Kanak leaders want the French president to recognise the early phase of New Caledonia's colonisation as a crime against humanity.
Members of the customary Kanak Senate made the call as New Caledonia gears up for Emmanuel Macron's visit in two weeks.
They said during last year's presidential election campaign Mr Macron described the colonisation of Algeria by France as a crime against humanity.
They said they also wanted him to recognise the legitimacy of the Kanak chiefly structure whose powers were taken away when France seized the island in 1853.
The Senate's vice president said the identity of the Kanak people had to be recognised by recognising its sovereignty.
The presidential visit comes amid preparations of a referendum on independence from France in November.
Earlier this week, a Kanak tribe has spoken out against plans for Mr Macron to visit the grave of the 19 Kanaks killed in the 1988 Ouvea hostage drama, describing them as a provocation.
Several people of Gossanah on Ouvea said they didn't want him there because the French republic had shown no respect to the families of the victims and made no gesture whatsoever.
The Ouvea hostage crisis, which occurred in the middle of the 1988 French presidential election, ended with the French security forces killing 19 hostage takers.