Chumash Tribe never got apology for diplomat's casino remark

A view of the Chumash Casino Resort. Photo from Facebook

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians never got a direct apology from a Danish diplomat whose bizarre remark about tribal gaming fell flat during a visit to California earlier this month.

Instead Danish Ambassador Peter Taksoe-Jensen asked the mayor of Solvang to convey his regrets to the tribe. Chairman Vincent Armenta believes the apology was sincere but questioned why his people weren't contacted.

"It was kind of unfortunate to apologize through the mayor,” Armenta told Indian Country Today. “If I were to make a comment that offended a group of people, I would [personally make] the apology."

In his speech earlier this month, Taksoe-Jensen appeared to question the presence of the tribe in its own homeland. He said a mythical Viking figure would protect the city if a tribal casino "tries to take over the Danishness of Solvang."

“The frustrating part is not the comment itself, but that an individual who represents Denmark could make a joke about aboriginal people,” Armenta told ICT. “I wouldn’t go to his country and do that.”

The tribe owns several businesses in Solvang, long considered the Danish capital of the U.S. However, there are no plans for a casino there -- the Chumash Casino Resort is a few miles away.

Get the Story:
Danish Ambassador's Apology for Insulting Comments on Indian Casinos Misdirected (Indian Country Today 3/26)

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