Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2022
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced that, for the first time in the agency’s history, it will require formal consultation with the Native Hawaiian Community. New policies and procedures, subject to formal consultation, will further affirm and honor the special political and trust relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian Community.
“The Interior Department is committed to working with the Native Hawaiian Community on a government-to-sovereign basis to address concerns related to self-governance, Native Hawaiian trust resources, and other Native Hawaiian rights,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “A new and unprecedented consultation policy will help support Native Hawaiian sovereignty and self-determination as we continue to uphold the right of the Native Hawaiian Community to self-government.”
The draft consultation policy and procedures seek to, among other things:
The draft requirements help further the spirit and intent of President Biden’s “Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships,” which outlines the Administration’s efforts to engage Indigenous communities early and often in federal decision-making.
The Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (ONHR) will host two virtual consultations on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. HST and Monday, Dec. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. HST to gather feedback from the Native Hawaiian Community on the new policy. ONHR discharges the Secretary's responsibilities for matters related to Native Hawaiians and serves as a conduit for the Department’s field activities in Hawaiʻi. More information is available on ONHR’s website.