Army settles Hawaii culture lawsuit

The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Nov 18, 2008 6:09:54 EST

HONOLULU — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Army announced Monday that they have settled an OHA lawsuit filed in 2006 over the establishment of a Stryker brigade and its impact on Native Hawaiian cultural resources.

OHA representatives and a neutral archaeologist accompanied by Army representatives will survey certain Army training areas, the announcement said.

OHA and Army representatives aim to ensure the appropriate identification and treatment of cultural and historic resources located in the Schofield Barracks region of Oahu and other parts of the state, it said.

“This agreement will afford OHA the opportunity to have a firsthand look at important cultural resources that would not otherwise be accessible to the general public, and to determine whether they were fully addressed in the Army’s prior surveys of areas affected by Stryker activities,” OHA chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said.

“We believe that this is a very significant undertaking for the preservation of Native Hawaiian culture and history, and we appreciate the Army’s giving us access to verify the completeness and accuracy of prior efforts to identify and protect Native Hawaiian sites and other historic resources,” she said.

Col. Matthew Margotta, commander, U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii, said the Army values “this spirit of cooperation and communication with OHA.

“We believe this agreement will build upon our existing robust programs to identify and care for these cultural and historical resources, while balancing the need for Soldier training which is so vital to ensuring that America’s sons and daughters in our military are prepared for combat,” he said.


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