VIDEO: Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen vows to continue fight for federal recognition

Six days after the federal government announced it was again denying recognition to the Duwamish Tribe – as reported here last Thursday – Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen declared today that they will continue to fight for it. She led a media briefing today at the tribe’s West Seattle longhouse; our video above shows it, unedited. Hansen has led the tribe for 40 years; she spoke of the treaty the tribe signed 160 years ago, saying “When we signed that treaty, we did not give up sovereignty. … We seek justice, and we continue to seek it.” She said she feels especially let down by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, a former West Seattleite whose department includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which issued last week’s decision. According to Hansen, they’ll be meeting later this month with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, and are continuing to review legal documents from along the way in their long battle for recognition – granted by the Clinton Administration, overturned by the Bush Administration, now rejected by the Obama Administration. A letter-writing campaign is under consideration as well. “We’re not going to give up,” she declared. “I think there should be an uprising of the citizens of this city that their indigenous people are not being recognized by the federal government.”

10 Replies to "VIDEO: Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen vows to continue fight for federal recognition"

  • Norma July 8, 2015 (5:18 pm)

    I know it doesn’t help much but anyone who grew up in this city recognizes the Duwamish Tribe. Glad you’re not giving up!

  • Tk July 8, 2015 (7:55 pm)

    ^^ that’s exactly what I said. Is there anything non natives can do? Perhaps we can create awareness and flood some government office with letters from Seattleites stating that we recognize the tribe???

  • Brizone July 8, 2015 (8:09 pm)

    GO CECILE!!!

  • AG July 8, 2015 (8:21 pm)

    We support you, Cecile.

  • Amy July 9, 2015 (6:41 am)

    TK: floods of letters are always good. You can call the Duwamish Longhouse and ask them which office to flood, but from the above article I’d say Sally Jewell and also Maria Cantwell. Not that I trust her after the TPP vote, but it’s something.

  • Amy July 9, 2015 (6:45 am)

    also: I think it’s a good time to go to the Longhouse and support their events. There’s a lecture, cultural program, and meal there this coming Sunday. Check their website. I went to the last one and it was very nice. Just google Duwamish Longhouse or look at their facebook page.

  • phil dirt July 9, 2015 (9:04 am)

    Hopefully, Maria Cantwell can get the Obama government to wise up and listen to the Duwamish and their supporters. Where is our other Senator, Patty Murray? Why Isn’t she supporting the Duwamish? Could it be that she needs encouragement from her constituents to focus a little bit on the plight of the Duwamish? Or is she, like her boss, opposed to recognition?

    Those of us who are native born Washingtonians and know the history of Seattle, know that the Duwamish Tribe is every bit as intwined into the history of Seattle as the Boren Party, Doc Maynard and all the rest.

  • edie July 9, 2015 (2:25 pm)

    US Rep. Jim McDermott introduced the Duwamish Tribe Recognition Act – House Bill 2176- in April. It has been referred to a House committee. Here is a link:

    Write, call, email! Urge your Electeds and Appointeds to support this Bill!!

  • Brenda Loew July 10, 2015 (11:33 pm)

    I, too, do not trust Murray & Cantwell after their vote on the TPP but we need to do everything we can to demand they work for Duwamish representation. Thank Rep. Jim McDermott for his action, and most of all THANK THE DUWAMISH for their people and gracious culture. If the Duwamish do not ultimately succeed, Seattle should change its name, perhaps to “Sellout” ? Truth must win out ultimately.

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