Walter Ritte, Jr.
Hawaiian sovereignty activist, Anti-GMO movement
Walter Ritte has been a leader of aloha ‘aina movements for nearly four decades. As a native of Moloka’i Island, he was initially involved in Hui Alaloa, which fought to maintain Hawaiian access rights. He was one of early warriors involved in resisting the U.S. Navy’s bombing of Kaho’olawe. Ritte and eight others made the first protest landing on the island Kaho’olawe on January 4, 1976. Ritte served in the 1978 Hawai’i State Constitutional Convention and was also one of the first elected trustees to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. His courage in protecting Kanaka Maoli relationships to ‘aina continues, as Ritte has led the struggles against the genetic modification of H’loa (the taro plant and elder sibling of Hawaiians), the development of luxury homes at La’au Point, and numerous other Hawaiian and anti-development issues.