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Act of June 25, 1910 (36 Stat. 269)

Relevant Provisions: 
Determination of legal heirs; surrender of allotments; competency; will-making; leasing; timber; powers of the secretary of the interior

This act amends the General Allotment Act in several important ways:

Section 1:Sets forth a plan for the administration and disposal of allotment land estates. If an Indian allottee dies before the expiration of the trust period on his or her allotment and has died without a will, this act gives the secretary of the interior the power to determine legal heirs.  If the secretary finds the legal heirs “competent” to manage their own affairs, and that the lands are capable of partition, he may convey the lands to the heirs and issue them patents in fee. If the legal heirs are deemed “incompetent,” the secretary is authorized to sell the lands.

Section 2: Allows adult Indian allottees the right to make wills for their allotments, prior to the expiration of the trust period. In order to have force, these wills need to be approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the secretary of the interior. This section is not extended to Oklahoma. (This section is amended by Act of February 14, 1913.)

Section 3: Indian allotments or rights, titles, or interests in allotments may be surrendered by the allottee for the benefit of his or her children to whom no allotment of land has been made. The formal relinquishment must be approved by the secretary of the interior. The secretary will then cause the relinquished estate to be allotted to the children. These allotments are subject to the same conditions as they were prior to the relinquishment.

Section 4: Any allotment held under a trust patent may be leased by the allottee for a period not to exceed 5 years.

Section 5: Makes any attempt to induce Indian landowners to execute contracts, deeds, or mortgages based on Indian trust land illegal and a misdemeanor. This section does not apply to leases.

Section 8: Allows for Indian allottees to sell timber on allotments containing restrictions on alienation with the consent of the secretary of the interior.

Further sections of the act contain provisions on the cancellation and replacement of allotments on reservoir sites, amend sections 1 and 4 of the Act of February 28, 1891, and make several minor amendments to previous acts.

Click here for full text in Charles J. Kappler’s Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, produced by Oklahoma State University Library