Kaho Olawe Problem

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From 1941 to 1990, the entire island of Kaho’olawe was used as an arena for US military bombing practice and battle training (http://kahoolawe.hawaii.gov/history.shtml). These decades of bombing practice deteriorated the entire island, rendering it uninhabitable and deprived of vegetation. Kaho’olawe, once a thriving island with a diverse ecosystem, became a desecrated mass of land that native Hawaiians continue to struggle to restore today. In response to these issues, native Hawaiian scholars and activists began to generate advocacy groups that strived to revive their language and restore desecrated lands.
In 1983, Hawaiian language professors and specialists formed the ‘Aha Punana Leo, an organization dedicated to revitalizing the Hawaiian
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Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa, a native Hawaiian professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, defines sovereignty as, “Political control over land...at the moment, we Hawaiians do not have political control over land and that’s what we’re seeking” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbKMs1Ux3kk). They seek to deoccupy Hawai’i from the United States so that Hawaiians are able to control the lands, the laws that govern them, and the education system that instructs their future generations. Due to the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government, Hawai’i cannot legally belong under the jurisdiction of the United States. According to Kaleikoa Ka’eo, a native Hawaiian professor at the University of Hawai’i Maui campus, “The core issue is that...we as a people never gave consent to our nationality, never gave consent to our national lands, and this is by virtue of the fact that the United States until this day cannot show evidence…” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbKMs1Ux3kk). The distortion of history and the exploitation of the natives has preserved American despotism. In gaining sovereignty, the spiritual and religious beliefs of the native Hawaiians regarding land cannot be subdued by the interests of the United States government. Despite the progress that the native Hawaiian community has made, there are many obstacles to overcome in order for us to achieve liberation and …show more content…
Ho’oleia Ka’eo, a student at the Universit of Hawai’i at Manoa and student representative from the Hui Aloha ‘Aina Tuahine student advocacy group said in a speech, “It’s really each and everyone of us, individually but collectively organized and united that will move this movement forward...It’s important to recognize the issues then act upon them…” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkzklCJvjo8). The process of native Hawaiian movements are similar to that of liberation theology as explained by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff because they both begin from experiencing oppression, are dedicated to promoting social justice, and are inclusive of the efforts of every member of the community. According to Leonardo and Clodovis Boff, “So it is not enough here only to reflect on what is being practiced. Rather, we need to establish a living link with living practice” (Boff, Leonardo, and Clodovis Boff,

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