SEATTLE - They were here long before the rest of us, but since 1974 the Duwamish Tribe has no longer been recognized by the federal government.
"It's heart-wrenching," said tribal council member Ken Workman, a descendant of Seattle's namesake, Chief Si'ahl.
"Knowing that we're benefiting from their suffering just really didn't sit well with me," said local filmmaker Vasant Salcedo.
The battle to be seen, and to exist in the eyes of the federal government, is the story of "Promised Land," a new documentary by Vasant and his wife, Sarah. Before telling the story of the Duwamish and Chinook people, the filmmakers first had to gain their trust.
"Showing respect the absolute first thing that you have to do," Salcedo said.
The movie uses Native American voices to tell their own story, using their own words.
"This is their story," Salcedo added. "And we wanted to make sure that the world knows that."
The Neptune Theatre will screen the film on Thursday, July 6 at 8 p.m. as part of the fifth annual "Nights at the Neptune" series. This event is free and open to the public. Before the screening, listen to songs and drumming with the Chinook Indian Nation and Duwamish Tribe. After the film ends, stay for a Q&A with the Chinook Nation, Duwamish Tribe and filmmakers. For more information on other screenings of "Promised Land," click here.
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