ALERT! - OHA PARTNERS WITH US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
We want to let you know of a recently revealed partnership between the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the US Department of Homeland Security.
This partnership, which had previously been “under the radar,” is designed to exclude community input as well as input in particular from Hawaiian cultural practitioners regarding many Hawaiian historic and sacred sites such as Mauna Kea, heiau, burial sites, etc.
A 40+ page document from the US Department of Homeland Security states, among other things, that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has decided to change the way US federal activities can be carried out in Hawai`i.
Simply put, this means several very important and significant changes are on the way.
First, this partnership between OHA, the US Department of Homeland Security and FEMA is designed to make OHA the sole source of input to these two US federal agencies regarding Hawaiian sacred sites.
Secondly, OHA will be given the authority to interface with FEMA and approve FEMA activities throughout Hawai`i.
To date, OHA has not released any data on this or even made any of their OHA-US federal agreement discussions public.
Significantly, FEMA & OHA will have the right to exempt certain federal activities from the formerly required community consultation process.
Finally, and most importantly, it opens the door wide to the assertion of US homeland security threats and possible subsequent US federal law enforcement actions against Mauna Kea protectors or any other cultural site protection in the future.
All of this appears to be patterned after the already existing Mauna Kea Development model whereby the state of Hawai`i government went to OHA, convinced them to change their minds about opposing TMT, and then came to an agreement to work only with OHA and ignore other stakeholders and interested parties, including cultural practitioners.
Under this format only FEMA and OHA recognized and approved Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHO) would be able to participate. All other community input would be excluded.
In light of the upcoming OHA elections, and the need for truth and transparency throughout OHA which has been absent for so long, we ask you to take the above information into careful consideration as you decide who to vote for OHA trustees on August 13th and in November.