Most Seattleites know that Seattle was named after Chief Sealth, leader of the Duwamish Tribe, who signed the Treaty of Point Elliot which gave land to white settlers to establish their new city. We immortalize his image throughout the city, yet we do not recognize his people, the Duwamish.
Chief Sealth was the first to place his mark on the Treaty of 1855. The Tribe signed over 54,000 acres of land “in exchange for a reservation, healthcare, education, acknowledgement, and protection of their rights to continue to fish and hunt.The Treaty has never been fully honored. In 2001, the tribe was finally given Federal Recognition at the end of the Clinton Administration –only to have the positive determination overturned days later by the incoming Bush Administration.
The injustice of a tribe potentially going extinct due to the lack of federal acknowledgement is untenable. We must join them in their fight for recognition. We must not let them stand alone.
It is time to take a stand.
Without the Duwamish, Seattle would be