The open of the 2013 Legislature revealed the commitment of Hawaiʻi coming together as a people and as generations of Aloha ʻĀina who will be idle no more.
“The sun just starts to puka through the horizon and then as it rises it keeps growing and growing until you feel the full intensity of it’s mana and that was like today, this morning the experience was like just very warm and uplifting and motivated by opposition to negative things that are happening to our ʻāina but really from a foundation of love and aloha,” says Noelani Kaʻopua-Winchester, a professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a prominent Hawaiian activist.
Noelani and hundreds of young activists converged on the Capitol in solidarity on issues affecting our ʻāina, determined to be idle no more!
“It’s really encouraging that 120 years later after the US occupation of our lands, we’re still here, we’re still strong with the values that our kūpuna taught us to mālama ʻāina, mālama kūpuna, mālama keiki, you know, hoʻoulu lāhui,” says Noelani.
Famous slam poet, Jamaica Osorio couldn’t have agreed more. “I think we’re in a long way to go to be completely independent, but I think if we can galvanize against food sovereignty, if we can galvanize around ʻōlelo we have a really big foot up on what we had when I was- when my dad was doing things in the seventies.”
Energy continued to grow with every footstep followed.
“It was just so great to be marching and seeing all these young people from Hālau Kū Māna, Hālau Lōkahi and Hakipuʻu just join us and give so much power to our movement. 024515 Every single time a new school came up, it was just like we were really reinvigorated 024521 and it made me kind of emotional coming down because I realized how many- you know, we’re not at a loss. We have a lot of really smart young people who are being taken care of and being taught their ʻōlelo and what’s right,” says Jamaica.
“It’s so nice to see the youth singing and chanting because in song we find healing and change,” says singer and songwriter, Hāwane Rios. ” There is power in our voices and I am so proud to see the youth using their voice of aloha.”
Ānuenue Tui, a Hālau Kū Māna senior made his voice heard. “If we remain idle, we will have no nation. But if we continue to stand up and be strong, our nation will be held tightly together as a rope.”
“For the last century or so we recognized that we have been most successful in protecting our natural and our cultural resources when we’ve come together as a community, says Trisha Kēhaulani Watson, who is owner of Honua Consulting. “That means Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians, all people who love this ʻāina work together.”
Long-time mālama ʻāina activist, Walter Ritte knows this first hand. “Our generation we tried our best, and we went pretty far. So we have to teach our young people, the younger generation that you need to come to this building, share your manaʻo, because your manaʻo is good manaʻo, manaʻo that’s going to make Hawaiʻi a better place, is going to make sure that we do our kuleana which is to protect our natural resources, to protect Hāloa.”
“In a sense, those decisions have really, as we see today have been beneficial in that they’ve brought people together,” says Trisha. “They’ve made us realize that if we continue to be divided, if we continue to sort of stay in our own little cliques as oppose to putting down our swords that we may have with each other, we’ll continue to lose really really critical battles and really really important fights.”
“I haven’t seen the Hawaiian people come together like this in a while. I am truly proud,” says Hāwane.
Trisha could agree that this coming together is a start to something even greater. “So today is about demonstrating that we have come together, that we’re committed to staying together and that at the end of the day there are far more people who have a love of the ʻāina in common than people who are willing to fight separately.”