Pushback on Interior's plan to consult with Native Hawaiians
Congressman Kahele: What's 'really needed' is a Native Hawaiian consultation policy for 'all federal departments.'
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WASHINGTON — Facing growing concerns from the Native Hawaiian community on a bevy of sovereignty-related issues, the U.S. Interior Department recently announced a plan to improve federal communication with Indigenous peoples living in the Aloha State.
Interior says that by requiring formal consultation with the Native Hawaiian community, it will “affirm and honor the special political and trust relationship” between the U.S. and Hawaii’s aboriginal peoples.
“The Interior Department is committed to working with the Native Hawaiian Community on a government-to-sovereign basis to address concerns related to self-governance, Native Hawaiian trust resources, and other Native Hawaiian rights,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “A new and unprecedented consultation policy will help support Native Hawaiian sovereignty and self-determination as we continue to uphold the right of the Native Hawaiian Community to self-government.”
Interior’s full draft consultation policy is available online here, and its Office of Native Hawaiian Relations is scheduled to host two virtual consultations on Nov. 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. HST and Dec. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. HST to gather feedback from the Native Hawaiian community on the proposed policy.
The plan, while welcome to some, is stirring controversy among people who might be thought of as natural allies.
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