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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
10/6/2004--Reported to House without amendment. (This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.) Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2004 -
Declares that the United States reaffirms that: (1) Native Hawaiians are a unique and distinct, indigenous, native people with whom the United States has a special political and legal relationship; (2) the United States has a special political and legal relationship with the Native Hawaiian people which includes promoting their welfare; and (3) Congress possesses the authority under the U.S. Constitution to enact legislation to address the conditions of Native Hawaiians and has exercised this authority through the enactment of specified laws. Declares that Native Hawaiians have: (1) an inherent right to autonomy in their internal affairs; (2) an inherent right of self-determination and self-governance; (3) the right to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity; and (4) the right to become economically self-sufficient. Declares that the United States shall continue to engage in a process of reconciliation and political relations with the Native Hawaiian people. Declares that the purpose of this Act is to provide a process for the reorganization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the reaffirmation of the political and legal relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian governing entity for purposes of continuing a government-to-government relationship.
Establishes the U.S. Office for Native Hawaiian Relations within the Office of the Secretary of the Interior to: (1) continue the process of reconciliation with the Native Hawaiian people in furtherance of the Apology Resolution (Public Law 103-150, a Joint Resolution extending an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the participation of U.S. agents in the January 17, 1893, overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii); (2) effectuate and coordinate the special political and legal relationship between the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the United States through the Secretary, and with all other Federal agencies; (3) provide timely notice to, and consult with, the Native Hawaiian people and the Native Hawaiian governing entity before taking any actions that may have the potential to significantly affect Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands; and (4) consult with the Interagency Coordinating Group (established by this Act), other Federal agencies, the Governor of Hawaii and relevant State agencies on policies, practices, and proposed actions affecting Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands.
Establishes the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group to: (1) coordinate Federal programs, policies and actions that may affect Native Hawaiians or, significantly or uniquely, Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands; and (2) ensure that each Federal agency develops a policy on consultation with the Native Hawaiian people and the Native Hawaiian governing entity.
Recognizes the right of the Native Hawaiian people to reorganize the Native Hawaiian governing entity to provide for their common welfare and to adopt appropriate organic governing documents. Establishes a Commission to: (1) prepare and maintain a roll of the adult members of the Native Hawaiian community who elect to participate in such reorganization; and (2) certify that the adult members of the Native Hawaiian community proposed for inclusion on the roll meet the definition of Native Hawaiian. Outlines the process for the reorganization, which includes forming a Native Hawaiian Governing Council.
Reaffirms the political and legal relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian governing entity upon certification required by the Secretary regarding the organic governing documents and the election of the entity's officers. Extends Federal recognition to the governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people. Authorizes the United States, upon such reaffirmation, to negotiate with the governing entity for an agreement addressing specified matters, including the transfer of lands, natural resources, and other assets, and the protection of existing rights related to such lands or resources. Declares that nothing in this Act serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States. Sets 20 years after the extention of Federal recognition to the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the statute of limitations for any claim against the United States under Federal law that: (1) is in existence on the date of enactment of this Act; (2) is asserted by the Native Hawaiian governing entity on behalf of the Native Hawaiian people; and (3) relates to the legal and political relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people.
States that nothing in this Act: (1) shall be construed to authorize the Native Hawaiian governing entity to conduct gaming activities under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act; or (2) provides an authorization for eligibility to participate in any programs and services of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for any persons not otherwise eligible for them.
House Republican Conference Summary
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House Democratic Caucus Summary
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