation process between Native Hawaiians and the United States that began over 20 years ago,” Jewell said in a statement. “We are proud to announce this final rule that respects and supports self-governance for Native Hawaiians, one of our nation’s largest indigenous communities.”

The development was welcomed by supporters of federal recognition of Hawaiians, but rejected by others who say Hawaiians should instead seek restoration of full independence.

Hawaii was a kingdom until 1893, when it was overthrown by local, white business interests with the support of the United States. Annexation followed in 1898 and statehood in 1959.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the quasi-state agency that advocates for native beneficiaries, was among those applauding the DOI’s announcement.

Native Hawaiians have been the only major indigenous group in the 50 states without a process for establishing a government-to-government relationship with the federal government,” said OHA Board of Trustees Chair Robert Lindsey Jr., who considers the action recognition of indigenous rights. “This rule finally remedies this injustice.”

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