April 8: 10am-11:30am & 2pm-3:30pm
How do two distinct peoples separated by an ocean come together to form a shared community in the midst of colonial violence and dispossession?
From western Canada to central California, the mid-19th century saw the emergence of mixed Native Hawaiian and Indigenous North American communities. Native Hawaiian historian David Chang is working with contemporary members of one such community in California to trace its history.
Drawing on sources from Hawaiian-language mourning songs to Nisenan language oral histories, Chang considers the role of memory in the making—and maintenance—of an Indigenous community across generations, emphasizing the very different ways that Native Hawaiian and Native Californian people have remembered shared places.
A surprising and refreshing perspective on the history of the West Coast and the role of memory and commemoration in navigating the multiple meanings of the lands we share.
David Aiona Chang is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota.