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Staking claim: Settler colonialism and racialization in Hawai‘i

Maile Arvin


In Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai‘i, Judy Rohrer scrutinizes how settler colonialism in Hawai‘i operates through racialization, situating the context of Hawai‘i within the vibrant fields of Native Pacific studies, Indigenous studies, and settler colonial studies. Broadly, the book examines how US discourses and practices regarding race have constructed Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) as an ethnic minority analogous to Asian and European immigrants, thereby erasing Kānaka Maoli indigeneity. This erasure also allows non-Hawaiians, especially haole (a Hawaiian word that earlier meant “foreigner” but is now more commonly understood to mean “white”), to make their own claims to being Indigenous. In other words, racial discourses erase the position of haole people in Hawai‘i as settlers, allowing them to make claims such as being “Hawaiian at heart.”

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740