Published on Sep 23, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 23, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 23, 2016 | The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is pleased that the federal government has proposed procedures for reestablishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. NCAI has fully supported the Native Hawaiian people in their quest for self-determination and self-governance for many years. NCAI Resolutions PHX-03-004, PSP-99-042, MSP-00-032, and SPO-01-087 all support the sovereign rights of Native Hawaiians and recognize the need to develop a true government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.
Native Hawaiians will now be afforded the basic self-governance rights afforded other major Indigenous peoples in the United States under federal law. Native Hawaiians have suffered through similar colonial policies and the dispossession of lands, resources and culture, and we expect the federal government will now demonstrate meaningful respect by engaging Native Hawaiians as a sovereign Indigenous nation.
As noted in the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Congress has enacted more than 150 statutes expressly affecting Native Hawaiians, and it is these laws that define the scope of Federal programs and services for Native Hawaiians.
We urge the Department of the Interior to take action on this process that will support the self-determination and economic self-sufficiency of Native Hawaiian people. Like all of the nation’s indigenous peoples, Native Hawaiians lived on their homelands and governed their own affairs before the first contact with Europeans. Like all of the Indigenous peoples of the United States, Native Hawaiians deserve the right to determine their own future and maintain their culture, language, and identity. This is a purpose that all Americans can support, and we urge swift action by the Administration.
About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org.