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Beyond EthnicityNew Politics of Race in Hawai'i$
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Camilla Fojas, Rudy P. Guevarra, and Nitasha Tamar Sharma

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780824869885

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824869885.001.0001

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Reconnecting Our Roots

Reconnecting Our Roots

Navigating the Turbulent Waters of Health-Care Policy for Micronesians in Hawai‘i

(p.193) Chapter 10 Reconnecting Our Roots
Beyond Ethnicity

Joakim Peter

Wayne Chung Tanaka

Aiko Yamashiro

University of Hawai'i Press

Cultural reciprocity, sharing, and trust between Native Hawaiians and Micronesians, which began in the 1970s, has flourished to this day, as most visibly illustrated with the continued voyaging of the Hōkūleʻa. However, this relationship contrasts starkly with the groundswell of anti-Micronesian sentiment underlying recent discriminatory healthcare policies for Compact of Free Association (“COFA”) residents in Hawaiʻi. These are the turbulent waters community advocates must navigate in the new politics of race in Hawai‘i. This chapter argues for a revisiting of the deep Pacific Islander cultural values inherent in the lessons of Grand Master Navigator Pius “Papa” Mau Piailug, whose sharing of traditional wayfinding knowledge helped establish a deep relationship of respect and cooperation between Hawaiians and Micronesians, and made possible the ongoing progress of the Hōkūleʻa in uniting the Pacific, and the world. Contrasting these values with the rhetoric- and stereotype-based approach of the U.S. and Hawaiʻi in establishing discriminatory healthcare policies for COFA residents, it offers suggestions for a more progressive and mutually beneficial policymaking approach through culturally-grounded foundational themes, and suggests principles for better engagement among COFA communities in Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi’s larger communities, and government leaders.

Keywords:   Micronesian, Native Hawaiian, Hokule‘a, Compact of Free Association (COFA), Pacific, policy

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