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Message-Id: <199503100301.VAA20449@info.tamu.edu>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 1995 06:39:47 -0800
Sender: \NATIVE-L Aboriginal Peoples: news & information <NATIVE-L@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>
From: native-l@gnosys.svle.ma.us
Subject: nanews03.010 (part A)
To: Multiple recipients of list NATIVE-L <NATIVE-L@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>

Original Sender: gars@netcom.com (Gary Night Owl)
Mailing List: NATIVE-L (native-l@gnosys.svle.ma.us)

Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 17:07:34 -0800
From: Alan Mandell<mandell@bioc02.uthscsa.edu>
Subj: fractionization of allotments

Mailing List: TRIBALLAW (triballaw@thecity.sfsu.edu)

Fractionization of allotments

By Alan Mandell, 6 March 1995

Over the past few months officials form the BIA/ Realty offices have been holding public meetings regarding individual allotment lands. The last one was to be held last weekend at the Uintah and Ouray reservation in Ft. Duchesne, Utah.

I was wondering if any of you out there had attended any of the other meeting that were held in various areas of the country. These meetings were held every Saturday, starting January 21, 1995. They were held at the following locations;

  1. San Xavier Reservation of the Tohono O'odham Nation
  2. Gila River Indian Reservation
  3. Colorado River Indian Reservation
  4. Ft. Yuma Indian Reservation
  5. Reno, NV for the Northern Paiute, Washoe and Shoshone Nations
  6. Ft. Duchesne, Utah, Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation

These meeting were held for comments on the proposed draft legislation regarding fractionated ownership of allotted lands. For a complete copy of the consultation package send your request to; Bureau of Indian Affairs, ATTN: HEIRSHIP 1849 C Street, NW MS-4522-MIB Washington, D.C. 20240

Here is a copy of the letter that I received;

Dear Landowner,

A growing problem had faced individual Indian, tribes, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for many year-the fractionated ownership of allotted lands. The problem has reached the point where the Department of Interior' ability to administer allotted lands, probate Indian estates and maintain the IIM (Individual Indian Monies) system can no longer keep up with the increasing number of fractional interests. You may be an owner of such interests.

An attempt to address the problem was made by the Congress in 1984 when it passed the Indian Land Consolidation Act. Part of the Act requires that when an individual owner dies, an interest amounting to 2 percent or less in a tract of land will escheat or automatically transfer to the tribe. In spite of this law, the number of such small interests owned by individual Indians has grown form 350,000 in 1984 to over 1.5 million in 994! Unless something is done to fix the fractionated heirship problem soon, the BIA will simply no longer be able to provide realty and IIM services to the owners. Your advice and assistance are needed.

Any proposal to solve the fractionated heirship problem must have two parts: (1) the consolidation of ownership, and (2) the prevention )or substantial reduction) of further fractionization. These objectives can be met through a land-purchase program, and by placing limitations on who can inherit interests in allotted land. The Department has prepared a consultation package which outlines a legislative proposal that meets these two objectives. The basic elements of this proposal are as follows:

I wish to emphasize that the proposal outlined in the consultation package is only a draft proposal. It has not been introduced in the Congress, and no proposal will be introduced until the landowners and tribes have had an opportunity to comment and/or suggest alternative solutions. I invite you to comment on the concepts described above or to suggest other solutions ot the fractionated ownership problem. <Text Deleted>(text addresses dates and times for comments to be sent back by)

Any comments form anybody that might have attended any of these meetings?