OHA Candidate Keli’i Akina Warns Against Federal Recognition of Native Hawaiians
“There is no tribe -- Only tribal leaders”
News Release from Keli’i Akina Campaign Committee
HONOLULU, Hawaii—June 18, 2014— The executive branch of the federal government has announced that it will conduct hearings on the Department of the Interior’s proposed rules for establishing a “government to government” relationship with Native Hawaiians. Hearings in Hawaii will begin on June 23rd.
According to Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., candidate for Trustee-at-Large in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, “Native Hawaiians have made it clear that they do not support efforts to define them as a tribe or single political entity as can be seen by the extremely low sign-up for the Native Hawaiian Roll.“
Akina continues, “What is really going on is the attempt by a narrow group of political leaders to create a tribe of Native Hawaiians to gain Native American Indian tribal benefits such as control over land and the right to operate casinos and other gambling institutions. Hawaiians are not today and were not during the Kingdom of Hawaii a tribe by federal definition. Hawaiians in the Kingdom of Hawaii were citizens of multiple ethnic backgrounds united together under a Constitutional Monarchy. “
“Tribal recognition by the federal government is a scheme for exploiting Native Hawaiians, and they should be enraged. There is no existing tribe of people to benefit, only self-styled tribal leaders and their political allies, who stand to control growing amounts of land, financial rights and sovereign immunity on that land. Federal creation of a Hawaiian tribal government will adversely affect all people in Hawaii, both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians.”
Akina concludes, “One of the worst consequences of federal creation of a Hawaiians-only tribe will be the dividing of Hawaii into two classes of people based solely upon race. This is a step backward and an affront to the Aloha spirit. If elected, I will work with all my might to protect the unity of all people in Hawaii.”
Keli’i Akina, Ph.D. is an educator, public policy spokesperson and community leader. He is running for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs position of Trustee-at-Large on a platform of “Uniting Hawaii.” All registered voters are eligible to vote in the election of OHA Trustees. Akina’s positions on issues can be found at www.TeamAkina.com.
Keli’i Akina Campaign Committee
PO Box 62312
Honolulu, HI 96839