Aloha, Las Vegas: Trans-Indigenous Histories of Settler Infrastructure and Decolonial Island Possibilities between Kanaka Maoli and Nuwuvi Lands is a trans-Indigenous study of environmental (in)justice, tourism, migration, and transformative relationalities between the Las Vegas Valley and the Hawaiian Islands. [1] The first section of Aloha, Las Vegas is a trans-Indigenous cultural history that reads an archive of advertisements, environmental impact statements, newspapers and magazines, oral histories, and other materials to think about several figures: the island, the hotel/casino, the waterway, and the atomic bomb. The second section of Aloha, Las Vegas curates an archive of cultural artifacts ranging from both Nuwuvi and Kanaka Maoli art, performances, and activism. Through this analysis, Aloha, Las Vegas locates, beyond merely shared wounding, an ancestral kuleana (responsibility) Kanaka Maoli have to the Indigenous peoples on whose lands we live (Vaugh, 2019), a kind of kinship (Jolivette, 2016) that demands a politics of indigeneity beyond the “9th Island” discourse used to describe the Hawaiian diaspora. In understanding the “where we live now,” the difficult wounds of history, in section 1, Aloha, Las Vegas seeks to “imagine living elsewhere” (Gordon, 1997), that elsewhere, a nebulous realm of futurity explored through creative Indigenous practice in section 2.

[1] Aloha, Las Vegas is Greg Pōmaikaʻi Gushikenʻs doctoral dissertation.


Greg Pōmaikaʻi Gushiken