The Department of Defense has been meeting with Kanaka Maoli organizations over several years to develop a protocol for handling cultural issues that impact Kanaka Maoli. This is really a process to LIMIT Kanaka Maoli input into military decision making by designating “legitimate” Kanaka Maoli organizations that must be consulted. Of course, we can anticipate that the approved Kanaka Maoli organizations will be domesticated and obedient to their American masters, rather than the unruly and rebellious groups at the grassroots.
According to an article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald, “Native Hawaiians are being asked to comment on a U.S. Department of Defense proposal aimed at increasing the military’s sensitivity toward cultural practices, sacred sites and natural resources.”
Predictably, some Native Hawaiian groups that have gotten special preferences in military contracts, such as the Council for Native Hawaiiian Advancement, are lauding the consultation:
Robin Danner, president and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, called the proposal “great” and one that has left her group “encouraged.”
“These kinds of policies and protocols are long overdue,” said Danner, a Hawaiian and homesteader who would like to see a similar agreement established for state agencies.
According to its Web site, the CNHA is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 and “dedicated to capacity building and community development programming in native communities in Hawaii and the Pacific.” It claims to be “one of the largest national organizations serving Native Hawaiians headquartered in Hawaii,” with a membership of more than 150 organizations and agencies.