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Tokehega Day
Tokelau

Tokehega Day 2020 and 2021 in Tokelau

Every 3 September is a national holiday called Tokehega Day in the New Zealand territory of Tokelau,. The day celebrates the peaceful resolution of boundary unclarity between Tokelau and American Samoa. This was, of course, a matter of a maritime boundary.

YearDateDayHoliday
20203 SepThuTokehega Day
20213 SepFriTokehega Day

The Treaty of Tokehega came into affect on 3 September 1983. It acknowledged the ownership of Swains Island by American Samoa and decided on the ownership of several other small isles. It established 8 coordinate points and seven straight lines between them, in the Pacific Ocean that intervenes between Tokelau and American Samoa. This became the modern “border”.

The treaty is called “Toke-hega” because the first half of the word is taken from “Tokelau” and the second half from “Olohega”, which is the name of Swains Island in the Tokelau language.

There is a desire to regain Swains Island by some of Tokelau. This definitely makes it difficult for some in Tokelau to feel good about the holiday since it resulted in the loss of territory, but it is a holiday because it found a peaceful solution to a border problem that was agreed to by both sides.