Vincent Armenta: Chumash Tribe defeats opponents once again

Vincent Armenta. Photo from Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

Vincent Armenta, the chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, discusses local opposition to the tribe's presence in Santa Barbara County, California:
The organizational names may differ from time to time — Preservation of Los Olivos, Preservation of Santa Ynez, No More Slots!, Valley Alliance, Santa Ynez Valley of Concerned Citizens — but the members are the same group of anti-tribal folks whose mission in life seems to be to oppose our tribe in any way, shape or form.

Over the years, this same small group of tribal opponents has pulled many stunts for the sake of drama and attention. All too often, they have tried to claim the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is not a tribe. Several years ago, one of the anti-tribal groups even went so far as to hire a so-called expert to provide proof the tribe wasn’t a tribe. Too bad the expert was not a historian. If he had the skills and knowledge he claimed to possess, he would have been able to complete the necessary research and learn that significant documentation exists that proves our tribe is, indeed, a tribe.

In their latest lawsuit, they claimed the Santa Ynez Reservation is not a reservation. They tried to halt our casino expansion project alleging that it violates local, state and federal laws.

Of course, their lawsuit was based on an intentional misreading of the 1935 deed to the U.S. government, which specifically says the property the tribe occupies is deeded for the purpose of an “Indian reservation.” Again, significant historical documentation exists to prove our reservation is, in fact, a reservation.

Get the Story:
Vincent Armenta: Relying on history, facts to validate tribe (The Lompoc Record 7/16)

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