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Title: Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act of 2007
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill allowing Native Hawaiians to organize a governing body that would be recognized by the U.S. government.
- Reaffirms that Native Hawaiians have the right to autonomy in their internal affairs, the right of self-determination and self-governance, the right to reorganize a governing entity, and the right to become economically self-sufficient (Sec. 4).
- Defines "Native Hawaiian" as someone who is either a direct descendant of the indigenous people who exercised sovereignty and resided on the islands that currently comprise the State of Hawaii before Jan. 1, 1893, or who is, or is a direct descendant of, an indigenous person who was eligible for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in 1921 (Sec. 3).
- Establishes the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations within the Office of the Secretary of the Interior (Sec. 5).
- Establishes the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group to address issues between the Department of the Interior and other Federal agencies that affect Native Hawaiians, their lands, their rights, or their resources (Sec. 6).
- Allows the Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council to conduct a referendum among adult members of the Native Hawaiian community to determine the governing documents of a new Native Hawaiian governing body, including criteria for citizenship, powers and authorities, and civil rights and protection of rights (Sec. 7).
- States that the U.S. government will give Federal recognition to the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the representative government of the Native Hawaiian people (Sec. 7).
- Allows the United States and the State of Hawaii to enter into negotiations with the Native Hawaiian governing entity to address issues such as the transfer of lands and natural resources, the protection of existing natural resource rights, the exercise of governmental authority over transferred lands and natural resources, the exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction, the delegation of governmental powers and authorities, and any grievances regarding assertions of historical wrongs committed against Native Hawaiians (Sec. 8).
- Prohibits Native Hawaiians or their governing entity from conducting gaming or gambling activities (Sec. 9).
- States that the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act (25 U.S.C. 177) does not apply in the State of Hawaii unless a court determines otherwise (Sec. 9).
- States that this Act does not change the civil or criminal jurisdiction of the United States or State of Hawaii over lands and people within Hawaii unless further legislation is enacted (Sec. 9).