OHA to Host Federal Consultation to Help Protect Cultural Objects


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) will host a consultation session of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of State seeking input from the Native Hawaiian community on the development of regulations to implement the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act (STOP Act).

The in-person consultation will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Aug. 23, 2023, at OHA’s Honolulu headquarters located at 560 N. Nimitz Hwy, Suite 200. Native Hawaiian Organizations and Native Hawaiian community members are invited to attend.

The STOP Act directs the DOI, in coordination with the departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security, to regulate export of Native cultural items and facilitate voluntary repatriation of Native American and Hawaiian human remains and cultural items from overseas back to Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in the U.S.

The passage of this Act is crucial to protect against the export of cultural objects obtained in violation of federal laws, the Native American Graves Repatriation Act, or the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

“We are in a special position as one of four locations where these consultations are occurring before the rules are being written,” said OHA Interim Ka Pouhana/CEO Colin Kippen. “We need to have our Native Hawaiian organizations, and community members with an interest and background in these issues, attend and engage at this event.”

OHA acts as an advocate for Native Hawaiians at the federal, state and county levels. Participation in federal consultation is an important advocacy tool used to ensure Kānaka Maoli perspectives are considered in the federal law making and implementation processes.

The DOI Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (ONHR) will also host a virtual consultation on Aug. 24, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. Written comments will be accepted via email to consultation@bia.gov through Sept. 1, 2023 at 6:00p.m.

The link to register for the in-person and virtual consultation sessions, and to a list of frequently asked questions about the development of regulations to implement the STOP Act, are available at www.doi.gov/hawaiian. Contact ONHR with any questions at doi_onhr_hhl@ios.doi.gov.

Additional information related to the STOP Act: