We are the host tribe for Seattle, our area’s only
indigenous tribe. Many of our 569 enrolled members still live on Duwamish
aboriginal territory, which includes Seattle, Burien, Tukwila, Renton, and
Redmond. We have 465 adults and 107 tribal members under the age of 21.
Our tribe is governed by a 1925 constitution and
its bylaws. The six-members tribal council, headed by Cecile Hansen since
1975, meets monthly, and tribal gatherings are held at least annually. Tribal
leadership has been very stable with fewer than six changes in leadership in the
last 85 years.
Approximately 90,000 Native Americans live within
a one-hour radius of the city, which represents about half the native people in
Washington State. The metropolitan Seattle area is the sixth largest urban
population center for Indian people in the U.S. Demographic data shows that the
native community here has one of the highest rates of unemployment, high school
dropouts, and poor housing.
Duwamish Tribal Services, is a 501[c]3
organization established in 1983 by the Duwamish Tribal Council to promote the
social, cultural, and economic survival of the Duwamish Tribe. We have
been seeking federal re-recognition as a tribe for 25 years. DTS has four
full time staff members in addition to tribal chair, Cecile Hansen.
We regularly provide Duwamish representatives and
speakers for public engagements in the community, schools, universities, and
heritage and service organizations. Consistent with native protocol, the
Duwamish routinely greet visiting foreign and tribal leaders when they visit our
area. Our tribal board members sit on the boards of key community and
governmental organization concerning environmental, heritage, tourism, and
Since the 1980s, DTS has administered the
Emergency Food Assistance Program funded by the Washington State’s Office of
Community, Trade, and Economic Development. The program provides on
average 72 native people and their families with monthly foods vouchers and
other support services.
We are the host tribe for Seattle.