DUA TANI: (Re)evolving Identities of Pacific Islanders
Colonization, modernity and migration have impacted indigenous peoples globally. Of particular interest, is how identity formation of indigenous peoples are affected through these events. This article explores the life narratives of 20 Pacific Islanders in Brisbane, Australia, and their perceptions of identity. Through talanoa (culturally appropriate conversation) a deeper understanding of how Pacific Island people navigate, use, build and (re)shape their identities was established. The findings showed that although all the participants acknowledged the effects of colonialism, migration and western social expectations, their Pacific culturalism was central to their identity formation. Furthermore, participants expressed that without an understanding of who they were as Pacific Islanders, they would inevitably internalize negative perceptions. Interestingly, all the participants in the study also spoke of the complex intersections and hybrid notions of identity they embodied, as opposed to a traditional single representation of self. This study provides a snapshot of an ever (re)evolving Pacific story, still being written.
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