Duwamish leaders say fight for fed recognition not over

SEATTLE — Leaders of the Seattle-area Duwamish say their fight for federal recognition as an Indian Tribe isn’t over.

The U.S. Department of Interior issued a final decision last week denying the Duwamish official recognition, which would have entitled them to federal benefits such as housing, fishing rights and the possibility of operating a casino.

The Seattle Times reports that tribal chairwoman Cecile Hansen said Wednesday the group is working on its response but that there will likely be an appeal.

In its decision, the federal government said there wasn’t enough evidence to show the current group continued from the previously existing community or that it evolved as a group from the historical Duwamish tribe.

The tribe of about 600 began its legal quest for federal status in 1977. The case has had twists and turns.

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