One of my life-long interests has been Hawaiiana and Pacificana, including a special interest in some 30 or so low-lying coral islands in the central Pacific Ocean, scattered between Hawaii and Samoa, that once were sometimes referred to as ‘American Polynesia.’ That was a term coined in 1859 by the distinguished German statistician and geographer Ernst Behm. I have written a couple of monographs on American Polynesia---one of which found its way into the world famous Bernice P Bishop Museum (the 'Bishop Museum') in Honolulu, Hawaii---as well as other articles on the topic of Hawaiian spirituality. Most of these writings can be found on SlideShare if you're interested in reading any of them.
So, the US federal government asserted, or rather re-asserted, its claim to various (then) uninhabited small islands in the central Pacific---that had been previously claimed by American guano interests---and proceeded to establish small American colonies on several of those islands---islands such as Howland, Baker, Jarvis, and Canton (now 'Kanton,' and part of the Republic of Kiribati). Some 130 young Hawaiian men were chosen to be the colonizers. Native Hawaiian men made up the ‘bulk’ (often in more ways than one, no disrespect intended) of the colonizers. (E H Bryan Jr, a haole, was an honorary member of this esteemed society of men.) These wonderfully brave and tough men were the Hui Panalāʻau---the ‘Society of Colonists.’ The years of colonization (1935-1942) extended well into World War II, and, in the case of Kanton, considerably longer, but that’s another---and most interesting---story altogether. (BTW, once the War began, all the hard work the colonizers did was very useful for the Allied War Effort in the Pacific, but that, too, is another story.) For those who are interested in the story of the Hui Panalāʻau, you can read more about it here.