by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

On January 10, 2014 a letter was sent to more than 150 leaders of Indian tribes on the U.S. mainland. The letter describes how federal recognition of a phony “Native Hawaiian” tribe would have bad consequences for the genuine tribes, and asks them to express opposition to executive action when speaking to officials in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior, and White House. Federal recognition of a phony Hawaiian tribe by means of rules changes in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or a Presidential Executive Order, would be far more dangerous to the genuine tribes than passage of the Akaka bill in Congress, because executive action would simply add the Hawaiian tribe to the list of federally recognized tribes with none of the restrictions in the Akaka bill that would have prohibited the Akaka tribe from having gambling casinos or from grabbing the lions share of entitlements intended for the mainland tribes.  See

Why businesses, labor unions, and community groups in Hawaii should oppose state and/or federal recognition of a phony “Native Hawaiian” tribe. An 11-page letter to Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, and commentary in Honolulu Star-Advertiser, provide detailed explanations.  See

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