group photo of awardees
Avis Poai, standing third from left, with other awardees and dignitaries at International Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.

The William S. Richardson School of Law’s Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law has received an international award for Punawaiola, a digital archives project dedicated to the collection and dissemination of digitized Hawaiian kingdom historical and legal materials.

Established in 2007 by the International Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATALM), the Guardians of Culture and Lifeways International Awards Program recognizes organizations and individuals who are outstanding examples of how indigenous archives, libraries and museums contribute to the vitality and cultural sovereignty of native nations.

Avis Kuuipoleialoha Poai, director of legal history, archives and student outreach, accepted the award at the 11th International ATALM conference held recently at Prior Lake, Minnesota. Punawaiola is the first bilingual website at the UH law school and features many Hawaiian language contributions from students.

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 of the site that highlights images from the past to shed light on Hawaiʻi‘s unique legal history and Hawaiian language materials.

For the full story, see the law school website.

—By Beverly Creamer