$600,000 grant will fund
native Hawaiian law center
The University of Hawaii at Manoa's law school will received a $600,000 grant to establish a native Hawaiian law center.
The Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law will focus on education, research and the preservation of historical, legal, traditional and customary materials, the university said in a written press release.
The center will also conduct community outreach work and also offer new courses and encourage and support native Hawaiian law students as they pursue legal careers and leadership roles.
"We have a unique opportunity to examine the laws that affect native Hawaiians critically and to educate our students and the larger community about those laws. The center will preserve aspects of law that respect the Hawaiian culture and spirit as part of our responsibility to the native Hawaiian community and to future generations," said Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie, the center's director.
Law school Dean Aviam Soifer credited U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and the rest of the Hawaii congressional delegation for the grant.
In a commencement address last year, Inouye discussed plans for the center, saying, "It is my hope that this center will serve as an important educational resource as native Hawaiians and the broader community move forward together to achieve a measure of reconciliation for the loss of native Hawaiian sovereignty, resulting from the unlawful overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893."
Members of the center's advisory board include Beadie Dawson ('81 law degree), counsel at Dwyer, Schraff, Meyer, Jossem & Bushnell; Moses Haia III ('94 law degree), staff attorney at the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.; Summer Kupau ('04 law degree), law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Simeon Acoba; Dee Jay Mailer, chief executive officer of Kamehameha Schools; Jon Osorio, acting director of the UH-Manoa Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies; and former Chief Justice William Richardson, namesake of the School of Law.
William S. Richardson School of Law