Today, DMZ-Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina called for an end to the destructive activities in Lihu’e, O’ahu, in particular the activities that threaten Hale’au’au Heiau.
28 July 2006
Army must cease and desist destructive Stryker activities to sacred sites in Lihu‘e plains
In public hearings in 2003, the community overwhelmingly opposed the U.S. Army’s proposed Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) expansion. Many spoke to the fate of cultural sites in the sacred landscape of Lihu‘e and Leilehua, including the birthstones of Kukaniloko and the heiau Hale’au’au. The Army’s own Environmental Impact Statement for SBCT admitted that its expansion plans would cause “significant impacts” to wahi pana (sacred sites) in Lihu’e and Pohakuloa. A lawsuit by three Kanaka Maoli groups challenging the adequacy of the Army’s environmental impact statement is still on appeal. Despite the community’s rejection of the Stryker expansion and the irreparable harm it would cause to the environment and to cultural sites and practices, the Army is proceeding with its plans.
DMZ-Hawaii/Aloha ‘Aina has obtained information indicating that the US Army was forced to halt unexploded ordnance clearance activities in Lihu’e, the site of its proposed Battle Area Complex due to alleged violations of the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Programmatic Agreement governing the protection of cultural sites. Cultural monitors reported that workers had bulldozed across a protective site buffer for Hale’au’au Heiau and cited numerous other violations of the Programmatic Agreement. OHA has threatened a lawsuit for violations of the Programmatic Agreement.
DMZ-Hawai’i / Aloha ‘Aina maintains that the proposed Stryker Brigade expansion wrongfully utilizes Hawaiian national lands (“Ceded Lands”) and is incompatible with Hawaiian values of aloha ‘aina and malama ‘aina.
DMZ-Hawaii/Aloha ‘Aina calls on the US Army to immediately:
- Cease and desist all Stryker Brigade expansion activities, especially the destructive activities to the sacred Lihu‘e and Leilehua plains. It is impossible to “mitigate” desecration.
- Conduct a thorough damage assessment of Kanaka Maoli cultural and sacred sites in Stryker project areas.
- Conduct cultural surveys of all affected lands, as required by the Programmatic Agreement, under the auspices of qualified Kanaka Maoli cultural experts.
- Make public all documents related to the documentation and preservation of na wahi pana and the removal of unexploded ordnance in Stryker project areas.
- Provide adequate resources (time and money) for na kia’i (cultural monitors), so that they may perform their important work unhindered.
- We demand immediate religious access to the affected sites, to see what has been done, and to perform cleansing rituals.
In spite of the U.S. illegal occupation of our homeland, we still bear the kuleana of maintaining the life of the land. DMZ Hawaii/Aloha ‘Aina expects a prompt and favorable response to this request.
Jim Albertini, Malu Aina & DMZ Hawaii/Aloha ‘Aina
Donna Ann Kameaha’iku Camvel
Keli’i Collier, DMZ Hawaii/Aloha ‘Aina
Shannan Collier, DMZ Hawaii/Aloha ‘Aina
Fred Dodge, MD and ‘Ohana, Malama Makua
Hawai’i Okinawa Alliance
Ikaika Hussey, DMZ Hawaii/Aloha ‘Aina
Kyle Kajihiro, American Friends Service Committee Hawai’i
Terri Keko’olani, Ohana Koa / Nuclear Free & Independent Pacific
Gwen Kim, Ohana Koa/ Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific
Mauna Kea Anaina Hou
Kala’iokamalino Kim Niheu
Kalamaoka’aina Niheu, MD
Soli Kihei Niheu
Sparky Rodrigues, Malama Makua
Puanani Rogers, Hookipa Network
Not In Our Name-Hawai`i
Andre Perez, Hui Pu
Cha Smith, KAHEA
Martha Townsend, KAHEA
Veterans for Peace
Leandra Wai, Malama Makua
Imai Winchester, Halau Ku Mana