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The Question of Olohega

Laray Polk

Abstract: This paper will present a timeline of how a remote island in the South Pacific became a U.S. appurtenance (1860); then a U.S. territory (1925); and, finally, through a so-called “friendship treaty,” bargained away by New Zealand in order to maximize American Sāmoa’s maritime boundaries (1980). The original claim to the island is fraudulent, as many government officials and scholars have long suspected but have been unable to prove. This paper will examine the fraud in detail and present conclusive evidence for the first time. The island’s name is Olohega [oloˈhɛŋa] and it belongs geographically, historically, and culturally to the nation of Tokelau.