Aloha! We are pleased to have you visit this section of our web site. This project on our site is an ongoing effort to educate, promote, and make aware's the Native Hawaiian culture, people, and community. On this page you will find educational information from a variety of native Hawaiian community organizations and businesses that contribute to the global awareness of our Native Hawaiian culture.
You'll learn about the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom that took place over one hundred years ago. You'll learn about the beautiful native Hawaiian language that was once the primary spoken language, how it died after the overthrow, and what our native Hawaiian community leaders and people have done to bring our unique native tongue back alive! Learn about our native culture, hula dance, and more! You'll adventure through the many wonders of the islands through the different organizations we have listed for educational purposes.
We ask you to stay a while and explore the unforgotten native Hawaiian people of yesterday, today, and the future!
“Like a dormant volcano coming to life again, the Hawaiians are erupting with all the pent-up energy and frustrations of people on the make.” – George Kanahele, May 1979
The 1970’s in Hawai‘i marked a time of a cultural and political awakening for the people of Hawai‘i. Pulling, in part, upon the energy of nation-wide cultural and Native movements throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, Hawaiians sought a reconnection to the culture, language, and way of life, which had slowly been destroyed by the influence of Western Missionaries and American colonialism.
This period of rebirth for the Hawaiian people was referred to as the Hawaiian Renaissance and has continued to influence the growth of cultural knowledge, traditional practices, Hawaiian art-forms, political movement, and Hawaiian language to this day. Perhaps most importantly was a reestablished pride in being Hawaiian. Speaking of the excitement and celebration of the Hawaiian Renaissance in 1979, George Kanahele remarked:
“If anything is worth celebrating, it is that we are still alive, that our culture has survived the onslaughts of change during the past 200 years. Indeed, not only has it survived, it is now thriving."
“Look at the thousands of young men dancing the hula; or the overflow Hawaiian language classes at the university; or the revived Hawaiian music industry; or the astounding productivity of Hawaiian craftsmen and artists. Consider such unprecedented events as the voyage of the Hokule'a, the occupation of Kaho'olawe, and passage of the Hawaiian package at the Constitutional Convention.”
HISTORY & INITIATIVES
The United States of America is home to millions of indigenous people, who are united through tribes, villages, and clans in three primary groups: American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. The relationship between the U.S. federal government and each of these groups has been complex, with dramatic changes over the past 600 years since these groups were first introduced.
As the United States formed and settled North America, the indigenous groups did not relinquish their sovereignty over their people or their land. Treaties sought to resolve complex governance issues, while establishing a relationship between tribal and American governments. As the United States’ stronghold over North America grew, the U.S. instituted a unified process, by which the U.S. recognizes an indigenous group and establishes a formal government-to-government relationship.
This process, referred to as ‘federal recognition’, attempts to acknowledge tribal sovereignty while maintaining a trust relationship within the United States. This form of recognized sovereignty allows tribes to establish laws and systems governing their membership and activities, although limited similarly to the ways in which states are limited. It does not provide a clean slate, however, as native people continue to struggle through issues of governance after hundreds of years of cultural and political loss.
While over 560 American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages have received federal recognition, through the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and Executive and Congressional processes, Native Hawaiians have not yet been acknowledged with a process for federal recognition. First introduced in 2000, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act seeks to reestablish a Native Hawaiian government, creating a process for federal recognition.
Named after Senator Akaka, who proposed the bill, supporters include political leaders such as President Barack Obama, Hawai`i's entire Congressional Delegation, and Hawai`i's Governor Linda Lingle. Some groups include Hawai`i's State Legislature, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Alaska Federation of Natives.
Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett noted about the bill:
“Passage of [the bill] will finally give official and long overdue recognition to the losses Hawaiians have suffered -- the blurring, if not diminution, of Hawaiians’ native identity; the erosion of their confidence as a people; the destruction of any semblance of self-determination and self-governance; and, as the United States Supreme Court put it, the loss of a "culture and way of life." Finally, Native Hawaiians will have restored to them what they lost more than a hundred years ago -- status as a people and recognition of their roots.”
Supporters also believe that federal recognition will give needed support to programs, including Kamehameha Schools and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which have recently been the target of legal attacks. Additionally, the process will allow the established Native Hawaiian government to negotiate directly with the federal government.
Opponents of the bill often cite concern over racial implications of recognizing indigenous peoples with different legal rights and believing it could be a doorway to succession. There is also disagreement in the Hawaiian community as to whether federal recognition is the most appropriate relationship with the U.S. government for Native Hawaiians. Some who seek to the reinstatement of the Kingdom of Hawai`i internationally believe this process could thwart such efforts.
Native Hawaiian Organizations Association
Attn: Rebecca Justine ‘Iolani Soon, Executive Director
c/o 900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1850, Honolulu, HI 96813
P: 808.536.5500 • F: 808.536.5530
The Native Hawaiian Organizations Association (NHOA) was founded in March 2007 to support the NHO Program, active NHOs, and their 8(a) subsidiaries. To that end, it is the mission of the Association to: protect, promote, and advance the Native Hawaiian Organizations Program. As the program was designed to create long-term community economic viability and each NHO is charged with the responsibility to principally serve Native Hawaiians, NHOA’s vision is an economically self-sufficient Native Hawaiian community, with fair levels of participation in the Federal Government marketplace.
In support of fulfilling NHOA's mission, the purposes of the association is:
Hawaiian Native Corporation (HNC)
900 Fort Street Mall | Suite 1850 | Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
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