"The film is about federal recognition, yes, but on a deeper level it’s about how to be an Indian in the modern world, how to fight even if you’re an elderly lady or a terminally ill man, how to take joy from the fight because of the friends you make, and most importantly, how to face death bravely and with honor, recognizing it as a transition and not an end. The U.S. will someday crumble into dust and be forgotten like all other empires. But cultures like the Chinook and the Duwamish will endure indefinitely, as long as there are those who love their ancestors and honor them with good work."
"For two native tribes dwelling on opposite ends of Puget Sound, a struggle for recognition from the US government hinders their ability to be politically seen and heard. In Promised Land, tribal council members and chairmen from the Duwamish and Chinook Nations chronicle their peoples’ history and the complexity of navigating the process for tribal recognition. Through dozens of interviews with tribal members, historians, and archaeologist allies, Promised Land provides an in-depth, harrowing overview of why recognition for these tribes has been repeatedly denied. [...] Promised Land finds the fight for tribal recognition that goes beyond a claim to identity—it also speaks to the larger story of erasure, and to the United States’ disregard for centuries-old, legally binding treaties."