Indigenous Peoples’ Day: New film chronicles the Duwamish Tribe’s recognition fight

On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the Duwamish Tribe remains without federal recognition.

The tribe hasn’t given up the fight, and recently circulated a March 2016 document that is interpreted as giving them the right to appeal last year’s decision rejecting their longstanding bid for recognition (a challenge that Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen took directly to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in West Seattle a few months later).

The Duwamish also are getting new attention via a documentary chronicling both their campaign for recognition and that of another Washington state tribe, the Chinook. It’s called “Promised Land,” and its second Seattle-area screening is coming up one week from tonight. The trailer is above; the screening is at 8 pm Monday, October 17th, as part of the Social Justice Film Festival, at the University of Washington – details here, including how to get tickets.

Closer to home, you can learn more about our area’s First People by visiting the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center (4705 W. Marginal Way SW) Mondays-Saturdays, 10 am-5 pm, free admission, donations accepted.

6 Replies to "Indigenous Peoples' Day: New film chronicles the Duwamish Tribe's recognition fight"

  • Mike October 10, 2016 (7:00 pm)

    Interesting, I might need to go see this film.  I fully support getting the Duwamish recognized by the feds.

  • Bill at Duwamish Head October 10, 2016 (7:45 pm)

    I really need some help here understanding this issue. I am not very smart, I try, but here is my reality. I live in a spot called Duwamish Head, where the Duwamish River empties into Puget Sound. I have lived here for 6 years, paying my property taxes on my condo, and basically being a new resident. It is not called Bill, or George Washington Head, or (insert local sports or business hero) head. How can the Duwamish Tribe not be recognized? 

    Help me understand. 

  • miws October 10, 2016 (8:36 pm)

    Bill, this 7 1/2-year-old Historylink article on Duwamish Tribe Chairperson Cecile Hansen give some details on the Duwamish Tribe’s attempts to become federally recognized. 


  • wb October 10, 2016 (9:04 pm)

    I am so grateful this documentary has been made.  Tribal recognition is hugely important.  Thank you for the link, Mike.

  • Kelly October 11, 2016 (5:59 am)

    What can neighbors do to help at this point?   It’s so wrong that they’ve waited this long for recognition.

  • TheKing October 11, 2016 (7:45 am)

    The ultimate insult of having to prove your people and culture aren’t extinct. 

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