[News] US Military is destroying traditional Hawaiian sites

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 10 14:35:29 EDT 2010

Here's the latest I'm reporting on from my neck 
of the woods. The military is destroying all of 
our cultural sites and desecrating our ancestors' 
graves while expanding their dominion over these 
islands. The sad thing is that a Hawaiian 
organization (OHA) that is supposed to be helping 
us apparently made a deal with the devils in 
Washington and did not move on this when they 
found out about it a year ago. Only now when 
they're caught they are doing something, although not much.

As you know, this issue of further land-grabbing 
is repeating itself in Guam and Okinawa and other 
places. I'm trying to report on these issues as 
much as possible because no other media outlet is 
doing it. The media is so military-friendly here, 
even more so than on the continent!!

Folks I collaborate with on these 
anti-militarization pieces just got the axe from 
the American Friends Service Committee (they 
are/soon to be the former AFSC Hawaii Chapter) 
and will lose funding and affiliation at the end 
of the year. Word is that the organization is not 
comfortable with the rampant anti-military and 
sovereignty stance of the Hawaii Chapter.

Kaala <http://thehawaiiindependent.com/masthead/105/>Reiny


OHA ‘drops the ball’ in protecting cultural sites from Stryker brigade

Aug 03, 2010 - 11:17 AM | by 
<http://thehawaiiindependent.com/masthead/105/>Samson Kaala Reiny

HONOLULU ­ Cultural sites that were supposed to 
have been protected from military vehicles and 
training exercises may have been put in jeopardy 
due to an oversight by The Office of Hawaiian 
Affairs (OHA) lasting nearly a year.

At a special meeting with concerned community 
members last Thursday, OHA admitted to “dropping 
the ball” by not taking action on a damning 
report the agency received last year that 
criticized the Army’s efforts at preserving 
cultural sites while training and constructing 
the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT).

OHA received the report in September 2009, and it 
suggests that parts of the 
<http://www.achp.gov/nhpa.html>National Historic 
Preservation Act (NHPA) were disregarded. 
Trustees and staff discussed the item at a 
committee meeting in November. According to the 
minutes, Clyde Namuo, CEO, said staff was to 
draft a letter to the Army requesting the 
protection of sites mentioned in the document. It 
was revealed last week that no such action had 
been taken since that committee meeting last year.

“A lot happened,” said Kai Markell, OHA’s 
Compliance Monitoring Manager, who noted some 
structural changes within the organization kept 
some employees in limbo. “Some of us didn’t know 
if we were going to be here, and we lost a few people related to the project.”

The report, written by independently contracted 
archaeologist Christopher Monahan, comments on 
the Army’s numerous shortcomings in its attempts 
at documenting cultural sites, which, if included 
on the National Register of Historic Places, 
offers them various protections from being disturbed.

The report was the end result of a lawsuit OHA 
filed against the Army in November 2006 alleging 
violations against the NHPA and the Native 
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act 
(NAGPRA). Cultural monitors claimed that numerous 
sites were being mistreated or were endangered, 
including Haleauau heiau near Schofield Barracks, 
whose protective buffers were razed by bulldozers in July of that year.

In October 2008, a settlement was reached where 
OHA would drop its lawsuit based on its then 
knowledge of the existing surveys and reports. In 
return, the Army allowed the independently 
contracted archaeologist, Monahan, as well as OHA 
staff, access to Stryker Brigade sites for a 
total of 50 days in order to draw up an objective 
second opinion. OHA had the option then to 
proceed with mediation or litigation based on the new findings.

OHA initially gave the report to Terri Kekoolani, 
program coordinator for the American Friends 
Service Committee (AFSC) Hawaii, a few weeks ago at her request.

Monahan is critical of the methods used in the 
previous surveys conducted by the military and 
its hired firms, recognizing there are issues 
with the competency of the field personnel 
involved. It also notes a general lack of 
subsurface testing, or excavating, to locate such 
sites. Instead, there are “mere guesses ... and 
based on relatively little scientific data.”

At some locations, Monahan’s findings more than 
doubled the number of known features the Army had previously reported.

There is also concern regarding numerous earlier 
reports­ones that evaluated surveys taken of 
impacted areas­that were not made available to 
him because they were in draft form. Most 
problematic was a major report on the Kahuku 
Training Area, which was completed six years ago but is still not available.

Many of those in attendance recommended that, due 
to the Army’s violations of NHPA as cited in the 
report, an injunction should be filed by OHA to 
halt construction and training activities, until 
these issues are resolved. Markell said he would 
consult with upper management and the legal team on the options.

“We will refocus our efforts,” Markell said.

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