Duwamish Excluded from Bill Requiring WA Schools to Teach Tribal History



Easy solution.

President Biden should sign an updated treaty with the Duwamish.



Since the Suqaumsih are federally recognized and there is a great deal of overlap between the two (Chief Sealth led both tribes) I’m not sure this is really a problem.


Why not just pass a law to recognize the "treaty tribes" ?
That way, some future republican president can't just take away their recognition with an executive order.

Murray? Cantwell? Are you listening?


What would have been useful is if Matt would have bothered to explain why the Duwamish are not a federally recognized tribe. Yes I know Clinton Recognized them then Bush unrecognized them.

But why? Why were they not recognized until the 1990s under Clinton?


The Duwamish Tribe of treaty times is already federally recognized in its modern incarnation, the Tulalip Tribes. The entity that has been denied federal recognition is not the Duwamish Tribe but rather Cecil Hansen’s private organization of Duwamish Indians, which is not the heir to the Duwamish Tribe of treaty times. Tulalip is the heir to the Duwamish Tribe of treaty tribes and has enjoyed a long history of federal recognition.

Also, the Clinton recognition of Cecil Hansen’s organization as the Duwamish Tribe never actually entered effect, so it is not the case that the Bush administration unrecognized her organization.


@4 because Senator Skeletor did what he did.


U.S. states from Vermont to Alabama have unilaterally recognized non-federally-recognized tribes in their borders, such as the Nipmuc in MA and the Lumbee in NC. Why doesn't WA?


@4 There is a very thorough analysis here: https://turtletalk.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/muckleshoot-response.pdf

To be fair, this is in the context of the Muckleshoot opposition to federal recognition for the Duwamish, but it does provide a good overview of the factual background and the legal arguments. As you'll see, this is a far more complex issue than Matt suggested.


Thanks for the link, @8. Devastating lawyering by the Muckleshoot Tribe (another federally recognized heir to the treaty-times Duwamish).

Folks who wish to honor the Duwamish Tribe may do so by paying their respects at the long-established reservations of Muckleshoot, Tulalip, Port Madison, and Lummi, where the Duwamish and other tribes have been exercising their sovereignty, with full federal recognition, for over a century.