11 Jun 2005

Back draft law for greater recognition of Native Hawaiians, says US Congressman

8:07 am on 11 June 2005

American Samoa's Congressman has urged people to get behind a US Senator lobbying for greater recognition for Native Hawaiians.

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin was speaking to a crowd of more than 300 in the Statuary Hall at the US Capitol.

Faleomavaega said that the US Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii had been too heavily criticised in his efforts to pass through his Native Hawaiian Bill.

Senator Akaka's Bill would force the US federal government to recognise Native Hawaiians in the same way it recognises American Indians and Native Alaskans.

The legislation now awaits a vote no later than August 7th by the full Senate, and could create a framework for Native Hawaiian governance.