Colonialism began with conquest and is today maintained by a settler administration created out of the doctrine of cultural hierarchy, a hierarchy in which European Americans and whiteness dominate non-European Americans and darkness. As a result, we live in a country where race prejudice, in the words of Fanon, obeys a flawless logic. For, after all, if inferior peoples must be exterminated, their cultures and habits of life, their languages and customs, their economies, indeed, every difference about them must be assaulted, confined, and obliterated. There must be a dominant culture and therefore a dominant people, a dominant religion, a dominant language, a dominant legal system, a dominant educational system, and so on, and so on. In other words, there must be dominance and subordination.

In a colonialist country such as the United States, white hegemony delineates this hierarchy. Thus, white people are the dominant group. Christianity is the dominant religion, capitalism is the dominant economy, militarism is the dominant form of diplomacy and the force underlying international relations. Violence is thus normal, and race prejudice, like race violence, is as American as apple pie.

—  Haunani-Kay Trask, from “The Color of Violence”
I am certain that most, if not all, Americans have heard of Hawai’i and have wished, at some time in their lives, to visit my Native land. But I doubt that the history of how Hawai’i came to be territorially incorporated, and economically, politically, and culturally subordinated to the United States is known to most Americans. Nor is it common knowledge that Hawaiians have been struggling for over twenty years to achieve a land base and some form of political sovereignty on the same level as American Indians.
Finally, I would imagine that most Americans could not place Hawai’i or any other Pacific island on a map of the Pacific. But despite all this appalling ignorance, five million Americans will vacation in my homeland this year and the next, and so on into the foreseeable capitalist future. Such are the intended privileges of the so-called American standard of living: ignorance of, and yet power over, one’s relations to Native peoples.
—  Haunani Kay-Trask, “Lovely Hula Hands: Corporate Tourism and the Prostitution of Hawaiian Culture
Watch on jessehimself.tumblr.com

Haunani Kay Trask - Island Issues 1990

“You caller, need to learn about Hawaiian history and about where you are.”
Throwback Thursday: In 1990 Kumu Haunani-Kay Trask was featured on an episode of Island Issues discussing racism in Hawai'i. Here she responds to one of many “woefully ignorant” callers.

Haunani-Kay Trask (born October 3, 1949) is an American-born academic, activist, documentarist and writer. Of Native Hawaiian descent, Trask is a professor of Hawaiian Studies with the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has represented Native Hawaiians in the United Nations and various other global forums. She is the author of several books of poetry and nonfiction.

There is the virtually unknown story of Hawaii and the hidden Genocide being committed by the American government with the use of ‘blood quantum’ for the purpose of eliminating the Hawaiian national; and the reason America does this? Because according to their own laws, America never lawfully annexed Hawaii*, therefore according to law Hawaii never became a state, and if the Hawaiian land was never lawfully annexed, the only true claimant to the land, is the Hawaiian national.
“Nichols O'Keefe ”

The people of the United States find themselves in such a position right now, forced to choose between a moral and ethical position that carries with it the potential for “inconvenience”, or supporting the status quo and having to admit to themselves that they are not the champions of justice they imagine themselves to be. By the end of this article, you will know for yourself which one you are.

Most folks have heard that Hawaii is a state, one of the United States of America. Most people, including those who live in Hawaii, accept that statement as a fact.

But the reality is that in a world in which nations are as bound by the rule of laws as are the citizens of nations (if not more so), the truth is quite different!

The truth is that each and every step along Hawaii’s path from sovereign and independent nation, to annexed territory, to state, was done in violation of laws and treaties then in effect, without regard to the wishes of the Hawaiian people. Many people, including President Grover Cleveland, opposed the annexation of Hawaii.



Browsing the internet, found some free PDFs to read:

You have here, writings that detail Indigenous topics covering or in the style of: manifestos, creative writings, political, cultural, “feminist”, environment/ecosystems, and Natural Law. 

Enjoy the readings!

Suddenly the entire sweep of our written history was clear to me. I was reading the West’s view of itself through the degradation of my own past. When historians wrote that the king owned the land and the common people were bound to it, they were saying that ownership was the only way human beings in their world could relate to the land, and in that relationship, some one person had to control both the land and the interaction between humans.

And when they said our chiefs were despotic, they were telling of their own society, where hierarchy always resulted in domination. Thus, any authority or elder was automatically suspected of tyranny.

And when they wrote that Hawaiians were lazy, they meant that work must be continuous and ever a burden.

And when they wrote that we were promiscuous, they meant that lovemaking in the Christian West was a sin.

And when they wrote that we were racist because we preferred our own ways to theirs, they meant that their culture needed to dominate other cultures.

And when they wrote that we were superstitious, believing in the mana of nature and people, they meant that the West has long since lost a deep spiritual and cultural relationship to the earth.

And when they wrote that Hawaiians were “primitive” in their grief over the passing of loved ones, they meant that the West grieves for the living who do not walk among their ancestors.

—  – Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i
Here, in Hawai’i, English is the major language, but it cannot begin to feel the physical beauty of our islands in the unparalleled detail of the Hawaiian language. Nor can English reveal how we knew animals to be our family; how we harnessed the ocean’s rhythms, creating massive fishponds; how we came to know the migrations of deep-ocean fish and golden plovers from the Arctic; nor how we sailed from hemisphere to hemisphere with nothing but the stars to guide us. English is foreign to Hawai’i; it reveals nothing of this place where we are born, where our ancestors created knowledge now ‘lost’ to the past.
—  Haunani Kay Trask

Taken from Light In the Crevice Never Seen by Haunani-Kay Trask (p. 86-87):

Since 1970, a cultural and political movement among Hawaiians has focused on protection and revitaliation of Hawaiian language, religious and other historic sites, the practice of traditional taro farming, and finally, the assertion of self-determination as indigenous people.

Part of this movement was illustrated by a struggle to reroute a freeway scheduled for construction in Ha’iku Valley on the windward side of O’ahu.  One of the largest heiau - Hawaiian temples - on the island rests in the path of the freeway.  Students, workers, and Hawaiian religious leaders struggled in vain to change the path of the freeway.

The poem is dedicated to Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa, one of the Hawaiian women who led the struggle.  


for Lilikala


There is nothing
like this beauty

scarred by wires
from peak to valley floor

the whole expanse of rock blue color
volcanic wrath
fern and bamboo

by haole power
burned through these mountains

with missionary lust.


How long did those 
ancients plant
in each sacred place?

How many terraces
constructed, fishponds tended?

What chants 
the goddess and her god?


Millenia of love
rooted back into the earth

except for bands
of survivors, uncovering
lo’i, tracing genealogy

drawing back
the undergrowth

to find temples 
on the land.

Modern Hawai'i, like its colonial parent the United States, is a settler society; that is, Hawai'i is a society in which the indigenous culture and people have been murdered, suppressed, or marginalized for the benefit of settlers who now dominate our islands. In settler societies, the issue of civil rights is primarily an issue about how to protect settlers against each other and against the state. Injustices done against Native people, such as genocide, land dispossession, language banning, family disintegration, and cultural exploitation, are not part of this intrasettler discussion and are therefore not within the parameters of civil rights.
—  Haunani-Kay Trask
The issues before Hawaiians are those of indigenous land and cultural rights, and survival as a people. In contrast, the issues before ‘locals’ have merely to do with finding a comfortable fit in Hawai'i that guarantees a rising income, upward mobility, and the general accoutrements of a middle-class 'American’ way of life. Above all, 'locals’ don’t want any reminder of their daily benefit from the subjugation of Hawaiians. For them, history begins with their arrival in Hawai'i and culminates with the endless retelling of their allegedly well-deserved rise to power. Simply said, 'locals’ want to be 'Americans.’
—  Haunani-Kay Trask, “Settlers of Color and ‘Immigrant’ Hegemony: ‘Locals’ in Hawai’i” in Asian Settler Colonialism (61)

Here’s a mid-day blessing from Polynesian sis & Native Hawaiian, Haunani-Kay Trask.

Trask eloquently & subtlety reminds the caller that Hawaii is not America, it’s Polynesia and it was an independent sovereign nation first! And then wrapped up her read by reminding the caller that she’s the recipient of this very imperialist tradition. WHEW! The way women of color read folks is classic!!

I love Haunani’s firm stance for self determination for her people, so much so that I looked her up and bought her book.

Also, there are still Native Hawaiian’s fighting for sovereignty & self governance in Hawaii, to them I say, fight on! ✊🏾


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Our indigenous origin enables us to define what and who is indigenous, and what and who is not indigenous. We know who the First Nations people are since we were, historically, the first people in the Hawaiian archipelago. Only Hawaiians are Native to Hawai'i. Everyone else is a settler. […] Challenging the settler ideology that ‘we are all immigrants,’ Native nationalism unsettles the accustomed familiarity with which haole and Asians enjoy their dominance in everyday Hawai'i.
—  Haunani-Kay Trask, “Settlers of Color and ‘Immigrant’ Hegemony: ‘Locals’ in Hawai’i” in Asian Settler Colonialism (50-51)