Community members voice their concerns about Senate Bill 1171.[tabs tab1=”English”] [tab id=1]
“I am here today to attend the meeting that was coordinated by The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, for a group of concerned Native Hawaiians individuals, and non-Hawaiian individuals to discuss senate bill 1171.” says, Kaʻanohi Kaleikini, a Cultural Practitioner.
“What Senate bill 1171 is doing is allowing for is really a partial review, or a partial assessment. And allowing landowners and development projects to proceed without adequate, really full information about what is existing, or could be there on their property. This one in particular is trying to alter subsequently alter a process and framework that is already in place. And that actually works.” says Kai Markell, the Compliance Manager of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Archeological inventory surveys, also known as AIS, are currently administerd for entire parcels of land development.
Kekuewa Kikiloi, the President of the Society for Hawaiian Archeology, says, “You know, archeological inventory survey is important because it’s a process of coming to know about what is on the landscape. So, you go out into the field, and you are looking for historic properties and sites that are, from the past that could be of value for the society today to preserve.”
“We get in there early and discuss with them our relation to the land, and if they don’t do archeological inventory surveys, what they could encroach on, and what they could be desecrating.” says Kaleikini.
Kikiloi further states that, “if you were to bypass the survey and do it somewhere down the line, or phase it out in increments, you don’t really know the totality of what you’re dealing with. So, you can’t really plan adequately.”
“If you do find significant culture resources, at that point, you know, you’re very limited at what you can do now because you already invested in a lot of resources and money. And it just creates a very difficult position.” says Markell.
“So this is something that should be of concern, not only for people that are interested in the preservation of wahi kupuna and iwi kupuna, but also developers who want certainty in the process to medicate the risks.” says Kikiloi.
To those who care and love the land, let’s be aware and educate ourselves of SB 1171, as well as our valued landscape.
To follow the bill’s progress, visit the State Capitol website.