The Duwamish Tribe announced plans to file a lawsuit this week against the U.S. federal government to secure its tribal sovereignty, according to a media release from the tribe.
According to the Duwamish Tribe, the U.S. made promises in the Treaty of Point Elliott, signed by Chief Seattle in 1855, 167 years ago.
The Treaty of Point Elliott was a land settlement treaty between the U.S. government and the Native American tribes of the Puget Sound region.
It was signed on Jan. 22, 1855, in Mukilteo by Chief Seattle, Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens and representatives of the Duwamish, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Snohomish, Lummi, Skagit and Swinomish tribes.
The Suquamish Port Madison, Tulalip, Swinomish and Lummi reservations were established as a result of the treaty, excluding the Duwamish and other tribes that signed the treaty.
Settlers believed the treaty required the Duwamish to move onto the reservations established for other tribes, most of which were enemies of the Duwamish.
The Duwamish Tribe believes the signed treaty promised federal recognition of the tribe.
The continued refusal of federal recognition has led to the denial of federal support for health, education and anti-poverty programs, according to the tribe.
The 600-plus Duwamish Tribe members said they are continuing to survive and thrive despite the acknowledgement.
Over 100,000 people signed a petition for federal recognition, a sign of momentum building in support of their cause.
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