Sacred Mauna Kea Fund

$14,695 of $20k goal

Raised by 272 people in 22 months
Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona  WAIANAE, HI

Aloha nui kākou mai ka lā hiki mai i kahikina a i ka welo ʻana o ka lā kaulana o Kāne... EŌ!

We are Sacred Mauna Kea Hui, an advocacy group, whose goal is to preserve and maintain the supreme sacredness of the summit of Mauna Kea. Its pristine endangered species environment and the main Hawai’i Island fresh water aquifer are located a stone’s throw away from the planned 5000 gallon toxic waste container of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). We are also fighting against our cultural erasure and ethnocide here in Hawai’i!

WE can't do it without YOU!


Mauna Kea is the most sacred place to Hawaiians and one of the most sacred places to the people of Polynesia. Mauna Kea is the first born child of our gods Wākea and Papahānaumoku. Wākea means “vast expanse” of the heavens, and is our sky father. Papahānaumoku is our earth mother, her name means “the foundation (papa) who gave birth (hānau) to our islands (moku)” because our islands were created from her body, the earth. The summit of Mauna Kea, the highest point in all of the Pacific, is where Papa and Wākea came together to create our world.

The “piko”, the umbilical cord or center of one’s being has tied us as Kānaka Maoli to the summit of Mauna Kea for generations. For generations, we have referred to the summit as “ka piko kaulana o ka ‘āina” (“the famous summit of all the land”) to describe its sacredness and wonders.

Mauna Kea sits on the main aquifer for the island of Hawai‘i. There are many toxic chemicals including mercury needed for the use of the telescopes; chemicals from other telescopes in place have already leaked into the soil. TMT construction vehicles and equipment have also spilled oil into the ground. The summit is home to rare, endangered species such as the palila bird and the wekiu bug, found nowhere else on earth. The wekiu bugs’ habitat has already been damaged from the building of the previous 13 telescopes on the summit, and the TMT will damage a much larger area. It will be 18 stories tall, will dig into the ground the equivalent of over two stories of a building, and will cover an area of 8 acres. Current building laws on the island do not even allow a building that tall to be built.

There are over 100 sites of worship documented by archaeologists spread across the summit, many of these will be destroyed if construction proceeds. There is our sacred Lake Waiau near the summit, which is associated with the Hawaiian snow goddess Poli‘ahu and a goddess of the mist named Lilinoe. Lake Waiau has been drying up, because previous construction has cracked the soil, causing the sacred waters made of melted snow to slowly leak away. TMT construction will further damage the area, and cause the lake to dry up faster and completely disappear.

Visit our knowledge-well at to learn more.

We humbly ask the aloha ‘āina everywhere who hold the Mauna sacred:

Please come to the summit of the Mauna and support the brave warriors, who are protesting at 9000 feet above sea level, indefinitely.

Or... if you can't be physically on the summit of Mauna Kea, please support from where you are!

Donations for flights to and from Hawai’i between our other Hawaiian islands, as well as accommodation, food, transportation, etc. are needed. Although many selflessly support our hard-working advocates in all ways possible, the cost of fighting a 1.4 billion dollar international conglomerate is a challenge that we gladly meet.

As we exhaust our resources, we turn to you, the people of Hawai’i and the world, who wish you could help in some way, but as much as you would like to, you can't be on Mauna Kea. This is one way your participation can be profound and meaningful from right where you are!

We offer our aloha and this simple video of a song composed for our sacred Goddess, Poliahu, in hopes it will inspire your needed charity.


Note on this mele, Hawaiian music composition:

"Poliahu i ke kapu o ke kuahiwi

Paa ia puni a ke hau
Haulani na ka Wahine
Aahu Ua Kea ka mamane

Poliahu on the sacred mountain
Secured by snow all around
Heavenly snow of the Goddess
The white mist covers the Mamane
The famous summit of all the land...

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Update 45
Posted by Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona
17 hours ago
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Update 44
Posted by Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona
22 hours ago


A Hawaiian place of learning?

Advocacy group protests telescope

Kamahana Kealoha, Guest Writer; Head Facilitator of Sacred Mauna Kea

A university that claims to be a “Hawaiian place of learning” cannot at the same time be the agent of the erasure of Hawaiian culture.

However, as the for­-profit facilitator of the Thirty­ Meter ­Telescope (TMT) and all other telescopes on Mauna Kea, the University of Hawai‘i is doing this.

As the leaseholder for the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, UH is responsible for removing the “sacred landscape,” ­1,728,000 cubic feet of ground, from a summit home to nearly 200 cultural sites and the resting place of Hawaiian chiefs.


According to the Hawaiian worldview, Mauna Kea’s summit is where creation begins. Native Hawaiians and people throughout Polynesia recognize Mauna Kea’s sacredness.

According to Hawaiian cosmology, Wākea, the sky father, and Papahānaumoku, the earth mother, came together at the summit to give life to their firstborn, Mauna Kea. This is the reason for the mountain’s less-­spoken name, Mauna a Wākea, which is considered sacred.


However, this university, its Board of Regents (BOR) and Institute for Astronomy insist that the quest to see the universe’s origins is paramount. To them, understanding one creation story is more important than the creation story of the islands they occupy.

The irony of destroying the site of creation of these islands to look back to a theoretical creation is lost on them, ­even as that theory is replaced by a new theory that the universe has always existed, according to a paper by Ahmed Farag Ali and Saurya Das. Why must the most sacred summit in Polynesian culture be sacrificed?


Astronomy is not the only school of knowledge at UH.

UH must also support its Hawai‘nuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, where the genealogical chant (ko‘ihonua) of Mauna Kea is taught. It must embrace its Hawaiian Studies program. In a “Hawaiian place of learning,” this Hawaiian knowledge must be upheld.


Scholarship from UH itself, the doctoral dissertation of Professor Noenoe Silva, has shown that the annexation of Hawai‘i was protested by the majority of the native and non­native people in 1897. When the Treaty of Annexation came before the U.S. Senate, their petitions, known as the Kū‘ē Petitions, prevailed.

After the treaty was defeated, the U.S. used a Joint Resolution of Congress, not a legal instrument by which Congress had authority to annex territory or­ to claim the islands.

UH must embrace discoveries from William H. Richardson Law School, ­ where emerging scholarship shows that the Hawaiian Islands were left unnamed in the Act of Admission of 1959.

In his forthcoming book, “A Rope of Sand: A Documentary History of the Failure of the United States to Annex the Hawaiian Islands,” UH law professor Williamson Chang detailed how the Act of Admission of 1959 omitted the Hawaiian islands from the territory of the State of Hawai‘i.

For example, he said Section II does not name the individual islands as part of the state’s territory. According to the section, only the islands acquired by the Joint Resolution are in the State of Hawai‘i.

In testimony from the U.S. Congressional record, Chang said many senators knew that a Joint Resolution could not acquire Hawai‘i.

Sen. William Allen of Nebraska described it as a “rope of sand.”

This scholarship details the origins and illegitimacy of the State of Hawai‘i and questions whether UH has authority on Mauna Kea.

As a “Hawaiian place of learning,” these are origins that UH must acknowledge and uphold.

The World is Watching

Recently, Mauna Kea supporters converged on the UH BOR meeting to express their opposition to the TMT. The group, led by Movement for Aloha No ka ‘Aina, took over the microphone and chanted down the regents, asserting Hawaiian cultural practice in traditional garb.

This week, with additional support from Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa, who spent two days on Mauna Kea with the protectors, and a growing list of Hollywood actors, the “We Are Mauna Kea” campaign has gone global. News outlets around the world are sharing our story in their media.

For the past few days, the #TMTshutdown social media campaign has consistently trended in Facebook‘s top ten.

What Mauna Kea Represents

In challenging the TMT, we are not only protecting our sacred Mauna Kea from industrialization.

We are defending our entire island chain from state­-sponsored globalization, the negligent stewardship and pro­development of the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Land and Natural Resources and an administration that just weeks ago attempted to place a developer lobbyist at its head.

This same corporatocracy that has permitted the multinational TMT Observatory Corporation to desecrate our sacred summit has allowed Hawai‘i to become host to GMO experimental fields, pesticides and RIMPAC war games – despite the fact that these islands continue to be the “endangered species capital of the world,” according to the World Wildlife Fund.

These are important topics for discussion in a “Hawaiian place of learning.” For these reasons, and many more, we are standing firm in defense of our sacred Mauna Kea.

Showing some love to ALL supporters! See to see how you can help put humanity before corporation. Sacred Mauna Kea Hui NEEDS YOU.

Sacred Hui Spiritual Practice Waianae
Aloha Aina Kue Petitions
Ethnocide enforced
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Update 43
Posted by Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona
16 days ago
TMT project manager answers questions from opponents

Thursday | January 05, 2017

By TOM CALLIS Hawaii Tribune-Herald Hilo:

Nearly two years have passed since protesters were arrested while blocking construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.

But Mehana Kihoi said Tuesday during the project’s contested case hearing that the wounds remain.

With her daughter standing by her side, she questioned TMT project manager Gary Sanders, who was testifying, about those arrests and at times accused him of being responsible for the pain she said they caused.

Kihoi was among several dozen protesters, who say they were protecting a sacred mountain, arrested in 2015 while blocking vehicles on the Mauna Kea Access Road. Protests in October 2014 also halted the project’s groundbreaking.

“She witnessed me being handcuffed in an area we consider to be sacred while I am in prayer,” Kihoi said, referring to her daughter. She asked what the project, which includes educational support for Native Hawaiians and other Hawaii Island students, does for those who were “mentally, physically and spiritually” harmed.

Hearings officer Riki May Amano sustained an objection to the question, and several others, from TMT International Observatory attorney Douglas Ing, preventing a response.

Protesters used their bodies and large rocks to block construction crews, which put the project on hold.

In late 2015, the state Supreme Court overturned the $1.4 billion project’s land use permit because of procedural violations, requiring a second contested case to be held before any work could resume.

Kihoi, who joined the quasi-judicial hearing as a party last year, described the events as being emotionally traumatic.

“How does it make you feel that you were responsible for creating irreparable and irreversible emotional, mental and spiritual harm against our Native Hawaiian and non-native Hawaiian community?” she asked Sanders.

That prompted another objection, which was sustained.

The 180-foot-tall telescope would join 13 others on the mountain. While reaching about 30 feet higher than other observatories, Sanders said it’s designed to be as compact as possible.

He said in his written testimony the project has spent $2.5 million supporting educational programs on the island.

Harry Fergerstrom, a Hawaiian independence advocate and hearing participant, again sought to raise claims of the existence of the Hawaiian kingdom, which Amano previously ruled is not relevant for the process.

As part of that argument, he displayed a trespass notice he gave Sanders during the groundbreaking that Fergerstrom claimed was from the kingdom.

“I want to know how any attorney in this room can claim this is the United States of America,” Fergerstrom said, after Ing objected to the questions.

Amano told him she already ruled on the matter. “Please move on to the next question,” she requested.

Fergerstrom apologized in advance for taking a confrontational approach.

“I mean no disrespect to you as a person,” he said to Sanders.

He later accused Sanders of “grinding up my ancestors” by conducting site clearing on Mauna Kea and for placing his “toy on my temple.”

Other project opponents questioned Sanders about the size and design of the telescope, mitigation measures and funding for decommissioning.

He said rock excavated for construction would be stored near the astronomy precinct and used later to restore the site, located on the mountain’s northern flank at 13,100 feet above sea level.

In response to questions from Yuklin Aluli, attorney for the environmental group KAHEA, Sanders said each partner country is committed to covering the costs of removing the telescope if it has to come down early.

The telescope organization’s partners are Caltech, University of California, Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy and national institutes in Japan, China and India.

Sanders will continue his testimony today at the Grand Naniloa Hotel.

The hearing, which started witness testimony in October, is scheduled through January.

In addition to Mauna Kea, TMT International Observatory also is considering building the telescope in the Canary Islands as a result of lengthy delays.

Project officials say they intend to resume construction in April 2018 at either site.

We could never have come this far without you and we are at the brink of finishing the job. But we are also every day jeopardized by this forceful, aggressive misuse of our conservation district and supremely sacred summit and need to make it to May 2016 to begin to beat Telescope developers bottom line projections.

Your contribution is so important and forwards another day to this previously unreachable goal. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Go to "Sacred Mauna Kea Hui - He Makahiapo Kapu Na Wakea" on FB and for updates and join the conversation. See our Tumblr, Twitter, IG, YouTube, Vimeo and Ustream at Sacred Mauna Kea- MAHALO AND ALOHA AINA

We will not be able to continue without your help:

pic: Mehana Kihoi with her daughter
TMT Attorney Douglas Ing objecting much
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Update 42
Posted by Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona
25 days ago
12 8 16 Stephanie Nagata crossexamined by Mehana Kihoi

During petitioner Mehana Kihoi’s cross-examination, Nagata stated that she does not believe Mauna Kea or any site in Hawai‘i is sacred.

Many times throughout the day, UH Attorney Tim Lui Kwan objected before a question was asked.

The reason for this was unclear, as the majority of these objections were overruled by Hearing Officer Amano. But it was also very clear that it impacted the cross-examiners’ line of questioning, often followed by Nagata requesting that the question be repeated.

In addition, a large amount of time throughout the day was spent while Nagata was asked to reference one of the over 30 exhibits she has associated with her written direct testimony.

Many participants expressed concerns over the impact the hearing is having on their lives, health and overall ability to prepare and present their case.

This is not the first time concerns of this type have come up since the contested case hearing began in early October.

To read Nagata’s written, direct testimony, go online...

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources Conservation District Use Application Contested Case Hearing on the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO) continued with applicant University of Hawai‘i witness Stephanie Nagata on Dec. 8, 2016, in Hilo.

A contested case hearing was requested with respect to the 2011 decision by the BLNR to issue a permit to build the $1.4 billion next-generation telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea.

The Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruled the permit invalid until a contested case hearing could be held to evaluate a petition by a group challenging the project’s approval.

Nagata, the director of the Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM), testified on the management of UH leased lands on Mauna Kea.

Nagata, who has served as the current director since 2012, was the interim director of OMKM for eight years and the associate director for eight years prior to that.

She testified that the Astronomy Prescient, located in the Conservation District and Historic District on Mauna Kea, is a boundary created by the university to make management easier and to consolidate astronomy to the one area of the mountain.

Nagata testified that OMKM consists of 10 employees and 11 rangers. The rangers report directly to her, she said. The rangers’ enforcement authority stems from the Public Access Plan.
We could never have come this far without you and we are at the brink of finishing the job. But we are also every day jeopardized by this forceful, aggressive misuse of our conservation district and supremely sacred summit and need to make it to May 2016 to begin to beat Telescope developers bottom line projections. Your contribution is so important and forwards another day to this previously unreachable goal. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Go to "Sacred Mauna Kea Hui - He Makahiapo Kapu Na Wakea" on FB and for updates and join the conversation. See our YouTube, Vimeo and Ustreams at Sacred Mauna Kea- MAHALO AND ALOHA AINA

We will not be able to continue soon without your help:

12 8 16 Stephanie Nagata crossexamined
Mehana Kihoi (digital photo: Kamahana)
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$14,695 of $20k goal

Raised by 272 people in 22 months
Created March 28, 2015
Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona  
Kauwila Sheldon
16 days ago

Aloha e nā Kia'i, Thank you so much for all your sacrifices, I wish I could give more, I pray for a positive outcome. God bless you! This donation is from The John Munn Kahikina Kelekona Foundation dedicated toward protecting sacred sites.

Hooheno and Kingston Kahapea
1 month ago
Alapake Heanu
1 month ago
Marc David
1 month ago
Felicia Cowden
1 month ago

Thank you for standing up for all of us on every island. This presumptive taking ranges much further than the mauna.

Halona Fukutomi
1 month ago
Herbert Brentlinger
1 month ago
1 month ago
Jr & Malinda Toa
1 month ago
Norman Akau
1 month ago


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