This semester, the Center continued its popular Maoli Thursdays, a lunchtime forum and speaker series on Native Hawaiian and other Pacific and Indigenous issues, held every first Thursday of the month.

On Thursday, April 3, 2008, the Center held “Pros & ConCons” featuring Representatives Hermina Morita and Della Au Belatti and moderated by Professor Jon Van Dyke. The 1978 Constitutional Convention (“ConCon”) adopted amendments to recognize Hawaiian as an official language of the State, protect Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, establish the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (“OHA”), and designate a portion of the ceded lands revenue to fund OHA to better the condition of native Hawaiians. In 2008, the question, “Should there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution?” will be on the ballot. Speakers explored whether a ConCon would continue, expand, or diminish gains by the Hawaiian community. This event was very well attended and students and faculty had an excellent dialogue with the Representatives and Professor Van Dyke. Mahalo to all who participated!



On Thursday, March 6, 2008, the Center held “Reconciliation for Native Hawaiians? OHA v. HCDCH and the Ceded Lands Dispute” featuring Sherry Broder, Esq., who represented OHA in the case, William Meheula, Esq., who represented both individual Native Hawaiian beneficiaries in OHA v. HCDCH, and who has represented OHA in litigation against the State of Hawai‘i to obtain its right to ceded land revenues, as well as Representative Kirk Caldwell, (Dist. 24: Mānoa, Moiliili, Punahou, and University) the House Majority Leader who was instrumental in seeking legislative approval for OHA’s proposed settlement with Governor Lingle on the ceded lands dispute. Visiting Assistant Professor Carl Christensen moderated the discussion. For more on the OHA v. HCDCH case, see the Director’s Column and Ho‘oholo I Mua - Towards Reconciliation? in this issue of Ka He‘e.



On Thursday, February 14, 2008, the Center held its first Maoli Thursday of the semester, “Deal or No Deal: The OHA Revenue Settlement,” featuring Dr. Jonathan Scheuer, OHA Land Division Manager and Clyde Namu‘o, OHA Administrator. On January 18, 2008, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced that it had reached a settlement with the State of Hawai‘i regarding amounts past-due to OHA since 1978 from income and proceeds of the Public Land Trust. At the time of this Maoli Thursday event, the proposal was pending before the Hawai‘i State Legislature. The speakers, who were intimately involved in the matter, described the proposed settlement and its potential effect on all of Hawai‘i’s people. Center Director Prof. Melody K. MacKenzie served as the moderator.