Is the cultural impact assessment process working well?
The process is still new, but working relatively well. (2)
- The requirement emphasizes the importance of traditional culture. ()
- OEQC guidelines are useful.(4: 2, 1, 1)
- Best practices have been developed.
- Gathering of information good, but analysis can be superficial. (2: 1, 1)
- Cultural impacts and traditional practice are difficult to define. Whose culture is eligible? (5: 3, 2)
- Agencies have conflicting roles, process requirements, and comments. (2: 1, 1)
- Comments generally only focus on native rights and property/shoreline access.
- Cultural impacts are often conflated with archaeology. (4: 2, 2)
- It is busy work to employ consultants and “cultural experts.”
- Lack of confidentiality inhibits the sharing of some important cultural knowledge and impacts. (2: 1, 1)
- Cultural experts are few and over-burdened by this requirement. (3: 2, 1)
- Provided information can be contradictory or focused on the project rather than culture. ()
- “Experts” tend to be people part of the system, not part of the culture; preparers will not pick someone who says, “My ancestors bones are there, don’t do it.” (7: 1, 5, 1)
- Are short forms or checklists permissible? Are consultants always required? ()
How can the system be improved?
The State should define ‘cultural impacts’ and ‘traditional cultural practice.’ (2)
- The definition should include resources used in subsistence and religious practice. (9: 2, 3, 4)
- Emphasize purpose for decision-making, not just information gathering. (3: 2, 1)
- Cultural experts should have a certification requirement. (2)
- Establish a contact list of cultural experts by area and ahupuaa / have blind reviewers.
- Create a mechanism for clarifying conflicting/disputed information from cultural experts. (7: 3, 3, 1)
- Clarify content and process. (12: 4, 3, 5)
- The guidelines should be requirements. (2)
- Each County should have its own archaeologist to perform the assessment.
- Requirements should be relative to the scale or impact of the project. ()
- Clarify roles of SHPD, OHA, Burial Councils in commenting, reviewing, and acceptability determinations. (5: 2, 2, 1)
- Rename it to “ethnographic assessments” and put under SHPD jurisdiction. ()
- Distinguish from archaeology reports. ()
- Current OEQC guidelines are onerous. ()
- Studies are expensive and not always of clear benefit to the community. (3: 1, 2)
- This should not be a requirement. (2: 1, 1)
- Integrate into project planning, not just 343. (10: 3, 6, 1)