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Saturday, February 25, 2017
HB1297: State-Recognized Indian Tribe for Hawaii
By Andrew Walden @ 7:00 PM :: 2747 Views :: Akaka Bill, OHA


by Andrew Walden

With President Donald J Trump in the White House, some in Hawaii may think themselves safe from the Fake Indian Tribe.

HB1297 “Relating to Hawaiian Sovereignty” proves them wrong.

In spite of zero media attention, HB1297 drew 747 pages of opposition testimony before an House Committee on Oceans, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs (OMH) hearing February 14.  The one and only written testimony in support came from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs “with amendments.”  OHA has pushed for a Tribe ever since the 1999 ouster of the Broken Trustees of Kamehameha Schools.

UPDATE: OHA Testimony as Prepared for Delivery

HB1297 reads: “The State shall support a model of sovereignty and self-governance chosen by the Hawaiian people in a manner that comports with administrative rules and procedures established by the United States Department of the Interior and that complies with federal and state law….  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.”

“(T)hat complies with federal and state law” obviously refers to both Act 195 of 2011, which authorized creation of the Kanaiolowalu Roll, and DOI Rule 43 CFR Part 50 (RIN 1090-AB05) which remains on the books now even as the Obama Administration recedes into history.

“Chosen by the Hawaiian people in a manner that comports with administrative rules and procedures established by the United States Department of the Interior” obviously refers to the DoI rules for a vote on Nai Aupuni ‘Constitution.’

Any material ‘State support’ for the effort to turn Hawaiians into a fake Indian tribe could run counter to the US Supreme Court Rice v Cayetano decision which holds that the State cannot conduct racially discriminatory elections.  Grassroot Institute President Kelii Akina (now an elected OHA Trustee) and others won a December 2, 2015 US Supreme Court injunction against the use of OHA funds to conduct the Nai Aupuni tribal election.

After Kanaiolowalu insiders absconded with millions of OHA dollars set aside to sign Hawaiians up for a tribal “Roll”, the Nai Aupuni Tribe has been unable to raise much private money.  Nai Aupuni dissolved itself in early 2016.  

But who needs material support when the State could simply deem Nai Aupuni constitution ‘approved’ and establish the Nai Aupuni Constitution as the foundation of a State-recognized Fake Indian Tribe—with immunity from State law for criminals--political and otherwise—who wish to dip their beaks and immunity from State environmental, gaming, and land use laws for the favored developers of Tribal leaders.

Verbal testimony from the State Attorney General’s Office and OHA was withheld after OHM Committee Chair Rep Kaniela Ing—himself a Nai Aupuni ‘delegate’--announced "the Chair's intent to defer.”

Opposition testimony included:

Karen Murray: “Please oppose this HB1297 at this time. It is inappropriate and would be seen as yet another attempt to "settle" in a bum's rush all Hawaiian land claims and to steal from Hawaiians yet again.”

Ikaika Hussey:  “In Hawaii’s history we know that the 2.2 million acres of Crown and Government lands are roughly coterminous with the lands utilized by the State of Hawaii. The State of Hawaii thus has an interest in subsuming a Hawaiian entity beneath it, so that it can extinguish native claims to those lands. This bill is a precursor to a massive land grab and settlement.”

Clifford Kapono, Sr.:  “Hawaiians are demanding our valuation of lands in trust(s) and those questionably ceded be clarified by a Native Hawaiian Tribunal and not an extension of any western cognitive process....”

Under legislative rules, ‘deferral’ effectively kills HB1297 for the session.  The content could be ‘scooped’ into a 'Frankenbill’ or the entire bill could theoretically be revived in 2018.

HB1297: Text, Status


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