Yes, this week we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. Instead of thinking about this once a year, we are asking our industry to really take into account that we work in a field that profits from the purchase and sale of land that was stolen from the Duwamish people. Often in heartbreaking and inhuman ways. And yes, there is something we can all do on a regular basis. Our team takes time out every month and again at the holidays to take into account that we are living on the unceded land of the Duwamish people.
Let’s dive in and chat about what we can all do.
Who are the Indigenous People of Our Region?
According to DuwamishTribe.org, the Duwamish people (the Dxʷdəwʔabš) are the Seattle area’s only indigenous tribe. Duwamish territory includes land which now includes cities like Seattle, Burien, Tukwila, Renton, and Remond. Today, the Duwamish Tribe is still not federally recognized, which means that it does not benefit from federal recognition. For instance, they have zero access to their ancestral lands, do not receive healthcare services, and so much more. In 1983, Duwamish Tribal Services (a nonprofit) was created to help serve the Duwamish community in the absence of federal recognition.
Learn About and Give to the Real Rent Duwamish
Real Rent Duwamish helps fund Duwamish Tribal Services, and in fact, 100% of all Real Rent contributions are donated to the nonprofit. DTS provides important social, educational, health, and cultural services to members of the Duwamish Tribe. It also supports “the revival of Duwamish culture.”
The Duwamish people have not been compensated for the land that the U.S. government stole. An offensive attempt was made many years ago, but this comes nowhere close to compensating for the value of the land. And that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all that the U.S. government has taken from indigenous people.
“In 1971, 1,000 Duwamish members were paid $64 each for their land.
That is $64,000 for 54,000 acres of land.
$64,000 adjusted for inflation today would maybe buy a single 1,000 square foot tiny home.
In 2017, the median household income for Seattleites was $82,133.”
Keep this in mind as you consider where to donate this year. We know that many of you like to donate, especially around the holiday season. RealRentDuwamish.org has tons of great info about paying rent and how to do it. Click here to learn more + pay rent to the Duwamish people!
How Our Team Recognizes Indigenous People’s Day
There are a few different ways that Team Diva as a whole and individual Team Diva team members acknowledge the fact that we are on the unceded ancestral territory of the Duwamish People. One big way we do this is by making donations (aka paying rent) to the Duwamish people.
You can also always find our Land Acknowledgement Statement on our website here. Take a moment to read it right here, too:
“We at Team Diva want to acknowledge that the land we, our clients, and our community live on is the unceded ancestral territory of the Duwamish People. We recognize that we are visitors who are profiting from the use of this beautiful land and in return Team Diva agrees to pay monthly rent to the Duwamish people as reparations. Feel free to contact Team Diva Real Estate about our monthly “rent” we pay to the Duwamish people and how you can also be part of this movement.”
If you would like to make your own land acknowledgment, DuwamishTribe.org provides guidelines for creating your own here.
Team Diva as a Team Pay’s Rent
“Every month we give monthly to the Duwamish tribe as a business. We do it because it is a small thing we can do to recognize that at the very heart of what we do involves generational tragedy for those whose land we are technically buying and selling. The more we started researching the subject last year the more we were truly heartbroken at the legacy our industry has inflicted on those who lived on this land before our For Sale sign went into the ground. Paying rent monthly is the least we can do.”
– Kim and Chavi
Rocky Pays Rent and Gives Yearly
“The US government is never going to give [the Duwamish People] back their land. I give because this is a form of reparations (even though it’s not enough) that goes directly to the Duwamish People. We facilitate the buying and selling of stolen land and this is a tangible way I can support the Duwamish People who have had their lands stripped away. Instead of sending the clients that closed in the prior year a holiday gift I make a contribution to the Duwamish in their name and send them a card letting them know.”
Roy Pays Rent and Gives Yearly
“I give donations on behalf of my clients each time they buy or sell a home. It is a good reminder for me and my clients that we owe rent to the Duwamish Tribe. We live on their stolen land. Pay Rent, it’s not going to solve the issue, but it’s a start.”
Michael Pays Rent & Recognizes Indigenous People’s Day
“I give because it’s the right thing to do. The lands I live on and enjoy were not our lands, to begin with. I want to make sure the Duwamish People are able to continue their work and traditions and I hope I can help their community stay strong. We need to do more for them and paying rent is a great start and more people need to do it.”
Lindsy Pays Rent and More
“As a Tukwila resident of 13 years, living a few hundred feet off the Duwamish river, I feel it’s important to have a land acknowledgment in my home. As a board member of the Tukwila Children’s Foundation, we always start our meetings with this land acknowledgment as well.
“I would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.”
Understanding the history of the land and that the Duwamish tribe is not federally recognized. We need to go more to support and do our part as we occupy this city. This I why I donate monthly to Real Rent Duwamish. I have also made donations to this non-profit in honor of my clients after closing.
Why do I donate?
The Duwamish do not have access to the resources of their homelands:
- 1855: Point Elliott Treaty signed, promising the Duwamish people land, healthcare, education, and fishing rights.
- 1977: Duwamish filed a petition holding the U.S. government to this treaty.
- 2001: Duwamish granted federal recognition, only to be revoked by the incoming Bush Administration.
- 2015: Duwamish submitted a total of 35,000 pages documenting their existence and governance only to be again denied recognition by the Bureau of Indian affairs.”
What Can You Do to Recognize Indigenous People’s Day?
Team Diva strongly encourages Divaland to join us in celebrating Indigenous People’s Day. One meaningful way to do this is to acknowledge that we are on Duwamish land. Another is by paying Real Rent to the Duwamish people. We especially ask that those in the real estate industry take into account the fact that we work in a field that profits from the purchase and sale of land that was stolen from the Duwamish people.
Here are just a few important resources:
- Pay Real Rent to the Duwamish people here: RealRentDuwamish.org
- Learn more about the Duwamish tribe here: DuwamishTribe.org
- Follow Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center on Facebook here
- Follow Real Rent Duwamish on Facebook here