Spring 2018


Director’s Column — I Mana I Ka Wai: Deepening Our Collective Knowledge So That We Are Empowered By Our Water Resources

By: D. Kapuaʻala Sproat, Director

Aloha e nā hoa makamaka,

In April 2018, Ka Huli Ao facilitated I Mana I Ka Wai, our first water law and advocacy training for beneficiaries of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (“DHHL”). This partnership between DHHL and Ka Huli Ao aims to deepen the Native Hawaiian community’s collective knowledge in this arena so that, as the theme for our training suggests, we are empowered by our fresh water resources. As Kaleo Manuel, DHHL’s Director of Planning reflected:  “Continuing conscious conversations and dialogue around water with our homesteaders is an important process of rehabilitation and the realization of our Prince’s legacy.” Read more.


Research and Scholarship Update: Accessing Ka Huli Ao Scholarship

By: Susan K. Serrano, Associate Director

Ka Huli Ao has committed to producing unique scholarship that advances Native Hawaiian law, facilitates legal learning, and impacts the Native Hawaiian community. Our scholarship seeks to incorporate history, culture, and present-day context to advance social justice for Native Hawaiians, Pacific and Indigenous Peoples, and all peoples. Collectively, Ka Huli Ao faculty members have published over seventy-five articles, essays, books, book chapters, reports, and primers.

Ka Huli Ao is in the process of updating and expanding our website. Please visit http://blog.hawaii.edu/kahuliao/scholarship-and-legal-resources/ for updates on our research and scholarship.  Read more.


Hawaiʻi ʻ78: Where We Went and Where We Go From Here

By: Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie, Professor of Law and Founding Director

Over the last few months, Ka Huli Ao has partnered with other units at the University of Hawaiʻi, led by Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, to put together a four-part discussion series exploring the genesis of and changes instituted by the 1978 Constitutional Convention (ConCon). Ultimately, the question to consider is whether Hawaiʻi should have another constitutional convention to review and propose amendments to the State Constitution. That question will be on the ballot in the November 2018 election.

Although the speakers have changed throughout the discussion series, the one constant has been former Governor John D. Waiheʻe III, a 1976 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law. Read more.


Richardson Law Students Represent Hawaiʻi at National Moot Court Competition and Federal Indian Law Conference

By: Letani Peltier, Post-J.D. Legal Fellow

UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law students brought home several top awards from the 26th Annual National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition held on March 2-4, at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Forty-Four teams across the country participated in the competition, which tests students’ brief-writing and oral advocacy skills within the context of federal Indian law. Richardson sent three two-person teams: Lianne Chung (ʻ18) and Nick Ernst (EPT-ʻ20); Mark Suzuki (ʻ18) and Kaiwi Opulauoho (ʻ18); and Travis Moon (ʻ18) and Erin Fale (ʻ18) – along with team coach and Ka Huli Ao Legal Fellow Letani Peltier (ʻ17). Read more.



The Realization of a Dream: A Digital Archives Partnership

By: Avis Kuuipoleialoha Poai, Director of Archives and Legal History

In 2004, I met Jerry Dupont,* founding Director of the Law Library and former Acting Dean and Professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law, when I interviewed him for an oral history project during law school. At the time, Jerry was the Executive Director of the Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC) which was based in Kāne‘ohe at the Windward Community College. It was a memorable interview for me because Jerry’s vision behind LLMC revealed the sheer dedication and commitment that it takes for those who seek to preserve history for future generations. I had no idea that I would one day have the privilege of being a part of this vision of preserving and sharing Hawaiʻi’s legal history. Read more.


The Resilient Hawaiian Communities Initiative: Building Capacity in Two Hawaiian Communities

By: Sean Aronson, Post-J.D. Fellow

In December 2017, I began my journey as a legal fellow with Ka Huli Ao, working on the Resilient Hawaiian Communities (RHC) Initiative. The objective of the RHC project is to build capacity within two Native Hawaiian communities through the creation of a resiliency plan. The plans will integrate the latest climate research with specific place-based solutions identified by communities to best prepare for the ecological impacts anticipated as a result of climate change.

After an extensive selection process with many qualified communities, Waiehu Kou III on Maui and Kailapa on Hawaiʻi Island were chosen for their well-articulated visions and their potential ‘net resiliency gain’ – the community’s ability to take significant, focused steps to address the coming environmental changes, and leverage the resources of the project for the greatest benefit. Both communities are Hawaiian Homeland communities and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) is an ally for the project. Read more.


Student Outreach Update: E Mālama ʻia Nā Pono o ka ʻĀina e Nā ʻŌpio: The Traditions of the Land Are Perpetuated by Its Youth

By: Avis Kuuipoleialoha Poai, Director of Student Outreach

Aloha mai kākou! As I look back on this past year, I reflect on the numerous programs and schools that Ka Huli Ao has had an opportunity to work with, including: Nā Koʻokoʻo – UH Mānoa’s Hawaiian Leadership Program, UH Mānoa’s Native Hawaiian Student Services, Kamehameha Schools, Kamehameha Scholars Program, UH Mānoa Honors Program, Poʻi Nā Nalu – Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program at Honolulu Community College, UH Mānoa Pre-Law Society, and Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo Ānuenue (just to name a few). We have also branched out and visited the UH Hilo and UH West Oʻahu campuses. In addition to this, we are actively involved in administering the Ka Huli Ao LSAT program. For Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, we welcomed a total of 49 students to our LSAT program. Thus, in total, Ka Huli Ao has reached approximately 560 students from all ages, backgrounds, and schools. Read more.


The Evolution of the Hawaiian Language Revitalization Movement: Current Issues

By: Luʻukia Nakanelua (2L) and Kealiʻi Sagum (2L)

The Hawaiian language revitalization movement has brought the Hawaiian language from the brink of extinction. The Hawaiian Renaissance of the 1970s reinvigorated the people’s awareness and pride of the Hawaiian culture and language. Forty years ago, in 1978, Hawaiʻi had a Constitutional Convention which introduced important Constitutional provisions including a provision that made the Hawaiian language an official language of the state (alongside English) and a provision that mandated that Hawaiian culture, history, and language be included in the public school curriculum. The Renaissance and the Constitutional Convention led to the establishment of the first Hawaiian language immersion program in the state and increased enrollment for Hawaiian language classes at the university level. Then, in 2012, the Hawaiʻi State Legislature enacted SB409 officially designating February as Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language Month). Read more.


Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Oral Arguments: Clarabal v. Department of Education (2018)

By: Avis Kuuipoleialoha Poai, Director of Student Outreach

For twenty-seven eighth grade immersion students from Ānuenue, entering the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court to observe oral arguments in Clarabal v. Department of Education, constituted for many, their first real encounter with the legal system (to read more about this huakaʻi, click here). This case was important to them because it centered on ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, a critically endangered language, and the right to an immersion education. In an ironic start to the case, the clerk who called and introduced the case, stumbled over the proper pronunciation of Hawaiian names.** Many in the gallery shifted their gaze uncomfortably, as it perfectly framed the issue and exposed the current dispossessed state of our native language. Read more.


Environmental Law Clinic Update: Protecting Fresh Water Resources on Molokaʻi

By: N. Mahina Tuteur, Post-J.D. Research and Teaching Fellow

For the Spring Semester 2018, the Environmental Law Clinic took on an important project supporting community members on Molokaʻi who are grappling with how to protect their fresh water resources, and the traditional and customary Native Hawaiian practices dependent upon them, all of which will be impacted by the impending sale of 55,575 acres of the last Hawaiian island. To deepen our knowledge of Molokaʻi’s precious water resources, clinicians have been working closely with community members to get a better sense of how water issues have evolved over the years and the existing state of surface and ground water systems and resources. Read more.


Ka Huli Ao Events – Spring 2018


On April 5, Ka Huli Ao presented the last Maoli Thursday of the Spring 2018 semester. International Jurist in Residence Justice Joe Williams of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand spoke passionately about the successes and challenges of the Waitangi Tribunal process. The Waitangi Tribunal, established by the Waitangi Tribunal Act of 1975, is a permanent commission that researches, hears, and makes recommendations on claims brought by Māori relating to Crown actions that breach the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi. Justice Williams is a former Deputy Chairperson and Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal. Prof. Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie moderated. Read more.



What’s New at Ka Huli Ao?


Congratulations to D. Kapuaʻala Sproat, who is the new Director of Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, and to Susan Serrano, who is the new Associate Director!  Welcome to Post-J.D. Legal Fellow Sean Aronson, who is working on the Resilient Hawaiian Communities Initiative. For more on the initiative, see The Resilient Hawaiian Communities Initiative: Building Capacity in Two Native Hawaiian Communities in this issue. Congratulations to Post-J.D. Research and Teaching Fellow Mahina Tuteur, who was recently reappointed to the Environmental Council.

In April, the Law School welcomed International Jurist-in-Residence Justice Joe Williams of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand for a week-long visit. He spoke at Ka Huli Ao’s Maoli Thursday on April 5. For more on this Maoli Thursday and other events, see Ka Huli Ao Events, in this issue. Read more.