By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - The federal government says it's taking its first step toward re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians.
Rhea Suh of the U.S. Department of the Interior said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters that the department will begin holding conversations with the public about the next steps.
They will host a series of public meetings over the next six months with Native Hawaiians, members of the public and Native American tribes on the continental U.S.
Native Hawaiians have been have been taking steps to form their own government. The possibility of federal recognition led some to call for a delay in the nation-building process.
Department spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw says the government building process can happen at the same time as the push for potential federal recognition.