Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Build On - Dig Up Our Iwi Tupuna (Ancient Burials). Re-Write Hawaii's History...GENOCIDE!

VIEWPOINT: Evidence does not support burial 'belief'

The article "Rock mounds throw wrench into Kula plan" (The Maui News, Sept. 27) disregarded important points discussed at a meeting of the Maui/Lana'i Islands Burial Council and did not give voice to other positions.
According to the article, there is a "belief" that "hundreds" of Native Hawaiian burials exist on the 272-acre parcel in Kula. This "belief" is not yet supported by the evidence.

The parcel is pastoral landscape with many terraces, walls and mounds primarily related to large-scale historic agriculture. The sites occur in an area designated as "agricultural land" and "planted in corn, Irish potatoes, etc." on an 1885 Hawaiian government survey map. Interviews with families residing in the area for generations support the agricultural nature of the locale. Hundreds of these agricultural clearing mounds have been previously documented in Kula, which itself translates to fields, plains and pasture.

During the Mahele of 1848, the parcel was transferred to A. Keohokalole, mother of Kalakaua, Lili'uokalani and Likelike. The award document clearly states that no "burial/graveyard" is present. After Keohokalole's death in 1869, the land went to her children. They in turn sold the land to a Chinese family, who then sold the land to the Von Tempsky family. The Von Tempskys sold the land to the current owner. Louis Von Tempsky was deeply involved in corn production, and commencing in 1892-1893 corn was cultivated throughout the Kula area.

If the lands were an extensive burial ground, surely children of Keohokalole would have considered this before selling the lands or allowing cultivation of them. If "hundreds" of iwi were present, surely this significant fact would have been noted in archival records, on maps, through testimony (accompanied by evidence) or through archaeology, particularly on adjacent, already developed lands. There is no evidence to date that so many burials would occur in this location.

If "hundreds" of burials were present, would they be of antiquity? Unlikely. Marked burials were unusual in traditional times. These traditional burials would also have been known by the current population because they would not have been confined to a single, identifiable parcel. Instead, they would have been distributed across the Kula landscape. Current parcel boundaries were unknown in antiquity. It is impossible to believe that these burials were limited to a parcel defined in modern times.

Those holding a different opinion point to the name of the gulch running through the project area, "Keahuaiwi," which translates to "pile of bones." However, the gulch runs from Haleakala Crater to the ocean. It could be that the "bones" refers to the area near the ocean, where burials are most often found in sand. Only petroglyphs have been identified in the project area portion of the gulch.

Furthermore, "pile of bones" is not the only meaning ascribed to the place name. For instance, one definition of "iwi" is "bones of the dead." However, "iwi" also refers to "corncob" (with deference to the 1885 map), and "stones or earth ridge marking land boundaries." In addition, Hawaiian monarchy records state that long, low walls running perpendicular to the terrain (walls and terrace systems such as occur in the project area) are called "iwi aina." Archaeologists refer to these features as "kuaiwi." Low, linear terraces running parallel to the terrain cross between the "kuaiwi" walls (translating to "backbone" of the agricultural system) and retain soil. Consistent with these definitions, in land boundary descriptions, "Keahuaiwi" translates to "piles of rocks." Context is important.

Even though the evidence suggests this area not to be a burial ground, protection of the past continues to be important. And, as is true with any archaeological project, consultation is an essential part of understanding and protecting the past. To that end, my colleagues twice submitted a Preservation Plan for this project in 2008. The plan was sent to 10 groups and individuals for consultation, with only OHA and the late Ed Lindsey responding.

The MLIBC is itself a valuable part of this particular consultation process. But the MLIBC must also be guided by evidence. As the news article shows, hyperbole and demagoguery are not helpful. Through dialogue, and not confrontational or combative means, the goals of those on the MLIBC and those who come before it can be achieved.

* Michael Dega received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii-Manoa and is a senior archaeologist for Scientific Consultant Services Inc., which surveyed the parcel in question.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Burial Council Site inspection at Kula Ridge Mauka Thursday-September 24, 2009 10:30am – Followed by Maui/Lana`i Island Burial Council Meeting at Kula

The Burial Council Site inspection at Kula Ridge Mauka will take place on Thursday-September 24, 2009 and the public is invited to meet at 10:30am at the 272 Acre/proposed 116 Lot development site.

As noted on a previous posting, There exist a very strong possibility this ahupua`a (Kealahou) on the slopes of Kula, Maui is in fact an ancient “Burial Grounds” and warrants further, more detailed investigation.


Take road (mauka direction) on Lower Kula Road, South side of Kula Community center/tennis Courts, mauka of Holy Ghost Church.
Drive quarter (¼) mile over dirt road, through gate ‘till you reach second gate/front loader & back hoe tractors.
If lost, call 281-3894.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Bigot's Insincere Letter & A Few Responses

(From Letters-The Maui News)

Position clarified amid smear campaign
POSTED: September 11, 2009

Since my snatching of the upside-down flag from the County Council Chambers, many people have shared their opinions of my action with me. Everyone has been civil about expressing their opinions, except one person. He calls himself "MauiMatt" and has embarked on a one-man campaign to discredit me. His diatribes are full of falsehoods and a complete mischaracterization of my position with respect to Native Hawaiian land rights. He has even gone so far as to print and distribute fliers with my picture on them suggesting that harm should befall me. I would like to set the record straight: Native Hawaiians have been getting the shaft for far too long.

It is way past time for Native Hawaiians to reap the benefits of being part of the United States. The County Council's level of government is probably the most important branch of government in our system because it is at this level that our lives are directly affected the most. While our County Council spends its time banning beer at beaches and closing down small businesses, kanaka maoli are losing their lands.

"MauiMatt's" attempt to paint me with a anti-Native Hawaiian brush should fall on deaf ears. The Republic of Hawaii is not under duress, Native Hawaiians are. The flag that should be displayed upside down is that of the kanaka maoli. My heart grieves for the plight of Native Hawaiians.

Jake Jacobus

Nishiki, County Council deserve public apology
POSTED: September 20, 2009

With all due respect, Jake Jacobus (Letters, Sept. 11) failed miserably in his attempt at deflecting/redirecting criticism. For example, he said, "It is way past time for Native Hawaiians to reap the benefits of being part of the United States" and continues "kanaka maoli are losing their lands."

Mr. Jacobus, it's because of the United States government that Hawaii nationals are displaced and treated like foreigners on their own lands. You seem to lack real-life experience that connects with the people, culture and history of Hawaii. You flip-flop from "Republic of Hawaii" to "Native Hawaiian" to "kanaka maoli." To top it off, you dare to say, "My heart grieves for the plight of Native Hawaiians."

I still can't shake the "duh" you've put in my head with your nonsensical excuses.

If you want to be taken seriously, perhaps a remedy you might consider is to return to the Council Chambers and publicly apologize to Council Member Wayne Nishiki, his family and the rest of the County Council for your display of contempt. Anything short of this is as insincere as your letter.

Foster Ampong

Nation of Hawaii is under duress
POSTED: September 20, 2009

Jake Jacobus' Sept. 11 letter states: "It is way past time for Native Hawaiians to reap the benefits of being part of the United States." And this gem: "The Republic of Hawaii is not under duress, Native Hawaiians are."

This is the mind-boggling, infuriating level of ignorance possessed by most Americans. They cannot comprehend someone or some country not wanting to be a part of their wonderful collective imperial colonialism.

The nation of Hawaii is in every bit distressed as the nation of Palestine, both occupied by vicious, heartless, gutless, murdering, land-grabbing colonialists using religion and national security as excuses for theft and brutality.

Donald Brown

Thursday, September 17, 2009



The Dept of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) is reviewing Oceanic Time Warner franchise renewal (20 years) for cable services on O`ahu. Under federal law, Oceanic must provide funding for public access. If granted, `Olelo Community TV will be vulnerable and more than likely the first victim to channel and funding cuts through to the year 2030.

What this means is Oahu’s Public Access will be the first casualty by corporate powers to control and marginalize a venue that truly serves the people. Second, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island’s Public Access networks will soon fall as well leaving we the people without we the people. Like any rigged election, Public Access will be stacked to favor and influence one-side (corporate interest) for at least 20 years.

Remedy: A more reasonable period for renewal must be demanded. Like elected officials in government, a Franchise Renewal should be required every four years. Not the twenty presently being sought by Oceanic Time Warner.

Your right to know is as fundamental as freedom is to a civilized society. Without freedom, you are no more than a slave to tyranny. A lot can happen in 20 years.

A big mahalo to all those who attended last night’s Public Hearing on Franchise Renewal at McKinley High School!

The outpouring of support demonstrated at the rally prior to the hearing as well as the heartfelt testimony shared by so many at the hearing was truly inspiring. It is always wonderful to hear about the value of Community Access from those who benefit from its resources. Those resources still need protecting, so please submit your written testimony by this Friday.

Here’s how to submit testimony:

Fax: (808) 586-2625

U.S. Mail:
Cable Television Division
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 541
Honolulu, Hawaii 96809

Please make a difference and submit your testimony. Deadline to submit testimonies is Friday, 9/16 at 4:30 pm.

For more information visit our site at:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Possible "Burial Grounds" at Kealahou Ahupua`a (Kula), Mokopuni O Maui

Maui/Lana`I Island Burial Council Site-Inspection September 24, 2009
Place: Kula Community Center, Lower Kula Road across of Holy Ghost Church.
Issue: Strong Possibility of Multiple ….(I REPEAT)….Multiple Ancient Hawaiian Burials.
Kealahou Ahupua`a (Kula Ridge Mauka Project - 116 Homes Planned Development)

On Thursday, September 24, 2009 the Maui/Lana`I Island Burial Council will hold a Site-Inspection at Kealahou Ahupua`a (270+ acre area) mauka of the Kula Community Center. The site area extends from Lower Kula Road (makai) up to Kekaulike Avenue (mauka); across Keahuaiwi Gulch (north), down from Kekaulike Avenue to Kula Highway, south of Kamehameiki Road.

A planned development of 116 homes is being pursued by a local developer on these lands. Human remains were recently disturbed without an Archaeology Monitor present. When questioned by Chairman, Charles K. Maxwell Sr. at the July 30, 2009 Burial Council Meeting on Maui, Principle Investigator, Robert L. Spear, Ph.D. of Scientific Consultant Services, Inc., the Archeology Firm hired by the developer for the project answered that the [Excavation] permit did not require a monitor,

Apparently a burial mound was cross-sectioned by heavy equipment during Road Grading Activities that exposed and disturbed iwi tupuna. Within the project area (see attached map) are over 300 possible burial mounds clearly visible. See for yourselves. Join us by attending this sure-to-be informative, if not sobering meeting.

Foster Ampong

Note: Updates to be posted here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Proof the Colonizer's Arrogance, Ignorance and Blood Quantum Laws a Racist Mechanism to Genocide Hawaiians!

No need for full blood to be a critic
POSTED: August 30, 2009

I was so sorry to read (Letters, Aug. 25) that our constantly complaining hapa kanaka, Foster Ampong, is being forced to live in America. It might be happier in his ancestral homeland, wherever that may be.

Like all of us, his ancestors came from somewhere else - the Marquesas, Tahiti, the Philippines, Portugal, Japan, China, etc. His surname suggests that he is a mixture of races, again like most of us here in Hawaii. I predict that Hawaii will continue to be one of the 50 states of the United States long after both of us pass from this earth.

Steve Hashira

Frequent letter writer open to civil conversation
POSTED: September 5, 2009

How naive for those with little or no facts to ridicule someone they have yet to meet face to face for a civil conversation. It appears Steve Hashira (Letters, Aug. 30) read my name and concluded that perhaps I lacked a minimum blood quantum to question, let alone defend my "national identity." A very arrogant and Eurocentric attitude to have.

Contrary to island myth, Hawaii's statehood is not about ethnicity or blood quantum. It is a national issue that unfortunately many are ignorant, apathetic and in denial of as demonstrated by Mr. Hashira's letter.

Let's get one thing straight. My ancestors were here on these islands way before any of yours, Mr. Hashira. Deal with it.

Nonetheless, as a gesture of good will and to promote greater understanding I will invite you and anyone who so desires to have a civil conversation to contact me at

Should you still feel the same about me after a friendly conversation, then at least you can claim that you got it straight from the horse's mouth.

Foster Ampong

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Addressing Vaild Concern

Give Hawaii nationals back their lands
POSTED: September 7, 2009 (Maui News LTE)

Those protesting against Hawaii's statehood and 50-year celebration do not believe nor promote that only ethnic Hawaiians have a right to these lands. In fact, if people would stop avoiding the issue and begin to have some meaningful discussions, you'd quickly discover the real issue is about our national identity.

For example, if your tutu came from Portugal, Japan, Philippines, China, Korea, Puerto Rico, etc., in the 1800s and became a citizen of the Hawaiian Kingdom, you and all of your descendants are beneficiaries of the Mahele Land Trust (so-called ceded lands) and entitled to equal rights and privileges afforded to Hawaii nationals.

U.S. laws not only deprive Hawaii nationals of their lands, they exclude non-Hawaiian nationals as well.

Let's be clear. State government and corporate oligarchy celebrate and perpetuate the Admissions Act, a true perversion of justice. Opposing it is not an exhibition of disrespect to the people residing on our islands, but a demonstration of truth.

I agree with June DeCambra (Letters, Aug. 31). Why take anything? Just give all Hawaii nationals back their lands so we can live off the land.

Foster Ampong