Requirement to Consult with the Native Hawaiian Community

Congress expressly requires Federal agencies consult with the NHC under specific statutes such as NAGPRA, Section 106 of the NHPA and the NHHCIA. Congress has also required Federal agencies to consult before taking actions that have the potential to significantly affect Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands by correspondingly charging the Office with fully integrating the policy and practice of meaningful consultation by such Federal agencies.

The corollary to the underlying principles for formulating or implementing policies with implications for a native community in Executive Order 13175[1] may be stated as –

The United States:

1.   respects and furthers its special political and trust relationship with the NHC;

2.   must continue to work with the NHC on a government-to-sovereign basis to address concerns related to self-governance, Native Hawaiian trust resources, and other Native Hawaiian rights; and

3.   recognizes the right of the NHC to self-government and supports Native Hawaiian sovereignty and self-determination.

In summary, the United States recognizes and respects that the better resolutions of challenges affecting the NHC and its resources and interests are informed and often implemented by the NHC.

Key:  Self-identification is an exercise of self-determination.

Kanaka maoli and kanaka ‘ōiwi are terms by which Native Hawaiian individuals may identify themselves. Lāhui is a term by which the Native Hawaiian Community may identify the political community as a whole.

Although the Framers of the U.S. Constitution used the term “Indian tribe” to broadly reference indigenous peoples, a grouping that includes the Native Hawaiian Community, Congress also has enacted laws distinctly and expressly for the benefit of the Native Hawaiian Community.


[1] Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, Nov. 6, 2000.

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