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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, September 2, 2004

Plank supports preservation of Native Hawaiian culture

 •  Cheney sets the stage by ripping Kerry
 •  Lingle sings praises of Bush, Hawai'i

By Ron Staton
Associated Press

The platform adopted by the Republican National Convention this week includes references of support for Native Hawaiians.

The GOP platform includes a plank supporting Native Americans and Native Hawaiians and calling for preservation of their culture and language, Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday.

The governor said she is proud that Hawai'i Republicans were able to get the reference to Native Hawaiians included in the GOP platform.

Lingle said she consulted with Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, co-chairman of the platform committee, before the convention to urge that Native Hawaiians be included along with Native Americans.

"He took a personal interest in this because he knew how important this is for us," Lingle said. "We also had two Hawai'i delegates on the platform committee and they made certain that remained in the platform."

The platform adopted in July at the Democrats' convention in Boston makes no references to Hawaiians, even though the party's 2000 platform included a plank affirming the legal and political relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians.

"I don't have an answer" why Hawaiians were not included in the platform, said Hawai'i Democratic Party chairman Brickwood Galuteria. "I wish I did."

But he noted that support for Native Hawaiians is included in the state platform.

He also said Democrats are hoping for approval of the Hawaiian federal recognition bill pending in Congress.

"The Akaka bill will carry us through on that," Galuteria said.