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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Indigenous Peoples’ Journal of Law, Culture & Resistance is a student run law journal publishing writings concerning Native Peoples’ cultures, traditions, and histories. In so doing the Journal promotes Native scholarship and seeks out publishable material from the traditional perspective as well as the intellectual in order to bring attention to specific situations and legal battles facing Native communities.

Indigenous Peoples' Journal of Law, Culture, & Resistance

Issue cover


E OLA KA ‘ŌLELO HAWAI‘I: Protecting the Hawaiian Language and Providing Equality for Kānaka Maoli

Hawai‘i’s history is one like many other indigenous communities across the globe: a colonizing regime actively assisted in the illegal overthrow of another internationally recognized sovereign government.  Following the American overthrow in Hawai‘i, the new regime implemented laws in effect banning the teaching of the indigenous language, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i—an act of assimilation that tore the fabric of Hawaiian culture and society.  Since the overthrow in 1893, and the near death of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, Native Hawaiians have been seeking justice.  Over time, the State of Hawai‘i and the United States made some efforts to try to resolve these historical injustices and provide equality for the Native Hawaiian people.  In 1978, for example, the people of the State of Hawai‘i ratified constitutional amendments that tried to revive ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.  The amendments included making ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i an “official” language of the State and encouraging the teaching and use of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.  With four decades of resurgence of Hawaiian language speakers, questions have arisen about the use of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i in government spaces, particularly in court.  Yet, the courts have, thus far, been coy to truly embrace the State constitutional mandates.  This Article argues that the courts must allow the use of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i because it is a traditional and customary practice that is protected under the court’s established precedent.  This Article, thus, critically analyzes the history of the laws pertaining to ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i as a way to illuminate how Native Hawaiians can obtain some semblance of equality in their own homeland.

Money Talks, Banks are Talking: Dakota Access Pipeline Finance Aftermath

This Article provides a Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) finance and divestment campaign retrospective.  The Article explains: 1) how DAPL was financed, highlighting the dynamic in which banks take fees for the privilege of financing and refinancing pipeline debt; and 2) how joint venture ownership structures and corporate finance arrangements buffered against efforts to hold DAPL banks accountable.  At the same time, many of the same banks finance gun industry and prison industry growth, alongside increased police militarization.  Although, intersectional visibility of these financial ties is a start, victims of the financial industry lack enforceable corporate accountability mechanisms for seeking redress.  DAPL banks managed to deflect divestment pressure and avoid meaningful remedial actions.  These observations point to the need for systemic changes in corporate accountability mechanisms but also to reclaim and reimagine a world outside of capital, of future self-determined indigenous economic structures, new visions and practices of complementary currencies, and other banking alternatives.