A Case for Canadian Divestment from the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea
University of Toronto
How can Canadian astronomy be compliant with new policy regarding Native Hawaiian consent and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) at Mauna Kea? In 2021, the CASCA/ACURA (Canadian Astronomical Society and Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy) TMT Advisory Committee (CATAC) announced a new policy: ?Unless the TMT project has consent from the Native Hawaiians, Canada?s astronomical community cannot support its construction on Maunakea.? CATAC claims this policy is consistent with CASCA?s Long Range Plan (LRP), which recommended in 2020 that the Canadian astronomy community develop and adopt guiding principles centered on consent from the Indigenous peoples who would be affected by any participating astronomy project. In that recommendation, the LRP stipulated engagement and implementation should be consistent with the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada?s Calls to Actions and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This presentation examines the genealogy of CATAC?s new policy, and demonstrates that Canadian astronomy is currently out of compliance, in particular because there is no Native Hawaiian consent for TMT at Mauna Kea. In that light, this presentation considers the implications of non-compliance under UNDRIP and Federal Law. It concludes with a recommendation that for Canadian astronomy to be compliant with its own law and policy concerning Indigenous rights and Native Hawaiian consent, it ought to immediately divest from TMT at Mauna Kea.
Date: Tuesday, 25 April 2023 Time: 15:30 Where: McGill University Bell Room (Rutherford Physics Building, room 103)