The Dawes Act...
- Authorized the President of the United States to survey Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Indians.
- Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ended allotment.
- Effects of this policy can still be felt today in the resulting fractionation of trust land.
Indian Allotments on the Rosebud Reservation, 1903
(from the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Archives)
A Serious Problem Facing Communities
- As tracts (or allotments) of lands are passed down through generations, they gain more and more individual owners.
- Because the number of owners make it difficult to use the land, these allotments often lie idle and cannot be used for any beneficial purpose.
- Currently, there are approximately 150 locations with fractionated tracts of land, with approximately 243,000 unique owners.
An illustration depicting fractionation of a possible
allotment of land over six generations,
assuming only three heirs per generation.
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Read More: Why Is Land Consolidation Important?