Wma 10 28 09

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Presentation: Buffalo in the Room

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Wma 10 28 09

  1. 1. The Buffalo in the Room: Talking about the Tough Stuff at Native Museums Wednesday, October 28, 2009 Iolani Palace
  2. 2. Iolani Palace: Brief History <ul><li>1810: Kingdom established </li></ul><ul><li>1845: New capital city </li></ul><ul><li>The first “Palace” </li></ul><ul><li>King Kalakaua </li></ul>
  3. 3. King Kamehameha III (aka “Kauikeaouli”)
  4. 4. Iolani Palace and Grounds Downtown Honolulu
  5. 5. The original “ Hale Alii ” (1845 – 1879)
  6. 6. King Kamehameha V <ul><li>Ruled from 1863 – 1872 </li></ul><ul><li>Changed name from “Hale Alii” to “Iolani Palace” </li></ul>Io + lani Hawk Royal
  7. 7. King Kalakaua (Ruled from 1874 – 1891)
  8. 10. Completed in 1874, Aliiolani Hale served as the “seat of government” for the Kingdom of Hawaii.
  9. 11. Aliiolani Hale today houses the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii, Judiciary History Center, and law library.
  10. 12. Some tough stuff <ul><li>Re-telling history / perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Does education matter? </li></ul><ul><li>Palace as an emotional symbol </li></ul><ul><li>50 th Anniversary of Statehood </li></ul><ul><li>Working with so many constituencies </li></ul>
  11. 13. <ul><li>Why is Iolani Palace so controversial? </li></ul>
  12. 14. Once upon a time . . . . . August 12, 1898: Annexation of Hawaii
  13. 15. The Palace as a venue to make a statement July 28, 1934 Speech by President Roosevelt April 30, 2007 Students visiting from the Big Island denied access
  14. 16. Examples of uses inconsistent with a royal compound April 28, 2007 Portable toilets on front driveway by group “Hawaiian Kingdom Government” January 19, 2007 Protest banners on the grounds by group “Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom”
  15. 17. An arena for competing views on Statehood Minutes later, the same group is surrounded by Hawaiian activists. August 18, 2006 Pro-American group celebrates Hawaii’s admission as a state.
  16. 18. One year later……… To avoid another showdown, we found something else to celebrate.
  17. 19. Then in August 2008, just when we thought we had dodged a bullet......
  18. 20. When interpreting “tough stuff” don’t add fuel to the fire. (Unintentionally, of course.)
  19. 21. An example: Period room exhibit outside of our comfort zone
  20. 22. The King’s Library
  21. 23. The Queen’s Imprisonment Room
  22. 24. Only the Imprisonment Room has its windows covered.
  23. 25. What did we do for 2009?
  24. 26. 50 th Anniversary of Statehood <ul><li>Appointment to Commission </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate “commemoration” </li></ul><ul><li>Change event venue </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate “alternative” events </li></ul>
  25. 27. Protests….yes….but NOT at the Palace! August 21, 2009 Anti-statehood protest at the State Capitol Similar protest at the Hawaii Convention Center
  26. 28. Visioning Project <ul><li>How many groups? </li></ul><ul><li>Silent but deadly….. </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting the right consultant </li></ul><ul><li>The term “museum” is a sensitive topic </li></ul>
  27. 29. Visioning Project – General Observations <ul><li>Very strong emotional feelings attached (i.e. sacredness, tragedy, political injustice) </li></ul><ul><li>Not all local residents feel welcome; have never visited </li></ul><ul><li>Greater collaboration with other organizations and museums </li></ul><ul><li>Feel strongly that the State has an obligation to fund, but not the Federal Government </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge significant contributions by the Royal Family </li></ul><ul><li>Do not support radical actions of some sovereignty groups, but understand why they did it. </li></ul>
  28. 30. Active Engagement <ul><li>Be flexible (and broaden scope) </li></ul><ul><li>Expect criticism </li></ul><ul><li>Realize that the Board will move at slower pace </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes you have to confront opponents </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes, the “win” scenario is the losing scenario that is most tolerable </li></ul>
  29. 31. In conclusion . . . . . <ul><li>Would a new Native Hawaiian government retake Iolani Palace? </li></ul><ul><li>If we continue as a museum, from where should our future funding come? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we remain relevant without becoming too political? </li></ul>
  30. 32. Mahalo ia oukou a pau loa!

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