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The past is alive for Native peoples everywhere

I am crying today.

I have lived on Maui now for 45 years. My wife and I have raised our kids and now help raise our grandkids here. I work most days to bring some benefit to this island and its people.

This land has become part of who I am. I am crying at what Maui has become.

In retrospect, coming here in the ’70s, I was witness to the ending of a particular Maui that is no more. I can only imagine the vast spectrum of feelings that Hawaiian people have about what has happened and what is happening.

I do know that the US government must own up to the theft of Hawaii and the subjugation and attempted elimination of the Hawaiian culture. Grieving, remorse, reconciliation and reparations, including the return of federal and state lands, need to happen.

The stain, shadow and shame will haunt these islands until then, as will the travesty that so many Hawaiians can no longer afford to live here.

This same story is playing out in Canada and across the U.S., where broken treaties and the almost complete extermination of Native peoples’ languages and cultures continues to be exposed.

The U.S. was built on the backs of Black slaves, by the more than 90 percent of native forests that were cut down and by the near genocide of Native peoples.

Who says the past is gone?

Rev. Bodhi Be

Haiku

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