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Public hearings set for federal Native Hawaiian recognition

June 18, 2014 - 11:50pm

The U.S. Department of Interior will hold three public hearings on the Big Island in July, seeking input on whether and how the federal government should create a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.

“When I met with members of the Native Hawaiian community last year during my visit to the state, I learned first-hand about Hawaii’s unique history and the importance of the special trust relationship that exists between the federal government and the Native Hawaiian community,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a conference call Wednesday w2ith reporters. “Through this step, the Department is responding to requests from not only the Native Hawaiian community but also state and local leaders and interested parties who recognize that we need to begin a conversation of diverse voices to help determine the best path forward for honoring the trust relationship that Congress has created specifically to benefit Native Hawaiians.”

Hawaii Island meetings will be held:

Wednesday, July 2 — Hilo – 6-9 p.m. Keaukaha Elementary School

Thursday, July 3 — Waimea – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Waimea Community Center

Thursday, July 3 — Kona – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Kealakehe High School

See tomorrow’s West Hawaii Today for more information