Media Contact: Nedra Darling, OPA-IA Phone: 202-219-4152
For Immediate Release: March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs John Tahsuda today announced his approval of land leasing codes for 10 tribes in seven states. Today’s action brings to 39 the number of federally recognized tribes whose land leasing regulations have been approved by the Department of the Interior in accordance with the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act.

“I congratulate these tribes on joining the growing family of tribal governments with approved land leasing authority under the HEARTH Act,” Tahsuda said. “The Act provides tribal nations with the means to achieve greater control over their economic futures. With each step forward, Indian Country demonstrates its ability to guide the economic progress of its people now and into the future.”

With approval of their HEARTH Act regulations, these tribes now have the authority to enact and implement their own tribal regulations, which will promote their self-determination and tribal sovereignty. The tribes have the ability to lease lands of tribal trust property or tribal restricted land by implementing leasing regulations that specifically meet their needs.

The 10 tribes whose HEARTH Act regulations received approval are:

  • Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Oklahoma (Business Site leases)
  • Lummi Tribe of the Lummi Reservation, Washington (Business and Residential leases)
  • Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (Residential leases)
  • Coquille Indian Tribe, Oregon (Business Site leases)
  • Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, California (Business leases and other authorized purposes)
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan (Business, Agricultural, Residential, Wind and Solar Resource, and Wind Energy Evaluation leases)
  • Ramona Band of Cahuilla, California (Business purposes)
  • Apache Tribe of Oklahoma (Business, Wind and Solar, Wind Energy Evaluation, and other authorized purpose leases)
  • Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pechanga Reservation, California (Business leases)
  • Oneida Nation, Wisconsin (Business, Agricultural and Residential leases)

The HEARTH Act establishes the authority of federally recognized tribes to develop and implement their own laws governing the long-term leasing of Indian lands for residential, business, renewable energy, and other purposes. Upon one-time approval of their regulations by the Department, such tribes gain the authority to process land leases without Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approval, thereby greatly expediting leasing approval for homes and small businesses in Indian Country.

The Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership, or HEARTH, Act, which Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, was signed on July 30, 2012. For more information, visit the Indian Affairs HEARTH Act web page.

Tribes with HEARTH Act leasing regulations approved prior to today’s announcement are:

  • Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, California (Business)
  • Pueblo of Sandia, New Mexico (Business)
  • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan (Residential)
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community, Arizona (Business)
  • Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians, California (Business)
  • Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma (Business)
  • Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians, California (Business)
  • Kaw Nation, Oklahoma (Business)
  • Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Washington (Business)
  • Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, California (Business)
  • Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Oklahoma (Business)
  • Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut (Business)
  • Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, California (Business)
  • Seminole Tribe of Florida (Individual Business and Residential Ordinances)
  • Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Washington (Business)
  • Oneida Indian Nation, New York (Business)
  • Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin (Individual Bus., Residential and Agricultural Codes)
  • Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma (Business)
  • Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, California (Business)
  • Makah Indian Tribe, Washington (Business and Residential)
  • Squaxin Island Tribe, Washington (Business)
  • Gila River Indian Community, Arizona (Business)
  • Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico (Business, Agricultural, Residential, and Renewable Energy)
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Minnesota (Business)
  • Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, California (Business)
  • Oneida Indian Nation of New York (Residential)
  • Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, California (Business)
  • Osage Nation, Oklahoma (Business)
  • Stillaguamish Tribe of Washington (Business)

The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs oversees the BIA, which is headed by a Director who is responsible for managing day-to-day operations through four offices – Indian Services, Justice Services, Trust Services, and Field Operations. These offices directly administer or fund tribally based infrastructure, law enforcement, social services, tribal governance, natural and energy resources, and trust land and resources management programs for the nation’s federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.