Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month had a lot to offer.
There are many distinct cultures and different experience of these two large identity groups, often considered as one. But something changed in the frame last year, important this month and always.
In 2021, the White House singles out Native Hawaiians when declaring May as Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Welcome to “This Is America,” a newsletter that focuses on race, identity, and how they shape our lives. I Eve Chena USA TODAY Travel reporter and co-chair of Gannett’s Asian-American staff group.
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Lawmakers chose May to recognize the first Japanese immigrants to America in May 1843, and the first transcontinental railroad was completed in May 1869, largely because Chinese Labor who risked their lives with much lower wages than other workers while navigating Hostility and discrimination.
The Law of 1992 established Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month to permanently honor the way “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders made significant contributions to the development of the arts, sciences, government, military, commerce, and education in the United States. “
It does not go into detail about the inhabitants of the Pacific islands.
A new addition
Now, Native Hawaiians are being recognized.
Krystal Ka’ai, the first native Hawaiian to serve as the CEO of White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanderstold USA TODAY:
“Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has made it a priority to bring visibility to the needs of the Native Hawaiian community, especially as they face significant inequality in income COVID-19 health. Furthermore, the rights, resources, and lands of Native Hawaiians are often impacted by federal actions – and we are actively participating and raising the voice of Hawaiians. native in all aspects of our work.
The steps we’ve taken so far – including explicitly recognizing Native Hawaiians in Government initiatives and celebrations – demonstrate our commitment to honoring the people. Indigenous Hawaii as partners as we work to build a more inclusive government. ”
“Kamehameha School Kau’i Burgess, director of community and government relations with Kamehameha School, a prestigious private school based in Hawaii, said this year Native Hawaiians were honored during this year’s AANHPI Heritage Month. system for Native Hawaiian youth. “We celebrate with our AANHPI cousins across the country the unique and diverse heritages of our peoples and the shared experiences that unite us.”
As an Asian American, I couldn’t be happier when Native Hawaiians get the spotlight.
We are not a monolith.
But the native Hawaiians (and the people of Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and many other islands) have specific experience of their homeland becoming part of the United States Yes in its entirety a lot of history and luggage there.
That deserves to be highlighted.
Read more about Native Hawaiians and the issues affecting them
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