Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
31st January, 2016
The indigenous peoples of Alaska and Hawaii appealed to the international community through the United Nations with a request to ensure their right to self-determination. The letter was circulated in Geneva.
In the address, the representatives of the peoples of Alaska and Hawaii urged UN members to raise the issue on May 11th in the framework of the consideration of the UN Council on Human Rights of the periodic review of the human rights and freedoms in the United States, according to TASS.
The appeal emphasizes that the sale of Russian Alaska to the United States in 1867 did “not mean the transfer of sovereignty over Alaska to the United States” and the “US invasion of Hawaii in 1893 was a violation of bilateral treaties and international law.”
“The territory of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959 were absorbed by the United States through deception and deliberate breaches of the mandate and UN principles, and the process of self-determination”, – stated the document.
Residents of the two U.S. States urged the UN “to fix the mistake” and use peaceful means to achieve a referendum for the self-determination of Alaska and Hawaii. For a more effective action in this direction, even set up a joint working group – “Alliance of Alaska-Hawaii for self-determination.”
“They’re taking our land and are mining mineral resources in huge quantities, causing damage to the environment. We believe that the Russians can help us. The year 2017 will mark 150 years since the sale of Alaska by Russia to the USA. If we could, working with the Russians, provide the truth about what really happened in history and to reject the distorted concepts about Alaska and our people, I think it would be a good way to rectify the situation,” – said the representative of Alaska in the working group “Alliance Alaska-Hawaii for self-determination” Ronald Barnes to the meeting in the Swiss press club in Geneva.
“Our culture is suppressed. However, US actions are directed not only against our culture but also of world peace, because Hawaii hosts the military base of Pearl Harbor. During military exercises they pollute our land and water. From this people get sick. This is an abuse of our land and people. We don’t want to be a part of the war machine”, – said the representative of Hawaii Leon Siu.
In an interview with TASS, Barnes stressed that Alaska and Russia have a lot of common in history, culture and religion. “I am Orthodox”, he said in Russian. Continuing in English, he said that many of his relatives have Russian names and Russian words are used, for example, “handkerchief” and “oil”. “We believe that the Russians could help us, said Barnes. “The year 2017 will mark 150 years since the sale of Alaska by Russia to the USA. If we could, working with the Russians, provide the truth about what really happened in history and reject the distorted concepts about Alaska and our people, I think it would be a good way to fix the situation.” According to Barnes, Alaska could become “a neutral state lying between Russia and the West”.
Recall that Alaska became part of the USA in 1867. Prior to that, it was under the control of the Russian-American company, but was sold by the Tsarist government. The state is home to 88 thousand representatives of indigenous peoples, including Eskimos, Aleuts and Indians.
The Hawaiian Islands were annexed by the USA in 1900. They received statehood in 1959, before the island functioned as a self-governing territory. The proportion of remaining indigenous population in Hawaii does not exceed 10% of the 1360 thousand total population of the Islands.