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Opinion
Editorial: Don't ask tribe to give up sovereign rights


"Just exactly what does the appeal of a federal ruling approving the Chumash tribe's annexation of land across from its casino really mean? It's hard to say at this point, but it seems to be only a small retreat from the positive feelings expressed after last week's agreement between the tribe and Santa Barbara County government.

The Santa Ynez Valley Concerned Citizens, Preservation of Los Olivos, Preservation of Santa Ynez and the Women's Environmental Watch filed their appeal of the annexation ruling with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, getting in just under the deadline for protesting the decision.

In a very real way, opponents of tribal growth are asking the Chumash to make concessions in the rights granted them by federal law. Some valley residents seem either to not understand sovereignty or to ignore its implications. If they are unhappy with the sovereignty notion, they must take the issue up with members of Congress, not with the tribe.

Few people - including many of those opposing the tribe's plans - would willingly give up rights and powers granted to them under federal law. In that regard, the tribe is no different than many of its neighbors. The Chumash are simply exercising their sovereign rights, as almost anyone who held such rights would do."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Don't let appeal endanger deal (The Santa Maria Times 2/24)

Relevant Links:
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians - http://www.santaynezchumash.org

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