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Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Full Text: OHA, DHHL, Politicians Comment on Proposed Federal Indian Tribe Rule
By Andrew Walden @ 11:46 PM :: 6723 Views :: Akaka Bill, DHHL, OHA


News Release from DHHL, September 29, 2015

KAPOLEI, HAWAII – The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) proposed rule on procedures for re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community protects the rights of our Hawaiian Homes beneficiaries and is a very important proposal for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), beneficiaries, and the native Hawaiian community.

The DHHL is carefully reviewing the details of the Interior Department’s proposal and will be submitting comments on the issues outlined therein.

We highly encourage our Hawaiian Homes beneficiaries to remain engaged in this Federal rulemaking process and to submit their comments on the proposed rule.

Public comments will be accepted for the next 90 days. Comments can be submitted via email at; online at no. DOI-2015-0005); or by U.S. mail/hand delivery to the Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7228, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC 20240.

The DOI will also be hosting four teleconferences to discuss the proposed rules. Teleconference details can be found on page 6 of the DOI FAQs (see link below).

To comment or for more information, visit the following links found on the Interior Department’s website:

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OHA applauds proposed DOI rule


News Release from OHA, September 29, 2015

“Today is a momentous day for our Native Hawaiian community. This rule shows the Obama Administration’s commitment to Hawaiians and other native people by supporting self-governance for the Native Hawaiian Community. While the United States has long supported Hawaiians as a native people, this proposed rule addresses an injustice by allowing Native Hawaiians to receive the benefits of a government-to-government relationship that has been denied them. It is clear the Department of the Interior agrees it will be the Native Hawaiian community – and not the federal government – that would decide whether to organize a Native Hawaiian government, and whether that government would seek to pursue a relationship with the United States. OHA encourages the public, especially Native Hawaiians to comment on this proposed rule.”

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News Release from Office of the Governor Sept 29, 2015

HONOLULU – In a groundbreaking move for the Native Hawaiian community, the U.S. Department of Interior today announced a proposal to create a pathway for the Native Hawaiian community to reorganize a Native Hawaiian government and re-establish a government-to-government relationship with the United States.

The Native Hawaiian community has not had a formal government since the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i in 1893.

The proposal would create an administrative procedure and criteria that would be applied if the Native Hawaiian community forms a unified government that seeks a formal government-to-government relationship with the U.S.

“This issue has been discussed for many years, and I support President Obama and the Department of the Interior’s efforts to move it forward. I urge the public, particularly Native Hawaiians, to comment on this possible pathway for the United States and Native Hawaiians to establish a government-to-government relationship. The public comment period for the proposed rule is an invitation for the public to participate in the rule-making process,” said Gov. David Ige.

“The United States has a long-standing policy of supporting self-governance for Native peoples, yet the benefits of the government-to-government relationship have long been denied to Native Hawaiians, one of our largest indigenous communities. Today’s proposal is testament to the Obama Administration’s strong support for our nation’s Native peoples’ right to self-determination,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

Today’s proposal is available for review at, and public comments on it will be accepted for the next 90 days.  Members of the public are encouraged to read the proposal and provide comments in writing by email to, on (docket no. DOI-2015-0005), or by U.S. mail/hand delivery to the Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7228, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC 20240.  The public is also encouraged to participate in teleconferences on the proposed rule, a schedule of which will be available here.

To submit public comment go to:!documentDetail;D=DOI-2014-0002-0005


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Hawaii Congressional Delegation Statements On Department Of Interior Native Hawaiian Rulemaking Process

Joint News Release from Hawaii Congressional Delegation Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Today, the Department of the Interior released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding “Procedures for Reestablishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with the Native Hawaiian Community.” This Proposed Rule is a culmination of years of work by the Hawaii Congressional Delegation, the Native Hawaiian community, the State of Hawaii, and the Obama administration to establish an avenue for a reorganized Native Hawaiian government to reestablish a government-to-government relationship with the United States.

“The Native Hawaiian community’s ongoing work toward self-determination takes a significant step forward today, and I applaud the Obama administration for its commitment to this effort,” said Senator Mazie K. Hirono. “Many in Hawaii have persevered for decades to reach this point. I think of those with whom I’ve worked tirelessly, both as Hawaii’s lieutenant governor and during my time in Congress, to achieve recognition for Native Hawaiians that is on par with the relationships the Federal government has established with Alaska Natives and Native Americans. I will continue to call for forward momentum on this issue until that final step is achieved.”

“Native Hawaiians have the right to reorganize a government that they determine is best for them,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “With today’s publication of proposed rules from the Department of the Interior, I urge Native Hawaiians and other interested individuals to stay engaged and to contribute their comments and concerns as the process moves forward.  I will continue working with the Department of the Interior, my colleagues in the Hawaii congressional delegation, and the Native Hawaiian community to review the draft rules.”

“Many indigenous groups in the U.S. have the right of self-determination, and today’s announcement acknowledges that that right also belongs to the Native Hawaiian people, one of the largest native communities in the country,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02). “These rules incorporate over 5,000 public comments submitted to the Department of Interior (DOI), and should they be adopted, the Native Hawaiian community will have the option to re-establish a unified government and self-determine their future relationship with the federal government. I encourage all interested parties to submit their comments to DOI during the 90-day public review period to ensure a collaborative final ruling.”

“I would like to thank the Obama Administration and the Department of the Interior for strengthening the U.S. government’s relationship with the Native Hawaiian people,” said Congressman Mark Takai (HI-01). “I have always supported Native Hawaiians and will continue to make sure the community’s consensus is implemented in Washington at the federal level so that they may have more ownership of their own destiny at home.”

The Proposed Rule expressly states the trust relationship that the Federal government has with the Native Hawaiian people, and provides a framework for a Native Hawaiian governing entity to enter into a government-to-government relationship with the United States.

The Department of Interior rulemaking process began in July 2014 when the Department of the Interior announced an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, followed by 25 public meetings held across Hawaii and Indian Country. After taking into consideration feedback from thousands of interested parties, the Department of the Interior published today’s Proposed Rule. Today marks the beginning of a 90-day open comment period.

Click here to review this Proposed Rule. Public comments will be accepted by visiting (Docket ID DOI-2015-0005), through email at (include the number 1090-AB05 in the subject line), or through U.S. mail to: Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7228, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.


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