Bills allow state to give Hawaiians self-governance

The measures are limited alternatives to the failed Akaka Bill

By Mark Niesse

Associated Press

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Mar 01, 2011 Share37 31 Comments

Hawaii could grant native Hawaiians self-government rights after federal proposals to do so failed.

Two Senate committees advanced legislation yesterday that would set up a process for native Hawaiians to negotiate directly with the governor for land and money. The two bills move to the full Senate for votes this month. If passed, they would be taken up in the House.

“The state holds most of the ceded lands, not the federal government, and having the ability to negotiate with the state for some of our lands back so that we can create a trust for the Hawaiian people is huge. It’s very important,” said Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Rowena Akana.

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