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Several hundred people crowded into a meeting in Santa Ynez last August that was called by activists opposed to Chumash acquisition of another 1,400 acres.

Paul Wellman (file)

Several hundred people crowded into a meeting in Santa Ynez last August that was called by activists opposed to Chumash acquisition of another 1,400 acres.


Tribal Sovereignty Revisited

Virtually Anything Can Be Built on Land in Trust


The power brokers – politicians and others of influence – have engineered a system using Native Americans to form tribal governments to operate in secret, outside the United States Constitution and local and state jurisdiction.

This system, fueled by power via their hundreds of millions of dollars from casino profits (untaxed), also includes massive federal subsidy, i.e. money out of your pockets, and it impacts public health and safety and your property values.

Chairman Vincent Armenta has stated that the Chumash Casino tribe is no different than any other city or municipality.

This is laughable. The power brokers have successfully designed them to be closed. They have no legal accountability to the public.

Here in Santa Barbara County we have much to be concerned about. The Chumash Casino tribe is in the process of working with the power brokers for legislation to take 1,400 acres into federal “trust,” i.e. outside the U. S. Constitution, local and state jurisdiction, taxation and regulatory authority, and the Community Plan.

In this situation, and other situations where land is removed into federal trust, the surrounding public then has no reasonable expectations of adequate police and fire protection, or what development may occur and how it will impact water, air quality or highways and traffic.

Remember, virtually anything can be built on land in trust.

Chairman Armenta states they need more land to build housing for the 140 tribal members and aging elders. Not to be forgotten is that they have publicly claimed 1,300 descendents, and in their “Cooperative Agreement” (8) they also state their intent of using the 1,400 acres to “operate Tribal economic development projects.” Chairman Armenta has also asserted their entitlement to reclaim aboriginal territory - 7,000 square miles, that they are the first government, and spokesman, Carl Artman, stated tribes’ claims predate the formation of the United States.

The 1,400 acres is just the start.

There are about 562 federally recognized tribes with growing memberships in this country, about 250 of them with casinos. Many more groups are demanding tribal government status so that they can take back land they assert was their territory.

The power brokers have elevated these new special interests to a government level and created a system where they are prostituting Native Americans and the public, and are being allowed to operate as partners in virtually all government decision-making.

It is time that the public and Native Americans demand this sham is addressed at the national, state and local levels.

“The United States’ unique political relationship with tribal governments is now being transformed into an intergovernmental co-partnership between federal and tribal governments. Under this new functional partnership, state, local, and tribal governments are being drawn into an ever-expanding federal government, which in turn appears to be implementing U.N. international standards – even those not yet ratified by the Senate.”

Phillip C. Bom, American Thinker, February 13, 2010

“Sweeping racketeering indictment charges alleged members of the Native Mob.” —from a Bureau of Indian Affairs document

“The case is connected to a narcotics sweep in December 2006 targeting a local drug ring, which authorities said was overseen by the Mexican Mafia and included San Manuel tribal members.” “They said they hoped the sentences will be a successful step toward reducing crime on the reservation.” –Inside SoCal, October 2008

“In a 2006 survey, 74 percent of tribal law enforcement officials reported methamphetamines to be the leading threat to their tribes’ livelihood. The same survey reported dramatic increases in cases of domestic violence, child neglect, sex crimes, and weapons charges.” –from the National Congress of American Indians website

“Environmental regulators will be allowed to enforce air quality laws on the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians reservation in the Coachella Valley, an agreement reached seven months after noxious odors from a recycling facility sickened nearby schoolchildren.” “The tribe did not have to agree to any of this.” – Los Angeles Times, 1/19/2012

“Expelled and banished tribal members can be cut off from thousands of dollars in monthly stipends and other benefits. With the tribes claiming sovereign status, experts say these people have little recourse to challenge tribes’ enrollment decisions in courts.” “Native people to this day have no voice. We can’t go anywhere with this to get human rights or civil rights upheld.” – Fox News, 2/4/2012

“Carl Artman was the first to speak … Artman then gave a lengthy historical explanation on the rights of tribes as sovereign nations to acquire lands, as their claims predate the formation of the United States. He defined sovereignty as the “absolute right to govern,” and that the elected tribal government operates much the same as a city.” – Santa Barbara Independent, 9/21/2011

“Fee-to-trust returns lost land to the tribe and returns it to the local control of the lone local government that’s been in place long before the county government or any nearby city government existed.” – Vincent Armenta, Chairman, Chumash Casino tribe, quoted in the Santa Barbara Independent, 9/21/2011

“Barack Obama is committed to tribal nation building and enforcing the federal government’s obligations to Indian people.” – from the National Congress of American Indians website

Kathy Cleary is a board member of Preservation of Los Olivos (P.O.L.O.)



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