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Promised Land

An award-winning documentary, PROMISED LAND, a social justice film on the Duwamish and Chinook tribes, their fight for restoration, and what the federal recognition process says about indigenous sovereignty today.

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Chinook Nation Lawsuit Update!


Chinook Nation citizens gather in Tacoma to celebrate a successful day in court.  // Photo by Sarah Salcedo, 2018.

Chinook Nation citizens gather in Tacoma to celebrate a successful day in court. // Photo by Sarah Salcedo, 2018.

Since the debut of our film, a wonderful thing has happened for the Chinook Nation: a team of lawyers has offered to represent their case pro-bono.

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They filed suit in August 2017, and in May of 2018, was heard by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton. The courthouse was packed with Chinook Nation members, allies from the community, and representatives from other Pacific Northwest nations such Puyallup, Grand Ronde, Duwamish, and others.  

Seven out of eight claims made by the lawyers for the Chinook in this case have been allowed to proceed, and the BIA's initial call to dismiss was rejected by the Judge. 

Journalist Natalie St. John gives an excellent summation of the legal victory and what comes next for the tribe that you can read here in the Chinook Observer

University of Washington Press and the Film

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From the Desk of the Director of University of Washington Press:

"The Western Reads common book selection is just one example of how communities and readers engage with the work we publish. Another is Promised Land, a new documentary about the Duwamish and Chinook fight for treaty recognition. Several UW Press books “formed the academic framework of the film’s narrative,” as filmmaker Sarah Samudre Salcedo puts it, including Coll Thrush’s Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over PlaceRobert T. Boyd, Kenneth Ames, and Tony Johnson’s Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia, and Jon Daehnke’s forthcoming Chinook Resilience: Heritage and Cultural Revitalization on the Lower Columbia River. The Seattle Theatre Group will present Promised Land on July 6, 2017, at the Neptune Theatre. The screening is free and open to the public and will include a preshow discussion with representatives from the tribes. We hope you can join us."

Read more on University of Washington Press's website.

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