There has been a lot of influx on the summit of Mauna Kea recently. I feel it is important that the voices of as many Hawaiians be heard. This is what I have to say.
I applaud the people who are taking time to protest the TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope). I have heard and seen evidence that Native Hawaiians, and allies, are banding together to stand against an issue that is very important to us. This movement has gone viral and global.
However, I feel this protest is aimed at the wrong entity.
I am a Native Hawaiian that is not opposed to TMT. I would like to see the gap between science and my culture bridged. There are a few of us out there. While I don’t completely agree with Mr. Kaahui, I believe that our ancestors did bring science to Hawaii. Even Mr. Apo makes mention of this structure in pre-contact Hawaiian society. A structure like the TMT will bring forth the curiosity of our voyaging ancestors and help all people, not just Native Hawaiians, have a greater understanding of life on our planet as well as in the universe.
I agree with Dr. Sai and Mr. Kaiama, that Hawaii is (and has been) under the rule of the United States illegally. Unfortunately, I also understand that while we as a Native people recognize this, the US Government does not. Meaning – If Native Hawaiians want to make progress towards freeing our nation, we need to work with in the the structure of the US Government.
I’m also touched by the unity and the respect shared between the law enforcement officers and the protesters. I am proud to see the moving images of Native Hawaiians on both sides of the protest lines coming together and praying for guidance and compassion.Having a shared culture, ancestry, and even land can bring people together. In my eyes, I see this as one of the wondrous miracles of the power of Aloha.
As with many protests, the question then becomes, who can we blame? Who is responsible? To me, the answer is obvious. We all are. As a Native people, we Hawaiians have yet to agree upon a functional governing body that will assist us in navigating these treacherous waters.
We have also placed our faith in the wrong entities. The land on Mauna Kea has been leased for such small sums of money, there is no way, DHHL or OHA could possibly use it to help Native Hawaiians. Also, the stewardship of Mauna Kea rests with the State of Hawaii and DHHL. Who from these agencies is the wolf in sheep’s clothing? Who sold out their own people for a measly $1 per year? Does that really matter? Or should we be fighting for a solution?
No, I’m not anti-DHHL or anti-OHA. I am pro looking for a solution. I would like Native Hawaiians to come together and find a voice that we can use to overcome the regime, preserve our culture, and move into the 21st Century (and beyond) as cultural practitioners, scientists, and politicians. Let’s come together before it is too late and the bulldozers are on our doorsteps. Let’s find a solution that doesn’t involve name calling, slandering, or protests (peaceful or otherwise). Let’s find ways to preserve our land and our culture and still pursue science and other fields of academic knowledge. I am doing my part in this because of my ancestors and for generations to come. I hope you will too.