OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA Statement on Mauna Kea

HONOLULU (June 20, 2019) – The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is disappointed by the arrest of a Kiaʻi and the dismantling of several symbolic structures on Mauna Kea today. These acts and the manner in which they were conducted, with little to no consultation with the Native Hawaiian community and OHA, exemplify the state and UH’s longstanding and blatant disregard of Mauna Kea’s significance to our beneficiaries, whose deep connection to the sacred mountain was embodied by the ahu and hale pili removed today.  The failure to consult with the Native Hawaiian community and OHA prevented government officials from fully understanding the mana imbued over years into these structures.

The absence of these cultural structures has deprived the Mauna of an important contemporary Native Hawaiian cultural presence on this sacred place beset with foreign activities. Today is just another sad chapter in the state and UH’s longstanding mismanagement of Mauna Kea, and only affirms the urgent need for a change in management of Mauna Kea as sought by OHA’s lawsuit against DLNR and the UH.

We ask government officials to carefully consider the safety and well-being of our people and work towards a peaceful resolution.

 

Photos credited to the Kanuha ʻOhana, Leinaʻala Sleightholm, and Hawaiʻi News Now

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