The federal recognition battle is a tricky one. Frequently opposed by Republicans and other negative-U.S.-history-deniers (which at this rate is beginning to include Barack Obama), adding federal recognition is an important step toward becoming an honest society, simply by living up to the words that we spoke when we swindled the original inhabitants out of their land.
Clearly, we made a deal with the Duwamish. Why don't we recognize it?
See McDermott's press release below.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced legislation today, H.R. 2678, calling for federal recognition of the Duwamish Tribe. The bill’s introduction came on the same day the House voted to extend federal recognition to Virginia Tribes; in recognizing those efforts, Rep. McDermott noted in remarks on the House floor that there was more work to do:
“Despite the Treaty of Point Elliot the Duwamish signed in good faith with the United States in 1855, federal recognition has not been extended and this is wrong. Promises were made to the Duwamish, but not kept. And it is time to correct this injustice for the Duwamish, just as we are doing in Virginia.”
For a matter of hours at the end of the Clinton Administration the Duwamish Tribe seemed to have obtained federal recognition, but the status was reversed at the beginning of the Bush Administration. The legislation introduced by Rep. McDermott would decide the matter once and for all.
In the House today, Rep. McDermott said: “It is my hope that the new day dawning across America is bright enough to shine enough light for us to see and correct the injustices endured for too long by the first Americans.”