Monday, October 20, 2008

Malama Kaua'i

From the maile vine:

I just read some updates on the Nauʻe burial case (see the open letter from Kanaka Maoli scholars below), after a judge has ruled that development over the burials violated laws and yet deferred any restrictive action to other agencies. Now Malama Kauaʻi, a non-profit group that has stepped up to fight for protection of the ‘iwi (bones, remains), is asking for donations to help buyout the lot. They received a $75,000 donation from one anonymous donor; the developer Joseph Brescia has indicated that they will need closer to $1 million.

Most folks I know don’t have deep pockets. But it’s another cause that seems important to me (for indigenous rights, not just for Hawaiians), and one that much more than Bitch, it is easy for folks to overlook. No cute graphics needed: Find Malama Kauaʻi’s plea letter and pledge here.
Latest article in the Star-Bulletin is here:

“We believe that purchasing the site is the best way to ensure that the iwi kupuna (Hawaiian ancestral bones) are allowed to peacefully remain in place,” Kealoha said in a written statement. “The purchase also would provide the community with coastal open space and help to prevent beach erosion by allowing the natural cycles of ocean and sand movement to occur unhindered by development.”

Native Hawaiians and others have said the small lot should be considered a cemetery and not built upon.

Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe ruled Monday that the State Historic Preservation Division failed to follow state law in approving a burial treatment plan. Her decision sends the proposed plan back to the Kaua’i-Ni’ihau Island Burial Council for advice in consultation with descendants of the iwi and Native Hawaiian organizations.

“We have a window of opportunity to move forward on this before additional construction and disturbance of the iwi occurs,” Kealoha said….

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