For my family and friends ™ (haolegirl) wrote,
For my family and friends ™

I despise when people lie to me: Robin Danner and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

I read about this on Scott C's website then saw it for myself here:

I hate it when people lie to me and this is partly why I am against the Akaka Bill... because they lie about us and they lie TO US in order to profit off of us and off of wildlife in Alaska. That is uncool! I also don't like how they target a specific group of people like how Ken Conklin and Thurston Twigg-Smith do. They are racist which is also uncool.

ANYWAY I'm resposting both articles here for others who are interested. Thanks to Scott C. and to Anne Keala Kelly whom I really admire. Now... she is someone whom I think is COOL:

First... Anne Keala Kelly's article:

One of her websites:

A little about her:

A little about the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (exposed):

Then the article that was partly based on Anne Keala Kelly's research:

Hawai'i votes bought by Alaska oil

Juanita Mathews
Ka Leo Associate Editorials Editor
November 10, 2005

Last week the senate voted 51-49 in favor of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's 1.5 million acre coastal plain to oil drilling. Senators who opposed drilling in the past used the filibuster to force a 60-vote majority in order to pass any bill that opens up the area. Because the proposal to open up ANWR to drilling was tagged onto a budget reconciliation bill, it is immune to the filibuster and requires only a majority for the bill to pass. The vote on this issue was largely partisan, and therefore, it piqued my curiosity when I found out that both of Hawaii's democratic senators voted in favor of drilling. Their votes tipped the scales enough to further the interests of oil companies in Alaska and possibly cause the downfall of the native Alaskans, whose subsistence and cultural identity depends on this protected area.

Hawai'i is a state that is rich in cultural identity and has a philosophy that is tied to the land and its protection. It is also a state that understands the battle that native people must go through to protect their way of life from developers' interests. It strikes me as hypocritical that our senators, Akaka and Inouye, voted in favor of a bill that would further development in what the Department of Interior's Final Legislative Environmental Impact Statement called "the most biologically productive part of the Arctic Refuge for wildlife and the center of wildlife activity."

Akaka defended his position on the drilling by saying "For me, this is an issue about economic self-determination. This is an issue about allowing those who have lived on the coastal plain and cared for the coastal plain for many, many generations, to do what they believe is right with their lands." Akaka is referring to the Inupiat people, one of the two native Alaskan tribes that live on the 19 million acre ANWR.

The tribal people

The Inupiat, who formed the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, with a growth rate ahead of the S&P 500 index, have brought in yearly revenues through oil and other subsidiaries of about $1.5 billion dollars. This tribe is one of the richest in the nation and has ties with the oil industry, including a contract with the United States to supply fuel to the military. This tribe's political power has allowed them to push for opening the refuge to oil drilling, despite the protests of the other tribe living on ANWR lands.

The Gwich'in tribe, or Caribou People, is the other tribe living in the area. It depends on the coastal plain for its survival. This tribe does not have the political power that the Inupiat tribe has, so they depend on grassroots efforts to fight the prospect of oil drilling in an area that is sacred to them.

A traditional life

The Porcupine Caribou Herd is one of the largest herds in North America. The Inupiat and the Gwich'in tribes depend on caribou for food. Caribou is only a small fraction of the Inupiat's traditional diet, but the main staple of the Gwich'in diet. Since the caribou's sensitive calving grounds are located where oil companies would be drilling, the Gwich'in see their way of life disappearing if they do not fight to protect the area.

An entire way of life and primary food source is at stake for the Gwich'in, but our senators are voting for the interests of a tribe that is trying to bring in more profits at the expense of the environment. The poisoning of traditional Native American values by oil money is blatantly apparent.

Ties to oil

So, why did Akaka and Inouye really decide to ditch their party's stance and vote in favor of drilling? The answer seems to lie within the Akaka Bill. This controversial bill allows for a Hawaiian governing entity to negotiate with the federal government in order to settle Native Hawaiian land claims. Opponents of the bill argue that its wording was not voted on by Native Hawaiians. Other concerns are about the power that the Department of the Interior and the federal government will have over native rights.

The connection between Alaska oil interests and the Akaka Bill lies in the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, an organization that is pushing for the Akaka Bill. The president and acting CEO of this non-profit group, Robin Danner, is a Native Hawaiian with close ties to Alaska oil interests. The Council even accepted $100,000 from the Inupiat-owned Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. According to the Hawai'i Island Journal, Robin Danner's family owns a company called Danner and Associates, which has business ties to an Alaskan non-profit group called Arctic Power. Arctic Power is funded by the state of Alaska, oil industry corporations, including Exxon Mobil, and unions with interests in Alaska's oil industry, including the Teamsters." Robin Danner and her sister Jade Danner received money to promote ANWR drilling in Hawai'i.

According to the same Hawai'i Island Journal article the "State of Alaska public records show a contract, with no date of termination, between Danner and Associates and Arctic Power, signed by Jade Danner on Feb. 15, 2002. It is an agreement to pay Danner and Associates a flat monthly fee of $5,000 for services. Included in the scope of work section is: 'Development of a Strategic Plan in conjunction with Arctic Power for Hawai'i, monitor and respond to opposing editorials/stories in local news media, provide periodic updates to Arctic Power about activities and progress in Hawai'i, communicate with Hawaii's senators' staff to determine how to be most effective in assisting with educating the Hawaiian populace about the facts of ANWR, other projects as may be assigned by Arctic Power."

Robin Danner, who denies that she has ever done any work for her family's company, does admit that she gave speech at a Teamsters conference. According to the Danner and Associates ANWR Activity Log, this speech was scheduled and feedback was supposed to be given to Arctic Power. Danner also requested travel reimbursement from Danner and Associates with a Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement request form.

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement definitely has strong Alaska ties, and Senator Akaka has made those ties even stronger. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska supported the Akaka bill so much that the bill has been renamed the Akaka-Stevens Bill.

The solution

It is inexcusable that our senators have voted in favor of oil interests and against the survival of a tribal community that is desperately trying to hold on to its traditional way of life. While preaching that they want Native Hawaiians to be able to lay claim to their lands, our senators are taking away the lands of another native people. The area at the center of this issue has been protected for many years. It has a rich ecology that is needed by Arctic wildlife and the Gwich'in. Protection should not be lifted because of a misleading campaign that states that America needs ANWR oil.

What America needs is a slap in the face, a slap that might wake us up to the realization that drilling for more oil is not going to help our energy crisis, our environmental crisis or our international relations crisis. We as Americans need to push for renewable energy development that will not pollute our air, will not destroy our ecosystems and will allow us to be free from an oil industry that puppeteers our elected government officials.

Please contact your senators and representatives, there is still time to fight this issue and let your voices be heard:

Seen here:

Tags: anne keala kelly, arctic national wildlife refuge, council for native hawaiian advancement, hawaiians against the akaka bill, jade danner, noho hewa, robin danner, senator daniel akaka, stop the akaka bill,

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