The True Beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homelands

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2010-05-11
Authors
Wai'alae, Chantrelle
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Silva, Noenoe
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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As homelessness and rates of emigration from Hawai?i amongst native Hawaiians escalate due to lack of affordable land and housing, it’s important to question the system formulated to provide land for native Hawaiians. The 1921 Hawaiian Homes Commission Act reserved approximately 200,000 acres for “rehabilitation of the Hawaiian race” by providing native Hawaiians with residential, agricultural and pastoral lands. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act requires all Hawaiian Homeland applicants to be native Hawaiian, or “any descendant of not less than one-half part of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778.” However 88 years later, there are approximately 39,000 native Hawaiians on the Hawaiian Homelands wait list while over 69,149 acres were leased to non-beneficiaries in 2007. Does general leasing of Hawaiian Homelands compromise prospective Hawaiian homeland awards? This paper examines the Hawaiian Homes program from the fundamentals of its creation to its management and implementation since the enactment of the HHCA in 1921 until present. The study analyzes a sample of general leases on each island and identifies the non-beneficiaries who occupy them and the terms they acquired their land on, as opposed to their actual current market value. Results show that the majority of these non-beneficiary leases are not generating sufficient revenue for the program, but are a continuation of the state's colonialist policies that award Hawaiian homelands to businesses instead of K?naka Maoli.
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61 pages
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