Open Letter to the Mission Band

My heart soars and I get a knot in my gut every time I see or read about the Mission Band of Chumash Indian leaders saying how it makes them feel good when they have these tribal meetings and how it makes a good effect on all the tribes across the United States. “When you see government officials making changes for the better for all Native Americans, that’s the part that hits you the most. To see tribes progress is really what makes it worth it.”

The reason my heart soars and that knot surfaces is because nothing is being done to help The Coastal Band. They live in poverty. Are they not Chumash? Are they not your people? Those houses you want to build for your people, are The Coastal Band included? Sixteen million dollars has been donated to others and not a penny has reached them.

Every time a burial ground is found anywhere on our coast, you come and do your ceremonial rituals and say, “These are our people,” then leave and forget about us.

Do you speak with forked tongue?

Those millions you donate, are they so you can get what you want in the future?

When will you come to the aid of your people – the Coastal Band?

I have spoken for my people. – Daniel Rafael Mendoza de Cordero, born and raised native Chumash, a child of Mother Earth

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