Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
Senator Malama Somolon, in attendance at the Hawaii County Democratic Party Convention in Kona this past weekend, talks about an historic piece of legislation passed at the state level dealing with recognition of Native Hawaiians.
Senate Bill 1520, if signed into law, will formally begin a process of creating a list of people who are of Native Hawaiian descent. Funds will be set aside to create a commission that will collect and register such names.
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka re-introduced the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2011 earlier this year. The bill would extend to Native Hawaiians the opportunity to build a government-to-government relationship with the United States, a right already enjoyed by 565 federally recognized tribes across the U.S. mainland and in Alaska.