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Posted: Monday, February 3rd, 2014 10:40 AM HST

Bone reburial bill riles Native Hawaiians

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Dug-up bones and unidentified remains of Native Hawaiians may be reburied on an uninhabited island if a law being considered by the state Senate passes.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill that would designate the island of Kahoolawe as the resting place for unknown or "inadvertently discovered" native bones when those remains can't be reburied nearby.

The state department that oversees historical preservation supports the bill. But several Native Hawaiians have voiced their opposition, saying that moving bones off their island of origin would be culturally inappropriate.

Critics of the bill tell lawmakers they don't believe the state is qualified to make decisions about such burials without thorough consultation with Native Hawaiian groups. They also express concern about the difficulty of protecting and maintaining burial sites on Kahoolawe.

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