Huge news in Hawaii!!!!
Here is the link to the pdf of the bill. And legislative history.
Here is the governor’s webpage and video on the signing of the law. The text of the governor’s release:
Honolulu –Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law a measure that recognizes Native Hawaiians as the indigenous people of Hawai’i. Act 195 gives the Governor the power to appoint a five-member Native Hawaiian Roll Commission that will build the foundation for self-determination.
“This is an important step for the future of Native Hawaiian self-determination and the ability for Native Hawaiians to decide their own future,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “This Commission will put together the roll of qualified and interested Native Hawaiians who want to help determine the course of Hawai’i’s indigenous people.”
Act 195 starts the process that will eventually lead to Native Hawaiian Recognition. While in the U.S. House of Representatives, then-Congressman Abercrombie worked closely with U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka on moving the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which was first introduced in 1999. In 2000 and 2007, then-Congressman Abercrombie successfully shepherded the legislation through the U.S. House of Representatives committees and won approval by the full House.
U.S. Senator Akaka, who is in Washington D.C., praised the bill signing stating: “The enactment of this bill is yet another example of Hawai’i’s ongoing desire to recognize the unique contributions and traditions of the Native people in our state. Native Hawaiian values shape our sense of identity, our sense of aloha for one another, and our sense of what is pono, what is just. This new law complements our efforts in Congress and demonstrates that the people of Hawai’i strongly support the right of Native Hawaiians to reorganize and perpetuate their culture and way of life.”
More than 150 people attended today’s bill signing ceremony at Washington Place this afternoon, including groups representing the ali’i societies and trusts; OHA trustees, Native Hawaiian civic clubs, and state lawmakers.
Governor Abercrombie has 180 days to appoint the five-member Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. The Commission will be responsible for preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians as defined by the Act. The roll is to be used as the basis for participation in the organization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. The Commission is composed of five members, one from each county and one at-large seat. Once its work is completed, the Governor will dissolve the Commission.
“We recognize the special relationship to Native Hawaiians that is part of our public conscience, enshrined in our laws, and entrusted to our leaders,” Governor Abercrombie said. “With the signing of this bill, the State of Hawai’i is closer to the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. As Native Hawaiians rise, all of Hawai’i rises.”
The Office of the Governor will announce the application process for consideration to be named to the Commission later this week.