What is USA Trust Land?

Land held in trust by the United States of America for an individual Indian refers to land accepted by the federal government to be protected and be under the jurisdiction of the United States of America for the benefit of an individual Indian. Trust land can only be alienated or encumbered by the individual Indian owner with approval of the Secretary of the Interior, according to the Indan land conveyance provisions and limitations as provided by federal law. The land can maintain USA Trust status regardless of the blood quantum or tribe of the owner.

Trust lands enjoy the following benefits:

They are protected by and under the jurisdiction of the local tribe; they have federal protection as well. They are not subject to ad valorem taxes, and if the owner also works on USA Trust land, he or she is exempt from Oklahoma income tax. There are also restrictions and protections as to unapproved mortgages.

Normally, local county land records where the land is located will have recorded title documentation stating the grantee to be The United States of America in Trust for an individual Indian. The conveyance documents contain authority language and the signature of a BIA official. The Trust land is not taxable under county ad valorem taxation laws. A determination of trust status requires a search of land records.

Cherokee Nation Real Estate Services
P. O. Box 948
Tahlequah, OK 74465
Ofc: 918-453-5000
Fax: 918-458-0329
Ginger Brown, Director

General Contact
communications@cherokee.org 918-453-5000