Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences


Social Sciences

First Reader/Committee Chair

Lyon, Cherstin


In Hawaiian History: The Dispossession of Native Hawaiians’ Identity and Their Struggle for Sovereignty, three of the Western constructed narratives of Hawai’i are identified and juxtaposed with Hawai’i’s historical facts taken primarily from the late 1800s through the mid 1900s. These Western narratives contribute to an identity crisis experienced by Native Hawaiians during a time when their culture was almost lost, due to the colonial powers assimilating Hawai’i to America. An account of the historical events of the Kingdom of Hawai’i is then reviewed, which includes the diplomatic moves of the Hawaiian monarchs, the changes in the statuses of the Kingdom, and the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani. Evidence explored throughout “The Hawaiian Kingdom” section, proves the native Hawaiians adjusted swiftly to a diplomatic means of resolving issues, which refute a frequently taught Western constructed narrative that the “savage native Hawaiian political leaders” needed Americas aid in governance. The Hawaiian sovereignty movement’s history is reviewed, leading up to the creation of U.S. Public Law 103-150. This resolution was made in response to the demand from Hawaiian sovereignty movements for the United States to acknowledge its role in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. The U.S. political agenda found in this resolution is so deeply embedded and disguised in the diplomatic language used, that without careful examination could go completely undetected by the reader. At the surface level, the Apology Resolution acknowledges the historical injustices faced by the native Hawaiians, apologizes for the events, and seeks reconciliation with the native Hawaiians. Concealed in the U.S. Public Law 103-150, is the manipulation of language as means to use the apology as a disclaimer, which allows the United States to continue to suppress the inherent sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawai’i and nullifies any claims to rights, titles, and possessions against the United States.