Oversight: Hearing on Comparing 21st Century Trust Land Acquisition with the Intent of the 73rd Congress in Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act

Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017 Time: 10:00 AM Location: Longworth House Office Building 1324


  • Acquisition of trust land for the benefit of Indian tribes is essential to tribal self determination and economic development, and protects tribal lands for future generation.
  • Congress specifically authorized the Secretary to secure homelands for Indian tribes by acquiring land to be held in trust for Indian tribes under section 5 of the IRA. They achieved this through the Part 151 process, with transparent rulemaking that involves tribal input. 
  • The uncertainty the Carcieri decision created is threatening tribal sovereignty, economic self-sufficiency and self-determination. Congress has had 8 years to address this issue, but has done nothing. State and county governments have used this uncertainty to push for modifications to the trust land process, including giving their entities more influence in the process.
  • Rather than statutorily define the land into trust process, the majority of tribes instead support a “clean” Carcieri fix (such as H.R. 130 [Cole, R-OK]), which would strike the phrase “any recognized Indian tribe now under Federal jurisdiction” and replace it with “any federally recognized Indian tribe.” This would reaffirm the status of current trust lands, and well as reestablish the original intent of Section 5 of the IRA.