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Caring for Our Ancestors; composite image by Kaiana Markell, SHPD Burials ProgramThe management of burial sites over 50 years old falls under the purview of the Historic Preservation Division. Approximately 98% of the burial cases handled by the division relate to native blue ball graphic, link to more information about Hawaiian skeletal remainsHawaiian skeletal remains.

The division works with other cultural organizations when burial remains related to their specific ethnic group are discovered. Five blue ball graphic, link to Island Burial Council membership "Island Burial Councils" are administratively attached to the division to address concerns relating to Native Hawaiian burial sites.

Anyone who wishes to relocate, or preserve in place, previously identified, Hawaiian burials over 50 years old must obtain the approval of the appropriate Island Burial Council, which meets on a monthly basis on its respective islands.

Any skeletal remains accidentally discovered must be reported to the Historic Preservation Division and County police. If burial remains are estimated to be less than 50 years old, they fall under the jurisdiction of the local police.

The division currently responds to approximately 2-3 inadvertent discoveries each week, and is involved in up to 250 burial cases annually. Since 1991, approximately 3,000 sets of native Hawaiian skeletal remains have been re-interred thanks to the collaborative efforts of the division, various Hawaiian organizations, and property owners.

blue ball graphic, link to  SHPD Burial Program administrative rules Hawai`i Administrative Rules, Title 13, Subtitle 13, Chapter 300,
Rules of Practice and Procedure Relating to Burial Sites and Human Remains

blue ball graphic, link to flier on native Hawaiian burialsDescendency Claim Application


To report discovery of burial remains,
call the State Historic Preservation Division
on O`ahu at (808) 692-8015 or the SHPD
blue ball graphic, link to listing of SHPD branch offices branch office on your island.


Comments/questions:e-mail graphicE-mail the Burials Program staff assigned to your island:

History and Culture Branch Chief
blue ball graphic, e-mail link to Sunny

Cultural Specialist (O`ahu)
blue ball graphic, e-mail link to

Cultural Historian (Kona)
blue ball graphic, e-mail link to Analu.K.

Cultural Historian (Maui)
blue ball graphic, e-mail link to


Keola Lindsey, Burials Program Staff (Hawai`i)
blue ball graphic, e-mail link to


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