Breann Swann Nu’uhiwa

  • Lecturer in Law


  • BA Yale University 2001
  • JD University of Southern California, Gould School of Law 2004
  • LLM Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, 2009


Breann is the Chief Advocate of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Prior to joining OHA as Public Policy Manager in 2011, Breann was a Research and Teaching Fellow with the Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law. She teaches Federal Indian Law and Native Law & Policy, and her scholarship focuses on issues that impact the self-determination and self-governance of indigenous peoples, including government systems, labor matters and language rights.

Before returning home to join Ka Huli Ao, Breann served as Assistant General Counsel to the tribal government of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, an Indian tribe comprised of the Akimel O’Odham and Xalychidom Piipaash peoples in Southwest Arizona. As Assistant General Counsel to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Breann provided strategic advice and counsel to the tribal government and its divisions regarding various aspects of tribal law and policy. Concurrently, Breann pursued an LL.M. in Tribal Policy, Law, and Government at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where she studied federal Indian law and law pertaining to cultural resources, natural resources, indigenous language planning and policy, and international indigenous rights.

Prior to entering the field of Indian law, Breann practiced labor and employment law in Los Angeles, participating in all aspects of state and federal court litigation involving sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, discrimination, breach of contract, wage and hour, and complex class action claims. Breann received her B.A. in English from Yale University in 2001 and her J.D. from the University of Southern California in 2004. While at the University of Southern California, Breann was an Executive Editor of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. 


Implicit Bias Against Native Peoples as Sovereigns, in IMPLICIT BIAS ACROSS THE LAW (2012) (with S. Serrano).

We Are Who We Thought We Were: Congress’ Authority to Recognize a Native Hawaiian Polity United by Common Ancestry, 13 ASIAN-PAC. L. & POL’Y J. 117 (2012) (with D. Kauanoe).