An election held at the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians reservation in February named Vincent Armenta to serve his ninth term as Tribal Chair and leader of the Business Committee, which directs and oversees the legal and business affairs of the tribe. Also elected to serve two-year terms on the committee were Kenneth Kahn, appointed vice chair; Gary Pace, secretary/treasurer; Maxine Littlejohn; and Mike Lopez. A video series produced by the Chumash includes the one below on tribal government and sovereignty.
During the past 10 years, the Business Committee saw the tribe through an “unprecedented period of growth and economic success,” a press release announcing the election said, a period that followed the opening of the Chumash Casino Resort Hotel and Spa in 2004.
Among the more visible projects the tribe has pursued since then is the purchase of the Camp 4 property and its vineyards, which have produced both Kitá wine and controversy over the tribe’s desire to annex the 1,400-acre property along Highway 246 into the reservation. Last year the tribe broke ground on an expansion of the casino space with a 12-story hotel addition. And after annexation was approved for a 6.9-acre parcel the tribe bought across the street from the casino, the committee began planning on a 15,000-square-foot museum.