• Petitioned Hawaii Governor, Lt. Governor, and DHHL Directors, Chairs and Staff

This petition was delivered to:

Hawaii Governor, Lt. Governor, and DHHL Directors, Chairs and Staff

Support Uncle Sam's Market and Cultural Center in Puna District, Hawai'i

    1. Lance Duncan
    2. Petition by

      Lance Duncan

      Pahoa, HI

Please share through your facebook, email, twitter accounts, and use the petition's "share/invite" function to cover an additional 15 people per day!  Social media links are at the bottom of the petition description. Please come down to Sam's and show your support in person too!

We are asking the community to join in support of and in solidarity with Uncle Sam at his open market and cultural center in the Puna District located at the southeast corner of highway 130 and Ka Ohuwalu Drive in Pahoa. See map here: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=204596593941550627722.0004c93a46f1b04390904


Uncle Sam Kaleleiki is a caretaker / tenant of a 5 acre parcel of Hawaiian Home Lands and has lived in the Pahoa area for 25 years, and on this parel for 7 years.  Uncle Sam volunteers his time and the use of this property for the benefit of his community, in the preservation of traditional and customary Hawaiian hunting, fishing, gathering, weaving, carving, toolmaking, arts, medicine, history, cultural, and spiritual practices. He has invested thousands of dollars of his own to prepare the site and provide shelter for anyone who needs it, and does not charge for, nor assign spaces to anyone. Donations are accepted as a means of offsetting the cost of electricity, and to go toward future investments at that location, and in the tradition of old Hawai'i, barter rather than money is widely accepted by people participating in the market and cultural center. 

Uncle Sam operates the market and cultural center largely to provide a safe physical, mental, and spiritual environment.  This is based on a moral imperative and precept in Hawaiian law as set forth by King Kamehameha I in 1797, known as Kānāwai Māmalahoe, or the Law of the Splintered Paddle.

The complete original 1797 law in Hawaiian:

Kānāwai Māmalahoe :

E nā kānaka,
E mālama ‘oukou i ke akua
A e mālama ho‘i ke kanaka nui a me kanaka iki;
E hele ka ‘elemakule, ka luahine, a me ke kama
A moe i ke ala
‘A‘ohe mea nāna e ho‘opilikia.
Hewa nō, make.
—Kamehameha I

English translation:

Law of the Splintered Paddle:

Oh people,
Honor thy god;
respect alike [the rights of] people both great and humble;
May everyone, from the old men and women to the children
Be free to go forth and lay in the road (i.e. by the roadside or pathway)
Without fear of harm.
Break this law, and die.

Youtube Video:  a youtube video explaining this law can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgrWlDqbi7M

The Purpose of the Market & Cultural Center:

Uncle Sam is volunteering the use of this property to provide a safe and secure place for local Hawaiians to talk story, continue the oral cultural history, display their handiwork, and share with the general public the products and wisdom of traditional and customary Hawaiian hunting, fishing, gathering, mauka to makai resource management practices, craftsmanship, arts, medicine, history, and spirituality.. The market and cultural center also provides an environment for cross-generational transmission of cultural knowledge, as everyone from kupuna to keiki is welcome here.  Without this market and cultural center, cultural practitioners would often find themselves relegated to unsafe roadside easements, just trying to earn a modest living for their families. Many do not have the funds to pay for the typical spaces seen at local farmer's markets.  Keeping cultural practitioners and tradespeople out of harm's way on the roadside is of primary importance.

Uncle Sam is a good neighbor and does not compete with the Sunday farmer's market held at the nearby Maku'u Marketplace, and is a positive role model in the community. The market and cultural center is established to enable Hawaiians to help Hawaiians, not only to put a little extra in their wallets to provide for their families, but also to help Hawaiian people overcome drug and alcohol abuse, to retain and transmit cultural values and knowledge to all generations, and to become more productive so they can take care of their families. The practice of ho'oponopono is taught and practiced here.

Why Uncle Sam Needs Our Support:

Recently, Uncle Sam was served notice by the East Hawaii DHHL Superintendent, Louis Hao, to cease operating the market and cultural center. Uncle Sam has said he will continue operating while simultaneously getting permission to operate legally. He says, "I never turn my back on a Hawaiian". We ask that all Hawaiians (kanaka maoli, kanaka e, and malihini who aloha Hawai'i and her people) to return this concern and support. We also ask that state officials connected with administering DHHL (Governor Abercrombie, Lt. Governor Schatz, DHHL Dir. Jobie Masagatani, DHHL Chair Albert Nahale-a, East Hawaii Branch DHHL Director, DHHL Supt Louis Hao) not to obstruct Hawaiians Helping Hawaiians on Hawaiian Lands.  Most importantly, please come down to Uncle Sam's and show your support in person, hang out, talk story, and enjoy the traditions of old Hawai'i.

Find Us On Facebook:

Social network community resources can be found at http://www.facebook.com/groups/supportunclesamsmarket/

Tweet us on Twitter:

use hashtag #unclesamsmarket and tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/8tnur4w

News Coverage:

Hawaii Tribune Herald article here:  http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/local-news/puna-market-ordered-close.html



Recent signatures


    1. Thank you for your support

      Lance Duncan
      Petition Organizer

      The online petition has just broken the 100 signature mark and i wanted to thank everyone who has contributed. There are also numerous hard copy versions of this petition going around so our numbers are considerably larger than displayed on this webpage. Please continue to post the link for this petition on your facebook/myspace walls, and tweet out the kahea if you're on twitter, and use the petition's share/invite feature to help continue to grow our supporters.

      The most important concept, ultimately, is helping support Uncle Sam in person with this community building effort. Stop by, say hello, share extra goodies from your garden or farm, in the barter traditions of old Hawai'i. There's always onolicious food, good companionship, and fun things to do at Uncle Sam's. Everyone is welcome! located at the SW corner of Hwy 130 and Ka'ohuwalu road in Puna .

    2. Reached 100 signatures
    3. Show your support in person

      Lance Duncan
      Petition Organizer

      This petition drive is a two-part endeavor. In the first, we, the people signing, are asking DHHL officials to stop obstructing Uncle Sam's market and cultural center.

      The second, more important part, is to show your support and share your mana'o IN PERSON by coming down to the market and cultural center any day other than Sunday to hang out, talk story, share mana'o, learn or share a skill or two, and barter with the people in the style of old Hawai'i.

      We've also just passed the next signature milestone of 50 signatures! Keep up the good work, share this petition with your friends and family, and use the "invite" function for 15 more suggestions in your network.

      Thanks for all you do!

    4. Reached 50 signatures
    5. Use the Power of Social Media to Spread the Word

      Lance Duncan
      Petition Organizer

      New facebook group established to help promote this important issue http://www.facebook.com/groups/supportunclesamsmarket/

      hashtag to use in all Twitter tweets: #unclesamsmarket

      Short URL to make posting/twittering more convenient: http://tinyurl.com/8tnur4w

    6. Reached 10 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Annette Chartier ALBUQUERQUE, NM
      • almost 2 years ago

      Family owns property in Hawai'i

    • Susan Taylor SOLANA BEACH, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Support for Indigenous Culture

    • Karen Bentrup ALBUQUERQUE, NM
      • almost 2 years ago

      We met Uncle Sam Kaleleiki during our visit to the Hawiian Kingdom, and saw the work is he doing. This is important work for helping the Hawaiian people and preserving Hawaiian culture. Please help him continue his important work by removing bureaucratic barriers to his success. Mahalo!

    • Lloyd DeWald ALBUQUERQUE, NM
      • almost 2 years ago

      Help Uncle Sam Kaleleiki preserve Hawaiian culture and provide local opportunities for Hawaiian people.

    • Andre Perez PEARL CITY, HI
      • about 2 years ago

      Always supportive of initiatives that empower our community. Go Uncle Sam!


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