The Latest: Group asks Canada to stop Hawaii telescope money

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations against a giant telescope in Hawaii (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

An indigenous group in Canada is asking the Canadian government to stop funding a giant telescope planned for Hawaii’s tallest mountain.

The Canadian Press reports the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hawaii Gov. David Ige asking them to shut down the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

Canada is a partner in the $1.4 billion project along with universities in California and national observatories in China, India and Japan.

In April 2015, Canada said it would provide up to $243.5 million for the project over a 10-year period.

Protesters have been blocking a road for the last 10 days to prevent construction of the telescope on Mauna Kea’s summit, which some Native Hawaiians consider to be sacred.


2:20 p.m.

Hollywood actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is visiting Native Hawaiian protesters who are blocking a road to prevent the construction of a giant telescope on Hawaii’s tallest mountain.

Johnson reached the protest camp on Mauna Kea as dancers performed hula and chants. He exchanged nose to nose greetings called honi with protesters and then went into a tent to meet elders.

Johnson spent part of his childhood in Honolulu. He is not Hawaiian, but is Samoan.

Johnson’s production company Seven Bucks Productions is making a movie about the life of King Kamehameha the Great, the leader who first unified the Hawaiian Islands in 1810. Johnson will star in the title role.


2 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s envoy for talks with protesters blocking the construction of a giant telescope says he’s organizing the first of many meetings with Native Hawaiian leaders.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said in a phone interview Wednesday he wants to get people to work together for what he hopes will be a common goal.

He says there will be “a very splintered community” if that doesn’t happen.

Kim recalled saying a silent prayer to help him “do the right thing for the right reasons” when the governor gave him the assignment.

The protest blocking a road to prevent construction crews from reaching Mauna Kea’s summit is on its tenth day.

Hollywood actor and former Hawaii resident Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is visiting the protest site.

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