“So what are you doing this summer?”
Well, we’re actually going on a vacation to Hawaii!
“Oh my gosh, I heard it’s absolutely beautiful!
Yeah, we’ve already been three other times, but hey why stop now?!
Hawaii seems to be quite the tourist/vacation destination spot. I can pretty much guarantee that we all know at least one person or family who has been to Hawaii. The beaches, the women, the surfing, the food, the native culture; it’s all remarkable.
Although we enjoy it as a vacation spot, the native people of Hawaii cannot always say the same. They live there, and have lived there for thousands of years. The United States came in and took their land, just like we always do. But hey at least we’re consistent.
And until now, the native people of Hawaii have had no government of their own. They have not been considered their own people. “Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States who haven’t been allowed to establish their own government…” (source 1). Thank goodness for Senator Akaka of Hawaii who proposed a bill (appropriately known as the Akaka bill), which will hopefully create an improved life for the native people. The purpose of the bill is “to provide a process for the reorganization of the single Native Hawaiian governing entity and the reaffirmation of the special political and legal relationship between the United States and that Native Hawaiian governing entity for purposes of continuing a government-to-government relationship” (source 2). However, unlike the other tribal governments already established in the continental US and Alaska, the native Hawaiian government does not call for the same requirements as tribal recognition does (if you’d like to read a full listing of the tribal government recognition requirements go to source 2). Not to mention, this bill currently restricts Hawaiians from building/running casinos. So there are some differences between tribal governments and the Native Hawaiian government, but at least their getting recognized.
So things might be a little different when we take our yearly vacations to Hawaii. We might actually be restricted to go to some areas of Hawaii, but I couldn’t be happier with that.
source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akaka_Bill