Standard Operating Procedures Definitions

When working with the NHC, the following definitions may prove helpful.

Actions with Native Hawaiian Community Implications (Action) generally includes any rulemaking, policy, guidance, legislative proposal, or operational activity that may have a substantial direct effect on the NHC on matters including, but not limited to:

  1. Native Hawaiian cultural practices, lands, natural and cultural resources, or access to traditional areas of cultural or religious importance on Federally managed lands;
  2. The ability of the NHC to govern or provide services to its members;
  3. The NHC’s relationship with the United States; or
  4. The consideration of the Department’s statutory trust responsibilities to the NHC. This, however, does not include matters that are in litigation or in settlement negotiations, or matters for which a court order limits the Department’s discretion to engage in consultation.

Ahupua‘a (singular and plural) means a land division in Hawai‘i usually extending from the uplands to the sea which traditionally was, and in some cases remains, self-sustaining or whose occupants were or are permitted a right to gather and access for subsistence, cultural, or religious purposes.  In contemporary times, ahupua‘a is also considered a cultural resource management principle.

Beneficiary or beneficiaries means ‘‘native Hawaiian(s)’’ as that term is defined under section 201(a) of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

Comment means information, concerns, advice and suggestions that may be received orally or in writing through methods of submission specified by the Office, including during consultation meetings. Input refers to an aggregate of comments.

Consultation or consult generally means representatives of the government engaging in an open discussion process that allows interested parties to provide input regarding potential government issues, changes, or actions. Consultation does not transfer or cede government decision-making authority. Consultation requires dialogue which does not necessarily require, although often preferred and highly recommended, formal face-to-face meetings. Consultation may also occur through telephonic, electronic, or printed means. The complexity and geographic location of the Action along with the potential effects that the matter may have on the NHC will dictate the appropriate process and means for consultation.

Consultation Report refers to a document that reports on the consultation meetings and discussions as well as the comments received relating to an Action necessitating a consultation and lists any interim and preliminary recommendations and decisions made during the consultation process, when applicable.

Cultural affiliation or culturally affiliated means a connection between a cultural item or place and a present day NHO is established by reasonably tracing a relationship of shared group identity between the present day NHO and an identifiable prehistoric or historic earlier group connected to the cultural item or place.

Hawaiian Home Lands Trust means all trust lands given or that assumed the status of available lands or Hawaiian home lands under sections 203 and 204 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, respectively, and as otherwise directed by Congress.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) – A cooperative federalism statute, a compound of interdependent Federal and State law that establishes a Federal law framework but also provides for implementation through State law, the HHCA designated tracts totaling approximately 200,000 acres of available lands throughout Hawai‘i for exclusive homesteading by eligible native Hawaiians. Act of July 9, 1921, 42 Stat. 108. Introduced, revised and reported as a bill for the “Rehabilitation of Native Hawaiians,”[1] the HHCA was enacted in response to the precipitous decline in the Native Hawaiian population since Western contact. By 1919, the Native Hawaiian population declined, by some estimates, from several hundred thousand in 1778 to only 22,600. 20 U.S.C. § 7512(7). 

HHCA Beneficiary Association means an organization controlled by beneficiaries who submitted applications to the DHHL for homesteads and are awaiting the assignment of a homestead; represents and serves the interests of those beneficiaries; has as a stated primary purpose the representation of, and provision of services to, those beneficiaries; and filed with the Secretary a statement, signed by the governing body, of governing procedures and a description.

Homestead Association means a beneficiary-controlled organization that represents and serves the interests of its homestead community; has as a stated primary purpose the representation of, and provision of services to, its homestead community; and filed with the Secretary a statement, signed by the governing body, of governing procedures and a description of the territory it represents.

Homestead and Beneficiary Associations (HBA) means Homestead Association(s) and HHCA Beneficiary Association(s) and an HBA means either a Homestead Association, an HHCA Beneficiary Association or a Homestead and HHCA Beneficiary Association. 

Native Hawaiian means any individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawai‘i.

Native Hawaiian Community (NHC) means the distinct Native Hawaiian indigenous political community that Congress, exercising its plenary power over Native American affairs, has recognized and with which Congress has implemented a special political and trust relationship.

Native Hawaiian organization (NHO) means any organization that:

  1. Serves and represents the interests of Native Hawaiians;
  2. Has as a primary and stated purpose the provision of services to Native Hawaiians; and
  3. Has expertise in Native Hawaiian affairs,

and includes but is not limited to:

  1. Native Hawaiian organizations registered with the Department of the Interior’s Office of Native Hawaiian Relations; and
  2. HHCA Beneficiary Associations and Homestead Associations as defined under 43 C. F. R. §§ 47.10 and 48.6.

[1] H. R. Rep. No. 839, 66th Cong., 2d Sess., 1-2 (1920).

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