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Legalease
Legalease, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  14 years experience corps, LLC's and partnerships; preparation, negotiation of complex contracts and business agreements
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We are seeking property in N. Dakota on the Mandan, Hidatsa,

Customer Question

We are seeking property in N. Dakota on the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation reservation, also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes. We were told that if a non-native American held ownership of the property to be sold, that the buyers/new owners would hold the same form of ownership that is governed by local and state regulations and free of the tribe’s sovereign nation rules and governing authority/charter. Is this the case . . . and where can we find the evidence if it is? Thank you. Fred
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm a moderator for this topic. I've been working hard to find a professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We are very much interested and will wait. Thank you for the heads-up. Fred

Expert:  Fran-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hi Fred,

Thank you for your continued patience. We will continue the search for a professional for you.
Expert:  wendy-Mod replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your patience, your business is very important to us, we are waiting on the Professional with the right expertise to come online. Feel free to let us know if you would like us to continue searching for a Professional or if you would like us to close your question.

We appreciate your understanding!
Wendy
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for corresponding. We are most interested in your feedback and will hope for an expert. It is a most important issue due to the billions($) that are being invested in American. Indian tribal lands where they view their sovereign nation status quite seriously.


 


Thank you again

Expert:  wendy-Mod replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again for your patience. We will continue to search for the right Professional for you.

Regards,
Wendy
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello Fred -

-

This is a pretty obscure subject area in the law and the practice of tribal law and Indian Reservation Law is very specialized in those areas of the US where there are tribal lands and reservations. As a starting point, all land that is part of an Indian Reservation was originally all Trust Land -- it was held in trust by the Indians, but actually owned by the US federal government. This has been the law for more than 200 years. As Indians moved and progress happened there have been instances of sale to non-Indians - but the Tribe and the purchase had to be approved by the federal government. So, in this day and age there are many areas within Indian Reservations that are trust land AND land owned in fee simple by individual Indians and merchants. There is no way that any of us here at Just Answer could tell you if you will be taking that land in fee simple without reviewing all of the documents and knowing what is happening -- however, as a starting point if you are considering purchasing what is now Indian tribal land then you need to determine if that land was sold previously to a non-indian owner and did that land sale receive approval from the US government at that time (the US Dept of the Interior gives the approval). If there is no record of a prior sale of the land out of the Indian reservation or the tribal lands, then the land could still be part of the original "trust" land set up by the US government. That is not to say the property cannot be purchased by a non-Indian -- but it means that the seller and the transaction must get that approval from the US Dept of the Interior. So, there should be a title search and a point in that title where one of the prior owners received permission from the US to sell the land (which at that point makes it non tribal and you do not need another approval to sell it again down the line) and if there is not that approval then you will need that approval for the sale to you. Here is a pretty good discussion of these issues -- it starts with a tribe trying to buy non tribal lands but actually discusses the history of Indian Land Transactions. http://www.dorsey.com/files/upload/AILJ_TrialIssue_Jarboe.pdf

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I hope that helps. I do highly recommend that you hire a local attorney where the land is located who specializes in these Indian tribal land issues because you want to make sure that all of your "ducks" are in a row so to speak when purchasing this land.

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MARY

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