WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today that regulations submitted by three federally recognized Tribes – the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in California and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona – have been approved under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership Act of 2012.
The Tribes now have the authority to govern and manage the leasing of their Indian trust and restricted fee lands for certain purposes authorized under the HEARTH Act without having such leases undergo additional review by the Department of the Interior.
“The HEARTH Act continues to be valuable for Tribal governments seeking to utilize their lands in ways that directly benefit their communities, but without the lengthy delays a Departmental review entails,” said Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “Supporting Tribes in building sustainable economies for themselves is what the HEARTH Act is all about. I encourage those considering it to take a closer look at what the Act can do for them.”
The types of approved leasing regulations announced today are:
- Cabazon Band of Mission Indians: business site leasing ordinance.
- Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona: residential leasing ordinance.
- Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation: business leasing regulations.
The three approvals announced today are among the 69 Tribal nations that have received Secretarial approval for leasing regulations, with another 21 awaiting approval. Last month, the BIA announced that Pascua Yaqui had received approval for a business site leasing ordinance.
The HEARTH Act, which amended the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955 (25 U.S.C. 415), promotes Tribal self-determination by making a voluntary, alternative land-leasing process available to federally recognized Tribes through the Interior Department. It restored the authority of those Tribes to develop and implement their own laws governing the long-term leasing of Indian trust lands for agricultural, business, renewable energy, residential and other purposes.
Under the Act, the Secretary is authorized to approve Tribal regulations if they are consistent with the Department’s leasing regulations and provide for an environmental review process that meets requirements set forth in the Act. Once a Tribe’s HEARTH application is approved, it can negotiate and enter into leases without further approvals.
Tribes may submit HEARTH applications to BIA for agricultural and business leases of Tribal trust lands for a primary term of 25 years, and up to two renewal terms of 25 years each. Leases of Tribal trust lands for residential, recreational, religious or educational purposes may be executed for a primary term of up to 75 years.
The BIA Office of Trust Services’ Division of Real Estate Services administers the HEARTH Act Tribal leasing regulations application review process. Interested Tribes may submit their regulations by mail to:
U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Trust Services
Attention: Division of Real Estate Services
1001 Indian School Road NW, Box 44
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104
The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs advises the Secretary of the Interior on Indian Affairs policy issues, communicates policy to and oversees the programs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA), provides leadership in consultations with Tribes, and serves as the DOI official for intra- and inter-departmental coordination and liaison within the Executive Branch on matters concerning American Indians and Alaska Natives and the federally recognized Tribes in the United States.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs directly administers and funds Tribally operated infrastructure, law enforcement and justice, social services (including child welfare), Tribal governance, and trust land and natural and energy resources management programs for the nation’s federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes through four offices: Indian Services, Justice Services, Trust Services and Field Operations. For more information and the list of Tribes with approved regulations, visit the Trust Services’ HEARTH Act web page.