maunakea remains a sacred place

Maunakea is a deeply revered cultural landscape that also happens to be the premier site in the world to study the cosmos. We deeply respect its cultural importance and storied past. The decisions we make today are intertwined with the future of Maunakea and its cherished summit. We appreciate that Maunakea is sacred to many people in different ways, and we are thankful and privileged to study the universe from Maunakea’s summit – a unique portal on the universe.

A Hua He Inoa
Working closely with experts in Hawaiian language, and recognizing the Hawaiian traditional practice of naming celestial objects, major discoveries from Maunakea and Haleakala are being given Hawaiian names that are internationally and officially recognized. These include Laniakea, the galaxy supercluster our own Milky Way resides in, ‘Oumuamua, the first detected interstellar object to pass through our solar system, and a pair of unusual asteroids named by high school students fluent in 'ōlelo Hawaiʻi.

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The Kama‘āina Observatory Experience gives participants a better appreciation for the sacred nature of the summit areas they will later see.

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An essential part of the Maunakea Scholars program is that students are provided an education through the MANU program at ‘Imiloa about the cultural importance of Maunakea. This helps provide context and a place-based framework in which their astronomy research projects can be pursued.

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The Maunakea Observatories help sponsor place-based STEM education across Hawai‘i Island through their contributions to the Maunakea Fund, a signature fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation. Merged with other funds at HCF, the Maunakea Fund supports numerous after school programs, environmental programs, professional development for teachers, etc.

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