Chumash Indians move ahead in bid to annex land

July 13, 2016

Chumash IndiansBy KAREN VELIE

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians are one step closer in plans to annex the nearly 1,400-acre Camp 4 property into its reservation. The House Committee on Natural Resources voted 29-1 on Wednesday to pass the Santa Ynez Land Transfer Act of 2015.

If passed, the legislation would allow the tribe to take Camp 4 into a federal trust for the purpose of providing 143 houses for tribal members and their families. Next, the bill moves to the full House.

“We were pleased with the committee vote,” said Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “The members of the House Committee on Natural Resources understood the importance of placing our land into trust in order to help us build a stronger community. The need for housing on our reservation is serious and needs to be addressed immediately.”

In 2010, the tribe bought Camp 4 from Fess Parker for about $40 million. After the tribe announced plans to build tribal homes, opponents voiced concerns that the property would be taken off the Santa Barbara County tax rolls and that the tribe would not be required to adhere to the county’s strict building requirements.

In 2011, the tribe offered to pay $1 million per year for 10 years to Santa Barbara County in an attempt to find common ground. Currently, the county receives about $84,000 per year in taxes for Camp 4.

Rep. Lois Capps unsuccessfully urged her fellow committee members to vote against the Santa Ynez Land Transfer Act of 2015. Capps wrote that the 24th Congressional District has a “long history of limited development and there has long been a concerted effort to retain the undeveloped, rural nature of the valley.”

“The one lone dissenting vote was Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara),” said Sam Cohen, government and legal affairs representative for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “While I understand Congresswoman Capps is sincere in believing that this issue should be resolved locally, she is also well aware that the tribe has been trying to negotiate with Santa Barbara County since 2011.”


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7 Comments

  1. Josey Wales says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen,

    The effort by the US Congress and the Santa Ynez Indians Inc. is cynical and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. As most well know, the indians disregarded their neighbors and unilaterally built a 12-story monstrosity in the once-bucolic Santa Ynez Valley. Sad.

    If the Santa Ynez Indians go ahead with this scheme to disrespect their neighbors, California voters should simply pass legislation allowing non-indians to operate gambling facilities, just like the indians now do. Although some aspects of US government/indian tribe relations are guided by treaty, they have NO RIGHT to the gambling monopoly we have given them.

    It is truly sad to see how the Santa Ynez Indians Inc. have disrespected their heritage in putting greed in front of good relationships with their neighbors, and it is also sad to see ‘Sanctuary City’ politicians like SB County 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavignino sell his vote to the Chumash in return for campaign cash.

    Truth

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      Wait a minute, back up the papoose. Native Americans welcomed Europeans who came to America, but were then betrayed and viewed as savages by these newcomers., for that reason, their culture, their arts, and their status as human beings was given no credence. The consequences over time were literally crushing for American Indian civilizations.
      In the 1800s, the government forced Native Americans from their fertile land onto barren reservations.These desolate places were never intended to be economically viable and became areas of intense poverty. america wanted native cultures broken up. Breaking up their land base was one way of doing that, because of their spiritual attachment to the lands on which they live.
      Boarding schools were established as the government’s attempt to “civilize” the Native American children according to Western culture. Children as young as four years old were taken away from their families and sent hundreds of miles away for months or years at a time.

      Don’t kill the man, but kill the Indian in the man. That’s exactly what the boarding schools were intended to do.
      Now tell us all again how the Santa Ynez Indians are disrespecting their heritage and their neighbors. Sadly, you have it all backwards.
      What we did to the Native Americans is America’s Holocaust. Something we don’t like to talk about.

      (0) 16 Total Votes - 8 up - 8 down
    • ThomasAquinas says:

      Josey, my question is this, if you believe in property rights, how do you not agree with what the Chumash want on their legally purchased property? How does the Chumash get to decide their future if you stop it? If they can’t build it, will Fess Parker give ’em their $40,000,000.00 back? It is complicated, but solvable, there called negotiations. SB COunty has had no problems with $84,000, but were supposedly promised much more. Nothing happens if the discussion stops, so tell the people in SB County to keep working.

      (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
  2. Pelican1 says:

    It’s most interesting that the Native American’s have to spend $50.000,000.00 to buy back the land that was originally and rightfully THEIRS.
    It’s shameful the way this country has treated its indigenous people.

    (0) 26 Total Votes - 13 up - 13 down
    • swmut says:

      I agree, though I am still uncertain that the windfall profits of legalized gambling serve their people in the best possible way. Money can fix problems and create an entire set of new issues.

      (5) 17 Total Votes - 11 up - 6 down
  3. Jorge Estrada says:

    Just wait until it is legal to pass the peace pipe everywhere, the music, the flashing lights and oh what fun it will be to throw your money away.

    (-1) 11 Total Votes - 5 up - 6 down
  4. Rich in MB says:

    If ever there was any doubt that Governments act and make decisions not in the best interest of the people, but in what will put the most tax dollars into their tax slush funds then this situation should remove all doubt. Here we have a minority group that is seeking to build affordable housing for its members and does the local Government care about the people? Nope. Their concern is about da money! This should be an eyeopener and the Tribe even proposed a political pay off and still that wasn’t enough for the tax revenue lusting bureaucrats in the halls of Santa Barbara County government.

    The elites and people in power in the UK and around the world didn’t see the Brexit vote coming for the same reason the Local Government has lost credibility here at home; it has lost the trust and more importantly the consent of the Governed. The Elites in Government only know other elites in Government and the politically connected class that funds their campaigns and sloshes money around. Just look to our own County where a wife of a sitting Board Member gets a $100,000 “grant” to help the homeless, a pure and simple political payoff. The common people know it, but the elites, the press and the people in power just smile in hopes of being next to feed at the trough of the public largess.

    Enough is enough folks. It’s time to take our Government back.

    (20) 34 Total Votes - 27 up - 7 down

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