Land Rights and Law in American Sāmoa

October 18, 11:00am - 12:30pm
West Oʻahu Campus, Nāulu Center UH West OÊ»ahu

Dr. Line-Noue Memea Kruse will be speaking on issues that affect land tenure, culture, and law in American Sāmoa. The research for this topic comes from primary sources found in in New Zealand, Sāmoa, Germany, Hawaiʻi, and California since the 1850s to the twentieth century. Dr. Kruse addresses how land tenure in American Sāmoa has changed from all native (communally owned) land prior to 1890 to more land being owned by individuals than the entire government of American Sāmoa, now. She asserts that the introduction of adverse possession rights by the US Navy has evolved into individual rights of communal lands and the cultural obligation to clans and families are being negatively impacted by these land tenure changes. So much so, Dr. Kruse asserts, that as the citizenship lawsuits filed in federal courts in Washington D.C. may one day address the changed nature of Sāmoan culture and lessening of communal obligation within the family clans that there no longer exists the dissimilar culture protecting American Sāmoan's communal land rights exclusive to American Sāmoans and matai titles in an American territory.

Dr. Memea Kruse currently teaches at the Pacific Islands Studies, Political Science, History, Religion departments at Brigham Young University-Hawaiʻi. She was also the first person of Samoan descent to be a territorial planner and manager of the Planning division in the American Sāmoan Government and thus brings a wealth of experience on knowledge in this field.

Dr. Kruse will also be selling copies of her newly published book, "The Pacific Insular Case of American Sāmoa: Land Rights and Law in Unincorporated Territories," which highlights the impacts of U.S. colonialism on land tenure in American Sāmoa. [] This free event is open to UHWO students, faculty, staff and the to the general public. For those who are not able to attend, this event will be livestreamed on our Facebook account.

Ticket Information

Event Sponsor
Humanities/Hawaiian-Pacific Studies/Samoan Classes, West Oʻahu Campus

More Information
Samoan Language Courses, (808) 689-2355,

Share by email