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Kāko‘o: DOI rule to strengthen lāhui opportunities

From State of Hawaii, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, October 19, 2015

We are happy to provide helpful tools that we can use to garner support for a longstanding, crucial lāhui goal: Establishing an option for a Native Hawaiian government to achieve a government-to-government relationship with the U.S.

Our website allows you to effortlessly submit a preloaded supportive comment to the DOI. This is the easiest and fastest way to make your support for Native Hawaiian self-determination known, and it’s an action you can take right now. To get started, please visit

However, if you are able to take the extra time to generate your own comments, we’d like to suggest that you wait to see our OHA comment that will be posted when it is prepared. A summary highlighting the key points in the OHA comment will also be provided, which we hope will be helpful as you write your own comments.

Please encourage your ‘ohana and friends to submit supportive comments to the DOI by January 1.

  *   *   *   *   *

DOI rule to strengthen lāhui opportunities

A DOI rule that a Native Hawaiian government could use to create a formal government-to-government relationship with the U.S. would offer our lāhui a greater role in determining our future—for our lands, our people, our culture

How would establishing a government-to-government relationship with the U.S. create positive opportunities for our lāhui?

1. A Native Hawaiian government can use the rule to establish itself in an authoritative position that the U.S. must take seriously.

  • Our government will be the official voice of our lāhui (as compared to being viewed as a Native Hawaiian Organization [NHO]).
  • The U.S. will be compelled to address the issues brought forth by our government (as compared to just consulting or listening to NHOs).

2. The DOI rule provides our government—if it chooses—an opportunity to use its authoritative role to seek improved:

  • Natural resource stewardship
  • Health and well-being
  • Educational outcomes
  • Political influence
  • Economic opportunities
  • Cultural vibrancy
  • Progress in seeking redress in international venues for Native Hawaiian claims

What positive results would come from simply establishing a DOI rule for Native Hawaiians (regardless of whether our Native Hawaiian government chooses to utilize that pathway)?

1.  A rule would reaffirm that Native Hawaiians are a political (not racial) community that has a special legal and political status. Such reaffirmation would strengthen protections against legal threats to programs and entitlements that benefit Native Hawaiians.

2. The establishment of a DOI rule would offer Native Hawaiians what every major group of people indigenous to the U.S. enjoy: A means to establish a government-to-government relationship with the U.S.

What can the DOI rule NOT do?

The draft rule does NOT harm the claims of the Native Hawaiian people. The draft rule clarifies the U.S.’ commitment that the rule “would not undermine the fundamental, retained inherent sovereign powers of a reorganized Native Hawaiian government” (p. 31).

What can YOU do?

1. Provide comments on the DOI website in support of the draft DOI rule with amendments for improvements as being forwarded by numerous Hawaiian leaders.

2. Or show your support by filling out the form below....

link ... State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs Indian Tribe Page


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