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Native Hawaiian leader dies

March 22, 2012
The Maui Weekly

Honolulu Star Bulletin - Charles Maxwell, an instrumental leader in the prevention of continued exhumation of Native Hawaiian burials at Honokahua, died last Thursday at Maui Memorial Medical Center after a battle with prolonged illness. He was 74.

After retiring from 15 years on the police force on both Maui and Moloka'i, Maxwell became a Hawaiian cultural expert with his wife, Nina. Together they operated Pukalani Hula Halau. He also led the group Aboriginal Lands of Hawaiian Ancestry in the 1970s, which supported sovereignty for Native Hawaiians.

It was during that time that he stood in solidarity with the occupation of Kaho'olawe, which claimed religious rights to visit the island and opposed military bombing. The movement led to the eventual cleanup of the island.

Maxwell served as a member of the Hawai'i advisory group to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, during which time he publicly opposed the exhumation of Native Hawaiian burials at Honokahua during the development of the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. This led to the eventual agreement of the hotel to move the construction site further mauka.

"Daddy was a fighter," said his daughter, Sheri Maxwell. "He wasn't afraid of speaking what he felt and saying what was right."



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