Group asks Canada to stop Hawaii telescope money

Group asks Canada to stop Hawaii telescope money

"Because the world is watching", Johnson said to loud cheers.

Johnson, who is Samoan and not Hawaiian, spent part of his childhood in Honolulu.

The protest blocking a road to prevent construction crews from reaching Mauna Kea's summit is on its tenth day.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, who was the governor's envoy to the protesters, was in the process of organising a meeting with Native Hawaiian leaders.

He says there will be "a very splintered community" if that doesn't happen.

"We do not want this to become the cause of a polarized community", Kim told the newswire.

The mayor recalled saying a silent prayer after receiving a call from the governor on Monday appealing for his help and hoped he could "do the right thing for the right reasons".

He said the standoff over the telescope may give "us an opportunity to be better and I hope we take advantage of it".

An indigenous group in Canada is asking the Canadian government to stop funding a giant telescope planned for Hawaii's tallest mountain.

The construction of the telescope has also fueled debate on scientific advancement at the cost of the environment and culture of the natives.

More than 30 activists, majority elderly Native Hawaiians, were arrested by law enforcement deployed by the state in the first few days of the protest.

Democratic Governor David Ige said that no additional National Guard troops would be called in to transport construction equipment or enforce road closures after 80 guard members had been deployed at the start of protests on the Big Island.

The Canadian Press reports the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hawaii Gov. David Ige asking them to shut down the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

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.

In April 2015, the former Conservative government announced it would provide up to $243.5 million for the project over a 10-year period. "And this is where care and decency and love and respect for not only culture, but for humanity really comes into play". The new telescope would join 13 other observatories already on the volcanic peak, a location astronomers prize for its lack of light pollution.

"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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