(BIVN) – Palikapu Dedman of the Pele Defense Fund made a presentation on Tuesday evening to the Hawaiʻi County Game Management Advisory Commission, or GMAC, during a meeting in Hilo.
The commission had placed Dedman on the agenda to give a presentation on Wao Kele o Puna, however Dedman picked up where Terri Napeahi left off in her presentation at the previous GMAC meeting. Napeahi – and Dedman – reminded the commissioners about the origins of GMAC, as well as Article XII Section 7 of the State Constitution protecting Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights.
“I see a lot of your agendas that you deal a lot with entertaining DLNR,” Dedman told the commission, adding that GMAC was formed “to create our own consciousness and ideas, rules, and laws for your own island.”
“We on this island should be running our own island,” Dedman continued. “These resources were here before statehood. Statehood came in ’59. We’re supposed to be controlling and running our own resource protection.”
Dedman urged the commissioners not to wait for the state to make a plan for the management of the game resources on Hawaiʻi Island. Instead, Dedman told GMAC they should be holding community meetings with hunters to gather their own information.
“Get all your hunters together in every district,” Dedman said, so the hunters can “tell you how much pigs they catch. How much boars they see. How many billies they see. How many nene they see. What part of the district they stay in. Start getting one count about all your resources in this district. You guys go organize your hunters. Get a count, get a map, get everybody kōkua.”
The talk provided a philosophical backdrop for a discussion later in the meeting concerning a game management plan, which stalled in the hands of the state.