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.

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