Native Hawaiians have a rich oral tradition that spans over a thousand years. Our stories are told in many forms: songs, chants, hula, legends, ʻōlelo noʻeau, and word play. Modern Hawaiians continue our ancient tradition by weaving their stories into beautiful spoken poetry.
Chris Oliveira is a fluent Hawaiian language speaker and a dedicated Hawaiian activist. Hailing from the Waiʻanae Coast, he is the Vice President and Executive Director of Koa ʻIke, a community non-profit organization that focuses on place-based, service learning educational initiatives and student exchanges.
First published in 2014 by Pūpū A ʻO ʻEwa, A Nation of Our Own is a powerful, provocative lamentation on the loss of our sovereignty dating to the 1893 U.S.-backed coup dʻetat that overthrew our indigenous government. Mahalo nui, Chris.
Watch our interview with Chris.
A Nation of Our Own, by Christophor Oliveira
When will there be an end to this occupation, a nation of our own choosing
Imbedded in the population were waiting for retribution
Suspended in animation by paperwork so confusing
Their faulty documentations for faking a revolution
Pretended the annexation with a blemished joint-resolutions
The same old operation they’ve been using since since back with Newlands
A general pacification intended as restitution
But we want repatriation and the reinstatement of our constitution
Now we contend with the aggravation, the sentence is destitution
With the falsest of allegations implementing our execution
We suffer from mass enslavement they profit off institutions
Were put in for misbehaving, but their guiltʻs already been proven
Much more than edification were offended and disillusioned
So we focus on education and nothing less for our future
Look to our past in admiration in reverence for our kupuna.
Credits: Posted with permission by Chris Oliveira. Performance recorded by Leeward Community College Educational Media Center; interview video by Rokki Midro.