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Native Hawaiian leader Charles Maxwell dies

In this file photo from June 2010, Hawaiian cultural practitioner Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. participated in the burial ceremony of a Blainville’s beaked whale at Maalaea on Maui. [PHOTO COURTESY REBECCA SHEPARD]

A Native Hawaiian leader who played a key role in preventing the continued exhumation of hundreds of Native Hawaiian burials at Honokahua, Maui, died Thursday afternoon.

Charles Maxwell of Pukalani, Maui, died at Maui Memorial Medical Center after a prolonged illness. He was 74.

Maxwell was a police officer for 15 years, working the beat on Maui and Molokai before retiring, and working as a Hawaiian cultural expert with his wife Nina to operate the Pukalani Hula Halau.

He was a leader of a group called Aboriginal Lands Of Hawaiian Ancestry, a group in the early 1970s that supported sovereignty for Native Hawaiians.

He also was among Hawaiians who supported the Native Hawaiian occupation of Kahoolawe in the mid-1970s, claiming religious rights to visit the island and opposing the military bombing and manuevers on the island.

The protest eventually led to the return and partial cleanup of Kahoolawe.



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