Randall Akee: “The press for Native Hawaiian federal recognition is presumptuous”

From the Hawaii Independent. A response to this news.

An excerpt:

In moving forward, what should be done? The process for Federal recognition was a knee-jerk reaction to the Rice v. Cayetano decision. Surely there are other legal strategies and plans that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and State officials can undertake to protect the OHA trust assets and Native Hawaiian entitlement programs. In the 14 years since the decision, the trust and programs have survived without a serious attack. It should be noted that political winds change all the time and there is no absolute certainty with Federal recognition either. For instance, during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s the US Federal government’s policy was to terminate the legal and political existence of some Federally recognized American Indian tribes in California, Oregon and a number of other US States. During the Civil Rights era of the 1960s and 1970s, the US Federal government made a significant change in that policy and worked to empower tribal governments. However, it is impossible to guarantee that future US Federal policies will not shift back in that direction again.