Recovery efforts are continuing after the devastating Maui wildfires in August.
Although many communities are coming together to offer support, the Native Hawaiian community is having to deal with threats of a new wave of colonialism on their ancestral homelands, according to a grassroots Native Hawaiian advocate.
Community members have been displaced after their land, homes, and businesses have all been destroyed.
Many are still searching for their loved ones.
At a time when many people are afraid, injured, or displaced, Camille Kalama (Native Hawaiian) says they’re now having to fear that corporations and wealthy outsiders will try to take their land.
“And, so some of the residents who were affected by the fires were getting calls as early as the week of the fire offered to buy their land from real estate companies and it’s created and generated a lot of fear that there will be an exploitation of the disaster that happened, and a new wave of development and outsiders coming in and utilizing basically what’s in terms to us is capitalism. Trying to use and exploit the devastation for profit.”
Kalama is the executive director for Ko‘ihonua, a local non-profit organization, and a board member of NDN Collective, a Native-led organization advocating for Indigenous issues.
In August, officials released a list of a few hundred people who are still missing.
Kalama says people are still grieving.
“So, the community, while their active in relief efforts, and a lot of support and provides company and community is still grieving and still processing what’s going on here, and what happened.”
As recovery and rebuilding continues, Kalama says Native groups are urging for Indigenous-led rebuilding efforts.
She also says they’re encouraging those who want to help to verify their donations are going to vetted sources.
Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martinez combines historic imagery and modern themes to create work that speaks to contemporary Indigenous issues.
His art is currently on display in Cheyenne.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Hannah Habermann reports.
Robert Martinez is a Northern Arapaho and Chicano artist born on the Wind River Reservation.
Some of his work draws on the Plains Indian ledger art tradition, blending past and present.
“After we were pushed onto reservations, and we couldn’t hunt buffalo as they were exterminating them, we would trade for or were given already filled-out ledger books, and we would paint and draw over the text in those.”
Ledger books were used to record accounting transactions.
Martinez’ art will be at the Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne until September 8.
During a recent ceremony, Navajo Nation lawmakers joined U.S, Navy officials and Navajo veterans to celebrate the historic christening of the USNS Navajo in Houma, La.
The ship is a new class of rescue, towing, and salvage ships, named in honor of the service of Navajo veterans and Navajo Nation Code Talkers.
Five ships have been named after the Navajo Nation including the first ship, the USS Navajo that came into service in 1908 and the USS Navajo III which served from 1917 to 1919.
In 2015, the Navy notified the Navajo Nation Council that they were considering naming a ship after the Navajo Nation.
Former Navajo Nation Council Speaker Lorenzo Bates, who attended the christening ceremony, says his staff worked with the Secretary of the Navy and late U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to support the naming.
The christening ceremony was attended by representatives from the U.S. Navy and Bollinger Shipyard, United Houma Nation representatives, Assistant Secretary of Tribal Affairs of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other guests.
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