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Main Historical Dates - Tokelau

Tokelau is a small territory in the South Pacific, known for its stunning coral atolls and rich Polynesian culture. Here are the top 30 historical dates in the territory's history:

Date Event
c. 1,000 BCE The first Polynesian settlers arrive in what is now Tokelau
1841 The United States claims the atolls of Tokelau as part of the territory of American Samoa
1877 The United Kingdom establishes a protectorate over Tokelau, which becomes a British colony in 1916
1925 New Zealand assumes administrative control over Tokelau, as part of its mandate from the League of Nations to administer former German colonies in the Pacific
1948 The Tokelauan people are granted New Zealand citizenship
1976 Tokelauans vote to retain their status as a New Zealand territory, rather than becoming independent or joining Samoa
1986 The Tokelauan language becomes an official language of Tokelau, alongside English
1996 A draft constitution for Tokelau is rejected in a referendum, leading to a period of consultation and negotiation with New Zealand
2006 A second referendum on self-governance for Tokelau is held, with the majority of voters choosing to remain a New Zealand territory
2007 Tokelau begins to transition to renewable energy, with the construction of solar power systems and wind turbines on its atolls
2009 Tokelau joins the United Nations Decolonization Committee, with a view to gaining greater international recognition and support for self-governance
2012 Tokelau becomes the first territory in the world to achieve 100% renewable energy, through a combination of solar and wind power
2014 Cyclone Ian causes significant damage to Tokelau's infrastructure and economy, leading to an international aid effort to support the territory's recovery
2016 Tokelau adopts a new governance structure, with a General Fono (council) and a Ulu-o-Tokelau (leader) appointed by the New Zealand government
2017 Tokelau celebrates the 70th anniversary of its relationship with New Zealand, with cultural events and commemorations held on its atolls
2018 The Ulu-o-Tokelau, Kelihiano Kalolo, calls for Tokelau to be granted full self-governance and representation at the United Nations
2019 Tokelau faces challenges from climate change and rising sea levels, with concerns about the impact on its atolls and population
2020 Tokelau implements strict border controls and quarantine measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with no reported cases on its atolls
2021 New Zealand announces plans to invest in infrastructure and economic development in Tokelau, with a focus on sustainable tourism and fisheries
2022 Tokelau celebrates its cultural heritage and traditions with a series of events and festivals, showcasing the territory's unique Polynesian identity and customs

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