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Special Initiatives

Antone Minthorn“Lands within the original boundaries of every reservation and other areas of high significance where tribes retain aboriginal interest are in Indian ownership and management.”
– ILTF Mission

Great things often stem from unique and creative ideas that need a place to grow and develop. The current land situation is the result of several generations of increasingly fractionated ownership, lack of sufficient tribal control, and more than a century of damaging federal laws gone awry. Small steps today may provide long-term solutions for future generations.

While ILTF primarily funds projects that address our established strategies (Education, Cultural Awareness, Economic Opportunity and Legal Reform) sometimes we will consider unique and innovative ideas that may not fit neatly into this framework.

See a list of our grantees

Unique and Innovative Projects

The following are examples of unique and innovative projects that have been funded.

National Indian Carbon Coalition

The National Indian Carbon Coalition (NICC) is a greenhouse gas management service providing project development resources and training for tribal nations and Indian landowner associations entering the carbon marketplace. NICC was created from a partnership between Indian Land Tenure Foundation  and Intertribal Agriculture Council to develop and maintain relationships among tribal leaders and Indian farmers, ranchers and foresters and other organizations and businesses that may assist with the development of carbon credit projects.

Minnesota Indian Estate Planning Project

The Minnesota Indian Estate Planning Project is a three-year project to provide free community education and estate planning services for tribal members of four Minnesota Indian nations.

Indian Land Capital Company

Borrowing money to buy land has been a challenge for Indian nations and Indian people. The nature of lending within the sovereignty realm can prove daunting to non-Indian institutions. In 2005, ILTF created the Indian Land Capital Company (ILCC) with these challenges in mind.

ILCC offers a safer option for Indian nations than most commercial lenders in that it does not take land as collateral to secure the debt. Visit ILCC’s website to learn more about its effect on land retention in Indian Country.

Treaty Signers Project

There exists an amazing array of documentation in the Indian land legacy, none of which is as important as the treaties signed between the United States government and tribal nations across the United States. Research conducted on these treaties reveals interesting data identifying common signatories to multiple treaties bringing into question the pioneer mythology of this country.

When the Treaty Signers Project is complete, ILTF will provide a historically accurate, searchable database about the men who signed the treaties that acquired the land that now makes up the United States.

Internship Program

Each year, ILTF hires up to four student interns who work on a variety of special projects that help to advance ILTF's mission and goals.  The ILTF Internship Program provides valuable opportunities for young Native and non-Native students to broaden their understanding of Indian land issues and build skills that will prepare them well for a wide range of fields and professions.

Funding Areas

Land Recovery Efforts

ILTF provides funding to Indian nations to support various aspects of land recovery with a focus on reacquiring alienated federal lands. Returning lands to Indian ownership and control is important to ensure that Indian people have, at minimum, access to the financial and natural resources within their own reservations.

Share an idea

ILTF remains open to unique and innovative projects from the community that serve to enlighten our strategies (Education, Cultural Awareness, Economic Opportunity and Legal Reform) and have a significant impact on land issues in Indian Country.