Reading of the Day

This is mostly because I feel bad for not posting for nearly a week… makes me look like i’ve been lazy!

Barman, Jean. 1995. New land, new lives: Hawaiian settlement in British Columbia. The Hawaiian Journal of History 29: 1-32.
Annotation: This article provides a description of the lives of Native Hawaiians in British Columbia during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Hawaiians visited “North American as seamen, fur trade laborers, or independent adventurers” (1).  Those who stayed behind in British Columbia enjoyed equal rights to whites, including voting privileges, versus the racial discrimination they would have experienced in the United States.  Hawaiians married into and assimilated into mainstream society by marrying Native Americans.  They settled primarily near the coast, but it is impossible to calculate exactly how many of them actually settled, due to name misspellings, and name changing during documentation.  These Hawaiians were described as mainly Catholic, but following practices such as separation and remarriage.  Many people intermarried, but for the most part, the men sought Indian women and the women sought white men.  The dominant language was English.  Since the 1970s, “some families have begun to visit Hawaiʻi, hoping, so far without success, to recover an actual as well as a spiritual link with families there.  Operation ʻOhana, the recent initiative by the Hawaiian government to enroll all persons of aboriginal Hawaiian ancestry into a cultural association based in pride in  heritage, has been greeted with enthusiasm” (25).  In the 1991 Canada census, 545 people claimed Hawaiian ancestry and 2,490 claimed themselves part Hawaiian.  The author believes that “the majority of persons from the Hawaiian Islands, however, likely classified themselves as American in terms of origin” (25).

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