It is stifling to try and express the feelings and thoughts of my heart. I have been watching, and listening, and reading so many thoughts of others and it’s scary to commit to publishing/sharing things you know will be scrutinized, judged, and misjudged by others. What’s been pushing me through all the voices of this week and even in this moment is knowing that no one can dispute your own experiences and so, I’ll share my own.
I am from Kailua, Oahu. Like many born here, I have an array of ethnicities and heritages flowing through my veins. I went to public school and then Kamehameha and then college in Utah. I am now moving back to Kailua, this time as a wife and a mother to 2 young children.
Growing up, I did not participate in many Hawaiian cultural practices. The first Hawaiian cultural practice I committed to was made 2 and a half years ago. It was really just a lofty dream at first - to learn Hawaiian and speak it with the children we would one day have. Now, 2 and a half years later we have 2 and we only speak Hawaiian to them.
Over these past two years my knowledge of my identity has been stretched, flipped, and repeatedly tested. Front and center in most of our discussions as husband and wife, man and woman, mother and father, were the questions:
What does it mean to be Hawaiian?
Who should be allowed to participate in Hawaiian Practices?
What is the Kingdom of Hawaii?
What knowledge will be passed on to our children?
What are we going to do to contribute to the Hawaiian Community in our lifetime?
As Iʻve watched the people of Hawaii stand together on Mauna Kea, I have witnessed the answers to all of these questions and many more. I am so in awe at the strength, bravery, and sacrifice of those on the mountain. I am deeply humbled by how they have exhibited peace and kindness in the wake of so much uncertainty in a land that should only feel like home.
I have spent the whole week working to educate myself on all sides of the matter. I firmly believe that you should do so before coming to any conclusions and certainly before voicing your opinion and criticizing othersʻ.
I donʻt support TMT.
In a land, illegally occupied by another country, the natives of the land should ALWAYS have the greatest say in what happens with the land, especially when their intent is to protect and not exploit. There are 13 telescopes already on the mountain. Before even talking about building another, there should be actions taken to restore and return what has already been abused.
In truth, this is so much more and bigger than just a structure on a mountain. For years, Hawaiian voices have landed on deaf ears. Enough is enough.
I list all of these resources below with the plea that whoever you are and wherever you are, you take the time to click just one of these. Hear the cries of our kūpuna and the chanting of our ʻōpio. Read their words and the words of their opponents. Watch with reverence the power and love that is clearly uniting a group as unique and majestic as the mountain they are protecting.
And if you feel something strike true within you to share your experience and what you know with others. Every voice, though different, makes a difference.
Latest in News can be found via these links:
Go to Facebook and search anything regarding Mauna Kea
What can I do?
Donate to these funds and causes:
Protect Mauna Kea
Information on TMT
Timelines to look at and compare the facts:
Common Words and Phrases being used and a little behind what they mean: