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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Posted: Thursday, June 19th, 2014 10:10 AM HST

Feds take step toward Native Hawaiian recognition

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) The federal government says it will take a first step toward possibly recognizing and working with a separate government of Native Hawaiians.

A series of public meetings will be held during the next 60 days with Native Hawaiians, other members of the public and Native American tribes in the continental U.S. to discuss the complex issue.

A U.S. Interior Department official told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that they are not yet proposing a formal policy. Hawaii's four-member congressional delegation issued a joint statement applauding President Barack Obama's administration for its commitment to open dialogue and its decision to start the process with listening sessions in Hawaii.

A spokesman for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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