A small ceremony earlier this month organized by several nontribal groups offered a formal apology to the Duwamish people for the ongoing colonization and occupation of their lands.
Organizer Norma Jean Young gathered people at the Duwamish Longhouse to offer a formal apology to the Duwamish Tribe.
The apology ceremony, which involved several nontribal groups in the Seattle area, acknowledged the damage of colonialism by the West and the United States, including the introduction of diseases, the forced separation of children from families into boarding schools, and pledged partnership and engagement with the Duwamish people.
Several tribal leaders attended the event and accepted Young’s apology.
The Duwamish people have lived in Seattle/Greater King Country area for thousands of years, but has been fighting for acknowledgement as its own nation by the United States for 160 years. This recognition would allow the tribe rights to land and give access to benefits and other services for its members.
As of today, the case for recognition for Duwamish tribe case is still under review by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals.
Though the U.S. government fails to recognize and acknowledge the Duwamish people and their territorial rights, the Duwamish continue to stand up for themselves and reclaim their own status.