Category Archives: People of the Inside

People of the Inside

The Duwamish are the people of Chief Seattle, the first people of the City of Seattle area, and the people that have not left their ancestral homeland. In the Salishan language Lushootseed, Dkhw’Duw’Absh means “People of the Inside”. The meaning is applicable due to the many rivers, lakes, and waterways, including Elliott Bay and the Duwamish River, that connect the various parts of the Duwamish ancestral land. Oral history and archaeological evidence support that the Duwamish people have inhabited these lands dating back to the last ice age. They survived and flourished off of the vast natural resources that the Puget Sound area had to offer from hunting a variety of inland animals, catching the abundant variety of marine wildlife, and gathering plants and fruits for food and medicine. Since the arrival of the Europeans to the area in the 1850’s, the Duwamish have had to fight and struggle to keep their land and their culture alive. As of today the United States Government has not granted the Duwamish Tribe federal recognition which has resulted in long standing legal battles. Although they are not federally recognized the Duwamish have continued to keep their culture alive with approximately 600 enrolled members they pass on traditional knowledge, beliefs, and teachings to younger generations. The Duwamish continue to fight for their rights and to preserve their land and recognition.