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PIELC 2015 to Feature Malia Akutagawa


EUGENE, Ore. –(December 30, 2014)– Malia Akutagawa will give a keynote presentation at Changing Currents: the 33rd Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, held at the University of Oregon.

Malia Akutagawa is an Assistant Professor of Law with both the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law and Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.

Malia AkutagawaMalia is part of Hui ʻĀina Momona, a consortium of scholars throughout the university community charged with addressing compelling issues of indigenous Hawaiian knowledge and practices, including the legal regime and Native Hawaiian rights associated with mālama ʻāina, and with focus on cross-disciplinary solutions to natural and cultural resource management, sustainability, and food security.

She has served in many various outlets, from Director of the Molokai Rural Development Project, to staff attorney with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation where she worked on Hawaiian access, gathering, burial, land use and water rights cases.

Malia coordinated the 1993 Molokai Subsistence Study which served as the impetus for passage of Act 271 by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 1994 allowing for the designation of “community-based subsistence fishing areas” and a successful pilot project run by Hawaiian Homesteaders of Hui Mālama O Mo`omomi of an important traditional subsistence fishery on Molokai’s northwest shore.

Malia’s work focuses on the integration of Hawaiian traditional ecological knowledge and best practices into natural resource management at the local level and in collaboration with government. She has presented testimony as an invited panelist before the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs’ Oversight Hearing on Impacts of Environmental Changes on Treaty Rights, Traditional Lifestyles, and Tribal Homelands.

Changing Currents: the 33rd Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference will take place March 5-8, 2015, at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon. More information can be found at


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