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Your Testimony &
Recommendations are Needed!

October 29th, 2021

"If you have suggestions about how the DLNR or the State Historic Preservation Division are fulfilling their legal duties, how burial sites could be better protected, or how the Island Burial Councils could be better supported or improved, your manaʻo is valued. The Burial Sites Working Group would appreciate hearing your suggestions, concerns, and specific examples that might guide their work of offering recommendations to the State Legislature."

Background

In response to House Resolution 113 (HR 113) and Senate Resolution 171 (SR 171), the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has convened a Burial Sites Working Group (BSWG). One representative from each Island Burial Council serves on the BSWG alongside other members from the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD, the law school, Huliaupaʻa/Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective, and the larger Hawaiian community. The BSWG is tasked to do the following:

“Study and analyze the allegations of mismanagement by the Department of Land and Natural Resources' (DLNR’s) State Historic Preservation Division” (SR171)

 “Determine ways to strengthen protections and improve resources for Native Hawaiian burials” (HR113)

“Provide recommendations on the development of a statewide survey and inventory that documents historic properties where burial sites exist or may exist, including properties owned by the State or the counties” (HR113)

 “Determine a recommended course of action to address and resolve the allegations of mismanagement by the Department of Land and Natural Resources' State Historic Preservation Division” (SR171)

 “Examine ways to improve the implementation of the Island Burial Councils' duties and responsibilities and to better understand and determine their relationship to the State Historic Preservation Division and its management” (HR113)

.     “Review and recommend improvements to the workings of the Island Burial Councils, which are administratively attached to the State Historic Preservation Division, and how to implement them” (HR113)

 “Review existing statutes and administrative rules pertaining to the Island Burial Councils and ways to develop their implementation” (HR113)

In light of this kuleana, the burial council is soliciting input and testimony (written and/or oral) from lineal and cultural descendants and other interested persons on the above matters. Your testimony will be included for the BSWG to review and make findings and recommendations to the legislature in time for the 2022 legislative session.

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