At nonprofits and other organizations around the U.S., it’s become common practice to acknowledge that the land we all live on was stolen from the displaced and marginalized Indigenous peoples of this continent. In meetings and at galas, we occasionally make a point to state that the descendants of those peoples are still among us, bearing the weight of decades of oppression.
At Solid Ground, we know this acknowledgement is meaningless if it’s not coupled with action.
That’s why we’ve joined the growing movements of individuals and organizations calling for the long-sought federal recognition of the Duwamish Tribe, the People of the Inside, dxʷdəwʔabš – the first people of Seattle.
Federal recognition would be a meaningful acknowledgement that the Duwamish did not cease to exist some time in the last 167 years – as the U.S. Department of the Interior claims – and that they’re still here, on their ancestral land. It would give the Tribe access to a variety of federal resources and services that would allow it to do more to look after its people. And it would give the Duwamish people a chance to begin to address some of the vast inequities that Indigenous families face today in the Seattle area.
But the Duwamish Tribe, which has fought this battle before, knows it can’t win alone. Cecile Hansen, chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribal Council and a descendent of Chief Seattle, says that finally securing federal recognition for her tribe after all these years will require a movement – one that encompasses partners far beyond the Indigenous community.
Solid Ground is proud to be one of those partners.
Under the direction of the Duwamish Tribe, we’re taking these steps to advance its fight for justice long overdue.
- We’re educating everyone in the Solid Ground community about the Duwamish struggle for rights and self determination, urging all to sign the Petition for Federal Recognition for the Duwamish Tribe.
- We’re asking our community to consider donating to Real Rent Duwamish if they’re able. We’ve increased our own annual donation as well.
- We’re urging our fellow nonprofits and partners to join Solid Ground to endorse the Duwamish fight for federal recognition.
- We’re reaching out to local and federal elected officials, asking them to agree to meet with tribal representatives.
- We’re keeping an open dialogue with the tribe about other ways we can support their work.
The time for acknowledgements alone is over.
It’s time for us all to act on our values and work to right this historic wrong on behalf of the first people of Seattle. Please join us in this movement.