Pacific Islands Report: Hawaiians Celebrate Demise of Akaka Bill

Illustration by John Pritchett
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Illustration by John Pritchett

BY HAWAIIANKINGDOM.NET – HONOLULU, Hawaiian Islands – Hawaiians advocating the restoration of independence for the Hawaiian Islands celebrated the demise of the infamous “Akaka Bill” in the U.S. Congress.

Without funding or political standing, Hawaii patriots fought an 11-year-long battle to stop the bill by facing down overwhelming odds of tens of millions of U.S. lobbying dollars, the most powerful of the powerbrokers from Hawaii to Washington D.C., and a hostile press. The defeat of the Akaka Bill is a true underdog/David-Goliath story, a testament to the power of the sheer tenacity of Hawaii’s people armed with the truth. It is a convincing victory for the Hawaiian independence movement.


The Akaka Bill was first introduced in 2000 by U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka, representing the American “State of Hawaii.” The bill’s scheme was to make “Native Hawaiians” into an American Indian tribe in order to conceal the ever-glaring fraud of the U.S. claim of sovereignty over the Hawaiian Islands. By recasting Hawaiians as an indigenous people of America, the U.S. would have also recast Hawaiian lands as indigenous to America, and thus claim ‘title’ to those lands. The Akaka bill would have provided the U.S. a plausible pretext to title that would have seriously hampered, if not extinguished Hawaiians’ lawful claims to their land and their national sovereignty.

The major proponents of the Akaka Bill were: the State of Hawaii with all of its officials and agencies (including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Homes, etc.); the State of Hawaii U.S. Congressional delegation; agencies of the U.S. government; U.S. President Barack Obama; the ethnic Hawaiian civic clubs; other Hawaiian-Americans (Hawaiians who consider themselves to be U.S. citizens) and the large U.S. corporations doing business in Hawaii.

The chief opponents of the Akaka Bill have been: the Hawaiian independence movement (Hawaiian nationals and sympathizers); progressive Americans; and conservative Americans…an odd, but effective combination. Motives? Hawaiian nationals simply want their country back and have the U.S. stop pretending like it owns Hawaii. Progressives want social justice and to hold the U.S. Accountable for ripping off Hawaii’s nationhood. Conservatives believe it is constitutionally repugnant to legislatively create a race-based political sub-set to American society.

With the Akaka Bill diversion out of the way, attention can be focused on the real issue of restoring the independent nation of Hawaii.

Republished from the PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT, Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center, With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawaii. See more at