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1RESOLUTION NO.

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3 TITLE: HAWAI‘I OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
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5 REQUESTING AN ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE TO PROMOTE THE USE OF THE
6 HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES IN THE STATE; TO PROVIDE
7 FOR THE USE OF BOTH OFFICIAL LANGUAGES OF THE STATE IN LEGISLATIVE
8 PROCEEDINGS, IN ACTS OF THE LEGISLATURE, IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF
9 JUSTICE, IN COMMUNICATING WITH OR PROVIDING SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC
10 AND IN CARRYING OUT THE WORK OF PUBLIC BODIES; TO SET OUT THE
11 DUTIES OF SUCH BODIES WITH RESPECT TO THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES OF
12 THE STATE; AND FOR THOSE PURPOSES, TO PROVIDE FOR THE
13 ESTABLISHMENT OF AN OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF OFFICIAL
14 LANGUAGES AND TO DEFINE ITS FUNCTIONS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE
15 PUBLICATION BY THE COMMISSIONER OF CERTAIN INFORMATION RELEVANT
16 TO THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT; AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS.
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19 WHEREAS, along with Hawai‘i, the list of officially multilingual countries and U.S.
20jurisdictions now numbers no fewer than 44, including Abkhazia, American Samoa, Aotearoa
21(New Zealand), Belgium, Bolivia, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, China (Hong Kong &
22Macau), Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, Finland, Guam, both cities of Hialeah & Miami
23(Florida) and San Francisco (California), India, Israel, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan,
24Kenya, Kyrgyszstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway,
25Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Somalia,
26Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom; and
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28 WHEREAS, several other governments provide bilingual services by right for
29indigenous minorities, including Australia, England (Wales) and Mexico; and
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31 WHEREAS, the U.S. Public Law 103-150 (1993 Apology Bill) resolved by the
32Senate and House of Representatives “recognizes and commends efforts of reconciliation
33initiated by the State of Hawai‘i….(and) supports reconciliation efforts between the United
34States and the Native Hawaiian people”; and
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36 WHEREAS, the state of Hawai‘i generally treats Hawaiian language education as if it
37were enrichment, foreign language education, and because of this perspective, Hawaiian
38speaking children are yet seen as having no right to education in Hawaiian; and fluency in
39Hawaiian is not a minimum qualification for employment in Kula Kaiapuni Hawai‘i, and
40testing of students in Kula Kaiapuni Hawai‘i through Hawaiian has not been provided in
41spite of federal government recognition that national standardized tests as used in Hawai‘i
42are biased against minority children even when such children are educated through English in
43that such tests do not have a distinct minority culture focus; as a result, there is presently no
44guarantee that Hawaiian speaking children may choose Hawaiian medium education and
45receive transportation to their schools; and
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1 WHEREAS, some Hawaiian children are leaving Hawaiian immersion programs for
2fear of being inadequately prepared for getting accepted into the colleges and universities of
3their choice; and
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5 WHEREAS, 40 years after the adoption of their Official Languages Act, Canada has
6grown from a country where English predominates to a country proud of its two official
7languages, and support for bilingualism among Canadians is at an all time high; and
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9 WHEREAS, the Hawai‘i Official Language Act 1) establishes the equality of status
10and equal rights and privileges as to the use of official languages in all institutions of the
11legislature and government of the state, 2) establishes full and equal access to the legislature
12and legislative proceedings, to the laws of the state and to courts established by government
13in both official languages, 3) guarantees the right of any member of the public to
14communicate with, and to receive available services from, any institution of the legislature or
15government in either official language, 4) guarantees officers and employees of government
16institutions and public bodies equal opportunities to use the official language of their choice
17while working together in pursuing the goals of those institutions and public bodies, 5)
18guarantees English-speaking residents of Hawai‘i and Hawaiian-speaking residents of
19Hawai‘i, without regard to their ethnic origin or first language learned, equal opportunities to
20obtain employment in the institutions of government, 6) establishes the State Legislature is
21committed to achieving, with due regard to the principle of selection of personnel according
22to merit, full participation of English-speaking and Hawaiian-speaking residents of Hawai‘i
23in its institutions, 7) establishes the State Legislature is committed to enhancing the vitality
24and supporting the development of English and Hawaiian linguistic minority communities as
25part of the two official language communities of the State, and to fostering full recognition
26and use of Hawaiian and English in the Hawaiian Islands, 8) estalishes the State Legislature
27is committed to cooperating with County and Municipal governments and their institutions
28and public bodies to support the development of Hawaiian and English linguistic minority
29communities, to provide services in both Hawaiian and English languages, to respect the
30constitutional guarantees of minority language educational rights and to enhance
31opportunities for all to learn both Hawaiian and English languages, 9) establishes the State
32Legislature is committed to enhancing the bilingual character of the State Capital District and
33to encouraging the business community, labor orgnaizations and voluntary organizations in
34the State to foster the recognition and use of Hawaiian and English languages, and 10)
35establishes the State Legislature recognizes the importance of preserving and enhancing the
36use of languages other than Hawaiian and English while strengthing the status and use of the
37official languages; and
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39 WHEREAS, Article 15 of the Hawai‘i State Constitution declares Hawaiian to be an
40official language “except that Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions only
41as provided by law”; and
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43 WHEREAS, nearly 2,000 residents of Hawai‘i (including 3 public office holders and
44candidates at State, Municipal and Office of Hawaiian Affairs judicatories) have joined
45Hawai‘i Bilingual, whose positions are 1) Hawai‘i citizens shal by right receive public
46services in the official language of their choice, as in Canada, 2) All public service

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1communications shall be published in Hawaiian, in addition to English, and 3) the Hawai‘i
2State Board of Education and the University of Hawai‘i shall adopt universal Hawaiian
3language proficiency graduation standards;
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5 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Association of Hawaiian Civic
6Clubs in Convention at Makena, Maui this 7th day of November 2009, that the State
7Legislature immediately adopt a Hawai‘i Official Languages Act similar to those adopted in
8Canada and Ireland.
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10 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Hawai‘i State Legislature 1) ensure respect
11for English and Hawaiian as the official languages of the State and ensure equality of status
12and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all governmental institutions, in particular
13with respect to their use in the Legislative proceedings, in legislative and other instruments,
14in the administration of justice, in communicating with or providing services to the public
15and in carrying out the work of State, County and municipal institutions, 2) support the
16development of Hawaiian and English linguistic minority communities and generally
17advance the equality of status and use of the Hawaiian and English languages within the
18Hawaiian Islands, 3) set out the powers, duties and functions of governmental institutions
19and publc bodies with respect to the official languages of the State, including the
20establishment of an Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (and to define its
21functions), as well as 4) provide for the publication by the Commissioner of Official
22Languages of certain information relevant to the purposes of this Act and related matters.
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24 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted
25to the Governor of Hawai‘i, State Senate President, State Speaker of the House, State Senate
26Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, State House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Office of
27Hawaiian Affairs Chair of the Board of Trustees, Mayor of Honolulu and all County Mayors,
28and the Chairs of the Boards of Trustees of the Ali‘i Trusts.
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30INTRODUCED BY: Hawaiian Civic Club of Waimanalo
31REFERRED TO: ________________________
32ACTION: ______________________________
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