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Abstract

Hawaii is currently undergoing major changes associated with land and industrial development. A shift in focus from agriculture to tourism has led to massive land development throughout the islands in order to accommodate this growing industry. The people affected most by these environmental changes are the indigenous people of Hawaii who exist in close harmony with the land and sea. As natural habitats are destroyed, fish and other food sources disappear. This has profound affects upon the behavior and practices of Hawaiian people who must look to other means for subsistence. Changes in the environment are inherently tied to changes in traditional Hawaiian lifestyles. In the past two decades, incidences of crime and incarceration, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, and suicide have reached monumental proportions among native Hawaiians. These levels are highly disproportionate to their population and increases appear to coincide with increased modernization. This paper examines the conflicts and changes experienced by native Hawaiians through the use of an ecological model.

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