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Commission simplifies ancestry confirmation process

By Staff | Jul 18, 2013

HONOLULU – Native Hawaiians are familiar with the request for documentation of their ancestry in order to participate in various programs.

To ease the time and cost burden of thousands of Hawaiians submitting individual documents, the Hawaii Legislature and Native Hawaiian Roll Commission have implemented a process using multiple confirmation sources.

The process simplifies ancestral confirmation for Native Hawaiians seeking to be listed on the Kana’iolowalu Registry, commonly referred to as “the roll.”

The Kana’iolowalu Registry is a list of qualified Native Hawaiians seeking to participate in the modern reorganization of the Native Hawaiian government. Persons on the list are recognized by the state as the indigenous people of Hawaii.

Under state law in Section 10H-3, people who are eligible to be beneficiaries of Hawaiian Home Lands, or meet ancestry eligibility for Kamehameha Schools or any of the Hawaiian registry programs of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, meet the criteria for eligibility of the roll.

If you are a Hawaiian Home Lands lessee or on the waiting list and had your ancestry verified; if you are attending or graduated from Kamehameha Schools; or if you are on the Hawaiian Registry, Operation Ohana, or Kau Inoa, no additional paperwork is required.

Most Hawaiians who were born in Hawaii have “Hawaiian” or “part-Hawaiian” on their birth certificate.

According to the state, thousands of individuals obtaining certificates from the Department of Health would be costly and time-consuming while creating long lines.

An interdepartmental agreement allows for the Roll Commission to electronically confirm ancestry without obtaining individual records. The agreement does not authorize or enable the Roll Commission to receive specific information about individuals.

To avoid inappropriate use of personal data, state law classifies this information, including birth certificates submitted with registrations, as confidential.

In 2011, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed Act 195 into law, recognizing Native Hawaiians as the indigenous population of the Hawaiian Islands.

The law established the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, with unpaid commissioners appointed by the governor, to certify and publish a roll of Qualified Native Hawaiians.

Act 195 called for the roll to be used to organize a Native Hawaiian governing entity that is recognized by the State of Hawaii.

For more information, call (808) 594-0088 or visit www.kanaiolowalu.org.