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SANTA YNEZ, CA – March 27, 2023 – Kenneth Kahn was elected to his fourth term as Tribal Chairman, while Mike Lopez, Maxine Littlejohn, Gary Pace and Raul Armenta were also re-elected to their seats on the Business Committee following a recent vote by the Santa Group Inez of the Chumash Indians to elect their governing body.

The Tribal Chairman and Business Committee members serve two-year terms and are responsible for establishing policies and overseeing the legal and business affairs of the Tribe while ensuring the economic well-being of its members.

With his re-election, Kahn, 45, continues his 20 years of service in tribal government. He was first elected to the Business Committee in 2003, becoming the youngest person, at 25, to serve on the tribal board. He would be re-elected to seven consecutive terms, serving as secretary-treasurer and vice chairman before winning a special election in 2016 to become chairman.

In addition to his role in tribal government, Kahn has been a member of the California Council for Truth and Healing, representing the Central District, since being appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Native American Rights Fund and he is on the board of directors of Unity Shoppe of Santa Barbara.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as my tribal chairman and honored to work alongside this dedicated group of leaders who are committed to ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for our tribal community,” Kahn said.

Lopez returns as vice chairman of the business committee. He was first elected to the board in 2015 and is entering his fifth consecutive term. Lopez spent 10 years on the Santa Ynez Gaming Commission before being elected to the Business Commission. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County.

Littlejohn, who was elected to her fifth consecutive term, will resume her role as secretary-treasurer. She was first elected to the Business Committee in 2000 and became secretary-treasurer in 2003. Littlejohn left the committee to serve on the Santa Ynez Gaming Commission from 2005 to 2009, after which she was re-elected. in the business committee in 2015

Pace enters his 11th another term. He joined the Business Committee in 2004, winning a special election and has been a member of the leadership team during the tribe’s economic growth over the past 20 years.

Armenta, who first joined the board in 2016 after a special election, is returning for his fifth consecutive term. Before ascending to the Business Committee, he served nearly two decades on the Santa Ynez Gaming Commission.

In 1934, the US Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act and implemented a model constitution and bylaws that are still followed by tribes today.

Self-governance is essential for tribal communities to protect their unique cultures and identities. And in turn, tribal cultures and traditions provide the basis on which tribal communities are governed.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is located in Santa Barbara County, California. Its reservation was established and officially recognized by the federal government in 1901. Today, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians remains the only federally recognized Chumash tribe in the nation. The tribe is a self-governing sovereign nation and follows the laws set forth in its tribal constitution.

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