KUOW: Duwamish Tribe still looking for federal recognition

KUOW public radio reports on the Duwamish Tribe of Washington and its long struggle for federal recognition:
On a rainy Saturday afternoon, a strong brew of native tea warms up the crowd at the Duwamish Longhouse in West Seattle. The tribe has hosted this casual tea party every spring since the longhouse opened three years ago, along the Duwamish River bank.

“Are you all happy to be here?” asks Cecile Hansen, chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribe.

Hansen thanks the 50 or so people for coming, then she enlists their help in the tribe’s fight for recognition. “I would send a really tough letter to our President just saying, ‘Okay, sign the status back to the Duwamish people’,” Hansen says.

Hansen is the great, great grandniece of Chief Seattle, who once led the Duwamish. She argues the US government failed to honor a treaty signed with the chief more than 150 years ago. It promised the Duwamish reservation land and other tribal rights that never materialized.

Without a home base and federal standing, the Duwamish have struggled for decades to maintain their identity and cohesion. Hansen describes her tribe as “homeless”.

Get the Story:
Seattle's Fragmented Duwamish Tribe Struggles For Identity (KUOW 5/21)

Related Stories:
Law Article: Judge resurrects Duwamish Tribe's recognition bid (04/11)
Ex-BIA official backs Duwamish Tribe's federal recognition (03/29)
ICT interview with Cecile Hansen, leader of Duwamish Tribe (3/28)
Chair of Duwamish Tribe in 'state of shock' after judge's ruling (3/26)
Judge orders BIA to reconsider Duwamish Tribe recognition (3/25)

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