Seattle's Duwamish Tribe denied federal recognition

SEATTLE (AP) — The federal government has again rejected a Seattle tribe's petition for federal recognition as an Indian tribe.

The U.S. Department of Interior issued a final decision last week denying the Duwamish official recognition, which would have entitled them to federal benefits such as housing, fishing rights and the possibility of operating a casino.

In its decision, the agency said there wasn't enough evidence to show the current group continued from the previously existing community or that it evolved as a group from the historical Duwamish tribe.

Tribal chairwoman Cecile Hansen told KUOW Radio it's devastating. She says her tribe was the one that welcomed everyone.

The Seattle Times says the Duwamish have been called Seattle's first people and its leader, Chief Seattle, lent the city of Seattle its name.

The tribe of about 600 began its legal quest for federal status in 1977. The case has had twists and turns.