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Chairman Armenta told the House Subcommittee that for 78 years, the fee-to-trust process has been essential for tribal governments to add land to their reservations.
“Affirming the process means keeping tribal communities together and encouraging future generations to live on the reservation,”
“For our tribe, it's about building a stronger community so we can build a future together a legacy.”
Congressman Dale Kildee, D - Michigan, quoted from the US Constitution, citing the government's relationship with tribes and its recognition of tribal sovereignty.
“The roots of our fiduciary responsibility to the Indian tribes do go back to the fact that we recognize them as sovereign,”
The oversight hearing, "Indian Lands: Exploring Resolutions to Disputes Concerning Indian Tribes, State and Local Governments, and Private Landowners Over Land Use and Development," was scheduled by the House Subcommittee to examine tribal efforts in acquiring land and experiences of local authorities and private landowners who oppose the fee-to-trust process. What they learn may determine how the Department of the Interior or Congress balances these sometimes competing interests.
Chairman Armenta said that he is proud of the economic opportunities tribal gaming has provided to the tribe and the community, but he wanted to make it clear that this was not about gaming.
“Our efforts to add land to our reservation are about tribal self-determination and providing our members with housing opportunities.”
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is located in Santa Barbara County, California. The tribe owns and operates the popular Chumash Casino Resort on its reservation and also owns two hotels and a restaurant in the nearby town of Solvang - Hotel Corque, Hadsten House and Root 246 - as well as two gas stations in Santa Ynez.
posted August 4, 2012 7:10 am edt
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