By: Sam Peralta
Today in Hawai’i we are standing to protect our freedoms, culture, and spirit of Aloha. On Wednesday, September 29, 2021 Kīlauea volcano erupted within Halema’uma’u crater. Hawaiian mythology shares how Pele first arrived on Kaua’i and thrusted her o’o stick into the ground to create space for her home. But her elder sister Namakaokaha’i would flood the pits all throughout Pele’s journey. Pele kept on moving down the islands in their geographical location and then finally resided on the Big Island.
Just as Namakaokaha’i tormented Pele, today we are tormenting one another. Today Native Hawaiians are one of the most incarcerated, low income, and houseless majority of the demographic population. Why? Just as Namakaokaha’i would not forgive Pele for the trauma she was responsible for, we are not forgiving one another.
This unforgiveness is causing us to go extinct. Our values, traditions, and rituals are being replaced by clichés, platitudes, and bureaucratic jargon. We don’t have a tourist, military, or economic issue. We have a heart issue, and I fear we have forgotten who we are and the lessons our ancestors passed on to us. Madam Pele resides in the heart of Kīlauea. She is not just a spectacle for the world to see, but our kupuna tells us that she is alive and breathing. Her powerful mana is speaking to us.
Native ferns, birds, and plants are near extinction. Many of these are kinolau of Akua- the many forms of personified natural elements. To many Hawaiians they are also family members, allive and breathing. They too are telling us something. Just as Pele is associated with the Ohia Lehua which has been suffering from a disease called Rapid Ohia Death (ROD), our relationships are suffering. Just as the native bird the Maui ‘akepa is considered possibly extinct, our Maui people are leaving the islands. Just as our streams are being diverted, so is our attention. We are in a crisis of confusion and deep seated heart issues that need to be addressed.
Today it is critical to obtain protection for Indigenous people. Right now, we must protect the freedom, culture, and practices of this precious place. We must protect diversity. We cannot allow ourselves to be injected with global agendas to colonize our minds. We need to stand up and protect this righteous land. Can we live like our Ali’i intended us to? We need leaders, policy makers, layers, and teachers to protect against government overreach, high property taxes, and old fashion red tape. We must flow, we must break down the barriers for our people and raise the standards of living.