By Brandon Bosworth, Ho'okele Staff Writer
The Department of the Navy, in association with the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Deputy Under Secretary (installations and environment), hosted the 2014 Native Hawaiian Cultural Communication Course (NHCCC) on Feb. 4, 5 and 6. The event was primarily held at the Hickam Officer’s Club, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The NHCCC is designed to help DoD personnel better understand the department’s consultation responsibilities and working relationships with Native Hawaiian organizations.
The NHCCC faculty included Native Hawaiian specialists in history, culture, intercultural communication and consultation, and legal experts as well as DoD program staff.
The course covered topics such as the history of the relationship between the United States government and Native Hawaiians, an introduction to Hawaiian concepts, culture and the intercultural communication process, and discussions of the DoD’s consultation policy with Native Hawaiian organizations.
While the bulk of the training took place at the Hickam Officer’s Club, participants also visited Halealoha Haleamau, a Native Hawaiian burial vault located in the unoccupied Fort Kamehameha housing area near the entrance of the Pearl Harbor channel.
The vault is a replica of a traditional Hawaiian burial platform and serves as a permanent repository for Native Hawaiian burials recovered on the base since 1997. It is highlighted as an example of successful consultation between the DoD and the Native Hawaiian community.
Jeff Pantaleo, archaeologist at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, was pleased with the 2014 Native Hawaiian Cultural Communication Course.
“We received a lot of positive feedback,” he said. “Some of the topics or concerns the participants voiced included who to consult with, how consultation proceeds and finishes, and what to do if consults disagree with DoD or each other.”
Pantaleo hopes to hold annual Native Hawaiian Cultural Communication Courses in the future.