The United States formally annexed the Territory of Hawaii on July 6, 1898. On August 21, 1959 Hawaii became the 50th state of the Republic. The ‘overthrow’ of the native Hawaiian kingdom was, of course, not accepted by all and now Sen. Daniel K. Akaka would like to see the U.S. government grant native Hawaiians a degree of sovereignty akin to that which other Native Americans and Alaskans possess. Sen. Akaka says his bill would allow for Hawaiians to have ‘parity’ in the governmental process. Those opposed argue that the bill is unclear as to what benefits it would bestow and contend that such legislation sets a dangerous precedent of ‘sovereign race-based government.’ According to Sen. Akaka, the bill would not allow for the seizure of private land, nor establish any Hawaiian reservation. Observers expect the U.S. Senate to renew discussion of this proposed measure later this week.
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