About this Topic

Why is Trust Land Important?

Many Native people possess interests in trust land, which can be located on or outside of Rancherias and Reservations. The United States holds legal title to trust land, meaning that the United States owns the land. Individual Native people possess beneficial interests in the trust land. These beneficial interests give individuals the right to use their land interests for their own benefit and enjoyment.

How We Can Assist

We will work with you to ensure that important considerations are taken into account to protect and enforce individual rights in their trust land and rights of way, as well as other necessary steps to protect the land like, fire protection, natural resource protection including water rights, consolidate and transfer beneficial ownership interests, wills and inheritance rights, leasing beneficial interests for housing and development.


Additional Questions

Q. How can I make sure my assignment or allotment is inherited by my descendants I choose?

A. Assignments and allotments are two different types of land often found within Indian reservations. An “assignments” is land owned by the Tribe but issued to a tribal member for his or her personal use which is generally for the member to live on. Tribal members do not have ownership rights to their assignment and generally cannot device through a will. However, most Tribe allow the tribal member to designate through a tribal process who they would like their assignment to go to at their death and the Tribe will honor their wishes as long as the person designated is a tribal member. It is best to check with your Tribe for regarding your assignment rights and how to designate who you want your assignment to go to. . “Allotments”, are federal lands held in trust by the United States government for the benefit of the allotees. Allotees can gift their allotment interest during their lifetime or leave it to others by will after their death.

Find What You’re Looking For?

If you want to inquire further about this topic or would like additional assistance, please contact your local field office.