The U.S. Department of the Interior is proposing to create an administrative procedure and criteria that the Secretary of the Interior would apply if the Native Hawaiian community forms a unified government that then seeks a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States. Under the proposal, the Native Hawaiian community — not the Federal government — would decide whether to reorganize a Native Hawaiian government, what form that government would take, and whether it would seek a government-to-government relationship with the United States.
The proposal, which takes the form of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), builds on more than 150 Federal statutes that Congress has enacted over the last century to recognize and implement the special political and trust relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. The NPRM comes on the heels of a robust and transparent public comment period as part of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) process that began last year and included public meetings. More than 5,000 members of the public submitted written comments to the ANPRM, and they overwhelmingly favored creating a pathway for re-establishing a formal government-to-government relationship.
Members of the public are encouraged to read the proposal and provide comments in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, on www.regulations.gov (docket no. DOI-2015-0005), or by U.S. mail/hand delivery to the Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7228, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC 20240. Comments must be received on or before December 30, 2015. The public is also encouraged to participate in the scheduled teleconferences on the proposed rule.