Vincent Armenta: Chumash Tribe shares land-into-trust woes

"When I testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs earlier this month, my main goal was to share with Congress how difficult it has been for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to place land into federal trust.

The fee-to-trust process, which means returning ancestral land back to the tribe by converting fee land into trust land, was a result of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934. The IRA was enacted to remedy the devastating loss of nearly 90 million acres of Native American lands due to the General Allotment Act of 1887. The IRA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to hold land for Native American tribes in trust, thereby securing these lands for economic development, housing and related purposes.

I shared with the House subcommittee the challenges we are currently facing with two fee-to-trust projects: One is an effort to bring 1,400 acres of land into trust for tribal housing. The other is an effort to build a museum on 6.9 acres across the street from our reservation. "

Get the Story:
Vincent Armenta: Congress considers tribe’s circumstances (The Solvang Valley News 8/16)

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on "Indian lands: exploring resolutions to disputes concerning Indian tribes, state and local governments, and private landowners over land use and development" (August 2, 2012)

Related Stories:
County provides response in Chumash Tribe land-into-trust flap (8/15)
Rep. Young not planning for Chumash Tribe land-into-trust bill (8/8)
Audio from House subcommittee hearing on tribal land issues (8/3)
Opposition groups appeal Chumash Tribe land-into-trust ruling (7/26)
Vincent Armenta: Land-into-trust fight shows need for museum (07/19)
Chumash Tribe battles land-into-trust opponents for 10+ years (7/12)
County won't dispute Chumash Tribe land-into-trust application (7/11)
Editorial: Challenge Chumash Tribe's land-into-trust application (7/10)
BIA cites Carcieri in backing Chumash Tribe land-into-trust bid (6/27)

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