Hawaii's congressional delegation has reintroduced a bill from 2007 that seeks to give federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.
The Akaka Bill was introduced in the US Senate and the US House of Representatives on Thursday by the state's four Democrats: Sens Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye and Reps Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono.
They say the bill is "critical for the future" of the state. It gives recognition similar to that of American Indians and has a provision that would bar legalized gambling operations. The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act was approved by the House and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2007. It was shelved when President George W Bush threatened to veto the bill.