The recent wildfires that ravaged the lands of Maui have not only left a trail of loss but have also brought attention to the pressing issue of Hawaiian sovereignty. Experts and activists engaged in discussions surrounding sovereignty and the right of a nation-state to govern itself believe that the devastation is deeply connected to this fundamental struggle.
Hawaii, a place with a complex historical background, has become a battleground for advocates and scholars fighting for international recognition of the Kingdom of Hawaii as an existing nation-state, as well as complete independence from U.S. interference. Scholars argue that the Hawaiian islands were illegally annexed by the United States through a congressional resolution in 1898, highlighting the questionable legal standing of the American presence in the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Amidst these discussions, scholars and activists emphasize that the lack of self-determination for Native Hawaiians is a root cause of the wildfires. The ability to make decisions about their lands is critical to their healing and well-being. When the system of governance was taken away from them, Hawaiian lands and resources fell victim to an abusive system of theft, leading to the dry and vulnerable conditions that contributed to the recent wildfires.
The concept of sovereignty has evolved over time. From a recognition of Hawaiian sovereignty and desire to break away from America, it has now evolved into a realization of the illegality of the proposed annexation and the preservation of sovereignty within the Hawaiian Kingdom. The pursuit of sovereignty by diverse groups of Native Hawaiians is viewed as an aspiration rather than a current reality.
As the people of Maui grapple with the aftermath of the wildfires, the connection to the issue of sovereignty becomes increasingly apparent. The destruction of land and water over the span of a century, fueled by the theft of nationhood, serves as a necessary context to comprehend the tragedy in Lahaina. It is essential to address the historical injustice of Hawaiian sovereignty to prevent similar disasters in the future.
While tragedies often result in the sidelining of Hawaiian rights to self-determination, it is crucial to remember that these rights remain relevant and should be respected. Maui’s ability to grieve, mend, and move forward relies on embracing the values of sovereign Hawaii and reinstating a sustainable value system that prioritizes the health of the land, air, and water. By recognizing and rectifying the theft of nationhood, there is hope for a future where justice prevails and the principles of sovereignty guide the way.
What is sovereignty?
Sovereignty refers to the right of a nation-state to govern itself and make decisions without external interference or control.
Why is Hawaiian sovereignty important?
Hawaiian sovereignty is crucial for the Native Hawaiians’ self-determination and decision-making power over their lands and resources. It seeks to rectify the historical injustice imposed on their nationhood and prevent further exploitation of their natural environment.
How does the history of Hawaiian sovereignty relate to the wildfires in Maui?
The history of Hawaiian sovereignty sheds light on the underlying issues that contributed to the devastation of the land. The theft of nationhood, lack of self-determination, and an abusive system of theft all played a role in creating the dry and vulnerable conditions that fueled the recent wildfires.
Will the wildfires impact the movement for Hawaiian sovereignty?
The tragedy in Lahaina presents an opportunity for greater awareness and education about the truth of the theft of nationhood. It may serve as a catalyst for increased support and engagement in the movement for Hawaiian sovereignty.
Is sovereignty critical to Maui’s ability to heal and move forward?
Yes, sovereignty and the restoration of decision-making control over their lands are vital to Maui’s ability to grieve, mend, and move forward. By embracing the values of sovereign Hawaii and implementing a sustainable value system, the community can find solutions and prevent future disasters caused by capitalist and colonial systems.