Bridging Indigenous and Immigrant Struggles: A Case Study of American Sāmoa
Abstract

Abstract:

In American Sāmoa, lines are being drawn between immigrants from Western Sāmoa, Tonga and the Philippines, and the indigenous population. A close study of the 2007 Future Political Status report, as well as the responses to the closure of the Chicken of the Sea tuna cannery, demonstrate how anti-immigrant sentiment has grown, along with fears over the stability and survival of the local economy. Such tensions between American Sāmoans and immigrant workers have masked potential synergies in the struggles of both groups. This essay provides preliminary suggestions on how the goals of colonized indigenous groups might be combined with those of exploited working-class immigrants living in the same region. As part of the same U.S. colonial legacy, both groups have a historical basis for joining together and fighting against continued imperialism in the region. Each group could benefit from collaboration to contest colonial structures that constrain their daily lives.