University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Many of us in the Waterloo community are watching with great concern the developments in Hawaii around the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).
The Waterloo physics community has been in dialogue over the last several days with colleagues from around the world. We have heard views expressed on our own campus from students and faculty members. Though many of us have deeply held beliefs about what should happen next, it is our very strong view that it is primarily up to Hawaiians to decide how - or if - they will “share the Mauna”, as eloquently expressed by master navigator Kalepa Baybayan in July.
It is clear that there are deep and complex issues that Hawaiians must resolve around the important access to and use of sacred lands, to jobs, to education and more. As tempting as it is to proffer a view from afar, we must be patient and wait to learn if the community on Hawai’i island will welcome the project or not.
In the meantime, this is an opportunity for us to reflect on the issues of Indigeneity here in Canada and to listen to the voices of Indigenous Canadians who can help us understand and contextualize the dialogue taking place in the Pacific as well as make strides towards reconciliation here at home.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy is keen to hear from Waterloo community members who wish to voice their support, concerns or questions on the Thirty Meter Telescope project on Maunakea. Please email Michael Balogh who will be happy to discuss the issues with you.
Vice-President, Research and International
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.