Politics | Federal Recognition

Duwamish Tribe supporter announces retirement from Congress

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Washington). Photo from Facebook

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Washington), a longtime supporter of federal recognition for the Duwamish Tribe, will be retiring at the end of the 114th Congress.

McDermott first joined the House in 1988. During that time he's introduced several bills to extend recognition to the tribe, whose ancestors include Chief Si’ahl, the namesake of Seattle.

"For the last 27 years, the people of Washington’s Seventh Congressional District have chosen me to represent them in the United States Congress," McDermott said at a news conference in Seattle. "The support and trust symbolized by the voters’ judgment is the highest honor they could have bestowed upon me, and I will retire from the House forever humbled and grateful for my constituents’ unwavering embrace."

The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a final decision against recognition for the tribe in July 2015 but Chairwoman Cecile Hansen has vowed to keep fighting.

McDermott represents Washington's 7th congressional district, where Native Americans make up about 1.1 percent of the population.

Get the Story:
Rep. Jim McDermott announces he won't seek reelection (KING5 News 1/4)
As Fourteen-Term Congressman Jim McDermott Announces Retirement, the List of Possible Replacements Grows (The Stranger 1/4)
Jim McDermott Announces Retirement (Roll Call 1/4)
Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington, Won’t Seek Re-election to the House (The New York Times 1/4)
Jim McDermott to retire; many consider a run, including another McDermott (The Seattle Times 1/5)

Federal Register Notice:
Final Decision on Remand Against Federal Acknowledgment of the Duwamish Tribal Organization (July 30, 2015)

Relevant Documents:
BIA Press Release | Letter to Chairwoman Hansen | Final Determination

Related Stories:
Chair of Duwamish Tribe presses Secretary Jewell on recognition (08/31)
Duwamish Tribe won't give up long quest for recognition recognition (07/07)
Leader of Duwamish Tribe calls denial of recognition 'devastating' (7/3)
Duwamish Tribe rejected for federal recognition for a third time (7/2)
Washington tribes could get another shot at federal recognition (6/2)
KUOW: Duwamish Tribe still looking for federal recognition (05/22)
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 (03/28)
Chair of Duwamish Tribe in 'state of shock' after court decision (03/26)
Judge orders BIA to reconsider Duwamish Tribe recognition (03/25)
Duwamish Tribe still pushing for federal status after 156 years (10/05)

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