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Title: Precarious Positions: Native Hawaiians and US Federal Recognition 
Author: Kauanui, J Kehaulani
Date: 2005
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Kauanui, J. K. 2005. Precarious Positions: Native Hawaiians and US Federal Recognition. The Contemporary Pacific 17 (1): 1-27.
Abstract: This essay examines the politics of the controversial proposal for US federal
recognition for Native Hawaiians. It explores a range of historical and legal issues
that shed light on the multiple claims that constitute the complex terrain of
Hawaiian sovereignty politics. The article provides a historical overview of the
events that impact the current situation and then discusses a particular set of contemporary
conditions that serve as key elements in catalyzing widespread support
for federal recognition—namely, the implications of the recent US Supreme Court
ruling in Rice v Cayetano and subsequent legal challenges to Native Hawaiian
programs and funding by the US government. It also highlights difficulties with
the promise of federal recognition as a solution to “the Hawaiian problem” by
looking at lessons from Indian Country, Native Alaska, and the Pacific—especially
the US unincorporated territories. Finally, the essay explores the independence
movement as an alternative to domestic dependent nationhood.
ISSN: 1043-898X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/13835
Keywords: Native Hawaiians, sovereignty, United States, federal recognition, indigenous politics, land, self-governance
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.

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