21 Jul 2005

Native Hawaiian Bill could mark 'political and moral victory'

1:14 pm on 21 July 2005

A US congressman in Hawaii, Dennis Arakaki says it will be a political and moral victory if the Native Hawaiian bill is passed.

The bill, being tabled by US senator Daniel Akaka, is said to be the next step in bringing about reconciliation between the US federal government and the native people of Hawaii, since the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii in 1893.

Congressman Arakaki, who was the former chair of the foreign affairs committee, says the bill recognises that assets and land were taken from Native Hawaiians.

"We've provided reparation for lands in the past, close to 650 million dollars, but I've also felt that some of it should also come from the federal government and there's been recognition already that the overthrowing of the Hawaiian government was illegal, so the Akaka bill will go some way to providing certain rights to native peoples."