While I was on the Island, I witnessed a protest by the Rapa Nui people for their independence from the Chilean government. Being Polynesians, they have closer ties with the rest of Polynesia than the governing Chileans. With only 3000 Rapa Nui and 2000 Chileans on the island, it seem to be quite a challenge to gain independence.
Reading their history is both fascinating and tragic. The Rapa Nui people suffered environmental devastation from over fanatical construction of Moai Statues, captured as slaves by the Spanish, their island annexed by the aggressive Chileans in the late 1800s, after their island were leased to the British as a sheep station. Generations of Rapa Nui people were confined to the town of Hanga Roa and not allowed to venture out to the rest of the island, making them prisoners of their own land until the late 1966s.