Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Legal Resources

Legal Primers in Native Hawaiian Law

These legal primers provide community-oriented introductions to laws governing iwi kupuna (ancestral bones), traditional and customary rights, water, and quiet title.  They are designed to summarize major laws and issues, and direct those with additional questions to available resources.

Although these primers are intended to provide helpful information, they are not substitutes for and do not provide individualized legal advice.  If you have legal questions, please consult an attorney who specializes in these areas of law. 

These primers were printed with funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Ho‘i Hou I Ka Iwikuamo‘o: A Legal Primer for the Protection of Iwi Kupuna in Hawai‘i Nei (PDF)
Natasha Baldauf '11 and Malia Akutagawa '97
This primer provides an introduction to the laws governing iwi kupuna (ancestral bones) for those wanting to better understand their rights and the overall legal and cultural landscape affecting iwi (bones). While it cannot resolve all questions regarding the protection and preservation of iwi kupuna, this legal primer is designed to summarize major Hawai‘i and Federal laws and issues, and direct those with additional questions to available resources, legal or otherwise. Although this primer provides helpful information, it is not a substitute for and does not provide individualized legal advice. If you have legal questions, please consult an attorney who specializes in this area.

Ho‘ohana Aku, a Ho‘ola Aku: A Legal Primer for Traditional and Customary Rights in Hawai‘i (PDF)
David M. Forman '93 and Susan K. Serrano '98
This primer provides an introduction to Hawai‘i law governing traditional and customary Native Hawaiian rights for those wanting to better understand the overall legal and cultural landscape. While it cannot resolve all questions regarding traditional and customary rights in these islands, it is designed to summarize major Hawai‘i laws and issues, and direct those with additional questions to available resources, legal or otherwise. Although this primer is intended to provide helpful information, it is not a substitute for and does not provide individualized legal advice. If you have legal questions, please consult an attorney who specializes in this area.

OLA I KA WAI: A Legal Primer for Water Use and Management in Hawai‘i (PDF)

D. Kapua‘ala Sproat '98
This primer provides an introduction to Hawai‘i water law for those wanting to better understand their rights and the overall legal and cultural landscape. While it cannot resolve all questions regarding water use and management in these islands, it is designed to summarize major Hawai‘i laws and issues, and direct those with additional questions to available resources, legal or otherwise. Although this primer is intended to provide helpful information, it is not a substitute for and does not provide individualized legal advice. If you have legal questions, please consult an attorney who specializes in this area.

E ‘Onipa‘a i Ke Kulaiwi: A Legal Primer for Quiet Title & Partition Law in Hawai‘i (PDF)

Stephanie M. Chen with Kainui M. Smith '13, Mari L. Tsukayama '12, & Lisa H. Higa '14
This primer is designed to offer readers a better understanding of the legal processes associated with quiet title and partition lawsuits in Hawai‘i and to provide a foundation for those who wish to protect their ancestral land interests using the legal system. Although this primer is intended to provide helpful information, it is not a substitute for and does not provide individualized legal advice. If you have legal questions, please consult an attorney who specializes in this area.