Maui News

Native Hawaiian Law Digital Archive Receives International Award

November 19, 2018, 5:10 PM HST
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The University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa School of Law’s Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law received an international award for Punawaiola, a digital archive project dedicated to the collection of digitized Hawaiian kingdom historical and legal materials.

Punawaiola is the first bilingual website at the UH law school and features many Hawaiian language contributions from students.

The award, the Guardians of Culture and Lifeways International Awards Program, recognized organizations and individuals for outstanding work in using indigenous archives, libraries, and museums to promote the cultural sovereignty of native nations. The International Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATALM) established the award back in 2017.

Avis Kuuipoleialoha Poai, the director of legal history, archives, and student outreach, accepted the award at the 11th International ATALM conference, which was recently held in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

Under Poai’s leadership, the archive has gone from 20,000 images from four legal archival collections when it was founded in 2008 to 10 times that number. The images come from more than 36 legal archival collections and include early government records, often in delicate condition. The “blawg” is a new component on the site that highlights images from the past to shed light on Hawaiʻi‘s unique legal history and Hawaiian language materials.

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More information can be found on the law schoolʻs website.

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