The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians recently launched a new television program, Chumash Life, featuring a series of mini documentaries on the scope and complexity of the Chumash experience.
“We felt we needed an additional communication vehicle to help foster a better understanding of our tribe,” said Vincent Armenta, tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “Chumash Life looks at our tribal life, our projects, and emphasizes the joy and celebration of what we do — whether it’s our quest for housing or creating our own brand of wine.”
The show will air on Santa Barbara Cox Cable’s On Demand Channel 1892 and also Cox’s Channel 8. Chumash Life will also be available on a Chumash-branded YouTube Channel by clicking here. In addition, it will air on a special channel in Chumash-owned hotels rooms (Chumash Casino Resort, Hotel Corque and Hadsten House).
The first episode of the quarterly Chumash Life features the tribe’s Kitá Wines and winemaker Tara Gomez in a segment titled “Native Wines and Native Vines.” In “Our Ancestral Land,” the segment focuses on the tribe’s Camp 4 property and the tribe’s quest to place that land into federal trust. “A Collection of Treasures” takes a look at the growing collection of artifacts and replications the tribe is gathering in anticipation of the museum the tribe hopes to someday build across the street from the reservation. In “Partners in the Community,” a recurring segment featuring nonprofit organizations that partner with the tribe’s foundation, the segment looks at the foundation’s work with the Search Dog Foundation.
“Chumash Life tells our tribal story not from the perspective of tribal opponents or journalists or politicians, but from our tribal perspective,” said Frances Snyder, a tribal member and co-producer of the show. “Too often, others disseminate information about our tribe that is not only factually incorrect, but also potentially damaging to the community’s long-term understanding of our tribe.”
Snyder said the Chumash Life show combines the tribe’s desire to tell its story with the need to take a positive, upbeat approach in tackling complex tribal issues.
“We hope viewers come away from the show with a much better understanding of our tribe and a great feeling about the many projects our tribe is undertaking,” she said.
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns and operates several businesses in the Santa Ynez Valley, including the Chumash Casino Resort, Hotel Corque, Root 246 and Hadsten House Inn.
— Hildy Medina is a public relations manager for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.