WASHINGTON D.C. – Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell delivered remarks during the 8th annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, and during her speech she mentioned the newly announced final rule to create “a pathway for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community”.
The Tribal Nations Conference brings together leaders from federally recognized tribes to Washington, DC. The President and members of his Cabinet discussed “a range of issues important to tribal leaders, with an emphasis on ways the federal government can continue to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come,” the White House said.
President Obama also spoke at the conference but did not mention the new Native Hawaiian rule.
The Department of the Interior conducted a series of public hearing on the proposed rule in summer of 2014. On Hawaii Island, the vast majority of the testifiers spoke out against federal recognition. Many testified that sovereignty under the Hawaiian Kingdom was never relinquished despite the overthrow of 1893.
The Department of the Interior manages almost 56 million acres of trust lands for federally-recognized tribes and more than 100,000 leases on those lands for various uses, including housing, timber harvesting, farming, grazing, oil and gas extraction, business leasing, rights-of-way and easements. Interior also manages about 2,500 tribal trust accounts for more than 250 tribes.