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Sample Form - Application for Sale of Indian Land 1

In this case, “Land Inventory” is referring to the ITI Report. The ITI lists all tracts in which landowner holds interests. This list should be carefully reviewed and only those parcels holding interests the landowner wants to sell should be identified.

Many BIA applications, including this one, have the same series of personal questions about level of education, number of dependents, sources of income, how the land in question is used, and what will be done with any proceeds from the land. In most cases, the answers to these questions will have no bearing on whether the application is approved or not. (A fee-to-trust application might be an exception, however, since attitudes towards approving these requests, especially for individuals, vary greatly from region to region and all responses might be evaluated more carefully.) On the whole, these questions are clearly an invasion of privacy and many people, rightfully, find them offensive. They were originally required by the BIA as a way to determine an individual’s degree of competency to manage his or her own affairs. They are a dark reminder of the Allotment Era and of the paternalistic and patronizing underpinnings of the trust relationship. Unfortunately, they linger on in these forms, and will continue to do so until the BIA makes administrative reform in this area a priority.

If the applicant wanted to identify the buyer somewhere, they could write it in here. Even on the form used most often by BIA staff, there is no place designated on the form for the buyer’s name. This is partly due to the fact that, in most cases, the buyer is the tribe.

The seller’s name.

This form was slightly revised from the original 1955 form (still in use by most BIA realty staff) to be included in a mass mailing for the Indian Land Consolidation Program, a project of the Indian Land Consolidation Act (ILCA). The program solicited sales of undivided interests from Indian landowners across the country which would pass to tribes for land consolidation after 20 years or sufficient income from the property re-paid the cost. The ILCA application was designed to encourage mass, quick sales of interests in multiple allotments. The more common 1955 form requires identifying information about a specific allotment such as original allottee, legal description of the land, total acreage, and fractional interest. Instead, the ILCA application asked that the landowner just attach an ITI, which lists all allotments a landowner has interest in. This led to confusion on the part of the landowner, some of whom ended up accidentally selling all of their interests in all of their allotments at once. In practice, when the BIA processes a land sale application, it can only be for one allotment at a time.

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