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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Ask PowWows.com Selling real estate to tribe? Selling real estate to tribe?

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Old 02-20-2016, 11:15 PM   #1
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Question Selling real estate to tribe?

Here's my question:

A business associate of a friend owns a trailer park on a reservation. The park isn't owned by Natives, but some of the tenants are; one is an old war veteran.

At the moment, it's a part of the city. Could the owner sell it to the tribe?


I was trying to find information for non-tribal members who own property on reservations, who may be interested in selling what they have to a tribe. The only things I've found are pages related to Natives selling their claims back to their tribes in a land buy back, but that doesn't seem to apply to non-Natives. Suggestions?
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:29 PM   #2
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The United States is a free market society. Anyone can sell anything to anybody. Any tribe may buy property. But buying said property does not make it "Tribal Trust Land". It's just property.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:24 PM   #3
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Here is an interesting timeline of how an Arizona tribe purchased a county island which was not in the city limits of the two towns surrounding the unused land.

The City of Glendale did all it could to annex the land so that the tribe could not build a casino on it and the State also did all it could to prevent the casino from opening.

How we got here: the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley

The Tohono O’odham Nation had thousands of acres of their land in the San Lucy District ruined by continuous flooding caused by federal construction of the Painted Rock Dam. To compensate the Nation the U.S. Congress passed the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act (Public Law 99-503). The law authorizes the Nation to buy unincorporated lands in Pima, Pinal, or Maricopa counties as replacement reservation lands. It also directs the U.S. Interior Department to transfer the replacement land into federal trust.

In 2003 the Nation purchased 135 acres of unincorporated land near Glendale, Arizona, as replacement land for the purpose economic and community development. The Nation asked the Secretary of the Interior to take into trust allowing them to build a casino per the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Lawsuits challenged the qualifications of these 135 acres as replacement land. The tribe has won 19 lawsuits, and expects to win two more in 2016.

The grand opening of the first construction phase was celebrated December 20, 2015.

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Old 02-22-2016, 06:03 PM   #4
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But they're just talking about land in general. Any tribe can buy land , but it doesn't become "Trust Land" until they apply to the B.I.A. and The Department of Interior , and they approve it.And this means proving that it should be "Trust Land".
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:10 PM   #5
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I was just going to add the comment that the process of putting land into trust w/the BIA (getting approval) can take a pretty long time (like decades).
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:27 PM   #6
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This one took time, but this new land is under Trust:

http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastor...6/11-16811.pdf
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:36 PM   #7
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During the period that our tribe was terminated (1961-1973) over 5000 acres of our land that was previously held in trust was sold off to non-NDNs as private property in a development project called Legend Lake. (These homes are mostly recreational/2nd homes to those people.)

(Thanks to the efforts of DRUMS members & with the help of NARF these land sales were stopped!! We used to go protest at the Legend Lake real estate office & go on marches to reverse Termination & get Restoration.)

After we were restored in 1973, the tribe has had the “1st right of refusal” to buy (or not) this private property back at fair market value & then do the process to put the land back into trust (which has been done successfully many times.) Buying undeveloped land for the tribe is a lot easier.

Our tribe, though, has been reluctant to buy back private property that has existing/built homes. The thinking that people have expressed is that it would put the tribe into the real estate sales business &/or have the tribe/tribal legislature in essence basically become like landlords with responsibility of tenants which is a whole different ball of wax and would create a new set of problems to have to deal with (collecting rent, evictions, maintenance upkeep, et al) that we’re not necessarily best equipped to undertake.

I can’t speak to how the tribe involved with allstarr’s business associate/friend situation might want to potentially proceed, but in the case of my tribe, we’ve shied away from doing this.

What’s interesting/kinda unexpected is that over the years, quite a few of these Legend Lakers (non-NDNs) decided to turn over their land over to the tribe so it can be put into trust so they don’t have to pay taxes on it. They still own the house/asset on top of the land. This basically becomes a land donation to our tribe (minus taxes they would have paid).

There were enough people who did this that it shrunk the remaining # of private property taxpayers, who then had their taxes raised accordingly by the county to pay for services. So in 2009, the Legend Lake Home Owners Association got together & passed a restriction that individual owners can’t do this anymore unless they all agree/vote.

There are a few of us who have thought/talked, if we ever strike it rich/win the lottery, that we would quietly buy up enough property at Legend Lake & put it in different Menominee family names that we could become the majority of their Home Owners Assoc. & get this restriction overturned. Wouldn’t that be something! LOL! Beat them at their own game.
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