BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. —
This is a brief summary of the bad surprises in the new version of the Akaka Bill:
• Tribal casinos in Hawaii even if the state legalizes only church bingo
• Grabbing for federal, state, and even private lands in Hawaii
• Akaka tribe casinos competing against genuine tribes on mainland
• Grabbing federal handouts away from genuine tribes
• Pig in a poke — recognizing a tribe before it’s created
• Race the only requirement enforced for tribal membership
• Balkanize America — any “indigenous” group can now be a tribe
This essay is only a very brief summary. Space available in a newspaper does not allow lengthy quotes, documentation, or detailed explanations. For those, please see
Until now the bill prohibited the Akaka tribe from engaging in any form of gambling in Hawaii or anywhere else. The new version authorizes full-blown tribal casinos in Hawaii if the state ever legalizes any form of gambling, even only church bingo. Previous versions prohibited the Akaka tribe from using the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act; the new bill authorizes it.
This new bill allows the Akaka tribe, by far the largest tribe in America, to bully the genuine but much smaller mainland tribes by competing against them in two ways which previous versions of the bill prohibited.
(a) The Akaka tribe can put casinos in 48 other states (excluding Utah) even if the State of Hawaii does not allow gambling in Hawaii. Because of a Supreme Court ruling in 2009 (Carcieri vs. Salazar), new tribes (recognized after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934) are prohibited from placing land into trust, which is the only way for a tribe to have casinos, liquor stores, gas stations, and tobacco shops exempt from local zoning or labor laws, making huge tax-exempt profits. The Akaka bill contains a “Carcieri fix” exclusively for Senator Akaka’s own wannabe tribe — a lovely golden parachute for himself and all 527,077 members of his blood brotherhood in Hawaii and everywhere else; but no such fix for the other new tribes.
(b) Previous versions prohibited the Akaka tribe from receiving benefits automatically from programs routinely available to all the federally recognized tribes. The new bill reverses that. The new bill emphasizes the Akaka tribe is an Indian tribe with all the rights and privileges of every federally recognized tribe. In view of America’s $16 Trillion national debt, the pot of money available for tribal benefits is shrinking. Now comes the phony Akaka tribe — the largest tribe in America — elbowing out the real tribes.
Someone should tell the mainland tribes the time has come for them to oppose the Akaka bill if they don’t want their turf to be invaded by Hawaiian casinos and have their government handouts reduced to accommodate a rapacious Akaka tribe.
But it’s not only the genuine Indian tribes or Hawaii opponents of legalized gambling who should be worried. The new Akaka bill threatens everyone in Hawaii and the rest of the United States, in many ways. Here are some of those threats.
Virtually all lands in Hawaii are at risk to be taken over by the Akaka tribe. That’s because the new bill removes language from previous versions that prohibited the Akaka tribe from making use of the Indian non-intercourse act.
From 1790 to 1834 a series of six laws were passed by Congress to protect Indian tribes from unfair or deceptive land transactions. These Indian non-intercourse laws said land transactions with tribes would be lawful only if Congress approved them. During recent decades numerous tribes have gone to court demanding huge amounts of land or money based on claims that tribal lands were sold without Congressional approval a century or two ago. Often those lands now have entire towns on them, or farms and factories. Thousands of homeowners have been unable to get mortgages or to sell their homes because of the cloud on their land title. Thus private lands are attacked along with federal, state and municipal lands.
Under the new bill, armed with the Indian non-intercourse act, the Akaka tribe will be free to file lawsuits to take control of nearly all federal and state lands (the “ceded lands”) or to receive massive compensation for them, similar to what has happened on the mainland even in long-established towns in Maine, New York, and many other places. All Hawaii harbors, airports, roads, beaches, schools, etc. are at risk, along with the entire Northwest Hawaiian Islands Reserve. Privately owned lands could be at risk because they were originally granted to Hawaiian natives in the Mahele of 1848 and then later sold to someone with no native blood.
The new Akaka bill is a pig in a poke — it asks Congress to grant federal recognition to a tribe which has not yet been created. The bill’s accompanying news release on Senator Akaka’s official website has a headline calling this a “streamlined bill.” Indeed, it’s lean and mean. It’s streamlined in the way a sniper bullet to the heart could be called a streamlined version of a hand grenade or roadside bomb. The tribe will be recognized immediately when the bill is passed — before its members have enrolled, before a tribal council has been elected, before a tribal constitution has been written and ratified, etc.
Part of the bill’s streamlining is deferring the process for creating the tribe to Hawaii Act 195 (2011) and to the Kana’iolowalu racial registry process set up by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. Thus Congress washes its hands of oversight or responsibility for what happens.
Act 195 says that someone is qualified for membership in the Akaka tribe if he is 18 years of age, has Hawaiian native blood, and “Has maintained a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community.”
But that third requirement is in Act 195 only as a pretext to give the appearance of being a political group and not merely a racial group. In reality the signup sheet for the Kana’iolowalu registry stringently enforces the age and racial requirements by demanding documented proof; but does not require any documentation regarding cultural or civic connection nor even the name of a single group to which the applicant allegedly belongs. Hawaiian groups like hula halaus and canoe clubs are open to people of all races. But members with Hawaiian blood are the only ones who can apply to join the Akaka tribe. This shows it’s all about race and not about “cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community.”
The Akaka bill accelerates the racial balkanization of Hawaii and the entire United States.
It authorizes the people and lands of Hawaii to be divided along racial lines into different governments with different laws. We’re talking about 21% of Hawaii’s people, not just some small tribe in the boondocks of Wyoming. We’re talking about perhaps half the land of Hawaii’s main eight islands plus the entirety of the 1200 mile long, 400 mile wide Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Reserve running all the way to Kure Atoll, with all its islands, rich fishing grounds, and seabeds waiting to be mined. We’re talking about neighbors across the street living under different civil and criminal laws, and a child-custody presumption automatically favoring an ethnic Hawaiian parent in a divorce.
The Akaka bill reaches throughout America. There are more than 237,107 Native Hawaiians living in states outside Hawaii, including 74,932 in California. The new Akaka bill encourages nationwide racial balkanization by redefining the word “tribe” in the Constitution to mean “indigenous people.” So instead of about 560 tribes, there could be thousands of them as Congress seizes a power never envisioned in the Constitution, to single out any group of so-called indigenous people and create a government for them regardless whether they were ever previously organized like that. The leaders of the “Nation of Aztlan” movement note that nearly all Mexican-Americans are “indigenous” because they have at least one drop of Aztec or Mayan blood. They demand the right to create a race-based government controlling all U.S. lands that were formerly part of Mexico: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and portions of Nevada, Colorado, etc. The Akaka bill sets a precedent empowering such a scenario. That’s one reason “La Raza” favors the bill, along with advocates for a reconquista.
It’s time for Congress and the Hawaii legislature to realize the tremendous damage being done by the Akaka bill, Act 195, etc. The damage is not only to property and government, but to the Aloha Spirit and to our very souls as we face a future of racial separatism and ethnic nationalism. Please stop this nonsense. The situation with the Akaka bill is similar to the Honolulu rail project. Politicians colluding with wealthy, powerful institutions spewing massive propaganda initially persuade the public to go along with it. But as implementation gets closer to becoming reality, people see the bad consequences more clearly and rebel against it. Let’s stop it. Now!
The "federal handouts" you speak of regarding Indian tribes are anything but a handout. You really shouldn't open your mouth about things you do not understand; your type of ignorance is pervasive enough in our world, and we don't need a "Ph.D" spreading such misinformation. I hope you are actually more knowledgeable – and responsible in what you say – about the Native Hawaiian sovereignty that you write about,
There have been numerous revisions to the Akaka Bill since its initial draft, and for a white individual who pretentiously stouts a, Philosphy, PhD your language addressing a Native Hawaiian governing entity as a "phony tribe" is ignorant of an ethnic racial identity.
Into this article. This topic has been something I have been looking into for a few hours and your post.
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Thank you, as always, for all the wonderful information! Meet Your Sweet
A well stated, and prescient notice Dr. Conklin.
Our national debt, 16 Trillion you mentioned, has sadly become 18 trillion in just two years.
I wonder how long it would take if the race, La Raza, et al, had their way, would western US would look like Mexico and Venezuela?
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