Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ka Huli Ao Archival Project

Keith Johnston, a 2008 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law is one of the Post-Juris Doctor Fellows at Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law. Keith's work as a Fellow is to develop the Center's digital archive.

In our November 7, 2008, blog entry, we briefly mentioned our efforts to make Hawaiian Kingdom era archived documents more accessible. After experiencing a brief delay, I'm happy to announce that Ka Huli Ao is making progress in regards to this particular project.

Two first-year law students, Troy Andrade and Maxwell Kaanohi Kopper have begun the transcription process starting with handwritten Hawaiian Kingdom documents from the year 1841. We expect our transcription efforts to be a long and enduring process that shows great promise for making rare documents more easily accessible. Ka Huli Ao expects to increase the number of law students working on this project over the next semester and following semesters. Other students have previously expressed enthusiasm towards the idea of having access to these old documents and contributing to the effort of making them more accessible.

The transcription process is no easy task. As can be expected, there are no Hawaiian diacritical marks. In addition, transcribing copies of the original documents can be challenging at times, but definitely not impossible. We believe that by the end of this calendar year, which is soon, we will have a number of archived documents transcribed, because of the work of Troy, Maxwell, and Keith. At this time, we do not know exactly when these documents will be availble for viewing. But we'll be sure to keep people updated through this blog.

If this is your first time visiting our blog, and want to be kept updated, please be sure to subscribe to our blog by going to the area right above our organization logo on the upper-right side of this screen. By subscribing to our blog, we can be sure to keep you updated on the latest information regarding our archive transcription efforts and other information on Ka Huli Ao.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Two recent deaths

Although it might appear on this blog that our focus is often more on occurrences on O'ahu, I actually try to keep on top of things by reading other neighbor island based newspapers online.

Today for instance, I'm writing briefly about an article published on The Maui News website. The article, "Kalaupapa leader Richard Marks dies."

The article highlights many of Marks' accomplishments. Marks was also a Hansens' disease (leprosy) patient who was sent to Kalaupapa because of his condition. Richard was a strong advocate in the effort to make Kalaupapa leprosy settlement a National Historic Park and he worked with the late Patsy Mink, to have Kalaupapa settlement managed by the National Park Service.

Marks' activism is inspiring. The article provides, "Gloria Marks recalled that her husband boldly proclaimed, 'I am a leper,' in a controversial 1968 magazine article, and went on to talk about the injustice of continuing to isolate patients. The Department of Health threatened to sue him over the interview, she said, but a year later the Legislature repealed the state's 104-year-old quarantine policy.

'He was the one who opened up the door,' she said.

In 1996, he was recognized by the Damien-Dutton Society for Leprosy Aid for his efforts to educate people about the disease and about the history of Kalaupapa.

'They have all the worst ideas about leprosy being such a contagious disease, which is plain nonsense,' he said in a subsequent interview with The Associated Press. 'Over 1,100 people have come here to work since Father Damien and Father Damien was the only one who got the disease.'

Last week, I met an attorney at a downtown event. Upon learning that he was an attorney that represented a few labor unions in Hawai'i, he immediately said, "No labor unions, no middle class."

I was surprised to find out last night that long time labor activist, Ah Quon McElrath passed away. I was surprised because earlier this week, I noticed that she was on the cover of the current Midweek magazine which also has an article on this incredible icon. Today, the story can be found on the front page of the Honolulu Advertiser website. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, in their story, appropriately refers to Ah Quon as a "stalwart champion"

I remember the first time I heard of and saw Ah Quon McElrath. I was a second year law student at the time, the fall of 2005. Cathy Lowenberg, a speaker at the same event, then was a first year law student who helped to organize a presentation at the UH campus on social activism. Cathy spoke on labor issues. Other speakers included 2005 William S. Richardson School of Law graduate Beau Bassett and then visiting professor of law from the Georgetown University Law Center, Mari Matsuda.

I didn't immediately realize back at that event in 2005 that Ah Quon was then 89 years old. Her liveliness and continuous advocacy against injustice was mis-leading in terms of her age.

I'd like to post what a few people have said about her so far online,

At the Pacific Business News website, Patty Keaweamahi wrote,
Ah Quon was truly salt of the earth quality and will surely be missed. She was such a strong influence to all of us who got to know her, and had such a strong will, made of iron. She utilized her wisdom and strength to stand up against all the injustices committed against any human being, especially women. It was truly an honor to know this remarkable woman. She has left such an indelible mark on my life.

Governor Linda Lingle, as reported by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, said,
She was "the voice of working men and women in Hawaii and across the country. The people of our state owe her a debt of gratitude for her tireless efforts to improve the lives of Hawaii's residents."

Also in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii state Representative, Marcus Oshiro is quoted as saying, "Although we look at her as being maybe the matriarch of the union movement in Hawaii, she had a bigger constituency, she served the larger community. She used her life's energies and talents for the common good. She was a role model for women, the disenfranchised, the underdogs, the have-nots."

Both Richard Marks and Ah Quon McElrath will be sorely missed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bankruptcy and ancient Native Hawaiian Burials Part 2

In a previous blog entry, I wrote about General Growth Properties under the heading of "Bankruptcy and ancient Native Hawaiian Burials."

The Thursday, December 11, 2008 edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, there is an article that revisits General Growth Properties ("GGP"), its financial troubles, and the Ward Center area that it was in the process of developing.

The article reports that GGP is now trying to sell the Ward Center property to "stave off bankruptcy." According to the article, the ability to sell the property to a willing buyer unlikely for GGP. Considering the current economy, it may be difficult for a buyer to purchase the rather large property and that financing generally isn't available for this type of purchase.

This very same area generated concern among members of the Native Hawaiian community because of the rather high number of ancient burials that were found there. No mention of the burials was made in this recent article or the previous article. Might there have been a settlement between GGP and the parties who fought to protect the burials? I do not recall reading anything in the news about a settlement, so if someone knows, it'll be interesting to find out.

If there is a purchase of this land, it is unclear what impact that purchase (or subsequent action taken on the land) might have on the burials. The disturbed burials and other events brought criticism to the State Historic Preservation Division. Since then, there has been changes.

I can't help but wonder though, if there was a settlement (between GGP and the party that fought to preserve the burials), how might that settlement affect what a different developer can or can't do with the property?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One of the many good things about Native American Moot Court

I previously posted here about the school's Native American Moot Court team. Over the years, they have shown to be a strongly competitive and successful team.

Yesterday, I read on indianz.com that the author of last year's moot court problem, Professor Kevin Gover, is reportedly on the short list of candidates for the position of Secretary of the Interior under the Obama administration. Kevin Gover is a former professor of law at Arizona State University and since December of last year has been the current director of the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of the American Indian.

Politico.com also has an article about Gover as potential Secretary of the Interior as well. Politico emphasizes that a number of "environmental groups are pushing Gover for the post." In pushing for this, politico.com explains, "A source close to the President-elect Barack Obama’s transition says several environmental groups have contacted environmental transition head Carol Browner, urging her to consider Gover for the top Interior Department post."

Previously there were three top candidates being considered. Gover is one out of two names now supposedly being considered.

Politico.com points out however, that "Traditionally, the interior secretary has been a Westerner." I'm not sure how much of a role tradition is playing in President-elect Obama's decision for cabinet members. Already, Barack Obama is being recognized for his diverse choices in choosing his cabinet.

Members of last year's moot court team were surprised to find out today that the author of the problem they worked hard on last year might be considered for the position of Secretary of the Interior. Last year, the team competed at Arizona State University and demonstrated their strong grasp of the issues of the problem and their ability to parry questions from competition judges. They also showed their innovative-ness in developing arguments that could not were not refuted at the competition.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Aloha Monday

Today's Honolulu Advertiser reports on the chances of the Akaka Bill being passed in the upcoming session of Congress and under the Barack Obama administration. Barack Obama has expressed strong support for the Native people of the United States. A good number of Native American law students, attorneys and tribal leaders campaigned for Obama also. Obama has also expressed support for the federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. The Advertiser article wrote, "'This is an important bill, and if it is not signed into law this year, I commit to supporting it as president,' Obama said back in January when he was campaigning. As a senator, Obama voted in 2006 to bring the bill up for a debate and vote."

The article also provides the opinions of a number of people.
  • "I am optimistic about working with President-elect Obama, who supports federal recognition and understands Hawai'i's unique history," Akaka said.
  • "I think some of the barriers that have been put up in the Senate can be overcome this time," Abercrombie said.
  • "I think that climate of opinion is such right now that this is the kind of bill that would go through," Toni-Michelle Travis said.
One thing I appreciated about this article was the description of the Akaka Bill, "The bill creates a process for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government, including development of a roll of Native Hawaiians and election of an interim governing council."

Often times, the Bill is mis-understood as providing federal recognition itself. The Bill actually provides a process.

The Akaka Bill is interesting because it has received mixed-reviews from the Native Hawaiian community. There are very vocal opponents from both the Native Hawaiian community and the non-Native Hawaiian community who oppose the Akaka Bill for very different reasons. But, according to five former law students (all 2008 William S. Richardson graduates) federal indian law, the context for which the Akaka Bill is written, is "one of the most complex, and often confusing, ares of the law for practitioners, policymakers, students and professors. The law comprises thousands of overlapping statutes, treaties, executive ordrs, court precedents and administration regulations."

Last year, (9/4/2007) five law students who were also the returning members of the award winning Native American Moot Court team wrote a commentary for the Honolulu Advertiser titled, "Too Early to Determine Akaka Bill Impact" (click here to read article).

In February of this year (2008), these same five students captured the top awards at the annual National Native American Law Students Association's annual moot court competiton; First Place Best Legal Brief, First Place Best Oralist, Third Place Best Advocate and Second Place Best Advocate. In 2007, two of the five students won First Place in the Best Advocates category (formerly known as Best Overall) and one of those two won Second Place Best Oralist. One might assume that these students have developed a good understanding of this field of law.

These students, left-to-right are: Derek Kauanoe, Greg Kimo Schlais, Moanikeala Crowell, Anosh Yaqoob, and Scott E. Hovey.

There are very few people in Hawai'i who are substantially familiar with federal Indian law. The only law school in Hawai'i first included Federal Indian Law as a 3-credit law school course in the fall of 2005. We are currently experiencing our fourth semester of having the class. In addition to the class, participation with this particular moot court competition provides law students with an opportunity to develop their understanding of federal Indian law.

With these opportunities the students were able to study and examine federal Indian law objectively. Probably due to word count limitations, a small part of their understanding of federal Indian law is demonstrated in the article.

Late Friday night/early Saturday morning, the Honolulu Advertiser reported on what it described as the Lingle Administration's "new tack" in the ceded-lands dispute.

The so-called "new tack" is defined at the beginning of the article, "The Lingle administration will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court that Native Hawaiians do not have an ownership claim to land that belonged to the Hawaiian government prior to its overthrow in 1893."

This is an interesting position to take from an administration that has previously supported the Native Hawaiian community. We will see how things develop.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Catching up

Aloha mai kākou,

Last week, November 23-29, was not only a short week, but a very busy week, thus no blog posts.

But now, things are beginning to get back on track and its time to start providing more updates. We'll begin first with some newer updates, then try to back track. In summary, there are five main topics discussed in this post:
  • Young Native Hawaiian chosen as newest trustee to Lunalilo Trust
  • The Office of Hawaiian Affairs chooses its leadership
  • Kamehameha Schools is in the news again
  • Hawai‘i courts lack jurisdiction over Native Hawaiians?
  • Governor Lingle's News Conference

Young Native Hawaiian Chosen As Newest Trustee to Lunalilo Trust

Kamani Kualaau, a 29-year old Kamehameha Schools alum, has recently been named as a Trustee to the King William Charles Lunalilo Trust. This trustee appointment was approved by Judge Colleen Hirai.

Kamani Kualaau was known for his support of Kamehameha Schools' President, Dr. Michael Chun in 1997 during the time when Chun's authority at the school was being challenged by a trustee.

Stanley Hong, chairman of the Lunalilo Trust, described Kamani as, "very young but bright and mature, very experienced for such a short working career. The trust will benefit from his experience in the financial field."

Kamani Kualaau went against 41 other applicants for the position of trustee.

For more information on this story, read the Star-Bulletin article here.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees Elect Leadership

Photo from www.oha.org

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' website reports that the OHA Board of Trustees has re-elected Trustee Haunani Apoliona as Board Chairperson.

Former Hawai'i Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge and current OHA Trustee was voted as Vice-Chairman.

Trustee Oswald Stender is the Chairman of the Committee on Asset and Resource Management. Robert Lindsey is the vice chairman.

Trustee Colette Machado is the Chairperson of the Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment. Retired Maui circuit judge and current OHA Trustee Boyd Mossman is vice chairman.

Kamehameha Schools in the News ... Again?

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has a great article on Kamehameha Schools and it is not about any legal attacks on the Trust this time.

Instead, the focus of the article is service learning education and how service learning is benefiting the Native Hawaiian community. The article briefly describes some of the service projects done in different areas including: Haena, Hilo, Keaukaha, Molokai, Pohoiki Beach Park, Puna, and Waipio.

The Star-Bulletin quotes Kamehameha Schools senior Kaideen Kelly as saying, "I feel that I am doing something for a greater cause than just myself, and that's one of the best rewards of this high school."
Photo from www.starbulletin.com

Lack of Jurisdiction Argument Made in Court?

Both the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin report on the conviction and sentencing of Rita Makekau for abuse to her nieces and nephews. The description of the child abuse that Rita Makekau pleaded no contest to is heinous and no person should have to endure that type of treatment.

The articles from the two Honolulu daily newspapers bring up an interesting legal issue that can go easily un-noticed because of the descriptions of the horrible acts that Makekau has been sentenced for. In this blog-post we will explore that legal issue, BUT, we want to make sure that readers do not mis-interpret our exploration of this particular legal issue as supporting Rita Makekau's actions of child abuse.

Rita Makekau "plans to appeal her conviction on the grounds that as a Native Hawaiian, she is outside the jurisdiction of state courts" according to the Honolulu Advertiser article. The Star-Bulletin reports that, Judge Crandall "allowed Makekau to remain free pending the filing of her appeal in which she will argue that state laws do not apply to her." Basically, Makekau plans to argue that the State of Hawai'i judicial system lacks jurisdiction over her.

Since around 1992-94, there have been a few people who attempted to argue that state and federal courts lack jurisdiction over certain individuals, usually a Native Hawaiian or a descendant of a Hawaiian Kingdom citizen. One of the earliest cases where a Native Hawaiian mentioned that a court lacked jurisdiction because of ancestry to either a Native Hawaiian or a Hawaiian Kingdom citizen, was United States v. Dianne Hoapili, 981 F.2d 1260 (9th Cir. 1992). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals however, did not address the issue of jurisdiction in that case and instead ordered a new trial while also questioning the competency of the defendant Diane Hoapili.

Shortly after the Hoapili case came United States v. Windyceslau Lorenzo, 995 F.2d 1448 (9th Cir. 1993). This particular case involved two defendants, Nathan Brown and Windyceslau Lorenzo. The defendants argued, that because they were Hawaiian nationals, the federal district court had no jurisdiction over the case. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and basically said that both Brown and Lorenzo did not present any “evidence that the Sovereign Kingdom of Hawai‘i is currently recognized by the federal government or that they have received any immunity arising from the existence of the Kingdom.”

In 1994, the Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals heard, State of Hawai‘i v. Anthony Lorenzo, 883 P.2d 641 (Haw. Ct. App. 1994). In that case, Lorenzo argued,

[T]he Kingdom of Hawaii (Kingdom) . . . was recognized as an independent sovereign nation by the United States . . . [that] the Kingdom was illegally overthrown . . . with the assistance of the United States; the Kingdom still exists as a sovereign nation; he is a citizen of the Kingdom; therefore, the courts of the State of Hawai‘i have no jurisdiction over him.

Judge Walter Heen (now retired and currently serving as a trustee to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs) wrote the court's opinion. Heen's opinion is the first judicial opinion, that thoroughly examined the legal issue and has been cited to by subsequent courts for the same legal argument of lack of jurisdiction that was used in other cases. Other such cases include:
  • State of Hawai‘i v. French, 883 P.2d 644 (Haw. Ct. App. 1994)
  • Nishitani v. Baker, 921 P.2d 1182 (Haw. Ct. App. 1996)
  • State of Hawai‘i v. Sherman, 95 Haw. 243 No. 22764 (Haw. Ct. App. 2000)
  • United States v. Goo
  • State of Hawai‘i v. Araujo
  • State of Hawai‘i v. Keliikoa
  • State of Hawai‘i v. Fergestrom, 101 P.3d 652, 664 (Haw. Ct. App 2004)
  • State of Hawai‘i v. Spinney
What may be important to realize, for purposes of context, is that in November of 1993, the 103rd Congress of the United States passed Public Law 103-150 apologizing for the role the United States played in the "overthrow" of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This apology resolution was not available to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the case involve Dianne Hoapili. More than likely, the Apology Resolution was not available to the court when Nathan Brown and Windyceslau Lorenzo challenged the federal court's jurisdiction.

Judge Walter Heen appears to have been on the first court that had an opportunity to examine the legal defense of "lack of jurisdiction" based on Hawaiian sovereignty or because some asserted that they were Native Hawaiian (or descendants of Hawaiian Kingdom citizens/subjects,) after the passage of the Apology Resolution. The Apology Resolution, among other things, recognized that "the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum."

It will undoubtedly be interesting to see how Rita Makekau handles her appeal in light of the line of cases that have dealt with the same legal defense of "lack of jurisdiction" based on a person being either a Native Hawaiian, a citizen of the Hawaiian Kingdom, or a descendant of a citizen to the Hawaiian Kingdom. No defendant (criminal or civil) has won their case using the same defense.

Governor Linda Lingle Expresses Intent to Proceed With U.S. Supreme Court Review

On November 24, 2008, Governor Lingle held a news conference where she discussed the ceded lands case now pending at the Supreme Court of The United States. You can watch the press conference by clicking here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hawai'i's growing influence in Washington?

I got this article through Scott Crawford's blog. Scott Crawford was, I believe perhaps the first blogger on Native Hawaiian issues. At any rate, Scott's blog brought me to an article published in "The Hill." The Hill is a newspaper that covers the United States Congress. Anyway, The Hill's article is titled, "Hawaii stands ready to become the Big Kahuna in Washington."

Key points from the article include:
- Senator Inouye will be in a powerful position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,
- Senators Abercrombie and Akaka will have "clout" due to their seniority, and
- Barack Obama, born in Hawai'i and who "reflects the pacific islands' multicultural ethos," is the next President.

The article speculates that as a result of the points described above, what may result is:
- the federal government footing a portion of the estimated $5 billion cost for an elevated rail project,
- the Akaka Bill, which provides a process for Hawaiians to attain federal recognition, will pass,
- money to "boost the state's year-round tourism industry,
- relieve high oil prices, and
- an increase in the "amount of money from Washington that" Hawai'i's congressional delegation usually gets.

It is undoubtedly an interesting article to read and if you're from Hawai'i, perhaps a hopeful article.

Community Outreach and a Law Student's commentary

Sorry for missing a posting yesterday Thursday. But we shared some great news on the Wednesday posting. Thursday was a very VERY busy day especially coming after Wednesday.

On Wednesday, November 19, 2008, Community Outreach Fellow, Derek Kauanoe was at Kailua High School for its Career Day Fair held in Kailua High School's gymnasium. At a later date, but not too far into the future, we'll be posting some video footage of the outreach effort. Hopefully within the next couple of days and with a thorough description of the day's events.

Third year law student, Evan Silberstein, a student at the William S. Richardson School of Law had his commentary printed in today's Honolulu Advertiser.

In his commentary, Evan mentions this blog site as the source of video footage of a "post-election discussion." Because Mr. Silberstein cited to this blog site for the video footage, I'll make it easier for people to find that footage by embedding it below.

Ken Conklin provides a critique of Evan's commentary. To read it, you'll need to scroll down past the commentary.

Streaming Video by Ustream.TV

Live Broadcast by Ustream.TV

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

$100,000 goes to Hawai'i Law School and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Army reach a resolution?

According to a Pacific Business News article, the law firm of Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher will donate $100,000 to the William S. Richardson School of Law for scholarships and the school's moot court program. The article describes the moot court program as nationally-recognized. Mahalo to the law firm for its generosity.

The William S. Richardson School of Law has a variety of moot court teams. Such teams include: Client Counseling team, Criminal Law Moot Court Team, Environmental Law Moot Court Team, Hispanic Moot Court Team, Intellectual Moot Court Team, International Environmental Law Moot Court Team, Jessup International Law Moot Court Team, and the Native American Moot Court Team. Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law is closely affiliated with the Native American Moot Court Team on campus. Because of this affiliation, we would like to take the time to describe the Native American Moot Court Team. The Native American Moot Court Team has a consistent record of success in its participation at the National Native American Law Students Association's annual moot court competition. In 16 years of the competition's existence, the William S. Richardson School of Law captured First Place in the Best Overall/Best Advocates category four times. That's a total of 1/4 of the First Place Award in that category. Additionally, the team has won awards in the other two categories, Best Brief and Best Oralist for a total of 19 awards.

You can read the team's online magazine available at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~nalsa/magazine.html

Here is a short video of the team with highlights from the 2007-08 year and competition.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs issued a News Release, that, in part provides, "By agreement, OHA representatives, together with a neutral archaeologist and accompanied by Army representatives, will survey certain Army training areas. Through these and past surveys, OHA and Army representatives aim to ensure the appropriate identification and treatment of cultural and historic resources located in Lihu‘e, the traditional name for the Schofield Barracks region, and other parts of Hawai‘i."

The Honolulu Advertiser also has an article on the topic. The article identifies OHA's concern in noting,

"On July 22, 2006, an unexploded-ordnance removal crew bulldozed across a buffer protecting Hale'au'au heiau at Schofield, according to cultural monitors hired by the Army.

OHA also said there were other incidents involving displacement and damage of petroglyphs, the filling of a streambed known to contain Native Hawaiian sites and the construction of a road over burial grounds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hawaiian Sovereignty movement, mortgage relief, and fraud all wrapped up in one?

In previous posts, I've included in the title words/terms to describe independent and separate events or happenings. Today however, all three terms (Hawaiian Sovereignty movement, mortgage relief, and fraud) in the title are, strangely, part of one story.

The Honolulu Advertiser reported that Native Hawaiian families facing foreclosure on their homes were targeted by scammers and lured by the promise of receiving a $1 million to pay mortgage payments. The scammers charged people between $2,500 and $10,000 to attend seminars on how to avoid foreclosure.

According to the article scammers claim "to be affiliated with Native Hawaiian sovereignty movements" and tell seminar attendees that "a $1 million "Royal Hawaiian Treasury Bond" will be sent to the homeowners' bank with a letter explaining that it will cover the outstanding balance of the mortgage."

Nothing in the article suggests that any sovereignty activists are involved in the scam. The article does however suggest that perhaps scammers have used the sovereignty movement in their elaborate scheme to commit fraud on Native Hawaiian families facing foreclosure. Fraud victims are believed to have been bilked about $300,000 so far.

Second year law student, Davis Price and two Richardson alumni, Jocelyn M. Doane and Derek Kauanoe will be joining Brickwood Galuteria and Kimo Kahoano today on Nā ‘Ōiwi ‘Ōlino radio show from 8am until 9am. Live-streaming audio of the radio show is available by clicking here. Unfortunately, that link may not work on all browsers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mark Bennett's 11/13/08 comments and the Kupu'aina Coalition

Hawai'i Public Radio has an audio clip of comments made by Hawai'i Attorney General Mark Bennett. Hawai'i Public Radio briefly describes those comments as providing that the Akaka bill will become law soon.

Below is a transcribed version of those comments.

With the now coming into power of President-elect Barack Obama, I think it is virtually certain that the Akaka bill will become law in 2009, that a native Hawaiian governing entity will be recognized and will assume eventually the same legal status as other subsidiary sovereigns like Indian tribes and Native Alaskans. There is no justifiable policy reason, in our view, to treat Native Hawaiians as second class. Native Hawaiians were dispossessed of their land. They were treated unfairly, promises were made and broken in a moral sense and Native Hawaiians ought to have the right to form their own government to exercise limited autonomy and self-government in the same way every other native group in America has the right to.

I realize that opinions on the Akaka Bill vary throughout the Hawaiian islands and within the Native Hawaiian community. I mention these comments here, because, within the context of the State of Hawai'i's decision to have the Supreme Court of The United States review the Hawai'i Supreme Court's ruling in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs v. Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawai'i, these statements provide for some very interesting discussions.

On Friday November 14, 2008, an organization referred to as the "Kupu'āna Coalition" began circulating notices. There were a total of two the first is an "action alert" and the other is a "fact sheet." I'm pasting those notices below in case you have not yet received a notice. It will undoubtedly be interesting to see how things go.

Action Alert:
Friday, November 14, 2008

*Derek Kauanoe: 489-5316
*Davis Kahōkū Price: daprice@hawaii.edu
*Jocelyn M. Doane: kupuaina@gmail.com
*www.kupuaina.com, www.stopsellingcededlands.com

JOIN us at a Rally Calling on Governor Lingle to
WITHDRAW the Unnecessary Appeal of the Ceded
Lands Case to the U.S. Supreme Court

WHAT: In Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the 1993 Apology Resolution – Native Hawaiians Rally and Call on Lingle to Withdraw the Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court.

WHEN: Monday, November 24th at 11:30 AM

State Capitol Rotunda

WHO: You, your ‘ohana, and friends in RED shirts.

- Inform the public of the magnitude of this case and the THREAT IT POSES TO NATIVE HAWAIIAN JUSTICE/RIGHTS.

- This could prove to be the MOST DAMAGING case on Hawaiian Rights EVER. An adverse ruling could cripple reconciliation efforts, severely diminish Native Hawaiian rights, and lay the foundation for dismantling Native Hawaiian programs.

- This is a NON-DIVISIVE issue – a U.S. Supreme Court decision has negative implications for our entire community and EVERY Hawaiian.

- The U.S. Supreme Court could misinterpret and reduce the significance of the Apology Resolution, which recognizes the illegality of the overthrow and supports Native Hawaiian rights.

- The U.S. Supreme Court has the potential to adversely impact the way the people of Hawai‘i deal with issues on a local level. Unlike the State Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court does not know Hawai‘i’s history and will not be affected by the resolution of local issues.

- Governor Lingle’s action is wholly inconsistent with her previous support of Native Hawaiians. She must be urged to WITHDRAW this appeal IMMEDIATELY!

Fact Sheet:
Friday, November 14, 2008

*Derek Kauanoe: 489-5316
*Davis Kahōkū Price: daprice@hawaii.edu
*Jocelyn M. Doane: kupuaina@gmail.com
*www.kupuaina.com, www.stopsellingcededlands.com

State v. OHA (Ceded Lands Case)

Historical Background of Ceded Lands
- Ceded Lands are former Crown and Government lands held by the Kingdom of Hawai'i for the purpose of benefiting the people of Hawai'i.

- In 1898, approximately 1.8 million acres were “ceded” (transferred) to the United States. At this time, the U.S. implicitly recognized the trust nature of these lands.

- The 1959 Admission Act recognized the State‟s obligation to administer the ceded lands for one or more of five trust purposes, including the betterment of conditions of Native Hawaiians.

- In 1978 the people of Hawai'i amended the Hawai'i Constitution and clarified that the State has a trust responsibility to Native Hawaiians.

Hawai‘i Supreme Court Decision

- On January 31, 2008, the Hawai„i Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, held that the State has a responsibility to preserve ceded lands, until unrelinquished claims of Native Hawaiians are resolved. The Court placed a moratorium on the sale of ceded lands only until these claims are resolved.

- Our State Supreme Court based its determination on the state's obligation to act as a trustee of ceded lands on behalf of Hawaiian beneficiaries, and state and federal acknowledgment of unrelinquished claims.

- In support of its holding the court referred to language from the 1993 Apology Resolution, as well as state laws that recognize the illegality of the overthrow, the transfer of lands without compensation, and Hawaiians unrelinquished claims to ceded lands.

- Governor Lingle and State Attorney General Bennett subsequently asked the United States Supreme Court to review the State Court's decision. The Supreme Court will hear the case and is expected to issue a decision in Spring 2009.

An adverse ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court could cripple reconciliation efforts, severely diminish NATIVE HAWAIIAN RIGHTS, and lead to the dismantling of Native Hawaiian programs. Native Hawaiian issues affect our entire community and it is important that individual Native Hawaiians, Native Hawaiian organizations, and the broader Hawai'i community support a request for withdrawal.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ceded Lands case commentary

Today, the Honolulu Advertiser printed a commentary in its editorial section and titled it, "Resolve claims before selling ceded lands: It's a matter of simple justice and fairness for Native Hawaiians."  

Very little attention has been given to the ceded lands case since the Supreme Court of the United States chose to review the case (October 1) presented to the Court by the Lingle Administration earlier this year.  Now that the U.S. Presidential election is over, we may start to see more coverage on this issue.  If not within the next month, I'd be surprised if we don't begin to see more coverage by the new year.  Oral arguments at the Supreme Court on this ceded lands case are anticipated sometime in February or possibly March of 2009.  

It's a regular practice for newspapers to edit submissions to their editorial-opinion pages.  Editing is very necessary because submissions could have mis-spellings, bad grammar, or could be completely un-organized making the submission difficult to read easily. Unfortunately, the editing process can sometimes inadvertently alter the authors intended message or perhaps change the intended emphasis. The commentary described above appears to not have been edited much, but I thought it might be useful to post the original submission to the Honolulu Advertiser to better capture the author's intended message before it was edited.  To the reader, it may, or may not, make much of a difference, but I see that there are certain things the author emphasized in the original.  The original submission is below.

A Matter of Simple Justice?

Five years ago, (February 25, 2003) the Honolulu Advertiser reported that Governor Lingle described Native Hawaiian federal recognition as being, "just about fairness, justice and treating all indigenous people in our country the same." The next day, Governor Lingle was also quoted as saying that federal recognition is a "matter of simple justice" when she testified before Congress in support of the Akaka bill.

Whether the state should be selling ceded lands, lands belonging to the Hawaiian Kingdom and eventually transferred to the State of Hawai'i, before reaching a settlement with Native Hawaiians, is also a matter of simple justice and fairness.

I recently explained the ceded lands situation to someone who did not quite understand the conflict between the Lingle administration's view that the state can sell ceded lands and our highest state court's landmark decision placing a moratorium on such sales. I asked this person to imagine that the two of us were married, but the marriage did not work out. As a result, we apologized to each other for the difficulty and hurt inflicted and agreed to get a divorce. In the process of getting a divorce I began selling personal property that she brought into the marriage in addition to selling the personal property we owned together, both before we established a complete inventory of the property and before a determination was made as to who would get what. I kept the money from those sales but she felt she had a claim to those property items sold. After realizing the unfairness of my actions, she sought the opinion of an independent third party to help us resolve our dispute. Much to my disappointment, the independent third party declared that it was not right for me to dispose of those items and any remaining items until the two of us resolved the issues of who would get which items. Fairness required that I discontinue selling those items.

Although a failed marriage may not be the absolute best analogy to describe the situation we are in regarding the ceded lands, the person I spoke with immediately understood that this ceded lands issue is indeed a matter of simple justice and fairness. Ceded lands, to which the state legislature and Congress have recognized that Native Hawaiians have a claim, should not be sold before those claims have been resolved.

Our highest court correctly acknowledged that selling lands, to which Native Hawaiians have a claim, results in the further loss of lands. By reducing those lands, Native Hawaiians will be disadvantaged in negotiating a settlement; Native Hawaiians will have less bargaining power. The court continued to explain that, preventing the state from selling lands until Native Hawaiian claims are resolved, "would help in leveling the playing field during the pendency of settlement negotiations and reconciliation." In other words, a moratorium on ceded land sales, until claims are resolved, provides for fairness in negotiations.

Native land claims and federal recognition are no strangers to each other. Indigenous groups in the continental United States have settled land claims with state and local governments, coinciding with their federal recognition process. Although it may be unintentional, it is nothing short of unusual that the Lingle administration would support Native Hawaiian federal recognition efforts (which may result in a settlement agreement regarding ceded lands) on the one hand, yet undermine those very same efforts by selling ceded lands with the other hand. In the interests of justice, a settlement should be reached before any ceded lands are sold.

Other comments made by Governor Lingle are equally awkward and confusing. The Advertiser, on February 25, 2003, also reported that our governor asked lawmakers "not to let the courts unravel decades of work in Congress to help Native Hawaiians through land, health, education and housing programs." Here however, the Lingle administration stands to unravel work, on the state and federal level by selling ceded lands to which Native Hawaiians have claims. Today, it is actually our state Supreme Court, that seeks to prevent the unraveling of "decades of work" to help Native Hawaiians.

Although these issues can often be confusing, it is clear that we as a community do justice a gross disservice if we allow ceded lands to be sold before resolving the issues and claims that arise from those lands.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kamehameha Schools and the Honolulu Academy of Arts

Today, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law co-hosted a meeting with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu, Kamehameha Schools, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts to share with law students an opportunity available to them to mentor children from Waimānalo Elementary-Intermediate School.

The program curriculum will focus on forming lasting relationships through the exploration of topics that promote justice and ethical responsibility, Hawaiian cultural activities, and community service. All activities are coupled with an art project and instruction that will enhance the experience and help to strengthen the bond between volunteers and mentees.

Here, Kristina from Big Brothers Big Sisters gives a power point presentation to law students describing what the program, involving law students and elementary-intermediate school students, will be like.

Christine and Maelani are seen here listening intently and preparing to describe Kamehameha Schools' role in the program.

Tyler, also from Big Brothers Big Sisters elaborates on the program and sharing how fun it is to work with keiki.

Vince from the Honolulu Academy of Arts shares with the law students the art projects that previous elementary-intermediate school students have done previously and also suggests what the young children might do with law students.


Law student mentors will meet with their young mentees in the spring of 2009 for a few hours each month. The program expects to provide a variety of activities that will foster a relationship between individual law students and elementary-intermediate school students.

By the end of today's meeting, a number of law students began filling-out applications to participate in the program and a few interviewed with Tyler.

Ka Huli Ao is confident that this program will inspire and encourage Waimānalo youth to consider pursuing higher education professional careers. Ka Huli Ao encourages other Richardson law school students to consider participating in this program. Interested students can send an e-mail to nhlawctr@hawaii.edu

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bankruptcy and ancient Native Hawaiian Burials

I recently wrote in a blog entry that I tend to provide links to the Honolulu Star Bulletin more frequently that the Honolulu Advertiser because after a while the Honolulu Advertiser limits access to their articles if it is older than 2 months which is different than how the Star Bulletin handles back issues. While doing a google search however, I found a relevant 1-year old article from the Advertiser that ties in nicely with this blog entry.

Both Pacific Business News and the Honolulu Star Bulletin report that General Growth Properties Inc. is having financial troubles. Pacific Business News provides that, "Last week, General Growth Properties reported a quarterly loss of $15.4 million, suspended its shareholder dividend and said it would halt plans for any new construction or development."
The Star Bulletin reported "General Growth, beset by falling funds from operations and plagued by a tightening global credit market that's making it difficult for companies to obtain financing, is trying to sell off properties and cut costs to weather the rocky economic climate."

General Growth Properties is relevant to burials because one of its development projects unearthed many ancient Native Hawaiian burials.

A May 2, 2007 Honolulu Advertiser article explained that more than 45 sets of ancient Native Hawaiian remains were found at the Ward-area project site; and the future home of a Whole-Foods store. Originally 11 sets of human remains were found. Then later, and supposedly to the "surprise" of General Growth, 36 more Native Hawaiian ancient remains were found in the same area. Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners expressed concern as to the culturally and spiritually insensitive treatment of these unearthed burials. Attorney Moses Haia is reported in the article as wanting the human remains stay in the place in which they were found.

Honolulu Magazine also has a 2007 article on the Ward burials issue also, titled Bones of Contention.  The article appears to be quite thorough and more lengthy that the previously cited Honolulu Advertiser article. Unlike the Honolulu Advertiser article, Honolulu Magazine is more critical. Honolulu Magazine reported that, under state law, SHPD is tasked with protecting vestiges of Hawaii’s past. Its staff is supposed to review proposed projects for potential harm to historic sites and burials. If a site could be affected, SHPD is supposed to require the developer to hire an archaeologist to survey the property before any construction begins and make sure the survey is done right. That way, the developer can redesign the project while it’s still being planned, as opposed to being built.

This never happened at the Ward Village Shops.

The articles are a year or more old and since the disturbance of those buried remains, construction has resumed. It's interesting now to see what will come of General Growth Properties given its current financial situation. Will the corporation have to discontinue its development efforts because of its inability to refinance? Will General Growth have to resort to selling its property at Ward? Neither article discusses the burials issue as it relates to General Growth so you may be reading it here first. This is definitely something to keep an out for. 

Below is a map of the area and the other a picture of the site.  The map comes from the Honolulu Advertiser and the photo comes from Honolulu Magazine

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And the Speaker stays . . .

Pacific Business News reports today that Representative Calvin Say maintains his position as Speaker of the House. The Star Bulletin previously reported that there were other Democratic Representatives who sought to challenge Say's leadership. What relevance does Calvin Say have to the Native Hawaiian community? Let's take a look at it.

The ceded lands case on appeal at the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) for some reason is not getting the attention it probably should. It's not clear exactly why. Rice v. Cayetano, from my recollection received a lot of attention. The only thing I remember reading about this ceded lands case so far is: the State's decision to appeal to SCOTUS (in April), SCOTUS's decision on October 1 to hear the case, and then two very brief editorials in both the Honolulu Advertiser (10/3/08) and the Honolulu Star Bulletin (10/6/08). Other than these pieces of information from the media, I don't recall anything else being reported much. In addition to not agreeing with the authors of the two editorials, I did not think the editorials demonstrated a thorough understanding of the case. I reached this conclusion because the Advertiser failed to realize in its editorial the impact the sale of ceded lands would have on fair negotiations, an issue our highest state court contemplated. Additionally, the Star Bulletin, in its editorial, only focused on Public Law 103-150 (federal law) when our State court actually examined and discussed at length, important State of Hawai'i law and applied that state law to the case.

The Hawai'i Supreme Court on January 31, 2008, ruled that the State could not sell ceded lands before resolving the "un-relinquished claims" of Native Hawaiians to ceded lands. In other words, the Hawai'i Supreme Court place a moratorium on the sale of ceded lands until claims have been resolved. Before this issue went to the court there was no legislative moratorium on ceded lands. Or was there?

Well, no there was no moratorium passed in the legislature. But there were two bills introduced into both the state Senate and the House of Representatives. According to the State Legislature website, in 2007 Representative Calvin Say, "BY REQUEST" introduced HB1197 that is described as, "prohibit[ing] the department of land and natural resources from selling, exchanging, or otherwise alienating lands contained in the public land trust without the consent of the board of trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs."

As Representative Calvin Say maintains his leadership over the State Of Hawai'i House of Representatives, it will be interesting to see what his position, as Speaker of the House, on the ceded lands case will be and if he will try to introduce similar legislation again that would place a moratorium on the sale of ceded lands until the unrelinquished claims of Native Hawaiians to those lands have been resolved.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Federal Money?

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has an editorial on the so-called "status" of Hawai'i. While it may not appear relevant to Native Hawaiian issues at first, it very well might be. The editorial focuses on one of the most senior Senators, Daniel Inouye, and his position as the chairman of the Appropriations Committee. The Senate Appropriations Committee has been described as the most powerful senate committee. Reviews of different news articles suggest that Senator Inouye is expected to bring more federal funding to Hawai'i, possibly to existing and new programs designed to benefit Native Hawaiians. Congressman Neil Abercrombie has previously also pointed out that having a Hawai'i-born President in office may also prove to be beneficial to Hawai'i.

You may be wondering if we have a bias towards the Honolulu Star-Bulletin over the Honolulu Advertiser. There really is no bias other than the mere fact that Honolulu Star-Bulletin doesn't make people purchase old articles and the Honolulu Advertiser does. If we were to regularly place links to the Honolulu Advertiser website, after about two months, those links would be dead links. By citing to the Star Bulletin, we don't expect those links to die anytime soon.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Archiving, Kahana Evictions, Ceded Lands case

Happy Aloha Friday,

So yesterday Ka Huli Ao had its first live-streaming event and we still have more updates not only about Ka Huli Ao but also more general news.


A number of Hawai'i residents often visit the State Archives for research. Unfortunately, the archives is only open Monday through Friday from 9am until 4pm. Ka Huli Ao has embarked on an effort to make archived documents more easily available. Ka Huli Ao Post-JD fellow Keith Johnston, a 2008 William S. Richardson School of Law graduate, with Professor Leina'ala Seeger are working on the effort to make Hawaiian Kingdom era documents more available to the public.


There are updates regarding Kahana. The Honolulu Star Bulletin reports in a headline that, "Kahana dispute goes to court, Legislature." The timing of the evictions have been criticized as being horrible. The United States is experience what has been described as the toughest economic times since the "Great Depression." Throughout the continental United States, home foreclosures have increased substantially, and as has been the case for a number of years, in Hawai'i the housing market is displacing Hawaii residents including the aboriginal portion of the islands' population. Both the Honolulu Star Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser have, over the past few years, reported on a number of stories on the increasing number of homeless people in our island home. Many observers are saying that, with these facts as a context, the worst time to evict any family is right now.

Senator Hanabusa, at Maoli Thursday suggested that the only fix to this Kahana issue is a legislative fix. If you click on the Part 2 video Senator Hanabusa explains how the State Legislature might fix the issue when the legislature reconvenes in January. Senator Hanabusa asks of Laura Theilan (Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources) that the people expect to know "why she needed to do this (evict the Kahana families)? Why now? What prompted her to do this?"

Going back to the Star Bulletin article, the "Families facing eviction from Kahana Valley filed a lawsuit against the state yesterday, asking a circuit judge to force the state to halt evictions because it is violating their rights. Hours after the suit was filed, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced it had stayed evictions of six families until the upcoming legislative session."


No real update as all parties are preparing briefs for the Supreme Court of the United States. However, Professor Melody MacKenzie, at Maoli Thursday, invited all that were in attendance to her Native Hawaiian Rights class on Monday at 3:25pm. Prof. MacKenzie will be hosting a guest speaker, William Meheula, an attorney representing Hawaiian individuals who oppose the sale of ceded lands before the un-relinquished rights of Native Hawaiians have been resolved . Mr. Meheula is expected to talk about the case.

It can be seen in the Part 2 video also that a question was asked that led to a discussion regarding the ceded lands case. Colin Kippen, who ran for Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee this year, was present at Maoli Thursday. Trustee Haunani Apoliona was also in attendance. At the start of Part 2, Colin Kippen asks a question about federal recognition and the need for its passage, but cautioned about the "watered-down" version of the originally proposed bill. Senator Hanabusa, while speaking to Mr. Kippen's concern, directed the discussion to the importance of the State of Hawai'i v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs case dealing with ceded lands now on appeal at the Supreme Court of the United States. In summary, Senator Hanabusa emphasized the importance of the community organizing and persuading Governor Lingle to withdraw the appeal. I highly recommend checking out the video clips from yesterday's Maoli Thursday to listen to the discussion.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post-Maoli Thursday

Beyond Election 2008: What's at Stake for Native Hawaiians was another great Ka Huli Ao event.

This was our first attempt at live-streaming an event. We experienced some glitches in the beginning and in the middle. Unfortunately, during the streaming the web browser crashed and we needed to re-start our computer. So, all in all, we missed the first few minutes in the live stream and then there was a break in the video. I wasn't sure if the questions from the audience were being picked up by the video camera's microphone, so I wrote those questions on the streaming video for viewers to read.

Despite these technical issues, I'd like to share a comment however, that was sent to us via e-mail,

The sound was excellent, the picture was relatively excellent, and the typing of the questions was very helpful, eventhough, I could here the questions being asked.

Overall, it was a very excellent and helpful tool to give access for those of us who couldnt physically be there in the room. Access to discussions like this is sorely lacking in our communities and this is one way you all have provided for that void. Although we have got Public Access Stations like Olelo, it always shows the discussions days, weeks, or even months later. This was right now and it let us get updated right now.

your reminders, even up to the minute, were essential for me, especially because I have 1000 things to do in a day. mahalo.

Amy Wiecking from the Law School office called us also and shared that she received positive comments about our live-stream also.

We have available here the two videos for readers to watch. Unfortunately I can't confirm that the quality of the video is as good as the live stream.

Beyond Election 2008 - Part 1

Beyond Election 2008 - Part 2
Free Webcam Chat at Ustream

We can be visited on Facebook (and Twitter) where you can stay updated with Ka Huli Ao.

We encourage all readers to check out our blog here daily for updates.

LIVE-STREAMING - Beyond Election 2008: What's at Stake for Native Hawaiians

Any and all comments, opinions, questions, etc., made by any person(s) on this live-streaming broadcast are not representative of the comments, opinions or questions of Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, the William S. Richardson School of Law, or the University of Hawai'i.

To watch the video, click on the "play" arrow on the screen below.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Maoli Thursday, Elections, Kahana, and Moot Court


Tomorrow, November, 6, we will be having our third Maoli Thursday event of the school year. This will be a special Maoli Thursday given the recent election results. For those unable to attend this month's Maoli Thursday, we will be live-streaming the event here on our blog.

The event is titled, "Beyond Election 2008: What's at stake for Native Hawaiians?"

We have two featured guests:
- Hawai'i State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa
- Esther Kia'aina, Land Asset Manager for Kamehameha Schools and Chief of Staff to Congressman Ed Case.

Our guests and audience will engage in a discussion on how elections at the county, state & federal levels will impact both our island communities and Native Hawaiians.

Barack Obama is the new President of the United States. In our local elections, it turns out that all the incumbent Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees will retain their seats; Robert Linsdey, Donald Cataluna, Colette Machado and Haunani Apoliona.

Billy Kenoi
, a Native Hawaiian and a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law is now the Mayor of Hawai'i County.


The Honolulu Advertiser is reporting that the six families in Kahana, that faced eviction, will not be evicted while the 2009 Hawai'i legislature considers how to deal with the issue.

We can expect to see some legislation specifically addressing Kahana.


The University of Colorado and Denver University Native American Law Students Association chapters released this year's moot court problem. It's available here

Hawai'i and Native Hawaiian law students might be particularly interested in this problem as the "record below" cites to Doe v. Kamehameha Schools case.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Elections

Tomorrow is elections day nationwide but in Hawai'i there are a few political seats up for election that directly impact the Native Hawaiian community.

According to information from a State of Hawai'i government website, there are four (4) Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee positions up for election. We've provided links to each named candidate (except for Donald Cataluna who is running un-opposed) for you to click on to learn more about each candidate.

OHA Trustee Island of Hawai'i:
1.) Lindsey, Bob
2.) Meyers, William

OHA Trustee Island of Kaua'i:
1.) Cataluna, Donald

OHA Trustee Island of Moloka'i:
1.) Machado, Colette
2.) Purdy, Waipa

OHA Trustee No Island Residency Required [At-Large]:

1.) Apoliona, Haunani
2.) Honda, Helene
3.) Kippen, Colin
4.) Nalua'i, Sol

For each individual race, there is an incumbent. After tomorrow we will see if there are any changes in trustees.

Ka Huli Ao's Facebook profile

Saturday, November 1, 2008

video test

Any and all comments, opinions, questions, etc., made by any person(s) on this video test or any other live-streaming broadcast are not representative of the comments, opinions or questions of Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, the William S. Richardson School of Law, or the University of Hawai'i.

Online TV Shows by Ustream

Beyond Election 2008: What's at Stake for Native Hawaiians

WHAT: Maoli Thursday November 6, 2008
WHERE: William S. Richardson School of Law - Classroom 3
WHEN: 12:45pm - 1:45 pm


e-mail: nhlawctr@hawaii.edu

BEYOND ELECTION 2008: What's at Stake for Native Hawaiians.

Join us as we welcome our guests, Senator Colleen Hanabusa the president of the Hawai'i State Senate and Esther Kiaaina, Land Asset Manager for Kamehameha Schools.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Hawaiian Home Lands Partnership

The Honolulu Advertiser is reporting that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, under the direction of Micah Kane, is entering into a partnership with Safeway and Target.

The Honolulu Advertiser article describes the agreement as helping Hawaiians as it will provide revenue to build affordable housing to Native Hawaiians. The agreement expects to generate $18 million over 25 years.

It may be interesting to see what the Native Hawaiian public response may be or if there is one at all.

Message from Kamehameha Schools CEO and Trustees

This message was sent earlier in the week but I just got it this morning.

Aloha mai kakou:

I am writing to let you know about an important development in Jacob Doe vs. Kamehameha Schools, the lawsuit filed this summer by four anonymous students (and their parents) challenging our admissions policy. In September, the plaintiffs, through their attorneys, filed a motion for protective order in U.S. District Court in Honolulu asking the court to allow them to proceed anonymously. We opposed the
motion. Today, U.S. Magistrate Barry Kurren denied the plaintiffs motion. Jacob, Janet, Karl and Lisa Doe have ten days to disclose their identities if they decide to pursue this case.

Judge Kurren's ruling was very thoughtful, and we appreciate his decision. We believe we have the right to face those who challenge our policy, and we will continue to stand our ground on that issue. Even as we assert our rights in court, we will behave in the pono way that Pauahi would have expected. We need to remember that the
plaintiffs are children and should be treated with care and sensitivity.

We intend to conduct discovery to establish that the plaintiffs do not, in fact, have standing to sue. Such discovery would be hampered if the plaintiffs remained anonymous. The plaintiffs' attorneys argued that disclosing their identifies would put their safety at risk. They attempted to support their argument with referrals to unrelated newspaper articles detailing physical and verbal attacks that are allegedly racially motivated and which have no connection to Kamehameha Schools or our case. They also referenced anonymous blog posts in newspaper forums linked to articles about our earlier lawsuit.

Judge Kurren's ruling states "none of the Plaintiffs' evidence shows any threat of physical violence or economic harm against the Plaintiffs." I know you know that we would never take any aciton that puts a child in danger. We would never engage in or condone any racial threats or actions, and we know none of you would either.

There will be some press on the hearing in the morning newspaper. If you know of anyone who intends to respond via chat lines, please encourage them to do so with sensitivity and care.

E malama pono,

The CEO and Trustees

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doctoral Dissertation Defense

We've received word that Ph.D. candidate David Keanu Sai will be defending his doctoral dissertation.  Click here to view his dissertation proposal.

Mr. Sai has lined-up an impressive panel of people to serve as members of his dissertation committee which includes the Dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law, Aviam Soifer.  

Thursday, November 6, 2008
8:00 - 10:00 am
Saunders 624 (Friedman room)

"The American Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom: Beginning the Transition from Occupied to Restored State"

by Keanu Sai
Political Science

On January 17th 2007, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawai`i) re-introduced a bill to grant tribal sovereignty to Native Hawaiians, similar to Native Americans. The difference, however, is that Native Hawaiians are citizens of an internationally recognized sovereign, but occupied State, whereas Native Americans are a dependent nation within the United States. Great Britain and France were the first to recognize Hawai`i's sovereignty on November 28, 1843, and the United States on July 6, 1844. This dissertation re-frames the legal status of Hawai`i by employing legal and political theories that explain Hawaiian modernity since the 19th century to the present. As an alternative view of U.S. sovereignty exercised by virtue of the plenary power of Congress over indigenous peoples, this dissertation challenges the historiography's assumptions about the history of law and politics in the Hawaiian Islands by providing an analysis of Hawaiian sovereignty under international law that clearly explicates Hawai`i's prolonged occupation by the United States since the Spanish American War. In terms of law, this study looks at the origin and development of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy, the events that led to the illegal overthrow of its government, the prolonged occupation of its territory, and recent actions taken by Hawaiian subjects in forming an acting government to expose the prolonged occupation in order to impel the United States to comply with the international laws of occupation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Kahana Update

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports as of 4:57 pm today that the "Kahana families may sue to stop eviction."

I received the below excerpt in e-mail from Keao Nesmith who grew up in Kaua'i but spent his summers in Kahana. Keao has 'ohana (family) that live in Kahana. Keao recommends reading the book, Kahana, How the Land Was Lost as it provides some insight into the history of Kahana.

Basically at the end of the 1800s, a group of Chinese had a consortium that sold the land to the Fosters. The Fosters turned Kahana into ranch land and they had plans to build a resort based on a southeast Asian theme of huts and gardens. That never happened though. The song Beautiful Kahana was written for the Foster family. I think the Fosters sold their Kahana land to another plantation which eventually sold to private families, some of them being my ohana. I still have ohana there but they are not among the ohana being evicted. My ohana had several acres of land in Kahana but the State confiscated it in the early 1970s through eminent domain to turn the valley into a State park. I go and work the lo'i up in Kahana valley almost every week and I take UHM students there every semester to work in the lo'i.

It really sucks that the State confiscated the land by eminent domain and forced these ohana into the situations their are in now. Actually the State evicted everyone back in the early 70s when they seized the whole valley to turn into a State park but the ohana protested at the State Capitol then and at hearings. As a result the State delayed any ruling on the Kahana issue until 1987 when the State created a lease with 32 families that were identified by QLCC as having long family histories in the valley. The 6 ohana who are being evicted were not included among the 32. You need to talk to Aunty Gwen, director at
QLCC Punaluu. She is there now and she was one of those QLCC surveyors who came up with the list of 32 ohana. She also has been helping out the ohana who are being evicted.

October 29, 2008 - Update regarding Native Hawaiian Legal Issues

On October 1, the Supreme Court of the United States granted cert to the State of Hawaii in its appeal from the State of Hawaii Supreme Court's ruling in Office of Hawaiian Affairs v. Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii case.

The State's Petition for Cert is available here.

Earlier this year it was made known that there would be an attempt to legally attack the admissions policy of Kamehameha Schools again.  The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that a lawsuit was filed in federal court identifying the plaintiffs as Doe plaintiffs on August 6.

Yesterday, October 28, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that Federal Magistrate Barry Kurren ruled that "the names of four children legally challenging Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy must be made public."

The local Hawai'i media has reported on evictions that will remove families from Kahana Valley; families that have ancestral ties to to the area.  

In its article, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin provided

Six families living in Ahupuaa o Kahana State Park on Oahu's Windward side are facing sudden eviction today because of confusion over their expired leases with the state.

The article continued with, 

In ancient Hawaii, Kahana was once a fishing and farming community, a segment of land from the mountain to the ocean known as an ahupuaa, according to DLNR's Web site.  The state bought the land in 1970 to preserve the ahupuaa.

Senator Clayton Hee described these evictions as unnecessary.

Friday, October 10, 2008

National Native American Law Students Association's moot court teams

This year's returning members of the William S. Richardson School of Law's Native American Moot Court team, Ann Otteman, Rafael Renteria, Chris Santos and Terrence Thornburgh welcomed eight new members to the team. The eight new members are: Lahela Hite, Joni Domingues, Chasid Sapolu, Scott Shishido, Jesse Smith, Ka'upenaikaika Soon, Uilisone Tua, and Kau'i Yamane.

This year's team will be competing in Boulder, Colorado at the University of Colorado February 27 and 28. The competition is sponsored by the National Native American Law Students Association and co-hosted by the Denver University and University of Colorado Native American Law Students Association chapters.