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Federal Land Transfers

ILTF supports initiatives designed to transfer lands that hold cultural, economic or political interest back into Indian ownership and control including lands identified for transfer or disposal as federally-owned excess and surplus land.

Several agencies manage federal lands including the Department of Agriculture (Forest Service), Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Services, Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs), Department of Defense (Army Corp of Engineer and Coast Guard), and Department of the Treasury (IRS and Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture). Each of these agencies has different authorities to dispose of land or exchange lands within departments.

The Federal Land Transfers initiative seeks to provide financial assistance to tribes in support of the return of ancestral lands, not including the purchase of the lands. As federal agencies make decisions to dispose of lands that are of interest to local Indian nations, those nations need to be aware of and seek a return of those lands through exchange, purchase or other means. 

No grants have been awarded to date on the Federal Land Transfers initiative.


Grant funding is currently limited. Out of respect for your time, we suggest sending a brief letter of inquiry including the following information:

  • Organization name and contact information (address, phone, email, etc.)
  • Budget range for successful implementation of project
  • Brief description of proposed project and rationale
  • Identify whether or not the proposed project has been discussed with tribal leaders

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