North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Local Hawaiians are meeting to discuss the process of reestablishing a native Hawaiian government to protect the rights of its people around the country.
It has been 121 years since the Hawaiian government was overthrown by American settlers.
At the time native Hawaiians said the nation had dozens of international treaties, including some with the United States.
Over the past two decades, efforts have been underway to make amends.
At this point that discussion involves federal recognition for a native Hawaiian government that is in the process of being reestablished.
"Work with the state, and work with the federal government, and work with the international," Soulee Stroud, President of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs said.
Supporters of the government to government agreement, similar to that between the U.S. and Native Americans say it would help ensure continued support of the native Hawaiian population nationwide, including the large number of Hawaiians in Southern Nevada.
"In health, education and housing," Stroud said.
Not everyone is in favor of government recognition, saying it would minimize the power of the native Hawaiians.
Some maintain that the nation should remain sovereign and reestablish an independent government that will seek to update the international treaties that were in place before the unites states occupation began.
"You might say in 1893 Hawaii was kidnapped by the United States, but is treated like it was adopted," Dr. Keanu Sai said.
There is one positive both sides say is coming out of the discussion.
"I think what it is providing is a venue for people to start asking questions and that is good," Sai said.
The Department of the Interior is taking written testimony on the issue until the middle of next month.
It will likely be several months after that before any movement is made on the issue.