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Hawai‘i Law Restricting Midwives Challenged in Court

Native Hawaiian midwives and others sue state to block law that prevents them from serving communities in traditional ways. Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation filed a case in the First Circuit Court of Hawai‘i challenging a new Midwifery Restriction Law that is preventing pregnant people in Hawai‘i from using skilled midwives for their pregnancies and births, as they have for generations. The Midwifery Restriction Law also endangers constitutionally protected Native Hawaiian traditional birthing practices. The nine plaintiffs include 3 midwives and 3 midwifery students who, under the Restriction Law, could now face criminalization for ...

February 27, 2024|Categories: Birthing, Traditional Practices|Tags: , |

The legacy of Clarabal v. the Department of Education

Six years ago this month, the first Hawaiian language rights case was heard by the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, Clarabal v. Department of Education. The oral argument was conducted in early February 2018, a month in which ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i is honored and celebrated.  At the heart of the case were two schoolchildren on Lāna‘i who were prohibited from communicating in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i in the classroom. The Hawai‘i Supreme Court was asked by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) to decide that the State had a constitutional duty to provide reasonable and equal access to a Hawaiian language medium education to these ...

February 23, 2024|Categories: Traditional Practices|Tags: |

Ask NHLC: I Ola Loa ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: Ma ka pūkaʻina Ka Wai Ola i hoʻopuka ʻia ma Iune 2019, hōʻike ʻia e ke Keʻena Equality and Access to the Courts o ka Māhele Hoʻokolokolo o ka Mokuʻāina ʻo Hawaiʻi, ke kākaʻikahi o nā māhele ʻōlelo ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ma nā ʻAha Kaʻapuni a pau o ka pae ʻāina. ʻŌlelo ʻia, he ʻeono wale nō māhele ʻōlelo i kū i ka hana māhele ʻōlelo ma nā ʻaha hoʻokolokolo; ʻekolu ma Hawaiʻi mokupuni, ʻelua ma Kauaʻi, hoʻokahi wale nō ma Maui, a ʻaʻohe mea ma Oʻahu. I kēia makahiki hoʻi, ua wehe ʻia ka papa māhele ʻōlelo ʻōlelo ...

February 6, 2024|Categories: Ask NHLC|Tags: |

NHLC Asks HI Supreme Court to Hold State Accountable to Trust Duties After Seizure of Hawaiian Home Lands Underlying Mauna Kea Access Road

By Senior Staff Attorney Ashley K. Obrey On December 14, 2023, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court held oral argument in Kanahele, et. al. v. State, et. al., SCAP-22-0000268, a breach of trust case against the state Department of Transportation (“DOT”) as well as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Hawaiian Homes Commission (hereinafter, collectively, “DHHL”) to ensure proper management of Hawaiian Home Lands trust lands underlying the Mauna Kea Access Road (“MKAR”). Prior to 2018, the 65 acres underlying the MKAR were recognized as a part of the Hawaiian Home Lands trust. The trust was created by the United ...

February 2, 2024|Categories: Hawaiian Home Lands, Mauna Kea|Tags: |

Can the Department of Hawaiian Homelands cancel my lease?

I missed some mortgage payments for my DHHL homestead and got a letter saying my lease might be canceled. Can DHHL cancel my lease? Is there anything I can do to prevent losing my homestead? By Henderson Huihui, NHLC Staff Attorney If you miss mortgage payments, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (“DHHL”) can seek to cancel your lease. To save the lease, you will need to make those payments or work out a plan with your bank and DHHL to get the account into good standing. If you have experienced hardship preventing you from making the payments, contact your bank ...

January 9, 2024|Categories: Ask NHLC, Hawaiian Home Lands|Tags: |

NHLC represents Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation in successful negotiations to lease Kalaeloa Heritage Park

At 91-1940 Coral Sea Road, between Ewa Beach and Kapolei on Oʻahu, is Kalaeloa Heritage Park (the Park). The Park is comprised of more than 11 acres containing over 177 recorded cultural sites including a heiau, habitation sites and pre-Western contact burials. The cultural structures are unique, constructed of coral and may have Tahitian origin based on the construction methods used. For years, the lands were held by the Federal Government as a part of Barber’s Point Naval Air Station. After the station was closed in 1999, the Federal Government returned the park lands to the State, and the lands ...

December 15, 2023|Categories: Burial Protection|Tags: |

NHLC Executive Director contributes to NaHHA’s Ka Huina 2023 Intellectual and Cultural Property Panel

Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation’s Executive Director, Makalika Naholowaʻa, was a part of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association’s (NaHHA) fifth annual Ka Huina convention as a panelist on cultural intellectual property. Moderated by Hawaii Representative Darius Kila, Naholowaʻa joined Breann Huʻuhiwa of Dentons International Law and Zachary Lum of Kāhuli Leo Leʻa to discuss the ARTIST Act, cultural intellectual property, and regenerative tourism.  Currently, Native Hawaiian artisans are not protected under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act (IACA). The ARTIST Act being considered by Congress would change that, among other amendments to the IACA.   In this talk, Naholowaʻa, Huʻuhiwa and Lum ...

November 21, 2023|Categories: Intellectual and Cultural Property, NHLC News|Tags: |

ICA Rules KUA & NHLC Can Continue Fight for Limu

Decision Honors Uncle Henry Chang’s Last Wishes To Protect Marine Resources in ‘Ewa In 2012, Uncle Henry Chang Wo, a recognized loea limu (limu expert), and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) began a long—and still pending—legal battle against permitting to increase stormwater runoff from the Kaloʻi Gulch onto an ‘Ewa shoreline. Permit proponents, including the City and County of Honolulu, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, and the University of Hawaii, want the permit, so that polluted storm water can be discharged from urban development. Uncle Henry argued that the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) needed to more ...

November 14, 2023|Categories: Mālama ʻĀina, Traditional Practices|Tags: , |

Ask NHLC: How do courts decide what words in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i mean?

Interpreting the meaning of language is central to the work of all courts in all parts of the world. Whether it be words used by governments in laws, orders, and rules; words used by parties when making agreements, or words used to show the mental state and intent of someone accused of a crime, determining what words mean – and how that impacts a legal outcome – is a core function of judges. Here in Hawaiʻi, the usage, meaning, and interpretation of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has affected the outcome of cases and guided our law. Generally, there are a few methods ...

Ask NHLC: What are the legal rules for using Hawaiian names in business?

What are the legal rules for using Hawaiian names in business? Can businesses that are not Hawaiian own Hawaiian names? Can businesses that use Hawaiian names stop Hawaiians from using those Hawaiian words? By Makalika Naholowaa, Executive Director Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation State and federal law allow businesses to use and own business and product names incorporating ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi as tradenames and trademarks. There is no requirement for the business to be owned or led by kānaka, for any consultation with or consent from members of the Hawaiian community, nor is there a requirement that the company or its ...

November 8, 2023|Categories: Ask NHLC, Intellectual and Cultural Property|Tags: |
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