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Certified Native Hawaiian roll posted online with 95,690 names

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20120720-4151 CTY HAWAIIAN ROLL In 2011, Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted Senate Bill 1520, the Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill, into law as Act 195. In addition to formally recognizing Native Hawaiian people as “the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawaii,” the measure also established the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC), members who would be appointed by the Governor from nominations made by Native Hawaiian organizations. The purpose of the Commission is to develop and oversee the process of enrolling Native Hawaiians for the purposes of organizing a sovereign entity. The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission Registry Ceremony and landmark signing of the Native Hawaiian Roll occurred at Washington Place. These were among the first to sign. PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA. JULY 20, 2012.

The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission has posted online a certified list of 95,690 people of Hawaiian ancestry who could form the voting base to create a native Hawaiian government. 

The list will be used to elect delegates later this year to a governance ‘aha, or constitutional convention, which is expected to consider different options for Hawaiian self-determination. Na’i Aupuni, an independent organization led by a volunteer board, was formed in December to help manage that effort. 

People can continue to register to be on the list, update their contact information, or ask to have their names removed. The version posted over the weekend is an alphabetized list of Hawaiians who had registered and whose ancestry had been verified by the commission by July 10. 

"Additional names will be added to the final Certified List by the roll Commission between now and the date established by Nai Aupuni for delegate elections, as new registrations are processed and qualifications confirmed through documents and other information," the commission announced on its website. 

To be eligible to participate, registrants must be descendants of the aboriginal people who lived in the Hawaiian islands prior to 1778. They must also affirm the "unrelinquished sovereignty of the Hawaiian people" and declare that they have a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community. 

This is the first time the commission has made the entire list available for public perusal online, although individuals have long been able to check online to see if their names were included. Contact information is not disclosed. 

Na’i Aupuni intends to send a notice of election to certified voters next month, explaining the voting process, apportionment of delegates and how to file as a delegate candidate. The volunteers serving on Na’i Aupuni’s board will not run as delegates or act as political advocates. The organization is funded by the nonprofit Akamai Foundation with grants from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. 

Last week, two nonprofit groups, Judicial Watch and the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, posted a preliminary list of 123,160 names on the registry, including people whose ancestry had not yet been certified. It had been seeking access to the list for a year, and obtained the preliminary version through a court order. 

The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission launched its Kanaiolowalu registry initiative in July 2012 and signed up more than 40,000 registrants. To bolster the numbers, it also incorporated names from previous native Hawaiiian registries, such as Kau Inoa, Operation Ohana and the Hawaiian Registry. 

The Native Hawaiian Roll can be viewed online at the kanaiolowalu.org website, also reachable via hawaiianroll.org

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