Hawaii & Alaska
Environment News Service

HI - HAWAII: US Government Returns Land to Native Hawaiians

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to head a Cabinet agency, allowed her emotions to show Monday as she announced the transfer of 80 acres of surplus federal land to a trust for Native Hawaiians.

HONOLULU, Hawaii, June 16, 2021 (ENS) – U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to head a Cabinet agency, allowed her emotions to show Monday as she announced the transfer of 80 acres of surplus federal land to a trust for Native Hawaiians.

“The Native Hawaiian Community has waited more than 20 years for the federal government to address a $16.9 million credit owed by the United States to the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust,” Secretary Haaland said Monday.

“Today’s action is an important step in our commitment to resolving the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act settlement,” she said. “We thank the Department of Commerce, General Services Administration, State of Hawaii, and Native Hawaiian Community members who provided their input during consultation on this transfer.”

The 80-acre parcel of surplus federal property at the former NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Oahu’s southern shore now will be included in the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust. The land can potentially provide homesteads for 200 to 400 Native Hawaiian families.

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