The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) supports the Kanaka Maoli, Native Hawaiians, defense and protection of the sacred site Mauna Kea and condemns Canada’s financial support of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). Mauna Kea is one of five volcanoes in Hawaii all of which are revered as sacred mountains. Resistance to the project has been consistent since its inception and despite continued demonstrations the project has been pushed forward.
Decades of practiced astronomy on Mauna Kea has caused significant, substantial and adverse harm to the physical site and the cultural identity of the Kanaka Maoli. The ongoing development of this sacred mountain brings about a “death by a thousand cuts” for the people and is in opposition of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Canada has officially adopted. -Regional Chief Terry Teegee.
The TMT, if built, will be the fourteenth telescope constructed on Mauna Kea and will set a dangerous precedent with the threat of continued construction and development on any other traditional or sacred Kanaka Maoli lands. Trust between the Kanaka Maoli and the Hawaiian state was broken after the construction of the first telescope in the 1960s.
The Assembly of First Nations recently passed the resolution LR-18/2019 Support for Native Hawaiians’ Efforts to Protect Mauna Kea and calls for Canada to observe their commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as an international standard.
For further information, contact:
Annette Schroeter, Communications Officer (250)962-1603. BC Assembly of First Nations.