Kānaka ʻoiwi have seen our culture and history trampled, stolen, rewritten, and colonized since the first haole imperialists landed on our ʻāina. Just as the early European settlers took sacred native American land and sent the people to live on reservations, Captain Cook and the white missionaries did the same thing to native Hawaiians. Since kānaka maoli first came in contact with the missionaries, oppression, cultural genocide, and violent colonization led to what is now known as “the 50th state”. The first settlers saw our kānaka as savages who needed to be transformed into “proper Christians” based on Western ideals. They brought dozens of fatal diseases to Hawaiʻi, took control of our ʻāina, infiltrated our monarchy through fake friendships with our aliʻi, and used their newfound power to ban all cultural Hawaiian practices (including the use of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, hula, ʻoli, etc.). Due to missionary influence, nearly the entire population of kānaka ʻōiwi died along with our sacred language and culture. After the missionaries’ descendants-turned powerful businessmen with assistance from the US government forcefully and illegally overthrew the Hawaiian kingdom, all seemed lost for our native people. Thankfully, our aliʻi never gave up hope in the perseverance of their people, and much of our culture was reestablished during the Hawaiian Renaissance. Hula once again became popular and kānaka freely spoke ʻōlelo. Our Hawaiian values of mālama honua, ʻalu like, haʻaheo, ʻimi ʻike, lōkahi, and aloha became the main standards of pono Hawaiian living. One century after the overthrow, kanaka maoli are still living under brutal illegal US occupation. Our ʻāina has been bombed by the American military, Hawaiians can’t afford to live on our own sacred land that birthed us, a large population of Hawaiʻi prisons are filled with native people, and we are no longer food sustainable. While we have made incredible strides toward a stronger Hawaiʻi, we are still under constant oppression and colonization. Even today, our mauna is under attack by the foreign government that currently holds power in Hawaiʻi. Mauna Kea—our sacred kūpuna is at risk because the University of Hawaiʻi and the government want to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on our ʻāina on Mauna Kea, despite already desecrating her with 13 other telescopes.
What haole settlers and other non-Kānaka do not understand is that our people are rooted in our ʻāina. Mauna Kea and all of the other land beneath our feet and surrounding us are considered our living, breathing ʻohana. The ʻāina birthed and fed us, so we are just as indebted to her as we are to our human relatives. For this reason, we say ʻaʻole TMT. ʻAʻole to any other avenues of Western “advancement” that we have never needed and still do not need. We are protesting the development of Mauna Kea because she is being desecrated and pillaged just so that foreigners can invade her in the name of “science.” As if we hadn’t always been the first scientists who sailed across the entire ocean without American or European tools. As if we weren’t thriving intellectually before they came here. As if our Mauna isn’t just as alive as you or me.
Kū Haʻaheo E Kuʻu Hawaiʻi is the cry of our lāhui and we will never stop fighting for our kūpuna, our moʻopuna, and our akua. Until the very last aloha ʻāina.
Kaikoʻo ka moana kā i lana nei Hawaiʻi
Nāueue a hālulu ka honua a Haumea
Nākulukulu e ka lani kiʻekiʻe kau mai i luna
Auē ke aloha ‘ole a ka malihini
Kū haʻaheo e kuʻu Hawaiʻi
Mamaka kaua o kuʻu ‘āina
‘O ke ehu kakahiaka o nā ‘ōiwi o Hawaiʻi nei
No kuʻu lahui e hāʻawi pau a i ola mau
Auhea wale ‘oukou pūʻali koa o Keawe
Me ko Kamalālāwalu la me Kākuhihewa
‘Alu mai pualu mai me ko Manokalanipō
Kaʻi mai ana me nā kama a Kahelelani
E nāue imua e nā pokiʻi a e inu wai ‘awaʻawa
E wiwoʻole a hoʻokūpaʻa ‘aʻohe hope e hoʻi mai ai
A naʻi wale nō kākou kaukoe mau i ke ala
Auē ke aloha ‘ole a ka malihini
E lei mau i lei mau kākou e nā mamo aloha
I lei wehi ‘aʻaliʻi wehi nani o kuʻu ‘āina
Hoe a mau hoe a mau no ka pono sivila
A hoʻihoʻi hou ‘ia mai ke kūʻokoʻa