ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
No. 2018 – 49
URGING THE STATE OF HAWAIʻI BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO RENAME THE RUSSIAN FORT ELIZABETH STATE HISTORICAL PARK IN WAIMEA, KAUAʻI TO PĀʻULAʻULA
WHEREAS, King Kaumuali‘i was born in 1780 at Pōhaku Hoʻohānau at Holoholokū, Wailua, Kauaʻi to Kamakahelei and Kāʻeokūlani; and
WHEREAS, Pāʻulaʻula is the traditional place name for the eastern bank at the mouth of the Waimea river where Kaumualiʻi had his royal compound including a heiau; and
WHEREAS, in 1815, a Russian-American-Company ship “Bering” was shipwrecked on the beach in Waimea, Kauaʻi; and
WHEREAS, a trading outfit known as the Russian-American Company sent Georg Anton Schaeffer in December 1815 from Sitka, Alaska with the task of recovering the cargo from the Bering; and
WHEREAS, an alliance was created between Schaeffer and Kaumuali‘i for the construction of a fort at Pā‘ula‘ula using the rock from the heiau and a largely Hawaiian labor force; however, the Russians were expelled from Kaua‘i in 1817 and the Hawaiian government completed the half-finished structure and used the fort until 1864; and
WHEREAS, numerous names with different cultural significances were given to this enclosure that are related to the place and it’s multicultural history like Pāʻulaʻula, Fort Elizabeth, stone fort, my fort, etc.; and
WHEREAS, Pāʻulaʻula is a “term applied to the fort by Kahopuhopula, a Hawaiian testifying before a Land Commission hearing” and “there are two other heiau in the Waimea district of Kauaʻi known as Kapāʻula”; and
WHEREAS, in 1972, the State of Hawai‘i acquired the 17-acre property encompassing the fort structure to preserve the site and is officially named “Russian Fort Elisabeth State Historical Park”; and
WHEREAS, the site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and listed on the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places in 1981; and
WHEREAS, the 200th Anniversary of the fort was commemorated with a forum on Kaua‘i in 2017, and followed by the formation of a working group in March 2018 to discuss the future of the site and this working group consists of representatives from various cultural and historical organizations on Kaua‘i, government agencies, and the Russian-American community; and
WHEREAS, interim objectives of the working group include recognizing and sharing the Hawaiian history of the site as part of the larger history of Waimea and Kauaʻi from pre-contact time and develop interpretive ideas; and
WHEREAS, on October 26, 2018, members of the working group were tasked to reach out to the community to discuss the proposed name change options and to report on the results at the next meeting in December 2018 through resolutions, petitions, etc.; and
WHEREAS, Hawaiʻi’s place names should reflect our cultural heritage and its historical and geographical integrity; and
WHEREAS, the Kauaʻi community representatives strongly feel that it is very important to include and honor the name Pāʻulaʻula so that the moʻolelo of this wahi pana is shared and the ʻāina that cares for our iwi kupuna is honored.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 59th Annual Convention in Kalapaki, Kauaʻi, in the malama of Welehu and the rising of ʻOlepau, this 17th day of November 2018, urging the State of Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources to rename the Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park in Waimea, Kauaʻi to Pāʻulaʻula; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that new interpretive signs, brochures, and websites be developed in the two official languages of Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian and English) and that it reflects first the ʻāina of our aliʻi nui and also incorporate the rich multicultural history; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that funding also be provided for renovation and maintenance of existing restroom facilities and a new visitor’s center; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks work with the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service to update the nomination form for the National Historic Landmark so that it incorporates the Hawaiian place name, multicultural history of the site and findings of more recent research being conducted by both Hawaiian, American, and Russian scholars; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the State of Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks, United States Department of the Interior National Park Service, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Welehu and the rising of ‘Olepau on the 17th day of November 2018, at the 59th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Kalapaki, Kaua‘i.
Annelle C. Amaral, President