An article entitled "Local Indians Hope Bill Restores Island Sovereignty" was on the front page of the Sacramento Bee this morning. A link to the article is here should you care to read it. I found it rather interesting.
The article states that John Sutter along with 10 Hawaiians made their way from San Francisco to Sacramento that he named New Helvetia. He is responsible for the discovery of gold east of Sacramento and established a settlement in Sacramento which became known as Sutter's Fort. What I found interesting about this article is that the Hawaiians with Sutter intermarried with the Indian tribes in this area and there are descendants in this area still today. This is something I have never heard about. I have heard and read that there were Hawaiians working along side the Chinese who built the railroad.
The article also talks about The Akaka Bill before Congress which will grant native Hawaiians sovereignty similar to that enjoyed by California's 106 federally recognized Indian nations. This bill has been presented to Congress on two separate occasions and it has stalled in the Senate. Sen Daniel Akaka, of Hawaii, now feels that this year the bill will pass because the President is supportive of this bill. One of the local tribes, who opened a casino hereby, and who say they are descendants of the Hawaiian/Indian intermarriages are ready to pack and go to Hawaii to be a part of it should sovereignty be granted to the native Hawaiians.
A few years ago there was a push for persons who lived outside of Hawaii and who had Hawaiian ancestry to submit applications so that they could be included when the time came to vote for the establishment of a "Hawaiian Kingdom". I seriously considered this, had a sticker on the back of our vehicle from the organization coordinating that effort and had sent application forms to my daughter for she and her children to fill out. At the same time I was receiving daily emails from groups who were strenuously opposing the passage of the Akaka Bill. I researched on my own to find all I could about the bill and what it really meant. I decided that maybe participating in that list was not the best thing.
I have heard that maybe this will be the year this bill will pass and on the other hand, certain ones saying it will not pass.
I noticed that there were 75 comments made to this story. I did post a comment only because someone we went to church with posted a comment and in my opinion, was very mean spirited. However in randomly reading some of the other comments, some of them were far worse than what this particular person had to say. And too, unfortunately most people wanted to talk about a lot of issues that really had nothing to do with the article.
I also noticed that people seem to think that because someone lives in Hawaii, then they are Hawaiian. A person has to have Hawaiian blood to be considered Hawaiian. In my family, both my father's family and my mother's family had Hawaiian blood. There is even some royal Hawaiian blood in my maternal grandfather's family. I've never figured out what much Hawaiian blood I have, I also have Chinese, Portuguese, English and French ancestry. My Nathanael and Rebekah tell me that their friends don't believe they have Hawaiian blood. And to look at them, one wouldn't think that they do, nor their mother (my daughter)!
I will continue to follow this and see what happens.
About Birgit Kerr
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