* Denotes incumbent.
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Office of Hawaiian Affairs


Carmen Hulu Lindsey *

I support the will of the people. OHA should remain neutral and acknowledge the Hawaiian governing entity’s role in making decisions related to this matter. The decision must be made by all Hawaiians, not just those who have signed on to a state-created roll.

Harvey H. McInerny

I believe that Native Hawaiians should be recognized by the United States and a government to government relationship should be established. This recognition should not jeopardize any of the initiatives currently being pursued in the international courts. When recognition is achieved the people will then decide on the next steps.

John D. Waihee *

As fiduciaries, the board of trustees must advocate for a resolution that best protects the Native Hawaiian Trust Fund from legal challenges while maintaining our beneficiaries propriety interest in it. Federal recognition would certainly do that. The decision to pursue it, however, will ultimately be the Hawaiian Nation’s.

Keli‘i Akina

No. Hawaiians never were and are not today an Indian tribe by federal definition. The Hawaiian kingdom consisted of citizens of multiple ethnic groups under a constitutional monarchy. There is no Hawaiian tribe — only self-styled tribal leaders seeking land, power and gambling rights of a federally recognized tribe.

Lei “Leina‘ala” Ahu Isa

A spokeswoman for the U.S.Interior Department said it is “considering publishing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to help determine whether the department should develop a formal, administrative process to re-establish a govt-to-govt with a future Native Hawaiian governing entity.” This “entity” is “Kingdom of Hawaii,” which will have the authority.

Mahealani Wendt

Yes. Political recognition means the acknowledgment of a nation’s sovereignty and legitimacy by other nations, and Hawaiians should welcome political recognition from any other governments, including the U.S. The U.S. should not, however, interfere or participate in any way with the nation building process.

Mililani B. Trask

OHA's reasons for seeking federal recognition are to protect trust entitlements. The establishment of a nation-to-nation relationship with the U.S. government should be pursued by the Hawaiian Nation, and not by state agencies whose representatives are elected by the public. The Hawaiian community has clearly rejected OHA's federal recognition proposal.

Rowena M.N. Akana *

Yes. It is important for the federal government to acknowledge that the U.S. has always had a political relationship with the Hawaiian Nation. This means that our standing with U.S, is political and not a racial one as some of our detractors have been claiming.