Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hawaii Appeals Court Says Archaeological Survey Was Required Before Disinterments

In Hall v. Department of Land and Natural Resources, (HI App., Dec. 14, 2012), the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals held that an Archaeological Inventory Survey under Hawaii's historic preservation law should have been conducted by the State Historic Preservation Commission before the state permitted the Kawaiahao Church in 2010 to disinter 69 sets of Native Hawaiian human remains while constructing a new Multipurpose Center. Plaintiff in the case, a native Hawaiian, was concerned that family members were buried in unmarked graves on the church site.  Subsequently, according to Hawaii News Now last September, another 579 more recent remains were found on the site.  Honolulu Civil Beat speculates that last week's appeals court decision may require re-interment in original burial sites of the remains of the over-600 persons that were dug up and are being stored on church property.