The mission of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) is to perpetuate, through legal and other advocacy, the rights, customs and practices that strengthen Native Hawaiian identity and culture.
NHLC carries out its mission by integrating native values into the practice of western law and jurisprudence.
A just Hawai'i, guided by Hawaiian values, customs and ways of knowing.
Our Guiding Principles
E MAU MAOLI
Maoli Ola is essential to our work. NHLC will engage in various huaka'i to establish meaningful relationships with clients and the Native Hawaiian community.
Laulima is essential to NHLC's success. Our work is team-based.
We are NĀ KOA, the warriors on the front-line. NHLC will fearlessly and passionately fight for justice for Native Hawaiians.
We have a 40-year history of being steadfast for Hawaiian rights. The NHLC 'ohana is resolute and uncompromising in continuing this tradition.
Our work is our Kuleana. NHLC will carry out its responsibilities with a deep sense of commitment and care.
Our organization is an 'ohana. NHLC will provide her employees the necessary support and resources necessary to carry out their duties.
We MĀLAMA our communities. In volunteering as an organization for our community projects consistent with our mission, we are preserving and protecting our rights and culture and are also caring for our people.
NHLC 'ohana volunteering on Kaho'olawe in November 2014
Moses Kalei Nahonoapi`ilani Haia III is the executive director of NHLC. Before his appointment, Moses was a staff attorney at NHLC, obtaining landmark victories in native rights cases seeking to protect ancient Hawaiian burials and Native Hawaiian water rights.
Before joining NHLC in 2001, Moses was a solo practitioner. His practice involved labor and employment law, civil litigation and native Hawaiian rights. Moses also previously served as a staff attorney with a native rights law firm, the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council, where he litigated a seminal water rights case involving the distribution of water from one part of O’ahu to another through the Waiahole Ditch.
- Hawaii State Bar Association
- Native Hawaiian Bar Association
- Staff Attorney, Native Hawaiian Advisory Council (1995 to 1997)
Recognized by major Honolulu daily newspaper as one of “10 Who Made A Difference” in 2007
- Editor and Contributor,E alu like mai i ka pono = Coming together for justice. This handbook describes the legislative process, administrative agencies that deal with Hawaiian affairs, and how Hawaiians can participate in governmental decision-making.
- Eric Yamamoto, Moses Haia & Donna Kalama,Courts and the Cultural Performance : Native Hawaiians’ Uncertain Federal and State Law Rights To Sue, 16 Hawaii L. Rev. 1 (Summer 1994)
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D. 1994)
- University of Hawaii (B.A., Political Science, 1989)
Alan Murakami began his service here as a staff attorney in 1985. He became litigation director in 1990 and in 2014, became NHLC's Community Engagement Officer. As a staff attorney, Alan has specialized in litigating novel land and water issues affecting Native Hawaiians. In the process, Alan has created important precedent that allows Native Hawaiians to enforce their rights under two trusts established for their benefit and defined the trust obligations owed to Native Hawaiians. While defending Hawaiian families who retain legal interests in family lands against litigation challenging their ownership rights, Alan effectively persuaded the Supreme Court to articulate their due process rights.
Alan has a long and distinguished legal career serving Native Hawaiian communities. Before joining NHLC, he was the managing director of the Moloka`i and Wai`anae offices of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i from 1981 to 1983, serving disadvantaged Native Hawaiian communities.
Hustace v. Kapuni
Represented Native Hawaiian family in precedential case, articulating the due process requirements that must be met in quiet title lawsuits aimed at securing ownership of Native Hawaiian-owned land through adverse possession.
Napeahi v. Paty
Argued successfully for precedent that submerged lands are part of the public ceded lands trust and thereby subject to the land claims of Native Hawaiians.
Successfully represented a Hawaiian family in its petition before the Land Use Commission against plans by the Kahala Capital Corp. to construct a resort and golf course complex in areas that have been used by the family for nine generations. The LUC rejected the developer’s proposal and Kahala Capital appealed the decision to the circuit court. The court affirmed the LUC’s decision and the developer has not appealed.
Fishermen in Miloli‘i
Alan represented fishermen in Miloli‘i, the last traditional fishing village in the state. Their fishing grounds were threatened by a massive development in Ka‘u, initially approved by the State Land Use Commission. Alan successfully appealed that decision, which was reversed for failure to adequately consider and account for the impacts of the planned marina on these fishing grounds.
- Contributor, Native Hawaiian Rights Handbook
Awards and Recognition
- Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, “I Ulu I Ke Kumu” Award (2011)
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (“NAPBA”) Trailblazer Award (2007)
- In 1999, the state wide organization of the Hawaiian Civic Clubs honored Mr. Murakami for his legal advocacy to Native Hawaiians, especially beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust.
- Hawai`i Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights
- Japanese American Citizens League
- National board member for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation and the Community Based Economic Development
- University of California at Davis (J.D. 1978)
- University of Hawaii (M.A., Economics, 1975)
- University of Santa Clara (B.A., Economics, 1971)
David Frankel joined NHLC in 2006 as a staff attorney. At NHLC, David focuses on Native Rights cases. Before NHLC, David worked as a staff attorney at Legal Aid and served as director of the Sierra Club Hawai’i Chapter from 1996-1998. He has worked within state government as well, as a planning and policy analyst for the Office of State Planning, committee clerk for the State House of Representatives, and legislative auditor for the County of Hawai’i.
David has worked to protect cultural sites throughout the state. On Hawai`i Island, he has successfully defended cultural sites at: Punalu`u from a resort proposal, the area adjacent to Kaloko Honokōhau National Historical Park from a proposed marina and timeshare project, O`oma from a luxury housing development, and Pāo`o in South Kohala from a mansion proposed along the coastline. On Maui, he has worked to protect the summit of Haleakalā from a 142 foot tall astronomy building. On Moloka`i, he fought to protect Lā`au Point from a luxury housing development. On O`ahu he has litigated to protect burials jeopardized by Kawaiaha`o Church’s proposed multipurpose center, burial sites in Kaka`ako jeopardized by the rail project, Hale'iwa Regional Park from sale and hotel development, and 'Ewa limu beds threatened by polluted stormwater drainage. On Kaua`i he has highlighted the threat to historic sites in Kōloa and a trail at Lepeuli.
He has also worked to ensure adequate funding of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands by the State, and to ensure that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands properly follows the law.
His appellate court victories include: Leslie v. Bd of Appeals of the County of Hawai`i, 109 Hawai`i 384, 126 P.3d 1071 (2006) (planning director improperly approved subdivision of Ki`ilae land); Kaleikini v. Thielen, 124 Hawai`i 1, 237 P.3d 1067 (2010) (BLNR chair improperly denied Native Hawaiian a contested case hearing over the disinterment of burials); Kaleikini v. Yoshioka, 124 Hawai`i 53, 283 P.3d 60 (2012) (the State Historic Preservation Division violated the historic preservation law when it approved the rail project); Nelson v. Hawaiian Homes Comm'n, 127 Hawai`i 185, 277 P.3d 279 (2012) (the State is obligated to provide sufficient funds to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for its administrative and operating expenses); Kaleikini v. Yoshioka, 129 Hawai`i 454, 283 P.3d 252 (2013) (awarding fees to NHLC pursuant to the private attorney general doctrine); Hall v. Department of Land and Natural Resources, 128 Hawai`i 455, 290 P.3d 525 (ICA 2012) (the State Historic Preservation Division violated the historic preservation law when it allowed Kawaiaha`o Church to avoid preparing an archaeological inventory survey): Kilakila `O Haleakalā v. Bd of Land & Natural Res., 131 Hawai'i 193, 317 P.3d 27 (2013) (the Board of Land and Natural Resources erred in authorizing a 142 foot tall building in the conservation district without first providing for a contested case hearing); Blake v. County of Kaua'i Planning Comm'n, 131 Hawai'i 123, 315 P.3d 749 (2013) (the court has jurisdiction to consider case involving destruction of historic sites)
Prior to working at NHLC, David worked pro bono to protect: the shoreline area jeopardized by a proposed housing development ma uka of Donkey Beach on Kaua`i; Kealakekua Bay and Keopuka from a luxury subdivision on the South Kona coastline; and lands adjacent to Pu`uhonua `O Hōnaunau National Historical Park from a proposed subdivision. He also filed suit pro bono against the candidacy of the Chairman of the Hawai`i County Council that led to the decision in Clark v. Arakaki, 118 Hawai`i 355, 191 P.3d 176 (2008) (incumbent violated term limit provision of county charter).
- Protecting Paradise: A Citizen’s Guide to Land & Water Use Controls in Hawai`i (Dolphin Press, 1997)
- Enforcement of Environmental Laws in Hawai`i, 16 University of Hawai`i Law Review 85 (Summer 1994)
- The Hawai`i Supreme Court: An Overview, 14 University of Hawai`i Law Review 5 (Summer 1992)
- An Analysis of Hawai`i’s Superfund Law, 1990, 13 University of Hawai`i Law Review 301 (Summer 1991)
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D. 1992)
- University of Hawa’i, (M.A., Urban and Regional Planning, 1993)
- Carleton College (B.A., Russian Studies, 1985)
Camille Kalama serves as NHLC's intake attorney, handling all inquiries for legal services. She joined NHLC as a staff attorney in 2006 after clerking for one year at the Hawaii Supreme Court. Camille views her work with NHLC—to protect and preserve native rights and resources—as her kuleana or responsibility as a Native Hawaiian. At NHLC, Camille focuses on Native Rights and Hawaiian Homes.
Prior to joining NHLC, Camille was involved in the Polynesian Voyaging Society and was named NCAA Woman Athlete of the Year for the state of Hawaii in 2001.
Defeated a motion for preliminary injunctive relief brought by Kim Taylor Reece, a professional photographer well-known for his depiction of hula dancers, against a Native Hawaiian artist.
Successfully challenged summary possession action against Native Hawaiian family in quiet title action.
Assisted a lessee with rebuilding his lot and maintaining his Hawaiian Home Lands lease.
- Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon, Supreme Court of Hawaii (2005-2006)
The Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) selected Camille to serve as one of 15 fellows in its 2010 Leadership Institute. The Hawaii State Bar Association Leadership Institute encourages diversity among the leaders of the bar by recruiting and targeting members with a keen interest in expanding their talents and services to the bar and community at large.
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D. 2005)
- University of Hawaii (B.A., Geography, 2000)
David Kauila Kopper is a staff attorney at NHLC. He concentrates his practice on land title disputes with an emphasis on quiet title and partition actions, native tenant rights, burial site protection, government lease program disputes, summary possession actions and contract disputes.
Obtained humanitarian parole for a minor Tongan national so that he could be reunited with his hanai mother living in Hawai'i.
Successfully litigated a lawsuit against the Department of Land and Natural Resources to enforce two widows' rights to succeed to their deceased husbands' long term leases for property in Kahana Valley State Park.
Successfully negotiated resolutions of Department of Hawaiian Home Lands lease disputes.
- Fourth Place Overall, National Native American Law Student Association Moot Court Competition, Vermillion, South Dakota, February 2010
- CALI AWARD for Highest Grade, Jurisprudence, William S. Richardson School of Law, Fall, 2009
- CALI AWARD for Highest Grade, Real Property, William S. Richardson School of Law, Spring, 2008
- CALI AWARD for Highest Grade, Legal Practice II, William S. Richardson School of Law, Spring 2008
- Executive Editor for Publications, University of Hawai`i Law Review, 2008-2009
- Native American Moot Court Team, William S. Richardson School of Law, 2008-2009
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2010)
- Herberger College of Fine Arts, Arizona State University (B.M., Music Performance, magna cum laude, 2006)
Li‘ulā Nakama joined NHLC in 2011 and currently serves as a staff attorney. She previously served as NHLC's Director of Development and Marketing, and as an intake attorney, handling legal inquiries at NHLC. Throughout law school and during her Post-JD Research Fellowship at Ka Huli Ao, Li‘ulā researched the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the empowerment of Hawaiian Home Lands community associations, and the future of these lands in a post-Akaka Bill society. She graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law with a Pacific Asian Legal Studies Certificate with a Specialty in Native Hawaiian Law. She previously worked for NHLC as a summer law clerk in 2007.
- Hawai‘i State Bar Association
- Native Hawaiian Bar Association
- Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society
- CALI Award for Highest Grade, Environmental Law, William S. Richardson School of Law, Fall 2007
- CALI Award for Highest Grade, Legal Practice, William S. Richardson School of Law, Fall 2006
- Renewable Energy Project Assistant, Hawai‘i State Energy Office (2010-2011)
- Post-J.D. Research Fellow, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law (2009-2010)
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2009)
- University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (B.A., Ethnic Studies, 2005)
Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation was born during a period of reawakening for the Hawaiian people. During the 1970s, Native Hawaiians were engaged in monumental land struggles. They were increasingly evicted from rural areas to make way for residential or tourist-related developments (Kalama Valley and Makua Valley). They were also evicted from one of the last fishing villages on O’ahu so that the State could build an industrial park. By the second half of that decade, Native Hawaiians were protesting the military’s use of the island of Kaho‘olawe as a bombing target. Meanwhile, a renaissance in Hawaiian culture was blossoming. Native Hawaiians were learning how to navigate across the Pacific using traditional methods aboard Hokule’a, a replica of voyaging canoes used by pre-historic Polynesians. They were revitalizing the indigenous language, which was outlawed shortly after the overthrow of the Hawaiian government.
This reawakening was another phase of dealing with a legacy of colonization. The Native Hawaiian people, who inhabited these islands as early as 300 A.D., had a complex culture and land tenure system. Recognized as a nation in the international community, the Native Hawaiian monarchy had treatises with other countries. But with Western contact, their sovereignty slowly eroded until a group of businessmen, supported by the U.S., overthrew the Native Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.
The loss of sovereignty and their lands have plagued Native Hawaiians. The U.S. recognized that lands set aside by the Hawaiian Monarchy for the benefit of the Hawaiian people (or ceded lands) retained a special character, and until today must be used for the betterment of Native Hawaiians. And the U.S. also adopted a law, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, aimed at returning Native Hawaiians to the land. But justice was still out of reach.
As part of a grassroots effort to remedy the injustices suffered by Native Hawaiians, NHLC was formed in 1974. The concept of creating a law firm devoted to the needs of Native Hawaiians arose out of the difficulty Native Hawaiians faced in getting leases under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. Those lands were increasingly being leased to non-beneficiaries of the Act, while Native Hawaiians languished on a waiting list for decades. Originally named the “Hawaiian Coalition of Native Claims,” the organization fought against a then-new wave of dispossession from the land to make way for a boom in urban development. Since then, NHLC has worked steadily to establish Native Hawaiian rights jurisprudence.
“Over the years, what we have done is we’ve been able to establish that these practices are credible, that they exist, and that they need to protected.”
The Board of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation provides leadership and raises funds for the organization. Each board member serves a term of four years.
- Roy Catalani, President
- Robert Merce, Vice President & Secretary
- Kevin Cockett
- Mike Hodson
- Malia Ka`aihue
- Gina Lobaco
- Jon Matsuoka
- Mark Kawika Patterson
- Teresa Tico
- SPOTLIGHT ON NEW BOARD MEMBERS
NHLC recently welcomed three individuals to its Board: Malia Ka`aihue, Gina Lobaco and Mark Kawika Patterson.
Board members Malia Ka`aihue, Gina Lobaco and Mark Kawika Patterson explain why they wanted to serve on NHLC’s Board.
Partner and VP of Strategy
It is an honor to serve on the Board of Directors of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. I have long admired the tremendous work of the organization who in my opinion works every day to carry out the state’s motto, ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono, in a manner consistent with Kauikeauoli.
Waiōhinu and Kaʻimukī are my kulaiwi. I’m raising my seven children, along with my husband, Duane DeSoto in Kaʻimukī. I’m a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi [UH] where I earned a BA in both Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language and an MA in Political Science and completed a Ph.D. in Political Science specializing in Indigenous Politics.
I’m the managing partner and president of DTL, a Hawaiian strategy studio, in Kakaʻako. And through my work continuously challenge the status quo by utilizing Hawaiian history, politics and language combined with experience in government, community and business to provide critical thought around deploying cultural and community assets to solve modern day challenges.
I’m committed to utilizing these skills to support NHLC’s mission to perpetuate, through legal and other advocacy, the rights, customs and practices that strengthen Native Hawaiian identity and culture.
For the past ten years at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement's Annual Convention, NHLC has presented the Native Hawaiian Community Advocate Award recognizing outstanding individuals with a personal contribution to Native Hawaiian rights and leadership.
Summer Sylva joined Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation as a staff attorney earlier this year. She previously worked for NHLC as a summer law clerk in 2005; an experience that motivated her efforts to organize Cornell University’s first native water law and public policy symposium, co-sponsored by the Transboundary Indigenous Waters Program, the New York State Water Resources Institute, Cornell’s American Indian Program, and Cornell Law School's Journal of Law and Public Policy. Her published note chronicling Na Moku Aupuni O Ko‘olau Hui’s legal struggle to access traditional sources of water to sustain taro cultivation and to perpetuate their traditional way of life was inspired by NHLC’s commitment to this important work. Before returning to NHLC in 2014, Summer practiced commercial and bankruptcy litigation for four years at an international law firm in New York City, and worked for two years at a private Honolulu firm where she litigated construction, real estate, insurance, and probate matters.
Summer received her law degree from Cornell Law School with a Public Law Certificate. Prior to law school, she was a research administrator for the Hawai‘i Cancer Research Center and served on the Board of Directors for the Waimānalo Health Center.
Associate Director of Philanthropy
Serving on NHLC’s board of directors is a huge honor and an important kuleana for me. When you live in Hawaiʻi, the presence of Hawaiians is felt everywhere. Every place on every island—river, mountain, forest, beach, valley, field—has a name and every name has a story, reflecting the love, reverence and stewardship of the ʻaina which was the hallmark of Hawaiʻi’s, pre-contact civilization. In some small measure, I hope to help NHLC in its mission to preserve the rights of Native Hawaiians to perpetuate their heritage, traditions and culture, but also their legal claims to land and water.
I have spent the majority of my professional career working for public-interest law firms which seek to ensure that “equal justice under law” is not merely an empty phrase chiseled into the portico above the U.S. Supreme Court building. In a law-based society, we must ensure that access to the courts and to the corridors of power are open to all, especially those who need it the most but can least afford it. NHLC’s work to represent disenfranchised native communities in Hawaiʻi represents the highest expression of the notion of “liberty and justice for all.”
When I was a young boy, my father charged me to watch my grandmother as she foraged from the reefs fronting our home in Makaha. Wana, Haukeuke, Pipipi, Aama, Waiwaiole and Limu Kohu to name a few of the items my grandmother gathered for the family and her friends. For the most part she never paid attention to the ocean, that was my purpose. Once a rogue surge came upon the reef and knocked my grandmother down I lost sight of her under the white foam of the wave, I dove to the last spot I saw her. I found a leg and held it with one arm while the other was used to hold onto the reef. When the surge receded my grandmother was on her back laughing with haukeuke in each hand. She stood and made her way closer to the dead coral that made up the upper reef. She swung one hand and slammed the haukeuke against the coral and broke it in half. She held half the broken shell to her mouth and began sucking. When she was finished she offered the other half to me, I remember seeing the orange innards in the half shell, she laughed as she saw my face grimace as I backed away from her. She immediately sucked the second half, smiled and said "this is old school McDonalds" and started laughing again. The opportunity to join the NHLC reminded me of this story about my grandmother. For many Hawaiians, hardships come as we attempt to maintain our traditional ways of life, we search and gather what we can to sustain ourselves from our ancestral foundation but we are constantly being knocked down by external surges that we do not control. NHLC is an organization that is prepared to reach out through the mist to take hold when all seems hopeless to allow our people to continue to feed on who we are, to pick up our fallen and set them on their feet again so that we can become all that we can. I am honored to be a part of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.
Mahalo nui to all of our supporters:
Andrew Almquist In honor of Peter Murakami's birthday, Happy Natal Day, Peter Anonymous through the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative A rare endemic Hawaiian Koa Legacy Tree was sponsored and planted by this patron and a donation was given as part of the tree planting. Anonymous through TRUiST Delilah Belt Paula Chong In memory of Dorothy Kamakaokalehua Passos Lynn P. DeCoite Christian Gainsley Sunny J. Inn Nancy Walsh Jones Albert Kalin and Hiltrud Kalin-Munch Sabra L. Kauka Chass Keka Dedicated to preserving ancestral lands. Just wanted to say "Mahalo nui loa... Dawn Keka and the Keka `Ohana Dedicated to preserving ancestral lands. Mahalo for all you do! Lei Keka Dedicated to help preserve ancestral lands. Mahalo nui loa for such an awesome job you are all doing for Native Hawaiian people. We are all so grateful to have you. Malama pono . . . Aloha Liko Keka Dedicated to preserving ancestral lands. Much mahalo for all you do to help the `ohana Sierra Keka and the Keka `Ohana Dedicated to preserving ancestral lands Tori Keka Dedicated to preserving ancestral lands. Mahalo nui loa Marilyn Leimomi Khan Joe Kuhio Lewis Gina Lobaco Erma Kanani Mariano Lynne Matusow Robert Merce Alan T. Murakami Gary T. Nakano Richard "Dickie" Nelson, III Sharon Paulo In memory of Jonathan Kanemehalona Kanae, Sr. Makani Speier-Brito Arthur Spencer In memory of Herbert & Hazel Nobrega Spencer Carole S. Suganuma Teresa Tico Louis H. Ventura Alvin Westcott
NHLC presented its 2016 Native Hawaiian Advocate Award to Puanani Burgess.
Puanani Burgess fondly known as "Aunty Pua" is a community building facilitator, trainer, and consultant in Hawaiʻi, the U.S., and the Pacific. She is also a poet, cultural translator, and has been a lecturer with the Urban Studies and Regional Planning Department at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa. She was a Weinberg Fellow and the Myles and Zilphia Horton Chairholder for the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee. She is noted for her experience in community, family, and values-based economic development, mediation and storytelling processes as part of conflict transformation, and in developing community-based organizations.
Aunty Pua is a noted cultural expert and was recently awarded a Meritorious Doctor of Letters (D.Litt., Indigenous Knowledge Holder) for her lifetime contributions to Indigenous education by the World Indigenous Nations University. Aunty Pua is also recognized as a Living Treasure of Hawaii and as a Community Scholar working with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Aunty Pua serves as a mentor to her generation and to subsequent generations passing on living Hawaiian wisdom, knowledge, practices and worldview. Aunty Pua’s work as a member of the Hui is having and will have an international impact as she shapes our thinking about how indigenous work in education, social services, and community development is evaluated and assessed. She is revolutionizing our thinking back to Hawaiian ways.
NHLC awarded Judge Walter Meheula Heen its 2014 Native Hawaiian Advocate Awardee for his 50 plus years of public service to the people of Hawaiʻi in a variety of roles including a distinguished judicial career.
As a Judge on the Intermediate Court of Appeals, Judge Heen authored a number of important decisions dealing with Native Hawaiian rights. In 1986, he issued the decision in the land title case known as Hustace v. Kapuni that ensures that Native Hawaiians receive notice of lawsuits that may affect their ownership interest in ancestral lands. When this case began, notice was provided primarily by way of a newspaper ad and those who failed to respond to the newspaper ad were defaulted. In his decision, Judge Heen noted that, “[t]he consequences of quiet title actions are so severe that to have one's interest in land summarily taken away without an opportunity to respond is in violation of due process requirements and our sense of fairness and justice.” Now, and as a result of this decision, whenever a quiet title action is filed, the plaintiff must engage in an extensive search for people who might have a claim to the property and can no longer rely solely on notice of the lawsuit via newspaper publication without first reviewing various publicly available records.
In the initial appeal of the case commonly referred to as PASH, Native Hawaiians who gathered shrimp from several ponds contained within the footprint of a major resort development planned for the Kona Coast requested a contested case to challenge the permit for the project claiming that their gathering practices were threatened by the project. This request was denied by the county. In his ruling, Judge Heen confirmed that these individuals were entitled to a contested case and that the Hawaii Planning Commission had “disregarded the rules regarding the gathering rights of native Hawaiians and its obligation to protect and preserve those rights.” The Hawaii Supreme Court affirmed this ruling.
Mahalo nui Judge Heen, for your unyielding dedication to the betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiians.
Mahalo nui to all of our supporters:
Michelle D. Acosta In memory of Lorraine Acosta John Aeto Millie R. Ahloy Wayne Keola Akana Julian K. Ako Yuklin Aluli Carlos Andrade Anonymous On behalf of the Panaewa Community Na`alehu Anthony Becky Ashizawa Charles and Leonora Barclay Maile and John Bay Mahalo a nui! Mark and Missy Beavers Carl Berger and Maria Cocchiarelli-Berger Big Island Delights, Inc. Beryl B. Blaich In memory of Gary L. Blaich, M.D. Adeline T. Brash In memory of Sarah Kahikina Teixeira Sherry Broder Michael Broderick and Maile Meyer David Burge Carol-Louise Carper In memory of Uncle Jimmy Akiona and Charles Aipia Central Pacific Bank Chaminade University Bradley Chong Paula Chong In memory of Dorothy Kamakaokalehua Passos `Ihilani Chu In loving memory of Norman Kamuela Chu and Kimiko Chu Catherine A. Chun-Hoon Raeanne Cobb-Adams Kevin Cockett, Cockett Communications Irene Mokihana Cordeiro-Vierra Mahalo for your good works!! God Bless you all! Brian Cummings Gerald L. Danforth, Sr. Jacinth and Yvonne DeLuz Jonathan S. Durrett John Echohawk Moses ~ Thanks for all of your help! Ernestine Enomoto Priscilla J. Falk William Fernandez David Kimo Frankel Friends of Maile Shimabukuro Gaynell Fuchs Ede A. K. Fukumoto Butch Gima, Lanaians for Sensible Growth Teresa M. Gomes Arthur K. Goto Paula Guanzon James and Sherie Gusukumu Heidi Guth Elizabeth K. Han Dona Hanaike Maggie Hanohano William Harrison, Esq. Sharleen K. Heanu and `Ohana Judge Walter Heen Mikahala A. Helm Raiatea Helm Robert E. Hill and Pearl Y. Moenahele-Hill Alexis & Hiram Ho Karen M. Holt Flora Lehua Ii-Michaelson Tania Joao Cindi John Timothy Johns Phil Johnson Robert Gilbert Johnston Alohalani L. Jones Nancy Jones Malia Ka`aihue, Na Kama Kai David I. Kamai Winona Kamai In memory of Moses Haia, Jr. and Gertrude Haia Le`a Malia Kanehe Tomie Kaniho D. Pi`ilani Kaopuiki Sabra L. Kauka In memory of Kai`opua Fyfe Guy Kaulukukui, Kealapono, LLC Kaumana Hawaiian Homes Community Association Arnold and Sandra Kawano Robin and Sally Kaye Christopher Kelly In honor of your lawyer Summer Sylva, with whom I had the pleasure of working at Holland & Knight Keaukaha Community Association Keaukaha Pana`ewa Farms E. Leina`ala Kihoi Gladys M. Kotaki Winona E. Kukona Keith Lee Terence Lee Ian Lind Gina L. Lobaco Sarah Love Howard Luke Melody MacKenzie Joseph H. Mahoe Susan P. Malterre-Htun Marvin Manuel Ernest Martin, Kukulu Pono, LLC Martha E. Martin Edwin and Lucy Matsuda Lynne Matusow Patricia Mau-Shimizu Ron McOmber Heidi Anna Meeker Maile Meyer In honor of Noa Webster Aluli and his children and grandchildren Charles and Martha Mizner John Mumford, Mumford Lana`i, LLC Alan T. Murakami Alapaki Nahale-a Wilfred N. Naho`oikaika Li`ula Nakama Julia M. Neumann Keola Nunies Linda and Gordon Oamilda Ashley K. Obrey Everett Ohta Carleen Ornellas Lynette K. Paglinawan In memory of Richard Paglinawan Charles Palakiko Pana`ewa Community Alliance Richard Pechner Wallette G. Pellegrino Pi`ihonua Hawaiian Homestead Anthony F. Quan Mary M. R. Rajkowski Stanley Kiope Raymond John R. Sabas Kyle T. Sakumoto, Esq., Lee & Sakumoto Laura M. Sanders Norman Sato In support of and appreciation to Summer Sylva, I am glad you are keeping with your vision that you had in college and enjoy the fulfillment of your endeavors. Keep up the good work. Brian R. Smith Aviam Soifer In honor of Melody MacKenzie, much honor and a entirely fitting mahalo nui loa! Avi Solutions Pacific Judge Melvin K. Soong Arthur Spencer In memory of Herbert & Hazel Nobrega Spencer Andrew Sprenger and Cindy Kagiwada John Squires Juana A. Tabali-Weir Sarah Thompson Teresa Tico Patrick Uchigakiuchi Barry Vasios In honor of Summer Sylva, keep on with your good work! Jan M. Weinberg Edward and Mahealani Wendt Lillian U. Wakinekona Alvin Westcott Brenda Jo Wong Eric K. Yamamoto Dale Yashiki Calvin Young Rowena Young Hoyt Zia and Leigh Ann Miyasato In honor of Puanani Burgess
Mahalo nui to all of our supporters:
In memory of Sue Honma
In honor of Kauila Kopper, the greatest supervising attorney!
John & Maile Bay
Big Island Candies, Inc.
On behalf of my family
Sherry P. Broder
Steve & Carol-Louise Carper
In memory of Dorothy Kamakaokalehua Passos
Lowell & Catherine Chun-Hoon
In honor of my mother
Joe Florendo, Jr.
In memory of Julia Malia Gomes and her Hawaiian heart
Dixie Ann Goo
James & Dora Hamilton
In loving memory of Mike Mason
Hempey & Meyers, LLP
Eden Elizabeth Hifo
In memory of Delbert Wakinekona
Kainani Kahaunaele, Mahuahua Music LLC
Paulette Ka'anohiokalani Kaleikini
In memory of Sonny A. Kaniho
D. P. Kaopuiki
In honor of Alice D. Fisher
Robin & Sally Kaye
In honor of the Fishermen and Hunters of Hawai'i
Ward & Karen Kotaki
Kris & Lisa Kristofferson
Adele & Wayde Lee
Carol Mon Lee
Lee & Sakumoto LLC
Debbie & Bill Thomas
In honor of our Hawaiian family, Edward Halealoha Ayau, Kunani and Ipo Nihipali
In honor of Becky Ashizawa
In memory of Phyllis McOmber
In honor of Noa Webster Aluli and his children and grandchildren
Mountain Apple Company
Linda & Gordon Oamilda
Paulele Equipment LLC
In honor of David Kimo Frankel and all the important work all the attorneys at NHLC do every day
In honor of Melody MacKenzie
Melvin K. Soong
In memory of Herbert & Hazel Nobrega Spencer
In honor of Summer Sylva
In honor of Summer Sylva
In honor of Summer Sylva
Millie Ahloy William & Melva Aila Airport Lei Sellers Association Keola Akana Julian Ako Malia Akutagawa Liberta Albao In Honor of Alan Murakami Linda Alicea Carlos Andrade Nancy Aleck In Memory of Chuck Frankel Yuklin Aluli Rodney C. Amian Anonymous In memory of Robert Paul Dye Anonymous On Behalf of Kauai Anonymous On Behalf of Kauai Anonymous Dedicated to Laulani Teale. In Honor of her birthday Anonymous Dedicated to Nahoa Canoe Club Anonymous For Sharla Manley Becky & Carl Ashizawa In Memory of Uncle Sonny Kaniho and Aunty Irene Torrey & Uncle Jimmy Akiona Carl Ashizawa Joanie Bagood On behalf of those who care for Mokauea Island (past & present) John & Maile Bay Mark & Missy Beavers In Honor of NHLC Melissa Beavers Mona Bernardino Richard Bidgen Anderson & Shiela Black Jyo Bridgewater-Borg Leimomi Brigoli Puanani Burgess On Behalf of My Family Catherine Butler Fred Cachola In Honor of Kupaainalua & Halulukamanaoualanipili Dayne-Raynard, Kennedy & Annika Carlson Carol-Louise & Steve Carper Roy Catalani Central Pacific Bank Catherine Chang In Honor of Melody MacKenzie Dawn Chang Ho`okano Family Land Trust Matthew & Nicole Chapman Anna Chavez & Eugene Eidenberg In Honor of the people of Kaua'i, protecting sacred grounds of Native Hawaiian sites, culture and environmental health for all Lynn Ching Wehilani Ching Choo Osada & Lee Paula Chong In Honor of Kamakaokalehua Passos Stefanie Chong-Kuma Cathry & Lowell Chun-Hoon Dedicated to Melody MacKenzie Daniel & Wendy Coats Irene Cordeiro-Vierra David Cruz Lori & Russell Cruz Elizabeth Daoang Yvonne DeLuz Tara M. Deponte Keala Dolor-Tripp In Memory of Martha Mileka Kahanu Iwanaga Dolores & Furtado Martin Foundation In Memory of Ernest "Juggie" Heen Duane & Beverly Donovan Lincoln Drake Tom Dye In Memory of Dr. Marc Gregory Thomas Dye In Memory of Robert Paul Dye Keala Ede Roger Ede E. Enomoto Martha & Andrew Evans Priscilla Falk Dawn Darm-Ramsey Finance Factors Foundation Alice D. Fisher Pearl Ling & Jeff Fleener Larry Foster William Keoni Fox Mahalo to Kimo Frankel on Behalf of the Keanu 'Ohana David Frankel Friends of Maile Shimabukuro Jean Fukuji Joseph & Shellene Gilman Butch Gima On Behalf of Lanaians for Sensible Growth Maggie, Ikaika & Bishop Gomes In Memory of Julia Malia Gomes Stephen, Maylyn & Makana Gomes In Memory of Julia Gomes Teresa Gomes In Memory of Julia Gomes Art Goto Sunny Greer In Memory of Papa Henry Allen Auwae Ariela Gross In Honor of Sharla Manley Paula Guanzon Sherie & James Gusukuma Barbara Haia Courtney Lee Haia Moses & Lynn Haia Thomas Haia & Family In Memory of Moses K. N. Haia, Jr and Gertrude T. Haia Dana Naone Hall Elizabeth Han Carlton Handley Brook Hart Hawaii Community Stewardship Network Hawaiian Organics Nancy Hedlund In Memory of Aunty Beatrice Kekahuna Walter Heen David Henkin In Honor of Kimo Frankel's 50th Birthday Eden Elizabeth Hifo Robert & Pearl Hill Karen Holt Lea Hong William Hoshijo Charlene Huffman Bertha Huihui Anni Huynh Mitchell Imanaka Sharon Inada Robert Gilbert Johnston Tania Joao Jonathan Starr Foundation Nancy Walsh Jones In Honor of all the Hawaiian Homes Benificiaries who continue to wait for lots Thelma Ka'ahui In Memory of Abraham Ka`ahui Charles Ka'ai'ai Bonita Chang & Kyle Kajihiro Eunice Ishiki-Kalahele Camille Kalama Walea Kalama Winona Kamai Lori Kanaeholo Tomie Kaniho In Memory of Sunny Kaniho Eric Kapono Sabra Kauka In Honor of Alan Murakami Arn & Sandy Kawano Jamae Kawauchi Robin & Sally Kaye Marilyn Khan Robert Klein On Behalf of Klein Ohana Gladys Kotaki Ward & Karen Kotaki Helene Kuaana Marty Kuala Winona Kukona Guye Lee Keith & Brenda Lee Lee & Sakumoto Ian Lind Gina Lobacco In Honor of Bob Merce & Teri Tico Rhona-Joy Lubomirski Paula F. N. Lucas Iwalani Lum Melody MacKenzie In Honor of Alan Murakami & his 30 years of service at NHLC! To the wonderful staff of NHLC! Mahalo for your extraordinary work on behalf of our people! Kepa & Onaona Maly Susan Malterre-Htun Sharla Manley Diane Mark Martha Martin Louise Mata Lucy Matsuda In Honor of Grantors of Kahanu Garden Lynn Matusow Patricia Mau Shimizu Kawika McKeague In Memory of Kaho`onei Panoke Pat McManaman Ron McOmber In Memory of Phyllis McOmber Heidi Meeker Bob & Marian Merce Jamee Miller Lee Miller Bernadette “Gigi” Miranda Dedicated to Laulani Teale. In Honor of her birthday Steve Moore Leimomi Morgan Albert Morita Laura & Jerry Mueller John & Christine Mumford Alan Murakami Carol Muranaka Devon Myers On Behalf of Devon Myers & Stephen Liu Stephanie Nagata Liula Nakama Beverly Nakamoto Julia Neumann Robert Nip Stephen Obrey Anthony Ornellas Carleen Ornellas For my grandchildren who have to live on the continent for now Kale Ornellas Kanoe Ornellas Kino & Tara Ornellas Leighton K. Osorio Mary C. Osorio Charles Palakiko Kelli Perreira Robert & Delilah Perreira William S.K.A Perreira Jodi Pestello On Behalf of Trenton Wailehua Kukula Pono Fairfax Reilly Ruel Reyes Glenn Reys Patricia Robb Sherryl Royce Adrian Rosehill In Honor of Ambrose J. Rosehill John Robert Sabas Kelea Sandfort Laura Sato Dana & Kurt Sato Brian Smith Laura Smith Kevin Smith Scott & Kristen Smutz Raynard & Cheryl Soon Art Spencer Dedicated to Herbert & Hazel Nobrega Spencer. Andrew Sprenger & Cindy Kagiwada Oswald Stender Melvin & Shirley Suganuma Raynette Suganuma-Carlson In Memory of Raymond and Maria K . Suganuma Raynette Suganuma-Carlson In Honor of Moses K. N. Haia, Alan T. Murakami, Becky Ashizawa, and all NHLC Staff Cynthia Surrisi Miwa Tamanaha Laulani Teale Janet Templo Diane Texidor Teresa Tico Reno Villaren Sheryl Vuillemot Trenton Wailehua Lattisha Wallace Clifford Wassman The Way Trust Edward & Mahealani Wendt Evern Williams On Behalf of Haumea Laureen Wong Michael J. Y. Wong, Esq. Napali Woode WSDC Foundation Eric Yamamoto Ian Yee Debbie Yoshizumi Anthony Quan, Jr. Bryant Zane
NHLC is pleased to award its 2013 Native Hawaiian Advocate of the Year Award to Mac Poepoe. Uncle Mac noted the slow decline of fish and shoreline species, and in the early nineties, consulted with other Molokaʻi fishermen to bring about a change. That decision led to the creation of the Hui Malama o Moʻomomi, a grassroots organization dedicated to conserving and maintaining resources, and returning to the traditional Hawaiian best practices of resource management. He has revitalized the Northwest coastline of Molokaʻi from ‘Ilio Point to Nihoa, and trained many people from young to old about the importance of konohiki thinking. It has been a challenge to redirect attitudes from the Western view of “individual rights” to the Hawaiian view of “for the next generations”, but his determination to continue the effort of malama ‘aina has resulted in an awareness, not only in his own community on Molokaʻi, but many communities throughout the state and internationally, about the importance of Hawaiian-style stewardship and community self-management.
Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation awarded Ed Wendt its 2012 Native Hawaiian Community Advocate of the Year Award for his tireless struggle on behalf of himself and Wailuanui/Ke`anae kalo farmers, gatherers, and fishers seeking to enforce their constitutional rights to pursue their Hawaiian traditions and customs dependent on free-flowing streams. This award recognizes Ed's decades-long struggle against the 4th largest landowner in Hawai`i, Alexander and Baldwin (A&B), which is the largest private diverter of water in the United States. With permission of the State of Hawai`i, A&B, through its subsidiary East Maui Irrigation Company, has diverted over 100 East Maui streams collected on 33,000 acres of conservation lands. A&B uses this water to irrigate 27,000 acres of sugar cane fields managed by another A&B subsidiary, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar plantation, the last of dozens of plantations that once operated in Hawai`i. Ed is President of Na Moku Aupuni O Ko`olau Hui, the community organization he helped found in the 1990's to oppose the continuing diversions of water that was sapping the culture and spirit of his community.
NHLC is especially pleased and honored to present the 2011 Community Advocate Of The Year, Dana Naone Hall.
Dana is one of the founding members of Hui Ala Nui O Makena, an organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of historical, cultural and native Hawaiian rights. Her more than thirty years of advocacy has produced impressive results that we all have benefitted from. She successfully fought the closure of that part of the alanui fronting Seibu’s Maui Prince Hotel and, in the process, protected the area’s rich coastal resources. She was also instrumental in efforts to relocate the Ritz Carlton Hotel away from the shoreline dunes at Honokahua. Her work in that case led to significant protections for iwi kupuna. She also successfully opposed a private golf course development slated for the Waihe’e shoreline, an area rich with archeological and cultural sites. Because of her dedication, that important cultural landscape will be preserved in perpetuity. Dana has also served with distinction as a member of the Maui-Lanai-Molokai Islands Burial Council. As a member, vice-chair, and chair, she established an impressive record of resolving very contentious matters involving development projects and native Hawaiian burials.
Dana has no need for official recognition of her more than three decades of tireless and very effective advocacy on behalf of Native Hawaiians. Dana continues to step up because of her sense of justice and unflinching courage under fire. She is an inspiration to us, she holds a very special place in Hawai‘i’s history, and our recognition and acknowledgement of that is long overdue.
In 2010, NHLC presented its Community Advocate of the Year Award to two cousins from Honopou, island of Maui, Hawai`i - Beatrice Kekahuna and Marjorie Wallett (posthumous). Honopou is one of the few remaining natural areas of Hawai`i that directly supported the ancient traditions and customs of Hawaiians. Beatrice and Marjorie were the stalwarts of Hawaiian traditional and customary use of Honopou Stream. They were raised in Honopou, helping their families survive on the bounty that the stream provided in supporting taro growing, native stream life, and the fresh water interface with the ocean so vital to the gathering and fishing traditions of the coastline.
Beatrice Pualani (Kepani) Kekahuna, also known as (Aunty) Nani, was born on June 3, 1932 to Juliana (Koko) and Lokana Kepani in Huelo, Maui, Hawaii. She was the second youngest in a family of 12 children. She had a humble upbringing on the east side of Maui. As children, she and her siblings would explore the valleys near their home, following the fresh water streams to the ocean. Taking care of taro patches was a way of life for them. In turn, the taro provided food for such a large family. These waters also fed the opa`e, hihiwai and o`opu on which she was raised. They also nurtured the fisheries on the East Maui coast which provided her ohana an important source of food. Her early life in East Maui gave her an intense appreciation for how water sustains life. She was brought up to believe if you took care of the land, the land will take care of you.
To this day, she is still cultivating taro as well, yet many things have changed from her childhood days. The diversion of our natural streams by giant agribusiness interests has made it difficult to maintain the taro patches that used to flourish during her childhood. Without enough water, the taro will not grow properly. Without access to home-grown taro or the fish, o`opu, opa`e and hihiwai she once regularly gathered, she sees tradition slipping away. This is why Beatrice is also active in the pursuit of water rights for taro farmers and gathering/fishing rights for subsistence gatherers.
No small part of NHLC’s ability to sustain its representation of East Maui residents is dependent on people like Aunty Beatrice and her recently departed cousin Marjorie Wallett. They stepped forward when they saw their streams dying from diversions meant to grow sugar. Aunty Beatrice’s warmth, patience, and persistence has been undiminished against the economic forces of the 12th largest landowner in the state and state government officials who are too often influenced by powerful political and economic forces. Her dedication to this cause has been inspiring, effective, and we express our deepest and sincere appreciation to her. Mahalo Aunty Beatrice!
Aunty Marjorie Wallett was born on March 28, 1932 in Honokohau, Maui. When she was about ten years old, the family moved to Honopou where they learned to work in the kalo lo’i. This area on Maui is the land base for one of the few remaining vestiges of Native Hawaiian culture and tradition. It is under assault from the economic and political forces that threaten to disrupt the practices that have sustained our way of life for centuries. When Aunty Marjorie moved back to Honopou after working on the mainland for 30 years, taro farming appeared to be dying off – the victim of diminishing water in the streams due to diversions by HC&S and A&B.
So when the concern for protecting our water rights arose, she didn’t hesitate to defend the rights of kalo farming on Honopou Stream and the streams of East Maui. In 2001, she was one of NHLC’s clients, who stepped up to launch the first formal challenge to water permits then being regularly issued by BLNR each year, as well as to demand the restoration of stream flow by the CWRM. During all of the many hearings and meetings held since then, her quiet nature belied the gentle ferocity with which she persisted in demonstrating her resolve.
Aunty Marjorie died on April 3, 2010 after a short illness. While she lived to see the CWRM take action to partially restore Honopou, today, her work to implement that decision—to give it meaning—continues through her daughter Lyn Scott. Attorneys at NHLC have rededicated their efforts to making stream restoration a reality in her memory.
Your donation will enable the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation to provide effective, low cost legal assistance to individuals, families and communities who seek to protect their traditional cultural practices and maintain their ancestral ties to their lands and natural resources.