Native Hawaiians to Deb Haaland: 'We're not Native Americans'


April 13, 2021

“Aloha Secretary Haaland, and congratulations on your historic, groundbreaking position at the Department of Interior as the first Native American to hold a cabinet seat. Now that we have dispensed with the pleasantries, allow me to introduce myself. I am Kanaka Maoli, and I’m writing to remind you that the United States of America has been holding the Hawaiian Nation hostage for over a century. So, please don’t explore ways to further the cover-up by paying us off or racializing us into becoming a tribe. We want to exercise our rights through self-determination, not American pre-determination.”

Okay, that isn’t how Hawaiian activist, Kealoha Pisciotta, actually worded her letter to the new head of the Department of Interior. But that might be how it came across when Haaland finished reading it.


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