What Does It Mean to Be a ‘Local’ in Hawai‘i?

A Honolulu-Born Mainlander Reflects on How Demographic and Economic Change Are Making an Idealized Aloha State Identity Obsolete

The story of the modern Hawai‘i diaspora is a paradox: Many of us who grew up in Hawai‘i in the second half of the 20th century developed a powerful sense of “local” identity—but were compelled by economics to live elsewhere in the United States.

I am one of many in this long diaspora who still refers to Hawai‘i as “home.” And if you ask me what it means to be from Hawai‘i today, the question is tough to answer. It’s especially hard if you were influenced by the transformative period—sometimes referred …

How Hawai‘i Forces Us to Redefine the Meaning of ‘Native’

An Environmental Historian Argues That Being Indigenous Is More Alchemy Than Fact

I was born in the Territory of Hawai‘i, three weeks before statehood. As a kid I played in its dirt, ran around in the rain (my hometown of Hilo is …