HONOLULU (AP) - Issues important to Native Hawaiians, including their relationship with the federal government, will be on the agenda of a three-day conference this week in Honolulu.
The 12th annual Native Hawaiian Convention opens Tuesday at the Hawaii Convention Center. More than 500 people have registered.
Discussions will include the pursuit of formal federal recognition of Hawaiians administratively rather than legislatively, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
"We have to continue to make sure we solidify our trust relationship with the federal government," said Michelle Kauhane, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.
The council organized the convention with the help from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.
The roll commission's campaign to register Hawaiians so they can start their own government will be a discussion topic. The campaign is called Kana'iolowalu.
Also on the agenda is federal government intent for administrative rules for the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920. The law created a 200,000-acre trust for eligible Native Hawaiians. It has had no formal federal regulations.
Part of the three-day convention will focus on ways for nonprofit groups to obtain funding from national foundations. About three dozen Native Hawaiian leaders traveled to New York in June to meet representatives of foundations, said Robin Danner, a part-time policy adviser to the council and its former president.
Hawaiians can discuss their most important community issues at the convention, she said.
"It's all about working together," she said.
U.S. Department of Interior officials Thursday confirmed that Secretary Sally Jewell will attend. Jewell, the former CEO of recreation gear supplier REI, will give a keynote address Wednesday.