West Seattle Chamber of Commerce members heard from Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen during their lunch meeting today at the tribe’s Longhouse and Cultural Center in eastern West Seattle. She provided an update on the tribe’s fight for federal recognition, granted toward the end of the Clinton Administration, invalidated at the start of the Bush Administration: Hansen says the Duwamish have a new legal team in place to help them with their appeal of the latter decision, which they had been pursuing for years, along with new legislation. (She in fact left shortly after her speech for a meeting with the new team, which is why we don’t have a photo of her from today – we’d intended to take one with Chamber leaders as the lunch wrapped up.) According to Hansen, the tribe’s 600 current members are spread around the region, and their intent to seek recognition has no “ulterior motive.” She requested support in the form of letters to Congress, asking them to get the recognition process moving. Meantime, the Longhouse has presented a variety of fundraisers to help pay the legal bills, under the “Frybread for Justice” umbrella – there’s another one this Saturday; check the Longhouse website’s Calendar of Events for more on that and many other upcoming events.
OTHER NOTES FROM THE CHAMBER LUNCH: Local businesses are invited to join a Seattle Chamber event tonight that’s almost in West Seattle – a citywide mixer at Herban Feast’s Sodo Park, 5:30 pm … That’s also the site of next week’s Chamber fundraiser, Bordeaux, Bites, and Boogie, October 21st at 5 pm (more information here) … City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will be the “Lunch with LEO” guest for the periodic brown-bag-with-an-elected-leader at WS Chamber offices, noon October 28th, RSVP required … And next month’s Chamber lunch will feature South Seattle Community College‘s new president Gary Oertli.