Very rarely do we read and/or hear about what Hawaiians have to say about the Akaka Bill. Leinaala Heine had a letter published in today's newspaper and while I disagree with her as I am anti-Akaka Bill since it uses the Haole Way as the paradigm versus the Hawaiian Way as the paradigm... it's refreshing to read and/or see Hawaiians' perspective as the Akaka Bill is about Hawaiians:
Akaka bill offers hope of survival
Gordon Pang's June 20 article "Forced assimilation may hurt Hawaiians" gets to the very root of why the Akaka bill is so important. The impacts of Hawai'i's history have been debilitating, even deadly, for Native Hawaiians; we need an opportunity and control of our resources in order to heal ourselves, individually and as a community.
As a January 2005 report published by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development demonstrates, the approach the Akaka bill proposes has a proven track record of success. America now understands that if you let native people govern themselves, they are able to heal, and to contribute to their communities, their states and the nation. It was a painful lesson learned from 200 years of forced assimilation policy.
For Native Hawaiians, the Akaka bill is about our very survival — culturally, linguistically, spiritually and physically. For the state, it's about the survival of Hawai'i's unique way of life, the sharing of aloha, and the preservation of the culture that drives one of the state's largest economic engines. Besides, if the tourist industry were just about sunbathing and surfing, vacationers could drive to the nearest beach.
Seen at http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/current/op/letters
Cross-posted to hawaiians