“As explorers, Hawaiians utilized island resources to sustain their communities. The slopes of Maunakea contain a record of how, for generations, a very adaptive and intelligent people utilized the mountain as a vital resource. They excavated the thin-aired slopes of Maunakea for high quality durable stone to produce the best set of Neolithic tools in the Pacific. The Maunakea adze quarry, the largest in the world, offers conclusive evidence the ancients recognized the importance of Maunakea’s rich resources and its ability to serve its community by producing the tools to sustain daily life. They ventured to Maunakea, reshaped the environment by quarrying rock, left behind evidence of their work, and too materials off the mountain to serve their community, with the full consent and in the presence of their gods.
Using the resources on Maunakea as a tool to serve and benefit the community through astronomy is consistent with the example of the adze quarry. To value astronomy and its work on Maunakea, you have to value the importance of ‘ike’ knowledge and its quest for a greater understanding of the universe we live in.
The science of astronomy helps us to advance human knowledge to the benefit of the community. It teaches us where we have come from, and where we are going. Its impact has been positive, introducing the young to the process of modern exploration and discovery, a process consistent with past traditional practices.
I firmly believe that the highest level of desecration rests in actions that remove the opportunity and choices from the kind of future our youth can own.
When it is completed, the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea will, with greater speed and accuracy, vastly increase the capacity for the kind of scientific research that is vital to the quest of mankind’s future. The quest for knowledge on the summit of Maunakea is a sacred mission that takes place on a mountain considered “Sacred” by many; the Thirty Meter Telescope project is consistent with the work of our ancestral forbearers and is done for the benefit of tomorrow’s generations here in Hawaii and across the globe.
Maunakea, like life, is sacred, and we need to proceed with the important work of ensuring our future. Let’s look to Maunakea and continue a synergy of mountains, exploration, and stars.”