President and Vice Chancellor Jamie Cassels, Associate Vice Presidents, and affiliated faculty,
29 July 2019 – University of Victoria
The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) stands in solidarity with the Indigenous Hawai’ians known as the Kanaka Maoli against the attempted construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea, a volcano in Hawai’i. Furthermore, the UVSS condemns the involvement of the University of Victoria (UVic) in the TMT project, as it directly contradicts their supposed commitment to Indigenous reconciliation.
As a colonial institution, UVic is responsible for leading processes of decolonization and reconciliation. By willfully ignoring the negative effects of the project on local Indigenous groups, UVic participates in ongoing colonial violence against Indigenous peoples under the guise of “academic research.” As an alleged post-secondary “leader” in reconciliation, UVic must create meaningful action, and stand by their commitments to decolonize and repair relationships with Indigenous peoples.
Construction of the TMT without the consent of the Kanaka Maoli is disrespectful to the people, land, and sacred history of Hawai’i. Mauna Kea is a sacred site to the Kanaka Maoli. It is unethical of UVic to continue their involvement with the TMT while the project continues to violate Indigenous sovereignty in Hawai’i.
UVic has failed to enact concrete corrective action as a partner university on the TMT project. Their complacency comes at the expense of Indigenous peoples asserting their sovereignty, not only in Hawai’i, but across the globe. It is time for UVic’s actions to reflect their commitments to Indigenous students, faculty, and community members, by standing in solidarity with Kanaka Maoli against the TMT construction on Mauna Kea.
University of Victoria Students’ Society
The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) was established in 1964 and represents the 18,000+ undergraduate students at the University of Victoria.
Contact: Shay lynn Sampson (she/her | they/them), UVSS Director of Events
Phone: 250-721-8369 | Email: events @uvss.ca