Civil Rights Community Pushes for Akaka Bill To Be Reconsidered

Media 06.9.06

Washington – Wade Henderson, the executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s largest civil and human rights coalition, made the following statement in response to the failed passage of S. 147/H.R. 309, the “Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005.”

“Senator Akaka’s Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 was a modest effort to address a historic wrong. Its defeat is deeply disappointing and the civil rights community surely hopes it will be reconsidered by the next Congress.

The Akaka Bill is important because unlike other indigenous people, Native Hawaiians are not allowed a process for establishing a government-to-government relationship.

We firmly believe civil and human rights must be measured by the same yard stick. It is our view that Native Hawaiians endure circumstances very similar to Native Americans and to treat their situation differently seems unfair and short sighted.”