INPEACE Statement on Mauna Kea
July 24, 2019
In light of the events surrounding Mauna Kea and TMT, the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE) has issued the following statement:
INPEACE programs are grounded in Native Hawaiian values and seek to respect and perpetuate Hawaiian language and culture, making this knowledge available to all participants. INPEACE programs are open to individuals of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We do this with the understanding that providing educational and economic opportunities to all residents helps us in our mission to uplift Native Hawaiian communities.
A core value in Hawaiian culture is aloha ‘āina, which encompasses a sense of place and a love for the land, its history, and the cultural practices associated with this history. Certain cultural practices and connections are tied to certain places, especially places that Native Hawaiians hold sacred. Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world, is one such sacred place. In our efforts to honor Hawaiian values and perpetuate Hawaiian culture and language, INPEACE recognizes the importance of protecting these sacred places.
At the same time, INPEACE recognizes the importance of science and science education for Native Hawaiians. We believe, the practice of science and the protection of sacred places can be perfectly compatible. This compatibility is only achieved when justice and equity are part and parcel of science, and people and culture are honored and respected, as is the case with all ethical forms of professional practice and inquiry.
As an organization focused on empowering communities and building confidence in individuals to advocate for themselves, their ‘ohana and their communities, we commend those who are exercising their First Amendment rights and making their voices heard by standing on the Mauna in kapu aloha. We encourage members of our INPEACE ‘ohana and the Native Hawaiian communities we serve to answer the kāhea that speaks to them and use their voice with pride and honor to support our people, our culture and our ‘āina. We express our appreciation as well to those who have the difficult job of enforcing western laws and ask that they continue to treat everyone – from kupuna to keiki – with the utmost care and respect.
‘Ike aku, ‘ike mai, kōkua aku kōkua mai; pēlā ihola ka nohana ‘ohana.
E kū ha‘aheo,
Chief Executive Officer