The Santa Ynez Reservation is located in Santa Barbara County and was established on December 27, 1901 under authority of the act of January 12, 1891. The residents of the Santa Ynez Reservation are members of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is the only federally-recognized Chumash tribe in the nation.

For many years, few tribal members lived on the Reservation. It was difficult to live a modern existence on the Reservation without running water or electricity. We began a housing program in 1979 and more tribal members moved on to the Reservation – both lower and upper Reservation.

Today’s Reservation
Thanks to the revenue generated from the tribe’s Chumash Casino Resort, our tribal members are on the path to economic self-sufficiency. Some continue to live on the Reservation and others live in homes in surrounding towns. Today there are 249 residents on the Santa Ynez Reservation and 97 homes.

In the Santa Ynez Valley area, tourism and agriculture continue to be the primary industries. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians significantly contributes to the tourism industry, bringing in some 6,000 patrons per day to the tribe’s Chumash Casino Resort. Those visitors also bring patronage to the various businesses in the Santa Ynez Valley.

In June 2004, the tribe opened its luxurious 106-room hotel, earning a coveted AAA Four-Diamond Award just three months after opening.The hotel continues to maintain that distinction each year. The Willows restaurant has also received a Four-Diamond rating, making it the only restaurant at a tribal casino in California to earn such a distinction. The tribe’s Chumash Casino Resort has become the premiere entertainment destination in Santa Barbara County.