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Remembering Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka

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A RESOLUTION TO REMEMBER AND HONOR OUR BELOVED U.S. SENATOR DANIEL K. AKAKA FOR HIS DEDICATED LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE TO OUR NATIVE HAWAIIAN BENEFICIARIES

WHEREAS, Retired Senator Daniel K. Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian to serve in the United States Senate, and had a distinguished career representing our state of Hawai’i; and

WHEREAS, Senator Akaka embodies the aloha spirit and shared that spirit of aloha and its meaning throughout his 22-year career in Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, for more than a decade, Senator Akaka championed the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act in the Senate, where he served as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and senior member and past chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee; and

WHEREAS, Senator Akaka repeatedly urged his former colleagues in the U.S. Senate to support efforts to ensure that Native Hawaiians have the same rights as other Native people to engage in the same government-to-government relationship with the United States granted to more than 560 Native nations throughout the country, across the continental U.S. and in Alaska; and

WHEREAS, Senator Akaka recognized that such legislation would have provided the framework to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity, which upon official federal recognition by the United States, may negotiate for land, rights and resources to reconcile past wrongs; and

WHEREAS, Senator Akaka recognized that such an entity could help to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, which is central to Native Hawaiians as a unique people; and would enable Native Hawaiians to create a better future for themselves; and

WHEREAS, Senator Akaka was the primary impetus in the passage of Act 195 (Native Hawaiian Roll Commission Act), which continues the struggle for sovereignty.  As a consequence, a Hawaiian Roll, and an AHA Hawaiian Convention was convened, a Hawaiian Constitution was adopted and a Federal Rule was created to set up our Hawaiian Nation; and

WHEREAS, the above acts, subsequent to the 10 year Akaka Bill Struggle  are very significant, as they show that the “Akaka Bill” did not die.  It lives on through Act 195 which still exists and the quest for sovereignty continues; and

WHEREAS, Senator Akaka introduced or advocated bills for programs benefiting Native Hawaiians to protect their rights, cultural practices, natural resources and assets; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, that it remembers and honors  Senator Daniel K. Akaka for his outstanding leadership and dedicated service as a member of the United States Senate, and his commitment to Native Hawaiians and community organizations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii conveys to Aunty Millie and the ‘ohana of Senator Daniel Akaka our deepest condolences and prayers during this difficult time; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this resolution be transmitted to  Aunty Millie and the children of Senator Daniel Akaka.

ADOPTED this 18th day of May, 2018, in Honolulu, on the island of O’ahu, State of Hawai’i, by the Board of Directors of the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘I (DPH).