For the past year our team of kiaʻi have been working to restore the Kaʻamola ahupuaʻa, while simultaneously learning the steps required to restore land under current management and governance structures.
In the current colonial setting there are numerous hurdles and challenges to get through to restore degraded land, which significantly impede community efforts to enact needed revitalization. As we move forward in this work, it is crucial we strive for systemic change that will allow for more community-led restoration that is not heavily encumbered by bureaucratic processes and colonial priorities.
The truth is, adequately addressing the material and rights-based needs of our Indigenous community would upend the entire capitalist system that governs us today. This is why Indigenous people are expected to be appeased by increased representation and hypervisibility, instead of receiving actual opportunity for self-determination.
As we strive for social and environmental justice in our communities, we must also fight for our human rights as the indigenous people of this ʻāina. In fighting to restore our natural and cultural resources, we must also restore the systems that led to their decline. This is what real social and environmental justice looks like.