Changing Tides: A Political and Legal History of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Date
2016-05
Authors
Andrade, Troy
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract
The 1978 Constitutional Convention brought about significant changes to the social, political, and legal landscape in Hawai‘i. One of the highlights of the Con-Con was the approval and establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a semi-autonomous entity of the State tasked with bettering the conditions of Hawaii’s indigenous people. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs was envisioned as a receptacle for reconciliatory efforts between Native Hawaiians, the State, and the federal government for historical injustices. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs was also created as a vehicle for Native Hawaiian self-determination. Despite these admirable goals, the history of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has been controversial. From its inception, it was decried as unconstitutional because it, according to critics, categorically divided American citizens based on their race. Its initiatives have come under harsh scrutiny from within and without the Hawaiian community, particularly given the relatively bleak social, economic, political, and health indicators for Native Hawaiians. Yet, the core purpose of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs remains: providing a vehicle for self- determination and eventual sovereignty. “Changing Tides: A Political and Legal History of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs,” examines the creation, challenges, and successes of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs during the past thirty-five years of its existence to demonstrate how the agency is uniquely poised to mediate greater forms of sovereignty and self-determination among Kānaka Maoli. Interspersed throughout this dissertation are analyses of key legal cases involving the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that have molded the arduous path toward reconciliation among the Hawaiian community, and between the federal and state governments.
Description
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords
Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Native Hawaiian, Reconciliation, Self-determination
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