After a screening of the film Promised Lands, a discussion began with various Duwamish tribe representatives about claiming space for the original inhabitants of Seattle in a changing city.
The Chairwoman of the tribe, Cecile Hansen, talked about the struggles that the Duwamish tribe have faced in trying to maintain who they are. The city has ignored the tribe’s traditions and life by developing their land and not caring about their customs. An example is the Highway 99 tunnel project where the Washington State Department of Transportation ran into human remains from the Duwamish tribe while digging the tunnel and did almost nothing about it. Action needs to be taken to recognize the Duwamish and their contribution to society.
The tribe representatives stressed the need for all of us to approach the city government and advocate for equality for the Duwamish people. Representation of the native culture around Seattle is key in maintaining the diverse community that is present in the city. We need to honor the original people of the city not ignore them.
— Group 7 from the University of Washington class reporting on the Women Who Rock Conference