Mauna Kea
Updated: 5/30/2020
Mauna Kea
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Storyboard Description

Abby Drayer RELS 336 - Week 3, Activity 2

Storyboard Text

  • Mauna Kea is a volcano, sacred to the Hawaiian Native people. The summit is a temple of the Supreme Being, and it is also a burial ground and the meeting place of Papa (Earth Mother) and Wakea (Sky Father).
  • Hawaii, 1960's
  • The University went on to sublease portions of the summit to thirteen observatory facilities for $1. The observatories sell viewing time for whatever price they choose, and in the past have rented viewing time at $1 per second, a night worth $30,000.The university gains largely economically and scientifically, while the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Hawaiian people receive no monetary recompense and lose their sacred lands.
  • We, the University of Hawaii, would like to lease the summit of Mauna Kea from the State of Hawaii.
  • We the federal government, hereby transfer the lands the government ceded back to the state in a public trust. Hopefully, this will result in the land being protected.
  • $
  • Mauna Kea is the “best place on Earth for astronomical telescopes."
  • We want to build another one that is 34,000 square feet, 18 stories tall, and ten times more powerful than any existing telescope.
  • But it would be constructed just 225 ft from three main historic shrines. And it would intersect Kukahau'ula, the highest peak, for 800 ft, and by doing so, interrupt the ceremonies held there. Mauna Kea is sacred to us. What about Undue Burden?
  • Mauna Kea, today
  • Though Mauna Kea is of definite religious relevance to the Hawaiian People, a history of complex land titles has led to movement of the land use away from Hawaiian traditions toward that of scientific advancement. Mauna Kea is not fully protected under undue burden because the summit is part of Hawaii’s ceded land trust.
  • Save Mauna Kea!
  • Why should Mauna Kea be entitled to equal protection under the Establishment Clause?
  • The building of the telescopes is a continuation of colonization. They prohibit us from practicing our religion on our sacred lands.
  • There are other places to build telescopes, but without Mauna Kea there is no place left for us.
  • It’s really not just about a telescope. This is our chance to learn how to live with one another again, to share. By finding a way for science and sacred land to coexist, we help to save other sacred locations as well.
  • Mauna Kea is sacred land!
  • Sources:Article: Mauna Kea, Indigenous Religious TraditionsVideo: Why Native Hawaiians are ProtestingVideo: We are Mauna Kea
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