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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Statement from OHA Board Chair Lindsey on Indigenous Peoplesʻ Day

On Oct. 8, 2021, President Joe Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation which proclaims Oct.11, 2021, (today) as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  It is noteworthy and historical that this is the first ever proclamation and recognition of this day by a U.S. President. In response, OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey shared the following statement.

“President Biden’s proclamation designating Oct. 11, 2021, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day is historic and we mahalo President Biden for his inclusion of Native Hawaiians in this proclamation. Native Hawaiians are owed the same trust responsibility as any other Native American group. While the federal trust responsibility has many facets, one of the most critical safeguards of effective self-determination is the ability to consult with the federal government. Under President Clinton’s Executive Order 13175, and subsequent memoranda from the Bush, Obama, and now Biden Administrations, the U.S. Government recognizes the right to sovereignty and self-determination of this nation’s Native people. While this is a step in the right direction, the omission of Native Hawaiians from federal consultation requirements has stifled and limited Native Hawaiian voices from being able to comment upon and inform federal projects and programs for the past two decades.  Ensuring Native Hawaiians are informed of all proposed federal actions and allowed to voice their comments and perspectives on them will help to correct this country’s historic wrongs against Native Hawaiians. Federal consultation with entities that serve Native Hawaiians such as OHA, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Native Hawaiian Education Council, Papa Ola Lōkahi, and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems, among others, enables Native Hawaiians to access this basic tenet of self-determination and OHA is committed to continuing its advocacy for Native Hawaiian inclusion in this process.”

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