- Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander (or Pacific Person, pl: "Pacific People", also called "
Oceanic[s] "), is a geographic term to describe the Austronesian inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania: Polynesia, Melanesiaand Micronesia. [ [http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?search=pacific%20islander Pacific islander] on Encarta.] [ [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pacific%20islander Pacific islander] on Dictionary.com.] According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, these three regions, together with their islands consist of:
Polynesia: The islands scattered across a triangle covering the east-central region of the Pacific Ocean. The triangle is bounded by the Hawaiian islands in the north, New Zealand in the west, and Easter Island in the east. The rest of Polynesia comprises Samoa (American Samoa and Western Samoa), the Cook Islands, French Polynesia (Tahiti and The Society Islands, Marquesa Islands, Austral Islands, and the Tuamotu Archipelago), Niue Island, Tokelau and Tuvalu, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, and Pitcairn Island.
Melanesia: The island of New Guinea, the Bismarck and Louisiade archipelagos, the Admiralty Islands, and Bougainville Island (which make up the independent state of Papua New Guinea), the Solomon Islands, the Santa Cruz Islands (part of the Solomon Islands), New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands, Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), Fiji, Norfolk Island, and various smaller islands.
Micronesia: The islands of Kiribati, Guam, Nauru, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrate, all in the Caroline Islands).
Usage of term in Australia, New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom
In Australia the term
South Sea Islanderwas used in the past to describe Australian descendants of people from the more than 80 islands in the Western Pacific. [cite web|url = http://www.abc.net.au/radio/rpf/stories/s1314059.htm|title = South Sea Islander Project|work = ABC Radio Regional Production Fund|publisher = Australian Broadcasting Corporation|date = 2004|accessdate = 2008-08-27|quote = Recognition for Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI) has been a long time coming - it was not until 1994 that the Federal Government recognized them as a distinct ethnic group with their own history and culture and not until September 2000 that the Queensland government made a formal statement of recognition.] In 1901 legislation was enacted to restrict entry of Pacific Islanders to Australia and to facilitate their deportation: " Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901". In the legislation Pacific Islanders were defined as:
“Pacific Island Labourer” includes all natives not of European extraction of any island except the islands of New Zealand situated in the Pacific Ocean beyond the Commonwealth [of Australia] as constituted at the commencement of this Act. [cite web|url = http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/resources/transcripts/cth4i_doc_1901.pdf |title = Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901 (Cth) |work = Documenting a Democracy |publisher = National Archives of Australia |date = 1901 |accessdate = 2008-08-27]In 2008 a newly announced Pacific Islander guestworker scheme provides visas for workers from Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea to work in Australia. [cite news|url = http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/17/2337828.htm |title = Pacific guestworker scheme to start this year |date = 2008-08-17 |publisher = Australian Broadcasting Corporation ] The pilot scheme includes one country each from Melanesia (Vanuatu), Polynesia (Tonga) and Micronesia (Kiribati): countries which already send workers to New Zealand under its seasonal labour scheme. Australia’s pilot scheme also includes Papua New Guinea. [cite press|url = http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/parlsec/releases/2008/dk007.html |title = Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme is more proof of Australia's new Pacific focus |publisher = The Hon Duncan Kerr SC MP; Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs | date = 2008-08-20] [Note that Australian classification standards code Pacific Islander, Oceanian, South Sea islander and Australasian all with code 1000 - ie identically. This coding can be broken down into the finer classification of 1100 Australian Peoples ; 1200 New Zealand Peoples ; 1300 Melanesian and Papuan ; 1400 Micronesian ; 1500 Polynesian. Note that there is no specific coding therefor for "Pacific islander". See: cite web|url = http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/00A57A2C8FE19CACCA2570360074713B/$File/12490_2005.pdf|title = Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG) - 2nd edition| date = 2005-07-07|format = pdf - 136 pages|publisher =
Australian Bureau of Statistics|accessdate = 2008-08-27]
Local usage in
New Zealanduses the term to distinguish those who have emigrated from one of these areas in modern times from the indigenous New Zealand Māori(who are also Polynesian but arrived in New Zealand many centuries earlier), and from other ethnic groups. A stated reason for making the ethnic distinction is that the Pacific peoples suffer from socio-economic disadvantages as a group and benefit from culturally targeted social and health assistance.
United Kingdom, the term "Pacific Islander" refers to people originating from the islands of the Pacific (excluding the larger islands of Australiaand New Zealand- see Pacific Islander British).
United States, the geographic location of "Pacific Islander" is the same, but is generally understood as a reference to indigenous natives of Hawaii. Pacific Islanders are defined as a native or inhabitant of any of the Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian islands of Oceania. Some examples of the ethnic groups that would be considered Pacific Islanders are the indigenous peoples of Hawaii, the Marianas, Samoans, Guamanian, Chamoru, Tahitians, Mariana Islander, and Chuukese. [ [http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/pums/sub/ancestry.html 1990 Census of Population and Housing Public Use Microdata Sample ] ] cite web|publisher = University of Michigan|title = Census 1990: Ancestry Codes| date = August 27, 2007|url = http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/cicdoc/cen90app/ancestry.htm ]
Inhabitants of the following islands and regions are not considered to be Pacific Islanders: Russia's
Kuril Islands, Alaska's Aleutian Islands, Taiwan, Philippines, Japanand Indonesiaislands, which although technically bordering edges of the Pacific Ocean, do not fall under the definition of "Pacific Islanders" because such islands are not actually located within the three regions of Oceania ( Polynesia, Micronesiaand Melanesia). [cite web|url = http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?search=pacific%20islander |title = Pacific islander|publisher = Encarta|accessdate = 2008-09-12]
List of Pacific peoples
Blackbirding- the recruitment of people through trickery and kidnappings to work on plantations, particularly the sugar cane plantations of Queensland (Australia) and Fiji
Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901- designed to facilitate the mass deportation of nearly all the Pacific Islanders working in Australia
* [http://www.army.mil/asianpacificsoldiers/ Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. Army]
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