Island Burial Council Document Page
HAWAI`I ISLAND BURIAL COUNCIL MEETING
DATE: THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2003
TIME: 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
PLACE: DEPARTMENT OF ACCOUNTING AND GENERAL SERVICES, ROOM C
75 AUPUNI STREET
HILO, HI 96720
Kamana`o Mills, Historic Preservation Specialist
Mary Carney Perzinski, Historic Preservation Specialist
Keola Lindsey, Historic Preservation Specialist
MaryAnne Maigret, Historic Preservation Specialist
Jeanne Knapp, Historic Preservation Specialist
ABSENT: Keikialoha Kekipi
I. OPENING REMARKS
Chairperson Geri Bell (Bell) calls meeting to order at 1:55 p.m. Kahu Meilani McComber (McComber) offers pule.
No minutes presented.
A. EXECUTIVE SESSION
Information: Executive session pursuant to section 92-5(4)
Attorney General is not present therefore, item A. is postponed.
B. AG OPINION REGARDING KA `OHANA O NA KUPUNA O KONA
Kamana`o Mills (Mills) apologizes for not having Kai Markell or James Paige, Deputy Attorney General, present at today's meeting. Mills hands out copies of the informal AG opinion by Jean Cradduck regarding Ka `Ohana O Na Kupuna O Kona's request for formal Council recognition. Mills summarizes Cradduck's opinion. The Council cannot formally recognize appropriate Hawaiian organizations under the current administrative rules. The Council can informally consult with Hawaiian organizations, but they cannot formally recognize a body.
Lily Kong (Kong) and says that the reason they are here to make it clear to the Council that the request is for Hawaii Island recognition only not for the entire State.
Bell says that the letter refers to geographical limitations. Bell says the gist of the letter from the State Attorney General's office says that the Council can informally recognize appropriate native Hawaiian organizations.
Mills says that as the rules are written, none of the island burial councils can formally recognize appropriate native Hawaiian organizations. Cradducks opinion s states that new administrative rules need to be in place to set of the criteria for the island burial councils to recognize appropriate native Hawaiian organizations.
Kong asks how long it would take. Bell says they would have to be a group like Ka Ohana to get to their State representatives to get that started. Kong says she will go through that process. Keolalani Hanoa says that appropriate native Hawaiian organizations are usually recognized for NAGPRA. The native Hawaiian organizations are recognized only when no lineal or cultural descendents have come forward. Hokuli`a has so many lineal and cultural descendents, there is no need for a native Hawaiian organization to represent the burials.
McDonald suggests including Ka `Ohana O Na Kupuna O Kona on the list of consulting parties for Kona. Bell requests the State to put Ka `Ohana on the list of consultants.
Hanoa suggests first checking with the judge's order before adding Ka Ohana O Na Kupuna O Kona to the list of consultants and get clearance from the AG, because Hokuli`a is still in court.
Kong says that her group does not want to only have Hokuli`a use the list. Ka Ohana O Na Kupuna O Kona is for anyone else that needs help.
C. HELANI CHURCH MAUKA
Information/Recommendation: Consultation with Hawaii Island Burial Council regarding the proposed burial treatment plan
Mills says he has been in contact with Meilani McComber (McComber). McComber requested to have burials relocated on March 1, she drafted a draft burial treatment plan including a notice the publication. The Department has strong reservations for relocation of any burials, so the Department is looking for recommendations from the Hawaii Island Burial Council in this matter.
McDonald clarifies that this is Helani Church Mauka not makai.
McComber says that Helani Church sits mauka on a hillside. Some of the Council members visited the site. The church was built in 1907 when they weren't many cars. But today there are more cars, and we need more parking space. Right now the parking consists of the side of the highway and parishioners have to walk up 24 steps up the hill to get to the church. It is difficult for the church to service kupuna and children. We are looking to put a road from the highway up the back side of the cemetery, and put in a parking lot at the backend. Normally only five cars can park in front of the church. The iwi we wish to relocate sit in the area of the road we want to construct. We want to move the iwis from one part of the churchyard to where we have the cemetery. We also need to repair our church, and we cannot get equipment up there.
Kong says that she called Josephine Kamoku, she is a Nahale, born and raised next door to the churchyard. Her father or grandfather gave that piece of property for Helani Church. Kong says that she told her that this was on the agenda today and that she should come. Josephine Kamoku told Kong that she does not want her family moved from the corner. Kong was baptized in Helani Church.
Bell says she did not attend the site visit to the church. Keolalani Hanoa (Hanoa) says she did attend the site visit and it is very steep and dangerous. Hanoa says this would be in the best interest for the kupuna, for the living descendents of these people and for the kupuna themselves. So the kupunas can continue going to the church to visit their ohana, the burials should be moved. There is no sidewalk on the side of the road.
McComber says there's no identification on any of these particular graves except for the Nahales. The people who knew about these burials have long passed away and there aren't any records. We have applied to relocate five burials. McComber says there are no bathroom facilities and we use a hale lua. If the church will be continued to be used we need to put in a bathroom. The Nahale grave sits up higher than the other graves below him and we need to put in a septic tank at that level. If are not able to move the graves, then Helani will have to close and all the property will go back to the United Church of Christ. The congregation has been trying to do this for a long time. All of the graves in with question were overgrown with brush, and none of the families, except for the Nahales, come to look at the graves. When we take the burials out, if there are iwis, we will have to identify them as unknown. One of the five burials is identified.
McDonald said that in March 2002, she received a genealogy and inventory of cemetery headstones from Helani Church. McDonald says she received another one in May and there were changes, for example, number 6 originally said unknown, but now it says not to grave.
McComber says there is no marker whatsoever, and until we take them out we will not know if there is a burial there or not and it can't be identified anyway. McComber says they put an article in the newspaper inviting families who knew of graves to come. McComber says nobody came. McComber says that even the State doesn't have records of burials in the church ground. McComber says that most of the ground is blue rock so there shouldn't be too many graves there. There are 42 members of the congregation on the list and about 15 members that come regularly.
Bell says that the word should have gone out through the congregation as well about these burials. McComber says they did talk with congregation and that's where they got their information, but many of the parishioners were too old to remember about the burials.
Mills says he will work on the burial treatment plan with McComber so it is acceptable to the Department then it can be reviewed by the council again for determination. Mills says McComber needs to put together a better map of where the burials are located now and where they will be reinterred.
Ululani Garmon (Garmon) says when she reads through the names, she recognizes some of them, and thinks that maybe they don't know about the graves, but that doesn't mean they don't care. Rebarra from Kona moved to Hilo. McComber says that when it was publicized, only one family, the Leleiwi family called. They've been looking for an uncle for a long time, but they weren't even sure where the grave was. McComber says that people are aware, it's been put in the newspapers and they have their own advertising as well.
John Ray (Ray) says he was at the site as well. Ray says the site is unusable as is. The consequence of not relocating is that the church will not be active anymore. Ray says it is seriously steep, and the road is very unsafe.
Bell recommends that McComber attempt to contact the family names mentioned by Garmon for more information.
Bell calls for a 10 minute recess at 2:35 p.m.
D. KUNEWA BURIAL; TMK: 372-006-006-000;PUUKALA KAULANA, LOT 60, GRANT 3816; NORTH KONA DISTRICT; ISLAND OF HAWAII
Information/Recommendation: Discussion of burial find and information.
Mills says that this case is in regards to a burial that was relocated to an Episcopal church and there was contention that that was allowed under the Department of Health when it should have been under the jurisdiction of SHPD. Mills says that Kai Markell was informed that an infant burial was located at the original site, but it is not known whether the infant burial was removed as well.
Maile Akimseu (Akimseu) says that in June, it was determined that the ohana should be notified before the burial was moved. I was born there. I told my sister that before we do anything, we must let the family know. My nephew was living there and we decided to sell the land. My sister and I didn't want to sell the land, but we didn't have the money to pay the taxes every six months.
Akimseu says that Eileen's mother and my mother have the same father, so our mothers are sisters. I lived there. I went to Johnston Island for work. I dedicated myself to keep the land, but my brothers didn't help pay the taxes. My great-grandmother owned this land. I wanted to buy my family out. My cousin doesn't know what I went through to maintain this land. Every time I come home from Johnston Island, all I hear is the aina, the aina, I cannot rest. I wanted to buy them out. My aunt came to me and told me what to do for her. My cousin and her lawyer accuse me of disturbing her. My aunt told me what to do. If you people insist that I go and dig her up and put her on land that has already been sold, put me in jail. I will not disturb her again. I have her headstone coming. I tried my best to keep the aina. I love this land because there is mana over there. It was not easy to give it up. What is this, family against family? I loved her mother dearly. This is her lawyer. What is a lawyer doing in here? I thought this was only going to be ohana. My auntie just asked me to do this, it is spiritual.
Eileen Enos (Enos) says that back in April she was called and asked about moving the burial. Enos thought about it and decided against moving the burial. Enos offered to pay for a wall around the burial and to purchase the acre where the burial is located. Enos wanted to preserve my grandmother's grave on the property. No respect for my feelings and no respect for the dead.
Mills asks who the current landowner is. Pacific Rim Foundation is the current landowner. Mills asks if there is a pending lawsuit in this matter. Enos says not right now.
Kehaulani Enos shares her mana`o with the council. She is the younger generation. She wants to know where family graves are located. Her genealogy is important to her. Moving iwi is not pono unless all other avenues are exhausted. Her great-grandmother was moved without her consent. This was not an accidental removal. There is no gray area here, this is hewa.
Ulu Garmon (Garmon) asks Kehaulani Enos about when she heard about this, did she look at what can be done about it? What was the first thing you wanted to do?
Kehaulani Enos says to find her iwi and put her back where she belongs. I didn't know what to do, but I knew she should be put back.
Garmon says that preservation in place is always priority. You refer to your relatives as "those people." You've never met them, but both sides of your family have put us in the middle of your conflict. We are in the middle of your conflict, but you are right, it should never have been moved without the family. What are we going to do? Please open a door to these people because they are blood relatives to you. There are more of your relatives buried in Kona. This is not the only one.
Hannah Reeves (Reeves) says that any burial over 50 years old is under the council's purview.
Mills requests that the council not to render a decision at this point because it is a State matter. If it requires a burial treatment plan, then it could be put back on the agenda for determination. Mills asks if the family could reach a consensus on this matter.
Enos says that she wants the bones returned.
Akimseu says that she has seen too many burials scattered by bulldozers and she didn't want that to happen to Auntie. She wanted to be buried with her husband. I wanted her to be safe, to be with her husband. The Kahalalui's did the digging. They are men of integrity. They didn't know she was buried. She came to them and said I am right here. I didn't want to see her dug up by the new owners.
Enos says she was told that somebody would call the other family.
Bell says that a third party is involved now; the new landowner: Pacific Rim Foundation. They have to be agreeable.
Lyle Hosoda (Hosoda) says that before the sale was closed, Eileen Enos contacted the new landowner and they said there was no problem leaving the burial in place. The sale has closed. Hosoda says he has been in contact with Francis Jung, the attorney for the Foundation. Jung says the Foundation owner's position remains the same; the burial may be returned. They would grant the same easement rights for the family to pay their respects.
Mills says by next meeting the Department's investigation should be final.
Enos says that Kai Markell was supposed to contact the other side of the family last April. She expected a determination at today's meeting. Enos questions how the burial was removed.
Bell recommends that Enos contact Kamana`o Mills from now on.
Hanoa says she has experienced the same thing in her family. The healing process has to start somehow, otherwise tutu will not rest. The ohana has to do it. The council doesn't want to come between the family. Think of the family and think of what tutu wanted. This hurts. Maybe you [K. Enos] can help your momma and auntie come to that place.
Akimseu says that we are having a family reunion. We will love each other no matter what. Why don't we resolve this? If you say Pacific Rim says it is okay, there is no problem. We'll get together as a family and resolve this. No need to come back here.
Bell says that the State will not need to do an investigation. Go have your pre-family reunion tonight.
E. 6168 ALI`I DRIVE; TMK: (3)7- 6-17:33;PUAPUA`ANUI; NORTH KONA; ISLAND OF HAWAII
Information/Recommendation: Discussion of burial find, information, and recognition of lineal and/or cultural descendents.
Mills says that there will be a discussion on specific burial locations so the Council will need to go into closed session.
Session reopens at 4:00 pm.
McDonald asks about when the land was sold and if the burials were noted at that time. Ahuna says it wasn't deeded, she was only told that that area was kapu and couldn't be walked on. Mills says that Ahuna has submitted a burial registration form to the Department.
Mills reads a memo dated March 19, 2003, to the Hawaii Island Burial Council from Kana`i Kapeliela recommending recognition of Mrs. Hattie K. (Chung) Ahuna as a lineal descendent in the matter of protecting Kia family burials located in the ahupua`a of Puapua`anui, North Kona District, Hawaii Island.
A motion is made that the Hawaii Island Burial Council accept Staff's recommendation to recognize Auntie Hattie Ahuna (Chung) as a lineal descendent to the subject property (McDonald/Harris)
VOTE: ALL IN FAVOR.
Mills says that staff recommends to the Hawaii Island Burial Council to recognize this site as a burial site therefore all the burials would be treated as previously known.
A motion is made to recognize this site as a burial site and to treat the burials as previously identified. (McDonald/Hanoa)
Harris says that in this case all the burials should be treated as previously known, although the first burial was an inadvertent.
Mills suggests establishing a buffer zone around the burial area, so the landowner could proceed with any other work needed. Jeanne Knapp (Knapp) says that all that is left to do is the landscaping portion.
Ahuna says that she doesn't want the landowner to be able to park their car over the burials. Knapp says a site visit would help so she better understands the metes and bounds of the burial site.
Bell recommends deferring the motion until more information is gathered on the landscaping plans and the boundaries of the burial area. Ahuna says her family doesn't want any roots going to the graves.
McDonald withdraws motion.
A motion is made that the Burial Council direct staff to inform the archaeologist and the landowner that historic sites have been found, therefore they have to stop work until the issue is resolved. (Harris/McDonald)
VOTE: ALL IN FAVOR.
IV. CASE UPDATES
Information/Recommendation: Status updates including, but not limited to, Puulani Ranch, Puuhonua O Honaunau, SBCT 106, and the 2003 Legislation Bills.
Kanalei Shun (Shun) and Christie Shaw (Shaw), of the Corps of Engineers, present Striker Brigade impact on training area at Pohakuloa for Section 106 consultation. A Striker is a vehicle platform for weaponry. An Environmental Impact Assessment is being done. Garcia and Associates are to do the archaeological inventory survey portion of the EIS. A reconnaissance survey has already been completed. A portion of the northern training area, Keamuku, is owned by Parker Ranch, but is being bought by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army is seeking any information on cultural resources in the area to be impacted. The expected project completion date is 2010. The draft EIS will be submitted to the Burial Council for feedback and input.
Mills says that last week, Kai Markell and Kana`i Kapeliela visited the site. Mills says he spoke with Steve Athens about the status of the burial treatment plan. It was expected last October. Steve Athens is currently publishing notification. Mills says that Athens estimated the burial treatment plan to be complete in May or June, 2003. Markell wants to set up a site visit with the council, but needs permission from Philip Lees, their attorney. Once the burial treatment plan is received, a site visit can be scheduled.
Mills says that limited testing was conducted last year. No construction was supposed to occur until the burial treatment plan was completed, but a house may have been constructed.
Puuhonua O Honaunau
Bell says that on Wednesday March 5, an in situ burial was exposed during an excavation of a 6 ft deep hole to install a drainage box at part of a re-paving project at the Park. The area had been previously disturbed during the initial paving of the parking lot in the early 1960s. The construction had been monitored by the park Resource Manager, Ana Dittmar. All excavated material (dirt) was put back in the hole. The burial is to be preserved in place which was agreed upon by the descendent Jimmy Medeiros, Sr., the park, and two burial council members, Young and McDonald. The drainage box is to be relocated.
Hanoa is concerned about the flooding that occurs in a macadamia nut field owned by ag business which has exposed a burial. More flooding is expected and may impact more burials. Hanoa requests a council site visit. Garmon recommends that Hanoa write a letter describing the problem and offer suggestions for ag business to take better care. Hanoa also requests a council site visit to South Point. The May meeting will be scheduled for Ka`u. Hanoa suggests the Credit Union or the County Nutrition Center to hold the meeting.
2003 Legislation Bills
Bell asks about the bill to transfer the burial councils to OHA. Mills says that it is dead.
Ray mentions other bills affecting Native Hawaiian sites. SHPD does not support those bills. SHPD is only supporting the bill to increase the fines for infractions.
Mills mentions Senate Resolution 128, devised to create a burial council taskforce and to organize a burial council summit submitted by Kokubun and English. Hanoa, Bell and McDonald are opposed to the task force, but not to having a summit.
Mills says that Brian Cooke submitted a burial treatment plan with preservation measures, but Bill Raney believes that Cooke hasn't implemented the long term preservation measures. Knapp says that Brian Cooke isn't in the wrong.
A burial treatment plan has been submitted and Kohala Ranch will be on next months agenda.
Hanoa says that an inadvertent coffin burial was discovered in a cave with a huge kalo. Adzes were reportedly removed from the cave.
Mills says that the ultimate decision was to uphold the HIBC decision to preserve the burials in place.
The January 16, 2003 minutes are deferred until the April HIBC meeting.
The May 2003 HIBC meeting will take place in Ka`u.
The meeting is adjourned at 5:05 PM.
Mary Carney Perzinski