Hawaii County Council passed a resolution on Friday supporting the protection of iwi kupuna, moepu and sacred objects from desecration and destruction.
Here is a copy of it in its entirety:
"RESOLUTION SUPPORTING EFFORTS TO PROTECT NATIVE HAWAIIAN ANCESTRAL REMAINS (IWI KŪPUNA), FUNERARY OBJECTS (MOEPŪ), SACRED OBJECTS, AND CULTURAL PATRIMONY FROM DESECRATION AND DESTRUCTION.
WHEREAS, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), a federal law enacted in 1990, provides a process for museums and federal agencies to return Native American and Native Hawaiian cultural items, including ancestral remains (iwi kūpuna), funerary objects (moepū), sacred (ceremonial) objects, and cultural patrimony (objects with ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance), to their respective lineal descendants, culturally affiliated Indian tribes (including Alaska Natives), and Native Hawaiian organizations; and
WHEREAS, significant Native Hawaiian cultural items were intentionally disturbed and removed from the Kawaihae Cave complex on Hawai‘i Island in 1905 by the David Forbes expedition, without the consent of lineal descendants, and were conveyed to Bishop Museum; and
WHEREAS, in February 2000, Bishop Museum released these cultural items, including among them, carved wooden statuettes of family gods (‘aumakua), a human hair wig (lauoho), and gourds (ipu) with human teeth, which were repatriated to their historical repository on Hawai‘i Island; and
WHEREAS, in August 2005, two claimants to the Kawaihae Cave (Forbes) Collection filed suit in U.S. District Court, petitioning for the return of 83 cultural items to Bishop Museum until issues of repatriation or final disposition are resolved; and
WHEREAS, NAGPRA provides that “[t]he United States district courts shall have jurisdiction over any action brought by any person alleging a violation of this Act and shall have the authority to issue such orders as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this Act” [25 U.S.C. 3013]; and
WHEREAS, the legislative intent of NAGPRA was to rectify past wrongs and harm committed against native peoples and to protect their ancestral remains and cultural treasures from desecration and destruction; and
WHEREAS, the Council of the County of Hawai‘i recognizes its responsibility to foster greater awareness of and respect for Native Hawaiian cultural values and traditional belief systems among the citizens of Hawai‘i County.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I that it supports the cultural rights and practices of the Native Hawaiian community to protect its ancestral remains (iwi kūpuna), funerary objects (moepū), sacred objects, and cultural patrimony, in reverence to its kūpuna and on behalf of future generations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the County of Hawai‘i calls upon the parties involved to enter a traditional Hawaiian ho‘oponopono process to resolve and set right this historic matter; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the County of Hawai‘i calls for the ancestral remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and cultural patrimony to remain in place until the ho‘oponopono process is determined to be complete; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Clerk of the County of Hawai‘i transmit certified copies of this resolution to the Hawai‘i Island Burial Council; Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; State Historic Preservation Division; State Attorney General Mark J. Bennett; the Honorable Linda Lingle, Governor, State of Hawai‘i; the Honorable Harry Kim, Mayor, County of Hawai‘i; the Honorable David A. Ezra, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i; the Honorable Kevin S.C. Chang, Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i; Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum; Hui Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawai‘i Nei; Royal Hawaiian Academy of Traditional Arts; and Na Lei Ali‘i O Kawananakoa.
DATED: _______________, Hawai‘i, this _________ day of _______________, 2006.
Cross-posted to hawaiians