Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States that hasn’t been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and 564 Native American tribes.
With a final vote pending in the U.S. Senate and Hawaii-born President Barack Obama on their side, the nation’s 400,000 Native Hawaiians could earn federal recognition as soon as this month—and the land, money and power that comes with it. They measure passed the U.S. House last month.
Many Native Hawaiians believe this process could help right the wrongs perpetuated since their kingdom was overthrown in 1893. The also point to the hundreds of thousands who died from diseases spread by foreign explorers before the kingdom fell.
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