Native Hawaiian leaders react to sovereignty announcement

Kelii Akina disappointed by sovereignty announcement

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a way for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition. For decades, former Senator Daniel Akaka tried to achieve this through Congress, but just couldn't get it passed. This time, the process will be done a different way, through the Department of the Interior.

While most native Hawaiians hailed this announcement as hugely significant, many also realize that this is just a first step in the process. Former Governor John Waihee called this a "civil rights victory" that was a long time in coming.

Opponents of the sovereignty movement include the group called "Protest Nai Aupuni". Its leaders say they will gather at Iolani Palace at noon today to protest the development.

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