Hawaii's native minority is demanding a greater degree of sovereignty over its own affairs. But much of the archipelago's political establishment, which includes the White Americans who dominated until the second world war and people of Japanese, Chinese and Filipino origins, is opposed to the idea.
The islands were annexed by the US in 1898 and since then Hawaii's native peoples have fared worse than any of its other ethnic groups. They make up over 60 percent of the state's homeless, suffer higher levels of unemployment and their life span is five years less than the average Hawaiians. They are the only major US native group without some degree of autonomy.
But a sovereignty advisory committee set up by Hawaii's first native governor, Joahn Waihee, has given the natives' cause a major boost by recommending that the Hawaiian natives decide by themselves whether to reestablish a sovereign Hawaiian nation.
However, the Hawaiian natives are not united in their demands. Some just want greater autonomy within the state -- as enjoyed by many American Indian natives over matters such as education. This is a position supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), a state agency set up in 1978 to represent the natives' interests and which has now become the moderate face of the native sovereignty movement. More ambitious is the Ka Lahui group, which declared itself a new nation in 1987 and wants full, official independence from the US.
But if Hawaiian natives are given greater autonomy, it is far from clear how many people this will apply to. The state authorities only count as native those people with more than 50 percent Hawaiian blood.
Native demands are not just based on political grievances, though. They also want their claim on 660,000 hectares of Hawaiian crown land to be accepted. It is on this issue that native groups are facing most opposition from the state authorities. In 1933, the state government paid the OHA US 136 million in back rent on the crown land and many officials say that by accepting this payment the agency has given up its claims to legally own the land. The OHA has vigorously disputed this.
1. Hawaii's native minority refers to _________________.
A. Hawaii's ethnic groups
B. people of Filipino origin
C. the Ka Lahui group
D. people with more than 50% Hawaiian blood
2. Which of the following statements is true of the Hawaiian natives?
A. Sixty percent of them are homeless or unemployed.
B. their life span is 5 years shorter than average Americans.
C. Their life is worse than that of other ethnic groups in Hawaii.
D. They are the only native group without sovereignty.
3. Which of the following is NOT true of John Waihee?
A. He is Hawaii's first native governor.
B. He has set up a sovereignty advisory committee.
C. He suggested the native people decide for themselves.
D. He is leading the local independence movement.
4. Which of the following groups holds a less radical attitude on the matter of sovereignty?
A. American Indian natives.
B. Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
C. The Ka Lahui group.
D. The Hawaiian natives.
5. Various native Hawaiians demand all the following EXCEPT ____________.
A. a greater autonomy within the state
B. more back rent on the crown land
C. a claim on the Hawaiian crown land
D. full independence from the US