The Hawaii Independent reported that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is considering legal action to get the Army to protect Hawaiian cultural sites. The report also exposes the fact that the Army Native Hawaiian liaison program and Native Hawaiian Advisory Council is a front for the Army that is incapable of standing up for Native Hawaiian culture, land or rights.
OHA considers legal action to protect cultural sites against Army Stryker vehicles
Aug 21, 2010 – 01:17 PM | by Samson Kaala Reiny
MOLOKAI—The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is using a “balanced approach” to hold the Army accountable for protecting cultural sites from further desecration on its Stryker Brigade locations, according to OHA’s CEO Clyde Namuo at a board of trustees meeting on Molokai yesterday.
A member of the community complained that the letter OHA sent to the Army on August 13 had no legal teeth because no clear-cut demands or timelines were made.
The OHA letter only states that the Army “promptly evaluate the historic properties identified” as a result of the 2008 settlement between the two groups. It concludes by asking “in the spirit of cooperation and in good faith … a continued collaboration between our office and your agency.”
“I do believe it does have teeth because it states the Army is not fulfilling substantially [sic] the Programmatic Agreement,” Namuo said.
But Namuo thinks that OHA should connect with new Army personnel first. Colonel Mulberry, U.S. Army Garrison Commander, has only been on the job a few months and doesn’t know the issues. Namuo believes OHA should first reach out to him. There’s a chance he could be very receptive to concerns in the Native Hawaiian community.
“Past garrison commanders were sensitive,” Namuo said.
Nonetheless, Namuo believes the Army’s negligence in recent months, particularly with the unearthing of iwi at Schofield Barracks at Lihue in May, is telling.
“The spirit of the Army is not what we had hoped,” Namuo said.