Setting the record strait – DANA responds
August 7, 2012
OPINION By ALAN and HELEN DAURIO
We are the Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos (DANA) Board Co-Presidents. We are writing in response to the opinion column put forth by the Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC). Our community needs to know the facts behind the controversy and not be swayed by the emotional appeal of one voice claiming to represent all Northern Chumash Peoples.
Our successful grant application, “Stories of the Rancho”, was written through a collaborative effort on the part of DANA, the Chumash Maritime Association (CMA) and the NCTC. That portion of DANA’s site plan whose focus was on Chumash culture and educational exhibits was never identified as the “NCTC Chumash Village”, just the Chumash Village.
Once DANA was awarded the Prop 84 state grant, NCTC wanted a contract to build the Village. Because the state requires DANA to go through a three-bid process, we couldn’t issue a sole source contract.
However, DANA invited all Native American representatives listed on California’s Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC) contact list to be a part of the master site plan process along with the public and major stakeholders. More than twenty meetings were held between April 2011 and December 2011 in which members of NCTC, CMA and lineal descendants of Rosario Cooper, the last native Northern Chumash speaker, now organized as the Yak Tityu Tityu, participated.
Because of differences of opinion, which led to issues with decorum during meetings, the tribal administrator for NCTC opted out of further participation in DANA’s project in January.
As to the fee waiver granted DANA by the county, that is standard procedure for all non-profits and not specific to DANA. There is also a reference made by NCTC to The Chumash Nation being upset by DANA’s “disrespect.” There is no such organization listed by the NAHC. Rather, as NCTC knows, there are various tribal and kinship groups; there is no single entity representing all Chumash peoples.
DANA committed to the ten cultural resource mitigation measures outlined in the MND.
The public should know that the 130 acres of our future Rancho Nipomo Heritage Park were never identified by any archaeological or historical survey or report nor by the Native American Heritage Commision as a Sacred Site. There is no evidence of ceremonial sites or human remains in all the record searches or site surveys conducted by archaeologist who have studied the site.
It’s important for the public and DANA’s supporters to know that stewardship of cultural resources of all the peoples that ever lived on Rancho Nipomo has always been fundamental to DANA’s mission.
Alan and Helen Daurio are Co-Presidents of the Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos