Recently a friend forwarded me a Seattle Metarticle titled “The Politics of Paying Real Rent Duwamish” and a subsequent Reddit thread, along with an eye roll. The author successfully dumbed down the extraordinarily complex issue of federal recognition of Native tribes — to some distortion of reality where appropriative white people intend to open a casino in Seattle city limits to steal money away from other tribes in the region. This is unequivocally anti-Native racism.
As the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center filled with supporters and members of the Duwamish Tribe on Wednesday, May 11, drumming and singing opened the event with ancient songs and sounds that have echoed across the waters of the Puget Sound for thousands of years.
Cecile Hansen (Tribal Council Chair) Desiree Fagan (Councilmember) Ken Workman (Councilmember) James Rasmussen (Councilmember) John Boddy (Councilmember) Roger Boddy (Councilmember) Paul Nelson (Councilmember) Cindy Williams (Tribal Council Secretary/Treasurer) Russell Beard (Councilmember)
For at least 12,000 years, the Duwamish people have been living in what is now called King County. The “People of the Inside” inhabited the lands around Elliott Bay, along the Black, Cedar, and Duwamish Rivers, and around Lake Washington.
“We were second-class citizens in our own land,” my grandfather used to tell me, perhaps the only time I saw him with a hint of a scowl. Our land then was Hong Kong, where Chinese residents were under British control for 100 years. As the original inhabitants of Hong Kong were Punti, Hakka, Tanka, and Hokkien, the island has always been ethnically Chinese. My grandfather seldom spoke about the marginalization my family experienced during their time in Hong Kong as a British colony and when he did, he was brief. When my mother was a child in the 1960s, our family made the decision to leave Hong Kong to be second-class citizens in another land, hoping for something called “opportunity.”
The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist’s mission.
Indigenous peoples around the world have been fighting to protect their ancestral lands, languages, and cultures from being erased by colonialism for generations.
Similar work is being done by Indigenous people around the world. I got to witness these similarities in a recent trip to Ecuador where I participated in a program organized by Amigos de Las Americas centering Indigenous rights and food justice.
Shape Our Water is a community-centered project from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and KVRU 105.7 FM, a hyperlocal low power FM station in South Seattle, to plan the next 50 years of Seattle’s drainage and wastewater systems. Funded by SPU, the project spotlights members of local community-based organizations and asks them to share how water shapes their lives. Our latest conversation is with Maggie Angel-Cano, community engagement and communications specialist for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition.
Growing up in South Park, Maggie Angel-Cano spent years without realizing Seattle’s only river ran through her neighborhood.
“We had no idea there was a river in the community,” she said. “We just, you know, lived our daily life: work, school, back home.”
On March 23, the City of Seattle closed the West Seattle Bridge due to rapidly expanding cracks that rendered it unsafe for vehicle traffic.
The bridge will be closed until at least 2021 and may not be repairable according to Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) director Sam Zimbabwe. SDOT is still working to assess the full cost and timeline of needed repairs.
The city-owned bridge is vital to people living on the West Seattle peninsula, serving as the main route of access to the rest of the city, serving about 100,000 vehicles per day.
The main detour routes offered by the city take drivers through the Duwamish Valley, and through the communities of Georgetown, South Park and along West Marginal Way.
Standing on the Tukwila Community Center’s back patio, Ken Workman squinted a little as he looked towards the Duwamish River. More than two centuries ago, his ancestors looked over the same river, its shape much the same now as it was then.
Cecile Hansen’s pursuit of justice for the Duwamish people began in 1974. She was a housewife in her early 30s, living in Tukwila and raising three daughters, when her younger brother, Manny Oliver, came by, mad as all get out.