University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa professor Noenoe K. Silva’s book, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004), was awarded first place as the most influential book in Native American and Indigenous Studies of the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century Prize. The award was given out at the third annual meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, held on May 19-21 in Sacramento. Silva is a Professor of Political Science and Hawaiian Language.
The Prize was determined by a vote of the membership of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, which is a professional organization dedicated to supporting scholars and others who work in the academic field of Native American and Indigenous studies.
Founded in 2008, NAISA hosts the premier scholarly meeting in Native studies. The association has more than 800 members from over a dozen countries and scores of Indigenous nations and peoples and welcomes anyone working in the field to join in building the future of Native and Indigenous studies. The membership voted on dozens of nominated books, with Silva’s book winning top place.
Aloha Betrayed fills a crucial gap in the historical record. In her rediscovery of the Ku'e petitions, where ninety-five percent of the indigenous population signed the 1897 resistance petitions—causing the annexation treaty to fail in the U.S. Senate—Silva refutes the long-held idea that Native Hawaiians passively accepted the erosion of their culture and loss of their nation, showing that they actively resisted political, economic, linguistic, and cultural domination.
Drawing on Hawaiian-language texts, primarily newspapers produced in the nineteenth century and early twentieth, Silva demonstrates that print media was central to social communication, political organizing, and the perpetuation of Hawaiian language and culture. A powerful critique of colonial historiography, Aloha Betrayed provides a much-needed history of native Hawaiian resistance to American imperialism.