As the response and recovery continue for the devastating wildfires impacting the Hawaiian Islands, I-DIEM understands that disasters such as this impact the most marginalized communities the hardest. On Maui, this is the disproportionately large unhoused Native Hawaiian population. Those individuals who did not own the land before this disaster will likely be excluded from rebuilding efforts while receiving little to no compensation in the process. I DIEM will continue to promote an equitable response and recovery to ensure that Native Hawaiian communities lead all efforts to repair and rebuild. With their historical roots in Lahaina, revitalization must center around Native Hawaiians. Inclusion is essential to prevent the displacement of Native Hawaiian people, while simultaneously prioritizing and amplifying Indigenous knowledge and land-use practices.
Indigenous Hawaiians in Maui have faced marginalization due to a history of land dispossession and exploitation. Colonization has shifted centuries-old resource management practices, leading to the loss of ancestral lands and control over natural resources. In fact, this disaster was exacerbated by the remnants of a colonial land use policy.
“Indigenous Hawaiians have historically been underrepresented in decision-making processes that concern land use, resource management, and disaster response,” said I-DIEM CEO Chauncia Willis. “Their exclusion from these discussions further diminishes their ability to protect their land and interests.”
About the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management
The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management is a 501(c)3, global non-profit organization established to facilitate change by integrating equity into all aspects of emergency management. Our focus is on humanity, and our vision support the empowerment of marginalized communities within all phases of the disaster management cycle.
Greg Padgett, Director of External Affairs