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College Course Implementation

ILTF provides funds for adaptation and implementation of two college courses: the Native Land Tenure History course addressing historical to current Native land tenure issues, and the Strategic Land Planning course which includes community-based planning and development for Indian nations.  

There is a need in the United States to appreciate the history of Native land and the role land plays in the lives of Native people. Course materials were developed speaking to the history of the land and strategic land planning – first to understand the land ownership patterns and then more specifically, planning for the future use and control of that land. 

The Native Land Tenure History discusses Native land tenure issues and problems currently facing Indian people outlined as an introductory/survey, three or four semester credit, college-level course. Four major Indian land tenure concepts are addressed in this material: historical origins of Native land tenure; major western concepts of Native "property" law; use and management of Native land; and re-acquisition of the Native land base.  Each of the four major concepts has subsequent themes and corresponding topics. While the topics are sufficiently generalized throughout much of Indian Country, the course design allows for each prospective institution or organization to modify the course to suit its particular situation.

The Strategic Land Planning course offers Indian landowners and land users systematic ways to learn about the closely interwoven historical, legal, cultural, ecological and economic aspects of Indian land tenure and land use; then to apply specific problem-solving and strategic land planning practices to research, develop, implement and evaluate land tenure and land use decisions. The planning approach offered is participatory, engaging all affected persons,  and is comprehensive, strengthening academic with experiential learning opportunities through partnerships, applied problem-solving research, community outreach and community service.

College course materials are free and are available online.

In 2005, Black Hills State University received a grant to develop and offer a new course titled American Indians and Their Lands using the ILTF college course materials as well as using those materials in two other courses at Black Hills State University: AIS/HIST, Modern American Indian History and Culture and AIS/POL, American Indian Government and Politics. To see more information on previous grants, go to the Grantees section of the website.

Grants through the College Course Implementation range from $1,500 to $6,000.


Grant funding is available to modify and implement ILTF’s Native Land Tenure History or Strategic Land Planning course at tribally controlled colleges and universities or a college/university with an established American Indian Studies program, not general ethnic, cultural or minority studies programs. Applicants’ innovation with respect to the implementation and modification of the curriculum inclusive of the history and culture of local Indian communities is encouraged. The materials offered are intended to serve as a starting place for faculty to develop a course particular to the academic field in which it will be offered. Funding does not require that faculty use these materials in any prescribed fashion.

Send request to:  Indian Land Tenure Foundation, Attn: Grants Manager, 151 East County Road B2, Little Canada, MN 55117-1523.

Download grant application

Download proposal checklist