Opinion | Trust

Editorial: County and critics must stop fighting Chumash Tribe

A view of the land-into-trust site. Photo from Chumash EA

California newspaper highlights the contributions made by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to Santa Barbara County:
In all the debate about the tribe’s growth, both as casino owners and in outside business ventures, one thing Chumash critics simply refuse to accept is that the tribe has its own government and certain rights.

The lawsuit Judge Staffel dismissed deals with 1,400 acres of land owned by the tribe a couple of miles from the existing reservation, a portion of which the Chumash plan to turn into housing for tribal members and their families.

The larger issue is that a lot of Valley residents don’t like the tribal leadership’s attitude about cooperating with other local governments — a feeling shared by tribal leaders with regard to how Valley residents refuse to accept, or even acknowledge the validity of its sovereign rights.

It’s a classic stalemate, with both sides firmly dug in and apparently willing to go the distance in terms of legal challenges and the requisite defense against same.

And it’s all so absolutely unnecessary.

The fact is that the Chumash operations are a major part of the local and state economies, a point made abundantly clear in a recent economic-impact report.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Impasse leads to nowhere (The Lompoc Record 11/20)

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