In fact, 8 out of 10 Pacific Islanders in the country are Indigenous to the US-colonized territories, according to a report by a White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Before European and American voyagers began colonizing the islands, Indigenous Pacific Islanders, like Native Americans, had been co-existing with the land and water for centuries.
But as result of colonialism, Pacific Islanders have long carried a disproportionate health burden, researchers have found.
And when many Pacific Islanders moved to the mainland US, they still encountered rampant racism and faced disparities.
Lately, they’ve been spreading public safety messages during the holiday season when most Pacific Islanders are drawn to gather with extended relatives.