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Editorial: Indian wars continue in Santa Ynez Valley

"The on-going, festering dispute between the Chumash tribe and its Santa Ynez Valley neighbors has made a cross-country journey.

Rock musician and Santa Ynez Valley resident David Crosby last week took his crusade against tribal gaming expansion to Washington, D.C., where he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, at a hearing involving tribal leaders, private citizens and government officials to discuss the effects of tribal casinos on surrounding communities.

Crosby, among the valley's most outspoken critics of tribal expansion fueled by gambling profits, objects to the tribe's annexing more land, particularly acreage not contiguous to the reservation. Crosby said, 'We are now in a situation where the laws intended to give Indians a break are doing unfair and unjust harm to communities all over the country.'

That may be a mild overstatement of the situation, but Crosby's point is well-taken. Chumash tribal officials, understandably, take exception to Crosby's remarks. Tribal chairman Vincent Armenta responded last week by saying, 'It's typical of David Crosby and all the local tribal opponents to tell only one side of the story. The fact remains that the benefits of gaming and the contributions of our tribe have made a significant positive impact in the Valley.'

And thus the Indian wars continue, Santa Ynez Valley-style, more than a century after the actual blood-letting ended."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribe, S.Y. Valley must learn to live together (The Santa Maria Times 5/27)

Relevant Links:
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians -

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