Memorial planned for Halawa defender Boots Matthews

Halawa Valley / H-3 was the site of an epic struggle to protect Native Hawaiian cultural sites and native forest. The H-3 freeway was a military funded highway to link Pearl Harbor with the Kane’ohe Marine Corps Base.  A group of women activists and cultural practitioners occupied the Hale o Papa heiau, a women’s temple dedicated to Papahanaumoku, the earth mother to stop the construction of the freeway.  The freeway was built, but they succeeded in saving the heiau.  Other sites such as the Kukuiolono heiau were destroyed. Senator Inouye exempted the H-3 from the National Environmental Policy Act to expedite its construction and avoid endangered species challenges.  ‘Boots’ and his wife Sweets Matthews were leaders in the efforts to protect Halawa.

Uncle Boots (Robert Matthews) passed away earlier this month. He was curator, cultural practitioner, and educator in North Halawa Valley with the Na Kupuna A Me Na Kako’o O Halawa.

Services for him will be on the last Sunday of March in Halawa from 10 am to 2 pm.

Among many other accomplishments, Uncle Boots taught thousands of participants in the Malama i na ahupua’a/Adopt an ahupua’a service-learning program about Kanaka Maoli culture, history, native rights, and ethnobotany over the last fourteen years. With his wife, Sweet, he gave many participants experiences and knowledge that changed their life. We must continue to malama Halawa and uphold his dream to keep it as a place of education and healing.

In preparation for the Sunday program for him in North Halawa Valley , there will be a work day on Wednesday March 24 from 9 am to 1 pm.  Here’s an announcement for the work day.


Halawa Valley – HELP URGENTLY NEEDED for Sundays Aloha to Uncle Boots

Date:  Wednesday March 24, 2010

Time:  9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Site: Halawa/Aiea – Under the H3 – mauka of (up behind) Hawaiian Cement on Halawa Valley St .

Our kupuna, Uncle Boots, passed away earlier this month. Over the years, he taught thousands of MINA participants about Halawa, indigenous rights, and Hawaiian culture, medicine, history, and ethnobotany.

Please come and help us honor him by making his site of education in top shape for the services on Sunday, 3/28/10, 10 am to 2 pm – and of course, if you are new, learn about the place.

Directions to the site: From the Moanalua Freeway going west (78), take the Camp Smith exit (1E) and follow Halawa Valley Street . Pass a “No outlet” sign. Immediately after you pass under the H3 freeway, turn left, with the Hawaiian Cement Plant on your right and the H3 freeway up above you on your left (you are actually going through the Hawaiian Cement work area – drive carefully – but continue). Choose the right leg of the road split, turn left and then right back on track along the H3- as to form two sides of a triangle. (If the weather is dry, you can use the “third leg” which follows H3.) Stay close to the H3 up above you (on your left), and continue through the first and second gate. We meet at the third gate at the entrance to the cultural access area.

Find links to maps at (use the “Satellite” version). Please notice that there are separate maps for driving and for using public transportation. Alternatively, go directly to:

Call Ulla (808-330 1276) or Rick (808-330 0096), if you need additional information.

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