Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty


Grassroot Institute Pres in Star- Advertiser by maliab
August 4, 2011, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Akaka Bill | Tags: , ,

Dick Rowland, our President and Chairman recently had a letter published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on the issue of Native Hawaiian Re-organization (and the message it supposedly sends to the rest of the country on the issue of sovereignty).  Mr. Rowland is nearly unique among critics of the Akaka Bill (and similar proposals) for raising the unseen issues and parallels to the American Indian experience (and pitfalls therein) in the mainland.  Here is the letter in its entirety (the Star-Advertiser made a few small changes):

On Sunday 7/31/11, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published an essay “New state law sends clear message to Congress about Hawaiian sovereignty” by Colette Machado, chair of OHA. She says that the message of the law to our nation is that “the re-establishment of a Native Hawaiian governing entity” must be endorsed. That means the following:

  • She wants a tribe to be authorized for a Native Hawaiian government.
  • Tribes come under the authority and jurisdiction of the US Department of the Interior.
  • The US Department of the Interior treats tribal members as wards of the federal government even though Indians were supposedly granted citizenship in 1924.
  • By and large, individual Indian “wards” do not do well financially or socially in US society.

Ask any American if they would like to be an Indian on an Indian Reservation and you get a “no way” answer.

Here’s the puzzle: Most of us do not want our fellows of Native Hawaiian ancestry to be treated as American Indians are in 565 federally recognized tribes in the USA. Why does Colette want that? And, if she says that is not going to happen, how can she give us a solid guarantee? It has already happened 565 times! Do we want to risk their individual freedom to a throw of the dice otherwise known as Congress? In addition, do we really want another government inside our Hawaii? Don’t we have enough of those already?

Richard Rowland

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

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