Monday, December 4, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
OHA Echoes Burial Council Criticism of SHPD
By News Release @ 3:22 AM :: 2027 Views :: OHA

OHA CEO statement expresses concern on State protection of iwi kupuna

News Release from OHA, January 25, 2021

Statement of OHA CEO Sylvia Hussey Concern Regarding the State Historic Preservation Division’s Administration of the Island Burial Councils and the Care, Management and Protection of Our Iwi Kupuna

“On January 19, 2021, in proximity to the sacred ancestral interment site of Pohukaina located on the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace, island burial council leadership announced a “Statewide Protest to Uphold Their Kuleana (Responsibility) to Protect Hawaiian Burial Sites from Systemic Mismanagement by the State Historic Preservation Division.”

“The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Administration shares similar concerns expressed by the island burial councils, and notes that it has long sought to help the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) better comply with its statutory responsibilities to protect our iwi kupuna and sacred historical sites.  OHA urges state policymakers, including SHPD leadership, to heed the calls of our island burial council leaders, and address issues that have long been raised by Native Hawaiian community members and cultural practitioners, archaeologists, the state auditor and OHA itself.

“As recently as November 11, 2020, OHA expressed in a letter to SHPD Administrator Dr. Alan Downer its ʻserious concerns over repeated inconsistent interpretation and implementation of [SHPD’s] statutory duties;’ ʻthe observable lack of consistent and reliable administrative support of the island burial councils;’ and an apparent ʻrefusal to comply with both Chapter 6E, HRS and Chapter 13-300, HAR in fulfilling [SHPD’s] public trust responsibilities to our beneficiaries.’  OHA also noted SHPD’s continual failure to notify OHA of inadvertent discoveries of human remains, as required by law, and the longstanding need to better support the Maui/Lāna‘i Islands Burial Council, particularly given the Council’s ongoing requests for consistent access to legal counsel and administrative follow-through on their recommendations. OHA has yet to receive a response to its 52-page letter and the numerous recommendations it offered to address its concerns.

“OHA has also highlighted numerous longstanding historic preservation issues in two measures introduced as part of OHA’s 2020 legislative package.  One bill sought to give SHPD more enforcement tools and to lower its administrative burden in ensuring compliance with the law.  The other measure, a resolution, urged an update of SHPD’s decades-old administrative rules, and identified numerous needed changes to amend procedures for the classification and treatment of ‘inadvertent’ burials, provide a certification process for contracted archaeologists and clarify island burial council authorities, among others.

“We appreciate Dr. Alan Downer’s promise to improve communication with island burial council members.  However, the island burial council members’ protest demonstrates that much, much more must be done, to regain the trust of our councils and those who rely upon the State Historic Preservation Division to protect our ancestors, to whom we as Native Hawaiians remain deeply connected.

“Trust is earned, and can be such an easy thing to lose. I hope that SHPD will finally heed these concerns, and take all steps necessary – including by working with community members and OHA – to earn the trust of the Native Hawaiian community lost through years of apparent neglect, failed promises and unanswered concerns.”


Related: Leaders criticize ‘chronic mismanagement’ of Native Hawaiian burials


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii