U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour ruled last Friday that the Department of Interior wrongly denied the tribe's petition for federal recognition in 2001. He ordered the agency to consider the tribe's petition using 1994 guidelines, or explain why it declines to do so.
The Duwamish have been seeking federal recognition for more than three decades. The tribe initially petitioned for recognition in 1977.
Federally recognized tribes enjoy privileges and rights, including powers of self-government and federal services.
The Duwamish people lived on lands that are now south Seattle, Renton and Kent.
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