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Legal Reform Strategy

Reform the legal mechanisms related to recapturing the physical, cultural and economic assets for Indian people and strengthening sovereignty of Indian land.

Rationale

In a survey conducted by ILTF, the most striking result was that despite the assertion that most tribes have some control over their land, and the value individual Indians place on land is high, most respondents indicated that, in reality, land is not, or cannot be, used effectively in Indian Country. The respondents perceived great systemic barriers in the use of property rights related to land and natural resources. Much of this is due to the enormous amount and complexity of legislation, regulations, and court decisions involving Indian land. ILTF has been charged by the Indian land tenure community to take the lead in reforming these legal mechanisms in order to halt the loss of Indian land and strengthen Indian self-determination.

Objectives

  • Empower Indian landowners about Indian land tenure issues
  • Inform people about legislation, regulations and court decisions involving Indian land
  • Increase information about federal surplus land transfers by Congress

Possible Activities

  • Educate tribal members about tribal, state and federal government relationships to Indian land
  • Identify best practices for land management
  • Gather and disseminate information regarding legal mechanisms involving Indian land
  • Identify best practices for land consolidation and management
  • Available federal surplus lands identified and acquired

Grant opportunities

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