The US Department of Interior has proposed a new federal rule that would allow Native Hawaiians to decide whether they want to to reorganize their government and establish a formal relationship with the U.S.  The DOI called the proposed rule the next step in the reconciliation process with Native Hawaiians that was set in motion in 1993, when the government formally apologized for its role in the 1893 coup of the Hawaiian monarchy.

"Many indigenous groups in the U.S. have the right of self-determination, and today’s announcement acknowledges that that right also belongs to the Native Hawaiian people, one of the largest native communities in the country,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI. “These rules incorporate over 5,000 public comments submitted to the Department of Interior, and should they be adopted, the Native Hawaiian community will have the option to re-establish a unified government and self-determine their future relationship with the federal government."

“Native Hawaiians have the right to reorganize a government that they determine is best for them,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, D-HI. “With today’s publication of proposed rules from the Department of the Interior, I urge Native Hawaiians and other interested individuals to stay engaged and to contribute their comments and concerns as the process moves forward.

The DOI began the rulemaking process in July 2014, after which 25 public meetings were held across Hawaii and Native American communities. The Department will accept comments on the rule proposal for 90 days.