Canada faces call to revoke funding for giant telescope in Hawaii

26 Juillet, 2019, 23:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • FILE Dwayne'The Rock Johnson

"This very sacred land that they believe in so powerfully".

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson joined native Hawaiians for a peaceful protest against a $1.4 billion telescope project at the top of volcano Mauna Kea Wednesday, according to reports.

An indigenous group in Canada is asking the Canadian government to stop funding a giant telescope planned for Hawaii's tallest mountain. News broadcasts and social media sites showed him exchanging nose to nose greetings called honi with protesters.

"What I realized today.it's bigger than the telescope", Johnson told reporters during the protest, which is in its 10th day. "Because the world is watching".

Canada has committed to providing up to $243.5 million for the project over a 10-year period. Johnson is of Samoan descent and spent part of his childhood in Hawaii's capital Honolulu.

The Thirty Meter Telescope project is funded by a combination of private companies and public universities around the world, including institutions in California, Canada, Japan, India and China.

The federal government's support for the telescope runs counter to its commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said Wednesday, adding it also calls upon the governor of Hawaii to ensure the state respects and protects the Kanaka Maoli's right to be stewards of their lands and waters.

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Earlier in the day Ige announced he was asking Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim to lead talks with the protesters.

The governor last week indicated he was willing to talk to protesters, who have prevented construction vehicles and crews from reaching Mauna Kea's summit since July 15.

The protesters are against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope which would serve as an astronomical observatory.

Kim recalled saying a silent prayer to help him "do the right thing for the right reasons" when the governor gave him the assignment.

The 13 telescopes already on the mountain have suspended nighttime observations and other operations while the road is blocked because they can't be sure they'll be able to get staff to the summit.

"The telescope will be built away from the summit, one mile from Pu'u Wekiu and several hundred feet below it within the astronomy district".

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