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Abstract

This paper exposes the various ways American settlers remove traces of Kanaka Maoli history while exemplifying colonial narratives of immigrants who struggle to survive in the present colonial space of Kalihi. I will describe the historical and political transformation of Kalihi through an analysis of devices that settlers use in the early twentieth century such as maps and newspaper advertisements to dispossess land from Kanaka Maoli. The evidence I have chosen illustrates how the transformation of land has shaped the experiences of residents of Kalihi. While settlers attempt to erase native history in the community, Kanaka Maoli continue to share their stories through their biographies and oral histories to oppose the dominant narrative of blankness forwarded by settler colonialism. Settler colonialism comes in different forms, and this paper reveals the importance to critique settler ideologies in order to return ancestral lands to Kanaka Maoli. Since many people are unaware of their participation and existence in colonialism, retrieving native histories will promote a better understanding of the current predicaments indigenous peoples face and will help create alliances among residents to make decisions that will respect the right of Kanaka Maoli to self-determination.

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