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Are there other types of "Indian lands"?

Submitted by Aguilar, Fermin E on

FAQ Category

Why Tribes Exist Today in the United States

Yes.  Other types of Indian lands are:

  • Allotted lands, which are remnants of reservations broken up during the federal allotment period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Although the practice of allotting lands had begun in the eighteenth century, it was put to greater use after the Civil War.  By 1885, over 11,000 patents had been issued to individual Indians under various treaties and laws.  Starting with the General Allotment Act in 1887 (also known as the Dawes Act) until the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, allotments were conveyed to members of affected tribes and held in trust by the federal government.  As allotments were taken out of trust, they became subject to state and local taxation, which resulted in thousands of acres passing out of Indian hands.  Today, 10,059,290.74 million acres of individually owned lands are still held in trust for allotees and their heirs.
  • Restricted status, also known as restricted fee, where title to the land is held by an individual Indian person or a tribe and which can only be alienated or encumbered by the owner with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior because of limitations contained in the conveyance instrument pursuant to federal law.
  • State Indian reservations, which are lands held in trust by a state for an Indian tribe.  With state trust lands title is held by the state on behalf of the tribe and the lands are not subject to state property tax.  They are subject to state law, however.  State trust lands stem from treaties or other agreements between a tribal group and the state government or the colonial government(s) that preceded it.

American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, businesses, and individuals may also own land as private property.  In such cases, they are subject to state and local laws, regulations, codes, and taxation.

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