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 Excerpt from First Friday episode on the DOI, Na‘i Aupuni and Federal Recognition with Mililani Trask,  Healani Sonoda-Pale and Lehua Kinilau-Cano.

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In 1993, the U.S., through Public Law 103-150 acknowledged that the Hawaiian people never gave up their rights to their national lands (aka “ceded lands”) to the U.S. government nor its agent, the “State of Hawaiʻi”.

Now, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) proposed rule would unethically terminate Native Hawaiian rights to millions of acres of HAWAIIAN ‘ĀINA.

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) is proposing to “reestablish” a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community that will not affect the title, jurisdiction, or status of US Federally held Hawaiian National Lands aka “ceded lands”. In effect, the U.S. would continue to control nearly 900,000 acres of land in the main Hawaiian Islands and over 88 million acres of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.  The absence of any reference to Hawaiian lands controlled by the State of Hawai`i in the proposed rule is of grave concern.

DOI 2014 Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making

The DOI solicited “public comments on whether and how the Department of Interior should facilitate the reestablishment of a government to government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.”

  • 5,164 comments were received representing less than 1% of the total Kanaka Maoli population.
  •  1,831 Imua Postcards were submitted in support of the promulgation of DOI rules plus another 1,021 duplicates of those already submitted.
  • The Imua postcards comprise 55% of the total comments received it is not clear whether or not the DOI counted the duplicate postcards.