Iwi activist protests outside Kawaiahao Church

Published On: Jan 17 2013 12:55:43 PM HST
Updated On: Jan 17 2013 12:58:48 PM HST
HONOLULU -

Paulette Kaleikini, the woman who successfully stopped the city's rail project temporarily, protested outside Kawaiahao Church on Thursday.

She said it had to do with the nearly 600 burial remains that was discovered in September 2012.

Kaleikini would like to see the iwi kupuna reburied as soon as possible.

"We don't even know where they are," said Paulette Kaleikini.  "Back in 2006, there were 69 human remains that were placed under the bell tower of the church.  And now, there are 600 more.  So we're wondering where they are."

Last September, a state court ordered work to be stopped on a $17.5 million multipurpose center at the historic church in Downtown Honolulu.  The ruling also barred the church from removing iwi from the grounds.

"We don't even want [iwi] unearthed. Period.  And the fact that they did is disturbing," said Kaleikini.  "Worst case scenario is that they were taken away from this property."

Kaleikini is trying to spread awareness of the situation and trying to prevent what has happened in other cases in the past.

"We have experienced before where human remains were taken away from where they were found and they got lost," said Kaleikini.

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