by Andrew Walden
Dan Inouye’s Akaka Bill sneak attack was smacked down in December, 2009 and again in December, 2010—but he’s back for one more try.
Inouye’s latest version of the Akaka Bill popped up October 14. It is a single paragraph. Buried on page 124 in a proposed Senate Appropriations Committee draft bill for “Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations” it comes just after “Extension of Grazing Permits”:
SEC. 420. Now and hereafter, in exercise of the authority delegated under sections 441, 442, 463 and 465 of the Revised Statutes (43 U.S.C. 1457, 25 U.S.C. 2 and 9), the community recognized by and enrolled pursuant to Act 195 (26th Haw. Leg. Sess. (2011)) may be recognized and listed under section 104 of Public Law 103–454 but not entitled to programs and services available to entities thereunder unless a statute governing such a program or service expressly provides otherwise.
Section 104 of Public Law 103-454, also known as the “Federally Recognized Indian Tribe Act of 1994” requires the Secretary of the Interior to maintain a list of Federally Recognized Indian Tribes.
Act 195 created a five-member commission—now headed by gambling advocate, Clinton Asian Money Scandal player, and Broken Trust figure John Waihee--to enroll “Qualified” native Hawaiian constituents according to a long list of criteria which exclude about 73% of native Hawaiians.
Steven Duffield, former Chief Counsel to Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) told Hawaii Reporter October 24:
"For many years, the Akaka Bill advocates insisted that the law would just allow a process for those of 'Native Hawaiian' blood to decide a path forward. That was always a farce, and this new provision proves it. The appropriations language would lead to only one result: Native Hawaiians becoming an Indian tribe, with all the public expense and jurisdictional nightmares that go with that status."
Inouye’s version, in conjunction with Act 195, creates an instant Indian tribe with no restriction on the right to claim legal jurisdiction and exclude state law enforcement over its members. It was these characteristics, introduced beginning with the 2009 version of the Akaka Bill, which forced long-time Akaka Bill supporters Governor Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett to reverse their stance and come out in opposition.
When native Hawaiian protesters accused Inouye of trying to sneak the Akaka Bill into a 2009 defense appropriations bill, Inouye called the allegation “nonsensical” and claimed the process for the Akaka Bill “has been fully transparent.” Senator Akaka told reporters: "It is very frustrating that opponents intentionally seek to spread misinformation about the bill. This should call their credibility into question once again." But two years later the Star-Advertiser headline is: “Akaka OKs Native Hawaiian recognition strategy.”
In the text of his statement Thursday, October 27 to a convention of the Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Akaka told convention-goers: “As a result of the enrollment process which is already beginning under Act 195, I am now reviewing my bill and looking for ways to streamline it.”
Akaka didn’t see fit to mention that his bill had two weeks earlier been “streamlined” down to a single paragraph and slipped in right after Grazing Permits by Senator “Transparency”.
The only thing that is “transparent” is the admission by Akaka Gang leaders that the Akaka Tribe is not a tribe. Hawaiians are not and never have been tribal.
Inouye’s one-paragraph Akaka Bill refers to a ”community”, not a tribe. This follows several months of candid admissions by Akaka Gang leaders. The Star-Advertiser editorialized July 11:
…passing the state law is, in fact, a declaration spoken through representative government, codification of a longstanding majority position that Native Hawaiians represent Hawaii's "first nation," that regardless of the nontribal organization of the Hawaiian kingdom, they are as deserving of recognition as indigenous people as any tribe or Native Alaskan corporation….
…becoming a "qualified Native Hawaiian" eligible for the roll also means a person has maintained "a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community and wishes to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian government entity."
This definition is a more recent variant, and an improvement on purely race-based criteria. National identity should require some cultural affinity; it's the bond that holds people together and help sustain the process of government-making through its inevitable conflict.
The Hawaii Tribune Herald July 17 explains:
Maui Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, said the effort was intended to create a political distinction, rather than a racial one. "If you look at the (Hawaiian recognition) bills, it was capital-N "Native Hawaiian" rather than the small-N "native Hawaiian," which deals more with blood quanta, Keith-Agaran said. "We stayed away from the 50 percent or whatever blood quantum" requirements that appear elsewhere.
Sen. Malama Solomon, an Akaka Gang leader, self-described “friend” of the Big Island’s largest methamphetamines importer, and gambling advocate recently busted for bulldozing Hawaiian archaeological sites, explained July 1: “Hawaiians are very different from the American tribes; we had a kingdom that was recognized by the United States and many other nations around the world before the overthrow.”
Solomon made similar comments in today’s Star-Advertiser:
Hawaiians belonged to a kingdom, not an Indian tribe, so it has been difficult to fit Hawaiians into federal Indian policy for purposes of recognition.
"This is really a unification bill," she said of the state law. "It will start to really identify the nation, because in all of our conversations about sovereignty and self-governance, that is the entity that has been missing, in terms of recognizing who the nation is. And I think that this bill would bring a lot of that to rest."
And who will be in charge of deciding which Hawaiians are “qualified”? Akamai readers will of course instantly recognize Waihee as the author of a 1995 proposal to relocate the Broken Trust Bishop Estate Headquarters to the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. Instead of moving to an Indian Reservation the Broken Trust gang is trying to assemble an Indian reservation around themselves. Waihee is in charge of ensuring that only politically trustworthy cronies are deemed “qualified.”
Now, with a single paragraph slipped into page 124 of an 181 page bill, Senator Dan Inouye is attempting to trick Congress into ratifying the entire scheme. And once again, Hawaii is depending on Republican Senators to save us from our own Congressional Delegation.