Aloha mai kākou! Mākua Valley has been sacred since time immemorial. It is where the deities Papa (Earth mother) and Wākea (sky father) came together to create human life according to one creation story. Mākua is rich in the stories of ancient times. The valley was also an important agricultural area until the U.S. army evicted residents at gunpoint after the bombing of Puʻuloa (Pearl Harbor). The army promised the valley would be cleaned and returned six months after the end of World War II. The army still occupies Mākua.
When the Hawaiian territorial government asked for the return of Mākua for agricultural purposes, the U.S. Defense Department forced Hawaiʻi into a 65-year lease in 1964 for only $1 at the threat of the U.S. government simply condemning the valley and using it anyway.
Sacred Mākua had been bombed continuously from 1942 until 2004. A federal lawsuit brought against the U.S. army by Mālama Mākua compelled the army to complete an Environmental Impact Statement which would study the effects of decades of bombing on the valley and near-shore waters, which the army failed to do, bringing about the end of live-fire training until the EIS completion. There has been no live-fire training for going on 15 years.
The U.S. army’s lease in Mākua expires on August 16, 2029, which is only 10 years away. The time is now to start thinking about the future of sacred Mākua. At this point, we do not know if the army has plans to renew the lease or leave Mākua. Mālama Mākua’s mission is to protect and secure the return of this sacred valley for culturally appropriate use. We always say that Mākua leads the way, because Mākua is in ultimately in control. Mākua can reach out in different ways, though, so as we all look to the future, we want to engage with our community in sharing manaʻo about the future of Mākua.
Please take a moment to write your manaʻo about what you believe the future of Mākua should be when the army lease expires in just 10 years, so the voices of our community are known. Comments are stronger if they are attached to a name. Although we understand if you wish you remain anonymous, please include your name, if can. Although we encourage our community to share manaʻo with each other, if you wish to keep your manaʻo private and not have it published on our website, you can click on the button below. Otherwise, please share manaʻo in the COMMENTS box. Mahalo nunui!
What is your manaʻo on the future of sacred Mākua?