The lawsuit filed today by the Duwamish Organization is without merit and is yet another attempt to appropriate the history and culture of the Muckleshoot and other federally recognized tribes that are comprised of Duwamish descendants. The Duwamish Organization is not representative of the thousands of Duwamish descendants that are members of the Muckleshoot Tribe and other Western Washington Tribes, including Suquamish, Tulalip, and Puyallup. The group is a voluntary cultural heritage association, not an Indian tribe.
Multiple decisions by the federal courts and United States Department of Interior over the years clearly document why the Duwamish Organization is not a tribe. The Duwamish Organization’s previous attempts to gain federal recognition have been reviewed and rejected by three Administrations. Most recently the Obama administration, after a thorough review of the record, reaffirmed that the Duwamish Organization is not an Indian tribe and not entitled to federal recognition as such. We are confident the courts will yet again reject this request.