Native Hawaiians call themselves Kanaka Maoli. They are descendants of the early Polynesians who arrived in these islands 1500-2000 years ago.
2000 U.S. Census
Native Hawaiians (1 Race)
Congress defines "Native Hawaiian" as "any individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii."
NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION ACT OF 2007
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 is a bill currently before the United States Congress. It was introduced as Senate Bill S. 310 last January 17, 2007 by U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii and is commonly called the Akaka Bill. The House version of the bill H.R. 505 was passed October 24, 2007.
The bill would establish a process for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity similar to the recognition of some Native American nations.