Column: The Chumash Tribe and a fix to land-into-trust ruling

"Recently, in litigation concerning the attempts by the Santa Ynez Chumash to take fee lands off of the tax rolls and place them in federal trust, thus evading state and local taxes and controls, the Plaintiffs P.O.L.O. and P.O.S.Y., asked the defendants to produce the mandatory criteria required by 25 C.F.R. 83.7 (a through g) that exist in order for the B.I.A. to have recognized that group as a tribe. That was months ago, and to date nothing has been furnished.

Extensive research concerning the land on which the casino and hotel complex was built and where several enrolled members reside reveal that fee land is not now and never was a reservation. Originally, Indian reservations were created by treaties between the United States and an acknowledged Indian tribe and then ratified by Congress.

In California, only four Indian reservations were created back in 1864 by Act of Congress [California Reservation Act of 1864, 13 Stat. 39]. The Chumash was not one of the four. [Mattz v. Arnett 412 U.S. 481, 4897].

In 1871 Congress enacted the Indian Appropriations Act 25 U.S.C. 71. This Act banned the creation of any further treaties with Indian tribes and eliminated the concept that an Indian tribe was to be treated as a “sovereign” or independent nation.

To rectify the reports received in Washington by various federal commissions and Indian agents concerning the plight of certain Indian communities in California, Congress enacted the Mission Indian Relief Act of 1891 26 Stat. 712. This Act authorized the President of the United States to set aside lands for the specific named bands or communities listed in that law to be used as reservations. There were 26 such presidential decrees of set aside; the Chumash Santa Ynez site was not one of them."

Get the Story:
Jim Marino: THE CARCIERI CASE AND CHUMASH GOVERNMENT (The Santa Ynez Valley Journal 3/31)

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Letter: Rep. Gallegly plays politics on Chumash land-into-trust (3/24)
Editorial: Chumash Tribe should forego land-into-trust process (3/17)
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Local official claims Chumash Tribe doesn't need land-into-trust (3/8)
Opinion: Groups fight Chumash Tribe land-into-trust application (2/24)
Groups claim Chumash Tribe can't follow land-into-trust process (08/23)
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Opinion: Chumash Tribe wields influence on land-into-trust (04/08)
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California a battleground after land-into-trust ruling (3/6)

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