Sen. Akaka to take over Indian Affairs Committee

Honolulu Hawaii (AP) January 2011

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is expected to take leadership of the Indian Affairs Committee after chairing the Veterans’ Affairs Committee for four years.

The Democratic senator representing Hawaii said in a statement he will work for the nation’s indigenous people, including Native Hawaiians.

Akaka has sought to pass a measure granting federal recognition to Native Hawaiians, but the bill failed after it didn’t get a vote last year.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said Akaka is a World War II veteran who has long been a champion for veterans’ issues.

Inouye says Akaka will continue working to provide the same kind of recognition for Native Hawaiians that’s already enjoyed by other indigenous groups.