In the United States, November is Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month / Native American Heritage Month. Although we should be celebrating and honoring all Indigenous Peoples and First Nations year round, this month in particular is an intentional focus on standing with these communities and help to lift Indigenous Peoples voices and experiences. This month on my blog, I plan to feature many authors and posts in celebration of this month, focusing on Native Hawaiian authors and stories.
Why focus on Native Hawaiians?
Indigenous Peoples History Month is extremely important. It falls close to two federally recognized holidays that celebrate the genocide of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas. Native Hawaiians are Indigenous Peoples of the modern US State of Hawaii and are often lumped into the Asian Pacific Islander category. Folks with Native Hawaiian heritage may choose to identify within the API community or not; however, I think we (I use ‘we’ generally here to talk about non-Hawaiian people) forget that the islands of Hawaii were conquered by Europeans, ‘united’ under European colonization, emigrated by Protestant missionaries and eventually other Asian immigrants, used as a tactical military base/port, and finally becoming a state (which despite the overwhelming positive vote is still a point of contention). The general knowledge and perception of Hawaii is paradise, beaches, surfers, and vacation resorts. As a country and culture, we have completely erased the stories, experiences, voices, culture, and heritage of Native Hawaiian peoples. My goal this month is to provide more visibility to authors of Native Hawaiian decent, fighting against the systemic erasure of their voice.
My initial research into books and authors who identify as Native Hawaiian or part Native Hawaiian was very difficult. Most of the resources I found featured non-Hawaiian (mostly White men) authors writing about Hawaii OR authors who were born or lived in Hawaii with no Hawaiian ancestry. This disappointed me because they were all attributed as Hawaiian literature. Then I came across a very helpful site off of the University of Hawaii webpage (https://www.hawaii.edu/gened/hap/Native_Hawaiian_Authors.pdf) which had a compilation of Native Hawaiian authors compiled by Noenoe K. Silva in 2010. There I found poets, historians, fiction writers, journalists, and anthropologists. Their writings span from novels to medical books to historical texts to poetry collections. I ran into another problem with acquiring these books and written works. As I scoured my local library, I only found a couple of works which was disappointing. I did not let this get me down and I managed to find a couple of book sellers with two books I will review!
What can you expect?
First of all, thank you for reading my blog and thank you for support my efforts this month. I write for many reasons; however, it is nice to get supportive feedback and interaction from the blogging and book community. I have a tentative schedule of posts in my notes and I hope to add even more as the month goes on! I have a couple of book reviews, highlight of different authors, maybe some board game stuff, guest book reviews, guest posts looking at historical contexts, and guest posts featuring reading lists. Like I said before, I may have some other things in the works, but I am having a bit of trouble confirming a couple of things. This has been a great learning experience in trying to run a blog event and I cannot be more thankful for your ongoing support! Stay tuned this month for more content and I look forward to sharing it all with you!
If you have not already entered my Twitter giveaway, please check it out! It is a Follow & RT giveaway for a copy of Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT Scifi Anthology edited by Hope Nicholson. The giveaway will end November 15 and the winner will be selected on November 16! Check out my review of the book here!