Judge Mossman Discusses OHA, Pros & Cons of Akaka Bill

December 22, 2010, 10:50 PM HST · Updated December 22, 11:06 PM
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By Wendy Osher

A court case eight years ago, challenging the constitutionality of both the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands stirred something within Retired Judge Boyd Mossman. The Arakaki vs. Lingle lawsuit, was eventually dismissed, but in its wake came additional challenges and pressing need for the agencies to establish recognition for Native Hawaiians.

Judge Boyd Mossman, OHA Trustee representing Maui. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Mossman, saw the lawsuit as a “threat to the Hawaiian existence as a people.” The potential consequences of a loss Mossman said were “catastrophic”, prompting him to seek election to the OHA board, which at the time was riddled with negative press and inner-fighting amongst members.

Mossman won election to the post in 2002 and continues to serve as the Maui representative on the Board. His efforts have been focused on rental and assistance housing for those that fall below the required 50% blood quantum; but the pressing issue and foundation of his service, has been a fight for Native Hawaiian recognition and backing of the Akaka Bill.

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“Without the protection of the Akaka Bill, which would lead to ultimate recognition–as with the Indians and with the Alaskans–without that legal protection, that shield so to speak, we’re due to have another suit against us one day,” said Retired Judge Boyd Mossman and Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee, during an interview today on AM 900 KNUI.

“And the likelihood of us prevailing again, in light of what the courts have said up until today anyways, basically is not very good. They’ve been telling us, look, you’ve got to get some recognition,” said Mossman.

(This segment is one in a series that will be posted in the coming days. All segments touch upon issues of Self Governance, Native Hawaiian Recognition and the Akaka Bill. Please check back for follow-up VIDEOs and Featured Stories. Special Thanks to The Maui Breakfast Club, which airs M-F 8-10 a.m. on AM 900 KNUI, The Talk of Maui.)

*** If you enjoyed this post, you may also like U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka’s speech on the Senate floor today (Wednesday, December 22, 2010) and his discussion on the future of the Akaka Bill.

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