Opinion

Luis Alejo: Apologize to the Chumash Tribe for 'hurtful' remarks






Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo (D) introduced a resolution that declared November as California Native American Heritage Month. Photo from Assembly Democratic Caucus

California Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo (D) calls on a local official to apologize for questioning the sovereignty of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians:
I was disappointed to read your comments in a recent Lompoc Record article questioning the sovereign nation status of Native American tribes. It is unbelievable that such statements would be made in any context, but I am especially disappointed to see them come from an elected official. I appreciate and respect free speech and the freedoms that come with being citizens of this great nation of ours, but publically espousing such misinformed views only serve to minimize the very real and brutal history of repression that Native Americans have endured.

The ugly truth is that Native people were placed on reservations that look nothing like their original homelands. In regards to the Chumash Nation, I would remind you that their original land base spanned from Paso Robles to Malibu and inland to Bakersfield. But that is not the land they live on today. Instead, they were provided with 99 acres of land of which a large percentage was and remains a river bed.

Get the Story:
Luis A. Alejo: An Open Letter to Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam (Indian Country Today 1/30)

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