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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reframing Kānāwai: Towards a Restorative Justice Framework for Indigenous Peoples


This article introduces a developing analytical framework for decolonizing legal education, critical analysis, and advocacy from and for Native communities. The second edition of Native Hawaiian Law: A Treatise, the definitive resource for understanding both historical and emerging legal issues affecting Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians), will employ this contextual inquiry framework to encourage academic discourse and critical thinking about not only what the law is, but what it should be. The Treatise's contextual framing is born from the idea that legal analysis cannot focus solely on "traditional" notions of rights because such notions are grounded in western concepts of property that are not universally applicable, especially in Hawai'i.

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