Hawaiian Resistance, Tourism & Abolition: For The Love of The Mauna, Part 3
ADRIENNE: Hello friends, Adrienne and Matika here. Welcome back to our third and last chapter of our series on the movement against the Thirty-Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. If you haven't listened to the first two episodes yet, we encourage you to maybe press pause, for now and listen to those first, just so you're up to speed.
MATIKA WILBUR: It's been just about a year since we visited the beautiful summit of Mauna Kea. In that year, a lot has happened. TMT has continued fundraising for the project, even though they're halted construction, there's been a national election, several Native women have been re-elected, Deb Haaland is the official nominee for the Secretary of the Interior, the first Native person to hold that position, which is massive because federal funding in most Native relations are allocated to the Department of Interior. But as far as we can tell from the TMT website, they seem to be forging ahead with their destructive plans.
ADRIENNE: At the end of March 2020, so two or so months after our visit, the pandemic was at a point that the camp on the mauna and needed to be closed down for everyone's safety. In order to bring us to the present and hear what's happening with the movement since then, we got back in contact with Jamaica Heoli-
JAMAICA HEOLI OSORIO: Aloha mai kākou, o wau no ʻo Jamaica Heolimeleikalani. (Hello everyone, I am Jamaica Heolimeleikalani.)
ADRIENNE: And Auntie Noenoe
NOENOE WONG-WILSON: Aloha, everyone this is Noenoe Wong-Wilson.
ADRIENNE: We caught up with them on January 7, which was the day after the violent insurrection at the Capitol, so we all had settler politics majorly on our minds. In our conversation, they reflect on the lessons from the time on the mauna and let us know where things stand with the TMT today. One thing Jamaica and Auntie Noenoe want to make clear is that even though the camp at Puʻu Huluhulu has been closed to most kiaʻi protectors, the protection of the mauna has not stopped, and the movement has not stopped. And they're ready to take action if necessary.
NOENOE: So when we had spoken with you, we're sort of still in that holding pattern. We were still present on the mauna, but a lot of people had started to return home, they have jobs, school was starting. The camp, while we did not dismantle immediately, our presence was it required to be in full volume on the mauna. So we were still watchful, and made sure that the TMT project was not moving forward and things just started to continue in a very peaceful manner. And then as soon after I started hearing on the news about this virus that was starting to rear its ugly head. And we were ever vigil, you know, just watching to see what was happening, and then found out that that in fact, our governor, I don't remember the exact date, but it was sometime in March when he ordered that, that people started to quarantine. We urged people who did not have to be on the mauna to return home. So we started gradually moved in that direction, until it became pretty apparent that this pandemic was getting worse across the nation. And I remember one day in particular, being up there with a fairly small group of people, we still had our tents. I think by this time, by the end of March, New York City was raging with the pandemic, right, people were getting ill, they were dying and there was a lot of confusion nationally about what was what was happening and how to prepare for this. And people showed up on the mauna to come visit us but they were there from New York City and they were visiting us because they were running away from this pandemic in their hometown. And then they were coming straight to the mauna to visit us and it frightened me, it really did. And I said oh my gosh, we cannot we cannot do this. I know that even if we had say a dozen or two dozen people in camp, we tried to maintain our three times a day ritual, three times a day protocol, because it was such a foundational piece of what we're doing and, every time we did our protocol, and especially the known protocol, we might end up with 100 people, people would come up to the mauna just to participate in protocol. And while it wasn't because I didn't want them to participate in protocol, I was just trying to figure out not just me but others you know, concerned about this, how we were going to protect ourselves and our elders from being exposed when we were actually being the attraction.
JAMAICA: This movement has always been focused and led by, by the intention to protect our mauna and protect our ʻāina but by virtue of that is also always about protecting each other.
So in the summer of 2019, we needed to be on a frontline to protect the mauna from construction vehicles, and this project. And in the summer of 2020, we needed to be in our homes to protect each other from invasive visitors and a state that would not protect our health over the financial opportunities of opening tourism. So what I love about our movements as the way is that, although it's challenging, we continue to shift based on the needs of our people.
ADRIENNE: I would love to hear a little bit more from you about the ways that you see that connection between needing to protect Hawaii from these visitors who are seeing it as an escape from their own pandemic and the movement. And you made that connection really beautifully just now but maybe just expanding a little bit because I see a lot of strong connections there.
JAMAICA: Yeah its, this isn't new, right? Hawaii as a paradise escape has been a part of the colonial narrative of Hawaii for since the early 1900s. I won't go into real dates, right. Since the early 1900s, there's been this vision, this intentional and there's there's a brilliant scholar and teacher of mine, Christina Bacchilega, who talks about this in her book, she calls it legendary Hawaiʻi, but the way that Hawaiʻi was reconfigured and the story of Hawaii retold to tell a particular story about escape, about paradise, about all that is waiting for you so long as you have, you know, money. And so that's not new. That's that's a story we've known for a long time. And it's a story that Haunani-Kay Trask talks about in lovely hula hands where she says at the end if you if you're thinking about visiting my homeland, don't. We don't like tourists, we don't need any more. Which you know, some people are not so harsh in the way that they think about visitors but makes an important point at the end of her article where she basically outlines all the ways that tourism helps to prop up an economy that doesn't actually support the people, not just Native Hawaiians, but the people who live here. When we take that, that already really complicated and violent context and then throw in another layer like a pandemic, all of that gets elevated. And when you pay attention to the way, you know that the state has almost a billion dollars of CARES Act money that it didn't spend that I don't know, the timeline when it needs to be spent before it disappears, but it didn't spend this money. All the while saying the money that they could have put in the hands of people to not go to work, right, the the narrative has been, we need to open tourism because people need to go back to work. And they need to be able to pay their bills and a bill to to feed their families, which is absolutely, the second part of that is absolutely true. People need to be able to pay their bills, and feed their families and keep a roof over their head, and have access to adequate health care and education, and all of these things. But we didn't need to open tourism to do it. We needed to open tourism to protect the interests of corporations in the same way that the road needed to be opened to protect the interests of corporations over the interests of people and our land. And that's the really critical point here and reminding people that there was another way to do this, and Hawaiʻi is just one example that there was another way to do this. We could have paid people to stay home. I can't say that enough, we could have paid people to stay home, we could have kept our borders, we could have kept the airport ports shut, especially to tourists. Not only did we like, open up the airports, we invite, not we, the state and Hawaiian Airlines and United and Southwest invited people here. I don't know who gave them the authority to invite malihini strangers to our land at a time when it would threaten our lives. But all of this is a reminder that the state, these issues are not separate from the issues we fought on the mauna, the state will do everything it can to protect the interests of corporations over the interests of people, land, and yeah, period. That's the tweet. When when Auntie Noenoesays something like there are people who came straight from New York, from a hotspot, when in Hawaiʻi, we were relatively safe at that point, we did not have high numbers at that point and the first thing they do is they go to a place that has been marked visibly and clearly marked as a sacred place where our elders are holding that line. First of all, that's not surprising to me that people would do that. But it is deeply infuriating, and it spits in the face of every single person who is still up on that mauna. And every person who said this is a sacred place. Sacred mauna, sacred conduct as Auntie Pua Case would say. And so it reminds us again, like, oh, all the more connections we need to be making for people.
ADRIENNE: I just canʻt
JAMAICA: It represents for me in a lot of ways that like, so many people still don't understand the way that they are implicated and complicit in violence, right? So you need to recognize your kuleana - your responsibilities and privileges and and the way that connects you to people and land and if you can't do that, don't come here, please.
MATIKA: Well, I think you're speaking to something that's really, I've been, really I've been writing about quite a bit lately in for my project, which is that, you know, violence on the land is violence on the body and that everywhere that you go is Indigenous land and the way that you behave impacts Indigenous people and wherever you are right now in Turtle Island or otherwise, there is an Indigenous history and people still connected to the land and the way that you are behaving is impacting their ability to carry on as Indigenous people. And so even if you believe the narrative that was sold to you around, you know, like, around Hawaiʻi being paradise, and therefore you're taking, you have a responsibility, then to unlearn and teach yourself and to reconstruct your narrative and that's partly why we do this work, right, is so that we can provide space for people to begin reconstructing the narrative, because we've all been told lies. Dominant culture has made us believe in white supremacy, upholding white supremacy, like what we saw the Capitol, and I just kept thinking over and over and over again, and I know everybody else said this on Twitter, but I kept thinking about, as those people were scaling the wall and breaking into the Capitol and not being arrested by police officers, you know, what would happen? And what did happen as Standing Rock, you know, or here, or any Indigenous territory or any brown folks, for that matter, you know, protesting how the police meet us and how much different that looked yesterday. You know, the system is working as it was designed, as they say, I think that this is an incredibly timely conversation and I love the way that you connected that all for us.
ADRIENNE: For our listeners yesterday was when the insurrection at the Capitol happened when a group of terrorists, yeah, broke into the Capitol, where they were met by little police presence, where they were allowed to walk out on their own accord. But it was a very intense moment of thinking about the fragility of our American democracy. And as I was reflecting on thinking about our conversation that we were going to have today, I kept thinking about that I wanted to hear your perspective as Native Hawaiians who's people who have experienced an overthrow, an illegal overthrow what it felt like to be watching it unfold from the other side of the colonizers experiencing that on TV, live, just out of curiosity.
NOENOE: Well, I'm sure Heoli can talk about this better than I but I just want to say my Facebook was full of our local patriots, talking about how America is witnessing what our kupuna, our ancestors witnessed in 1893, when they saw a small group of anarchists, with the aid of the United States, overthrow our queen and what it would have felt like then.
JAMAICA: Oh, man. Ah, I’m still trying to, I’m still trying to form ideas and words for what we what we watched on television, and what I scrolled through on Twitter yesterday. One thing that really stood out to me that this doesn't really even answer your question, I'm sorry, but one thing that stood out to me is Philip Deloria, wrote a book called “Playing Indian”. And he talks about all the ways that white folks like play Indian in support of their own white supremacist work, but especially they like put on the Indian Indian costume, to to be resistant, right. And so, all I could think about when I was watching these Proud Boys in the US State Capitol, like trying to mimic, I don't know, their vision of what an Indian Native American looks like, I just, I kept thinking back to that book and how, like, their, their game plan never changes, like their their work, their strategy, and the way that like, I think we're constantly evolving and moving and shifting, like, at the core of it, their strategy has always been the same, right? show up, kill people, take over the land, make it productive in their sense of productivity, and then this like white colonial fragility to like scale the walls of their own Capitol. I don't know where to put that in my brain right now. I do know that I'm constantly having to remind, not Indigenous people, but the white folks in my life, that this is not new to the experiment of America, right? Like someone tweeted yesterday, America was a bad idea. Like yes, America is a failed experiment. It was some like mediocre white dudes’ idea and it wasn't a good idea. And anyone else would have reflected on that bad idea when receiving feedback, and like, change things up. And so I'm constantly having to, unfortunately say out loud like this, this is what America looks like. This is the only thing America can do. This should inspire us to be so much more courageous than to simply ask for reform in a shitty idea. We need transformation, we need in Hawaii, what we call like, hulihia, we need to turn things upside down, I don't want to be included in this joke, I want to, I want to go back to the root, right, get radical go to the root of things, and live in a way that is pono, that is in alignment with my people, with our relations, with people in Turtle Island, and Indigenous people across the world. And so when I see these fragile white men, scaling the walls of the Capitol, when a CNN reporters will tell you, there are steps everywhere. I don't know why they're scaling the walls. I think, well, thank God for the team that I'm on. Thank God for the people who like hold it down for us every day. And and then I also like to be on the the humorousness of this moment. I also, honestly, there is fear in me, right? Because we're living at the brink. In my opinion, we're living at the brink of revolution. And I think anyone who, even like revolutionary folks who are invested in that work, anyone who tells you they're not afraid, I think is lying, I think is not paying close enough attention. And so I, I feel fear. And I feel aloha for so many of our people, in particular across Turtle Island, who are going to experience even with this, this new president, whatever, who are going to continue to experience violence in ways that, luckily, our people will be shielded from in a lot of ways. So like, how, what does that mean for me as an aloha ʻāina, as a kiaʻi, as a protector and as an ally and a comrade, now moving forward? I don't actually know what that means. But I know that that's going to be the question that we have to answer
NOENOE: I think what the mauna movement just sort of laid the foundation for was what we were all faced with, you know, as of March of last year, when COVID came into all of our communities, and it provided an opportunity for us to maybe just move the needle a little bit more. How do we now recover from from that? And how do we do it, using the feelings, the principles, the ideas, that we gained and learned and shared on the mauna about taking care of our environment, taking care of our place, taking care of our sacred sites like Mauna Kea, but taking care of each other? And sometimes that's really hard. You're talking about taking care of people who stood across the line from you or who have stood in opposition to our purpose on Mauna Kea, you know? I don't agree with us at all on that level, but but they are citizens, their neighbors, and sometimes they're even our family. And so when we look at the future, how do we take all those lessons that we've learned, all of the actions, all the sacrifices that were made by so many people, and not let it go, not just waste the time we were up there, but to move toward a new future? And and, you know, it happens for us in our islands, in this microcosm, and we look across the whole nation, and see the same thing happening and happening in some extent around the world, you know, and everybody has to recalibrate, and recenter. And we're saying to our government, and to everyone here, but let's not forget that what's most important to us, the life of our ʻāina, and the life of our sacred places like Mauna Kea.
ADRIENNE: Both of you touched on this, like so much of what we're seeing from the US government is an inability to imagine anything beyond the status quo, like imagine an otherwise, imagine other ways of taking care of one another. Imagine other ways of community care, of sovereignty of nationhood, of what it means to have a group of Indigenous people that has a different history than American Indians, or whatever it is. And I know for me, I didn't spend a ton of time at Standing Rock, but I, the time that I spent there, it was really formative in being able to build that imagining of an alternative way of doing things and that we don't have to think or wait for the settler government to save us in any way, that we can take care of one another if we have the means to do so, if we have the space to do so, if we have the ability to come together. And I think that's a powerful part of all this, too, is that now this collective like the lāhui has seen other ways of imagining and, Jamaica, get you started with this, too, that ideas have been woken up. And it's not just that we have to wait for those in Congress to give us permission to do the things that we need as Indigenous people like there are these alternatives that now can live in real ways in people's heads because they've seen and experienced them. And that is so powerful in this moment to be able to have that to think back on to rely on as we're watching all this chaos unfold as well.
NOENOE: I think for our people to understand, to really believe that we have the ability to control our destiny, and we have to stop giving that right away, you know, to government and, and that is, I think the pandemic has, if there's ever a silver lining, to a horrible disease that has taken so many of our own people away from us, it is, first of all, that we immediately saw the positive impact, that the lack of tourists and the lack of ourselves moving around on our ʻāina , even back and forth going to the beaches of public spaces, open spaces, the positive impact that had on our own natural environment to to restore itself. In a short period of time, when fish started returning to the oceans where they hadn't been seen, where fish are coming closer into the reefs where they haven't been seen. Where limu, or the algae that that reuses food sources, whether food sources, fish, and sea, sea life started regenerating. And in the forest, same thing.
The forest was positively impacted by the lack of human presence. When we saw that in the first 30 days of quarantine and lockdown, I think that it reminded all of us in our community, how important it is when, as our economy reopens as, as we move along into the next couple of years, because it appears that it's going to take that long, how important it is that we don't forget those lessons that we're learning right now that we're seeing some of us for the first time in our lives, what it looks like when we don't have 10 and a half million tourists walking all over our shores or driving on our roads. And and so, you know, the question, which has been there since at least the 80s, when I worked in state government and at the legislature is how much is enough? You know, and that is, that is a question that our state government, our county government has never been willing to answer. It's I don't think it's that they don't have an answer. They just never been willing to say it out loud. You know, and they've never been willing to, to put a number or restraint on themselves all because the posits the possible effect on some corporation’s bottom line. And that cannot that cannot be anymore, it just cannot be any more. It has to change, we have to re-recalibrate our entire framework on how we look and how we value what we do everyday how we feed ourselves. Like Heoli says, It's not about people not it's not about people having to have jobs, it's how we make sure that they have the things they need that will take care of their families, while we rebuild ourselves, while we rebuild our economy. And make sure that it's it's done with that. There's no better way and no better time than now independently. That's the silver lining. You know, that's the the positive that that we've seen. Not only Hawaiians, but everyone who's lived here. And we have to, well, there's such a small handful of people mostly related to the visitor industry, who really want to say, let's get 10 and a half million people back as soon as we can. Everybody else is saying, you know, we've got to do this better. How can we do this better? And how can we still invite people to come and visit but not have the impact or the uncontrolled growth that we've seen up to this point?
JAMAICA: Something, I mean, I agree with everything that Auntie Noenoe just said. So this is a great conversation for me. When talking about tourism, specifically, the first thing I want to remind people, so this book, this is “From a Native Daughter'' by Haunani-Kay Trask, it was published in 1993. So this data is old, which means the numbers are far more inflated now, but in 1993, tourists outnumbered residents, six to one. They outnumbered Native Hawaiians 30 to one. And this is, well, well, what millions before we reach 10 million tourists a year. So the first thing I want to remind people is I want people to think about what that means. What kind of impact that it has on the decisions. One, what does that reveal about the decisions your your local government is making, and then what kind of impact it also has on those decisions. Those numbers say to me, and I'm not going to say what those numbers would look like now because we all know I can't do math. But what those numbers say to me is that the State of Hawai’i is not for Hawaiians, and it's not for local people either. And this is an important point to make because a lot of people think when Hawaiians in particular are pushing back on the ballooning tourism industry, the exploding tourism industry, they think it's about some BS like ethnic superiority, where we just don't like people who aren't Hawaiian. Really what we're saying is that the State of Hawai’i has turned into a place by design that is not meant for those of us who live here. And when you look at those, those numbers, the decisions that the state makes makes sense, right? It makes sense. It makes sense the way that they're more invested in the health and well being of corporations than people. What Auntie Noenoe reminded us when she talked about the restoration of our ocean, and our forests in just a month. I don't know if we can properly depict that for people over an audio recording. But when she says fishes returned to areas that they hadn't been, we're talking about 1000s and 1000s of fishes returned into what used to be highly populated tourist attractions like Waikīkī, the sharks started to come back, because the fish were there. Like that's a huge, momentous occasion, when we talk about the forest being restored, that's a huge, momentous occasion. What that tells me is that, you know, we're fed a lot of information about the urgency of this climate catastrophe, and it is absolutely urgent, but we are not too late. If you look at how much Hawaii healed in a month, in a month, we're certainly not too late to live in dignity with our ʻāina, and to offer ea, to offer life and sovereignty back to our ʻāina, what it tells me is that we have to be courageous to step into decisions that are intergenerational, right, that are looking not just what I'm going to see in my lifetime, not just what I'm going to see in this fiscal year, but what is the world that I'm going to create for my children and my grandchildren? And right, what does it mean to plan for seven generations out something that, you know, that language I learned from other Indigenous scholars, right? What does it mean to project seven generations into the future? Leanne Simpson asks us to ask yourself, like, what does it mean to be recognized by our ancestors? What does it mean to live in a way that our ancestors will recognize us, will see us as kin? We have to recognize our relationship to our land for our ancestors to see us that I believe more than anything else, and that is why I think, Auntie Noenoe is right when she says that, while we don't always agree on how we should be governed, or the things we should do to make Hawaii the best place possible, by and large, we do agree that the land is important, and that we have to protect the land, even if we also don't always agree on what that looks like. But we believe that our relationship to her is critical. So when I think about the Puʻuhonua o Puʻu Huluhulu and one of the most amazing things that was established, in that place of refuge, I think about the alternative we lived and demonstrated for others. I think about how when I started teaching at the University of Hawaii as a graduate student in 2014, when I said things like, capitalism isn't natural, and we don't have to live like this, I think about how I had to prove that to my students. I think about how in 2020, I say that and my students are like, yeah, we are there like, what's next? Oh, I better go do my homework. I think about how the state of Hawaii, it'd be really hard, I think to find someone who disagrees with the statement, but send them my way, I think about how the state of Hawaiʻi cannot house, cannot feed, cannot provide adequate health care or education to our people in it's however many years of existence in fact that it's gotten worse and worse at that in the last two generations and I think about how in the Puʻu Huluhulu and how in a week, we were able to house and feed and educate and provide adequate health care. And when I say healthcare, I mean, physical wellbeing, spiritual wellbeing emotional wellbeing, psychological wellbeing in a week for thousands of people in a small area, with the most extreme weather conditions anywhere in our paeʻāina in our islands. If that doesn't tell people that we are the alternative, that I don't really know what to do, because it's so obvious to me and also, I think it's important for us to frame a part of the movement in that way, because I think that's what makes us so dangerous. I I believe that's what inspired the state of Hawaii to spend what, $12, $13, $14 million trying to intimidate and remove us. So So what's next, right when you when you show up at Standing Rock and you see an alternative, and you show up at Mauna Kea and you see an alternative or you show up in Minneapolis and you see an alternative to to the police force and community security, right, this creation of community security. What's next? Well, then we have to make the connections between our experience and our politics. Right. Auntie Noenoe Wong-Wilson said something that I believe is absolutely true. She says that the state is not willing to reckon with this question of when is enough, enough. It's like 10 million tourists number and she's right. The state knows. The state knows when there's too much for the land. The state knows when there's too much for the people. But capitalism can't make space for a question like this is enough. They do not align, which is why capitalism can never be pono. It can never be balanced and in alignment with our values as Hawaiians, which is why I'll repeat the words of ʻIlima Long, one of my favorite people in the world, capitalism is antithetical to aloha ʻāina. This, to me is a really obvious and important statement. But it's also not something that everyone in the lāhui is ready to say, in the same way that not everyone of the lāhui who is ready to say, homophobia is antithetical to aloha ʻāina, anti-Blackness is antithetical to aloha ʻāina. So when we create a movement that is rooted in kapu aloha and aloha ʻāina, this fierce and intense love for land and recognition of our connection and relationship to her, then we need to be ready to take on everything that aloha ʻāina entails, we need to be able to elevate like kapu aloha asks us to elevate to our highest self, our best selves. And that means, again, being courageous, and turning away from the “comforts and the security”, I'm using air quotes, guys, the security of prisons, of police, of military of capitalism, of all these things that the United States and white supremacy have told us over and over, we need to survive. No, these things are killing us. We need an alternative to survive. And that's what, one of the many things I learned on the mauna.
ADRIENNE: I feel so privileged to hear and learn from you. And I think what I'm hearing, Heoli, is basically like the movement to protect Mauna Kea is a movement of abolition.
JAMAICA: Right. I really believe that. I should also say that I don't think everyone who has been involved in the movement believes that yet. And to be that still work. But I do believe like, yes, it is an abolitionist movement. Joy Enomoto once said, and I wasn't there when she said it. I'm quoting someone else quoting her once said that abolition means we build puʻuhonua within each other, to my own people, I want us to think about what it means to build places of refuge within each other to create sustainable security and health and wellbeing in our communities. And for me in this moment, that means taking a more active stance in prison abolitionist work in our own community, I think we need to be way more intentional about the way that we understand how our kupuna could be removed from our own land by police, because they were a nuisance to the state is not actually all that different from our family members who have been exiled into prisons because they are a nuisance to the state and because we haven't done the work to establish real, genuine security and care, I think we need to make that that link more than ever, especially because there are 400 active cases of COVID in O Triple C, which is our largest prison. And the the mayor of Oʻahu who has fought to have those cases not counted in our state count. So like there is there's this active dissonance, and real clear articulation of who matters and who doesn't matter in the State of Hawaiʻi. And we cannot allow the state to to make those kinds of decisions because we know time and time again that they will not make them appropriately. So as we move forward in the protection of our ʻāina, what's next for me is hopefully bringing educating myself more and bringing people along into understanding. Yes, like, like you said, this is an abolitionist movement. It needs to be an abolitionist movement in order to have ea, in order to to have sovereignty, I believe we need abolition, how can we continue to organize all of these trends because they are the same frontline? I think that's gonna be the fight of my lifetime of my generation and I feel really blessed that weʻve had the guidance of our kupuna like Noenoe, like Aunty Haunani-Kay Trask, like the 38 kupune who were arrested, like my father, and the kupuna who came before them that we are really so privileged to step into this moment with so much protection lined around us, so much aloha, helping us to take the next steps forward.
MATIKA: The first time I went to Hawaiʻi, I was I was a young person, you know I was a kid, and I did like everybody does when they go to Hawaiʻi you know you put on the sunscreen, you go lay on the beach you participate in all of the ugly tourist activities, the stereotypical, you know, nonsense. It wasn't until I was older, I learned more and I started really connecting with kanakas that I started to change my perspective and realize how I was poorly participating. It's been through the work with the project and learning how to engage with folks in a way that is feels like I'm giving back and not just taking, you know, which which who's to say if I did that, if I have done that but the idea for me has always been, can I go to a new place, and pay respect and homage to the Indigenous people that live there, and not disrupt their way of life? And am I in my own practice right now in the way that I live my life from day to day, am I, contributing to the goodness or am I taking away from it? I really think with what's going on here with TMT and what the stories that I've learned throughout this process is just sort of like really reinforced that I have a responsibility to be an ally and an advocate for Indigenous people wherever I go. Certainly, to my kanaka maoli relatives who are in this massive fight to protect their sacred sites.
ADRIENNE: Thinking back to our visit to Mauna Kea and being there and in that space during a time when like it was January, the weather was cold and it was rainy and to see the folks up there, and the dedication to that place, and to experience the, the protocol that have been three times a day and to like see the kitchen tent and the kupuna tent and like the infrastructure that was there, and we mentioned it like several times throughout the process but I kept drawing the parallels to Standing Rock and our time the the time that I spent out there in Cannonball at Oceti Sakowin camp and the ways that these two movements, while fundamentally different spaces different causes, shared so much about lessons of how to take care of one another. And that's what I keep thinking about is that, Jamaica talks about in this episode about how within days of the establishment of the camp at Puʻu Huluhulu, there was, health care, there was free health care, there was a school, there was a, everyone was bed, there were places for people to sleep like everyone was taken care of. And that's very similar to what happened at Standing Rock, and that it just gives these spaces of being able to imagine otherwise, and that's like my biggest thing that I'm obsessed with right now is we've gone through this year of like absolute hell of thinking about the ways that things can be otherwise and different. And that's the biggest lesson that I think I get from Mauna Kea, is that we have the knowledge and the skills and the ancestral strength to do things differently and when given the opportunity, we can, and it doesn't mean that they're like not without like messy complication and things that are really awful and shitty and hard and like the, the ills of the world do not stay away from these places but the fact that in my mind I now have two examples of how we as Indigenous people can build resistance spaces in a way that is fundamentally about relationships and about taking care of one another, and how different that is from my day to day life and that's just when I keep thinking about. The generosity of folks to share with us I think will really stick with me too and goes along with the power of those relationships and the power of that place. So I'm just really grateful that this was something that we got to spend this year doing and thinking about because Lord knows I needed it. And even having this conversation with Jamaica, and Auntie Noenoe reminded me settler politics is only a small piece of our world, we have the ability to do things differently.
MATIKA: I couldn't, I couldn't help thinking about I after Jamaica said that when she was talking about, like, the American government has been here for this such a such long time. She said, the American government, since its time here in Hawaii, occupying this place has not been able to figure out how to provide health care or how to take care of its Hawaiian people and us in a matter of days were able to do it up on the camp right that's what you're referring to. And I was thinking about about reservations. And when she said that I was like yeah I mean I see that at Standing Rock that we were able to take care of people, I see that on the mauna, we were able to take care of people but why aren't we able to take care of people on the rez in the way that we need, you know like, what's the difference between a rez camp, or, or not a rez camp, but it is a rez camp? What is the difference between resistance camp, and the rez? And I've been thinking about that over and over and over again, you know because isn't the reservation in a lot of ways, a space that was meant to be our own to be, like, not interrupted by Western systems, but then I realized I was thinking about it more like no the reservation was designed by the white man, the reservation was designed by colonialism. Therefore, the reservation is not going to provide because it wasn't designed by us and that's the difference between the rez, and the encampment. And I remember when I spent all that time at Standing Rock, you know, and when I came home, and I'd been outside for a long time you know like sleeping in teepees or tents and, and my first night home, I was really warmed by this fire and I felt so lonely like I missed the sound of the prairie. I miss the sound of people singing in the distance. I missed the feeling that I had when I felt like I was surrounded by like-minded people. It almost brings me to tears, remembering that loneliness, you know, thinking like, there is the otherwise whatever otherwise it is that we're going to imagine as we keep talking about here, that that otherwise feels more wholesome, we feel like we're a part of something on a daily basis and we're not constantly scrounging to have enough time to feel whole, you know, and that's what I miss about Standing Rock and about Mauna Kea and that was the feeling that it gave me which is like I could stay here forever because here in this tent, that doesn't have West Own furniture or the perfect paint color. Here I feel the most comfortable. You know, and how how crazy that is that, that I spent so much time like thinking about my drapes when I'm stuck in my house, feeling completely unwhole. But when I'm in those spaces, it doesn't matter what it looks like. It matters, the feeling of feeling like you're a part of something and surrounded by people who care about you and you care about them. It's like, it's just a better feeling.
ADRIENNE: Absolutely. And I think that's why this story of Mauna Kea was something that we felt like it was just really important to tell because it brings together so many of the things that we talk about on this podcast. All of these relationships that are so fundamental to the story of Mauna Kea, all of the pieces of settler colonialism and Western science and all of these themes that we've brought up again and again, really come together through this story. And so I'm really grateful for everyone joining us on this journey through these three episodes. I really hope that people take time to continue to learn more and to support, because there's so much more than what we were able to include in these three episodes. So yeah, I'm just left with such a sense of, of gratitude for this story.
MATIKA: Same yeah and as a part of our reporting on this story, which, you know, we also took time to talk with students from the University of Hawaiʻi, who spent their semester on the mauna, as well as one of their faculty, Ty Tengan. And their powerful stories will be available as a bonus episode on Patreon. So we really encourage you to listen to that because we're super grateful for the time that they spent with us. And you know I I have been incredibly humbled by this process. I think I'm just consistently humbled every time that I get the opportunity to speak with our people, because Indigenous knowledge is so powerful. Indigenous personhood gives me the sense of like that I have a place where I belong and so, for me, getting to tell these stories, also, plants my feet back down where they belong and puts my hands back in the dirt, reminding me that I belong amongst these people and that these ideas and these goals and these dreams that we have can come to fruition when people come together you know hearing the power of what happened when all these folks came together to protect their mauna and the lengths that they're willing to go to, and the respect they have for their kupuna just made me so, inspired really. Inspired that our Indigenous values and Indigenous knowledge systems will continue to be passed on and so I just want to say that much and say thank you to all those that participated and made this possible.
ADRIENNE: As you can imagine, we have a whole slew of thank yous for this series. So wado, thank you to Dr. Auntie Noenoe Wong-Wilson, Jamaica Osorio, Lanakila Mangauil, Keanu Sai, Ty Tengan, La Howard, Alexandra Makamae Kaupu, Kauila Tengan, and Kawika, and all of the other kiaʻi who generously gave us their time and words. We're so grateful for you taking the time to talk with us. And the other kiaʻi who generously gave us their time and words, we're so grateful. Advisement for the series came from Josh Morrey and Kylie Sullivan. The amazing artwork for the three episodes, as always, came from Ciara Sana. And thank you to our AMR team, Teo Shantz, Will Paisley, Kristen Bolan, Lindsey Hightower, Jon Alonzo, Keoni Rodriguez. And music for the episode came from La Howard and Masa Kobayashi, and footage from Mauna Kea that you've been seeing on our Instagram comes from Kanaeokana. Wado, mahalo, thank you to everyone, everyone listening,
MATIKA: Folks, if you get a chance, could you head on over to the iTunes, leave a comment, click the like button, and share this with your friends. You know, organic growth is all related to our listeners, supporting through sharing, liking, and commenting and so we appreciate that. If you can. Thanks!