Hawaii (AP) 1-08
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he would sign the Akaka Bill recognizing Native Hawaiians if elected president.
Obama said in a statement he supports federal recognition for Native Hawaiians because they are an important part of the local culture. The bill would fulfill the promise of “liberty, justice and freedom” for Native Hawaiians and ensure they are not left out of the state’s progress, he said.
“The process set forth in this important legislation empowers Native Hawaiians to explore and address the long-standing issues resulting from the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii,” he said.
The legislation known as the Native Hawaiian
Government Reorganization Act would give Native
Hawaiians the right to form a governing entity
similar to those of Native Americans that could
negotiate with state and federal governments
over control of natural resources, lands and