Nhsc-v1-5

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nhsc-v1-5

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secretary for the Washington office, and a Hawaii Coordinator and a secretary for the Hawaii office.

The Commission's series of public hearings in Hawaii to begin the data collection phase of the study plan was held in January 1982. Eight public hearings were held on the islands of Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai. The Commission heard testimony and received written statements from hundreds of individuals during the dozens of hours of hearings. Everyone who wanted to testify was given the opportunity. Those testifying included native and non-native Hawaiians of all age levels and from all walks of life. In addition, an informational meeting was held to acquaint Commissioners with the key issues relating to native Hawaiians. At this meeting, Commissioners heard expert testimony from representatives of several organizations that are intimately involved in native Hawaiian programs and problems, including: Alu Like, Inc., the Hawaiian Homes Commission, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Bishop Estate. Throughout its stay in Hawaii, the Commission heard and experienced, first-hand, numerous statements on the entire spectrum of issues regarding the culture, needs, and concerns of native Hawaiians: the homesteading program, preservation of religious sites, educational problems, health, land issues, legal rights, preservation of the Hawaiian language and culture, and many more.

The Commission then divided its members into two committees to organize, research, and draft the two primary sections of its study plan. As a result of the wealth of information received at the hearings in Hawaii, the two committees of the Commission were able to refine and elaborate on the Commission's original study plan. As contemplated by the Commission's approved study plan, data collection and drafting of particular sections of the study were assigned to various Commissioners and to the staff. As indicated earlier, the Commission relied on the resources of other agencies for assistance in information-gathering activities, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Naval Historical Research Center.

As the data collection effort continued, the third phase of the study plan (assimilation and analysis of facts and information) was begun by the two committees and the staff, based on the information already collected from the public hearings, from State and Federal agencies, and from other organizations. Preliminary drafts of the Draft Report of Findings were reviewed by the Commission in June and August. The culmination of this process was the publication of the Commission's Draft Report of Findings on September 23, 1982, as required by law.

After publication of the Draft Report, the Commission announced in the Federal Register, and through its office in Hawaii, that there would be a public comment period on the Draft Report of sixty days—from September 23 to November 23, 1982 (as set forth in the Commission's study plan). To encourage the submission of written comments, copies of the Report were circulated in Hawaii to individuals, native Hawaiian organizations, and State government agencies. Copies of the Draft Report were also placed in public libraries throughout the State to ensure increased access to the Report by the public at large. On the mainland, copies of the Report were circulated to members of Congress, to Federal Government agencies, and to other interested organizations and individuals.

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