COVID-19 spike reignites sovereignty debate among Hawaiian Americans

As the Covid virus has gotten worse in the past couple months, the debate about sovereignty among Hawaiian natives has regained strength.

There has been an ongoing debate among native Hawaiians for decades whether they should be able to reclaim control of the island, without the presence of the U.S. or to have a literal Hawaiian government with limited autonomy. As Covid cases and tourism on the islands have increased in the past few months, there has become a lack in resources and an abundance of Covid-related hospitalizations. 

While he was president-elect, now president Joe Biden expressed support for legislation which would re-establish inter-government relations between the U.S. government and native Hawaiian and native Alaskan governments (The Buffalo Chronicle). This plan was beginning to take off during the Obama administration, but slowed to a halt when the Trump administration moved into the White House.

While the idea has gained support from several politicians, no action has been taken since Biden took office. The debate currently remains among native Hawaiians. Some feel that if the U.S. government recognized their government, they would qualify for money and other benefits, like U.S. native American groups do. Conversely, others feel that Hawaii is land unlawfully stolen by the U.S. and should be returned swiftly. There are still also Hawaiians in favor of keeping things the way they are.



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