Native Hawai'ian Participation in Organic Agriculture and Food Sovereignty on The Big Island of Hawai'i

By: Audrey Lipps  

I completed an ethnography examining the overarching aspects of food sovereignty, including the accessibility of organic agriculture to Native Hawaiians on the Big Island of Hawai’i. I studied the relationships between natives and non-natives to food sovereignty, and paid attention to both the broader context of a postcolonial society and the more local context of community-based agriculture and developmental organizations. My research question is: What influences the decisions of native-Hawai’ians and non-native Hawai’ians to participate or not in the production and consumption of organic agriculture? White activists and farmers uphold their morals in their work as permaculturists, but to complicate matters, large numbers of mostly white eco and volu-tourists in Hawai’i further displace native Hawai’ians to the margins of sustainable agriculture production and consumption, despite their historical significance to farming.This presentation will highlight the narratives of Hawai’ians on all sides of the issues as they speak to the four themes participants identified as the challenges for native Hawai’ian participation in the food sovereignty movement on the Big Island: Public Schools, land accessibility, environmental activism, and tourism, all of which are issues that further isolate natives from non-natives in Hawai’i.

GMOS Agriculture Preservation
Food Production and Sustainability
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Audrey Lipps

Intern , Miami University , Miami University Women*s Center

passionate about food soveriengty, food justice, and anti-colonial initiatives, specializing in island communities and permaculture.