Native Hawaiian Law Training

Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law hosted its 15th Native Hawaiian Law Training over Zoom. With over 150 participants, the training focused on the trust obligations and duties of state and county decisionmakers regarding Native Hawaiian natural and cultural resources, including the public land trust, traditional and customary rights, water and the public trust doctrine, and laws relating to iwi kūpuna (Native Hawaiian burials). Courses were taught by Professor Davianna McGregor, Professor Emerita Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie, Professor David Forman, Professor Kapua Sproat, and Natasha Baldauf.

The theme for this training was I Kuleana Like ai Kākou: Collective Responsibility. The theme acknowledged individual responsibilities in our respective jobs, but also underscored the kuleana we all share to this place and its people. The theme also fit into Ka Huli Ao’s larger goal of pursuing the path of enlightenment through justice.

Over the course of two days, participants heard from opening speakers, U.S. Representative Kaialiʻi Kahele and Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s Manager, Ernie Lau. On day two, participants also enjoyed a panel entitled I Kua Naʻu—Engaging and Empowering Communities through Decisionmaking with Elena Bryant, Associate Attorney at Earthjustice; Tyler Gomes, Deputy to the Chairman at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; and Hōkūao Pellegrino, mahiʻai and President of Hui o Nā Wai ʻEhā.

One participant shared: “I heard great things about this course before taking it so even though I already expected this training to be great, it still exceeded what I thought it would be. This information was so valuable and from a public servants perspective, empowering to learn the greater purpose we have to instill Native Hawaiian practice and law in our decisions, even as ‘street-level’ employees. Mahalo!”

Mahalo to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for their support of this training as well as all those who made this training a success!