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A Story of an Elder Chumash


In the year 1961, my grandma, Irene Valencia Cordero, was taken from the reservation after remarrying to a Caucasian. She passed away in September 1963.

I hear Kenneth Kahn say he remembers getting powdered milk and other rations. I remember Grandma growing her own vegetables and raising chickens and rabbits. There was nothing given to her.

It’s been known that Kahn goes to special events and always brings a check. What saddens my heart is why he doesn’t help his own people. We are branded as the Coastal Band and are not recognized as part of the sovereign nation. We are Chumash.

Every time there is a burial ground found, they (the Mission Band Chumash) come and do their rituals, then they take our artifacts and turn their backs on us again.

Why does the leader of a sovereign nation turn his back on us, just because we don’t live on the reservation? He says he supports the inherent rights of all Native Americans. He does not speak the truth.

All our lives, my family and relatives received free dental and medical care. Now, when I go, they charge my Medicare and Medi-Cal for services rendered.

My heart is saddened, but we are all going to the same place (rich or poor). Back to Mother Earth. Sorry, Mom! You told me to turn the cheek. I must speak for my people, all Chumash.



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