The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 S1011/HR2314 was a bill before the 111th Congress. It is commonly known as the Akaka Bill after Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, who has proposed various forms of this bill since 2000.
The bill proposes to establish a process for indigenous Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition similar to an Indian tribe. However, the bill prohibits indigenous Native Hawaiians from gaming and other benefits available to federally recognized Indian tribes. The 2009 House version of the bill prohibits indigenous Native Hawaiians from pursuing their claims in the courts and arguably legitimizes past transfers of Hawaiian land that would not have been legitimate for Indian Tribes. (Non intercourse act not applicable to Hawaiian land transfers.) The most updated Senate version however allows Native Hawaiians to pursue claims in court. On December 16, 2009, a Congressional House Committee passed an unamended version of the Akaka Bill. On the following day, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved the amendments in S. 1011, the Senate version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. As of January 10, 2009, H.R. 2314 was not completely consistent with S. 1011.
Akaka said on the floor of the U.S. Senate in Dec. 2010 that “misleading attacks” and “unprecedented obstruction” led to the failure of legislation in the 111th Congress.
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