In the past few years, there has been controversy about the use of the Hawaiian mountain Mauna Kea as a location for observatories. Astronomers are planning for a new telescope to be built while some native Hawaiian people are protesting it. This is one of the examples that will be used in discussing the general conflict between astronomy projects and Native Americans. Astronomers see mountains as prime locations for observing the sky; Native people can see them as extremely sacred places that, in some cases, are central to their traditional religion. Their differing worldviews are at the core of disputes over the use of these sites. This paper investigates the process of site selection for observatories (specifically if cultural significance is considered); tries to understand why astronomers and indigenous people hold the views they do about building observatories; and puts forth a way to lessen future conflicts.

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