Renowned Native Hawaiian activist, author and scholar Haunani-Kay Trask died this weekend in Honolulu after battling Alzheimer’s for years. She was 71. Trask was a devoted Native Hawaiian community advocate and a longtime opponent of the United States’ colonization of Hawaii who denounced the destructive impacts the military and tourism industries had on their sacred land. This is Trask speaking in 1993 in front of a crowd at Iolani Palace on the 100th anniversary of the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Haunani-Kay Trask: “We are not American. Say it in your heart. Say it when you sleep. We are not American. We will die as Hawaiians. We will never be Americans! … They took our land. They imprisoned our queen. They banned our language. They forcibly made us a colony of the United States. America always says they are democratic. Lies! That is a lie!”