Honolulu Star Advertiser - December 16, 2011

Enabling language that would have been the first step toward federal recognition for native Hawaiians was left out of the $1 trillion-plus budget bill approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The provision would have recognized native Hawaiians as an indigenous people of the United States and began a process of self-determination and recognition similar to state legislation adopted earlier this year....

"I am very disappointed to report that I was compelled to give up our recognition provision at the end of the conference. It was very difficult, but it needed to be done to conclude the negotiations and send an omnibus appropriations package to the president for his signature...."

The language for native Hawaiians was being sought in the budget for the Department of the Interior.

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Comment by Kaohi Mendiola-Kaniaupio on December 17, 2011 at 6:44am

A bit complex and a whole lot of information left out of this article.  State recognition stems from practice and language is part of it's naming qualification for recognition.  

I encourage my children and their children to learn their language, but not for this purpose.  It's because their great grandfather was beaten for speaking his language in elementary school.  He learned to read and write and express himself at the age of 60.  I read my dad's body language for most of my life.  That too is a language that we should teach our children.  Our local, broken, pidgin English have our ancestors voice in it too.  We should try to capture that essence for political problems as well as societal problems in Hawaii.

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