Indigenous Knowledge, Western Science, and the US Colonial Project

“We are not anti-science. It’s not culture versus science. We are against the building of anything eighteen stories over our watershed, water aquifers, on our sacred mountain. It could have been anything; it just happens to be a telescope.” These were the powerful words of Pua Case in 2019. Case is an indigenous land activist, organizer, and protector, who has been fighting the approval and construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) atop Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain on Earth and a place sacred to Native Hawaiians. Mauna Kea has already been desecrated in the name of science, capitalism and colonialism; currently, there are thirteen telescopes on her surface.