Mauna Kea is sacred to the indigenous peoples of Hawai’i aka the Kanaka Maoli as the highest point in Hawai’i. Standing 13,796 feet above sea level it is the tallest mountain in the world. Mauna Kea contains many important cultural and natural resources that is important the communities on Hawai’i island. For decades protectors have tried their best to protect Mauna Kea from development (mainly telescopes) and today the threat to the mountain is the greatest its ever been as a site of consideration for the Thirty Meter Telescope – a 5 acre, 18 story high, 3 story deep telescope that would be the tallest building on the island. In order to raise awareness of the effort to protect Mauna Kea by Aloha ‘Aina (protectors who love the land), March 13, 2019 has been declared Mauna Kea Awareness Day. Universities, colleges, and schools in Hawai’i, across mokuhonu, and as well as in other countries will be planning teach-ins and educational events on this day to raise awareness on this issue which is at the center of the Kanaka Maoli movement and struggle.
“Mauna Kea is also the piko, or navel, of the island, and this is another reason the mountain and the area around it is considered sacred.” -Kumu Hula Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele