What is Restricted Land?

Restricted land or Restricted status means land the title to which is held by an individual Indian and which can only be alienated or encumbered by the individual Indian owner with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior according to Indian land conveyance provisions and limitations found in the Code of Federal Regulations title 25. Restricted land for the purpose of this discussion is land under jurisdiction of the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma, more specifically the Cherokee, Creek (Muscogee), Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes. The lands may be restricted only if the owner is at least one-half Indian blood by quantum of the Five Civilized Tribes.

Original allottees of one-half or more Indian blood quantum received land in restricted status. If you are a direct descendent of the original allottee who received Cherokee land and you are one-half or more Five Civilized Tribes Indian by blood, you may have restricted land or you may have an interest in restricted land. A determination of restricted status will require a search of land records.

Restricted lands enjoy these benefits:

They are under tribal jurisdiction and protection; they are under the protection of federal law. They are usually 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. Restricted land sales also carry a special ability to reinvest in other lands with nor loss to restricted status or federal income taxes on the sale through the use of an Individual Indian Money (IIM) account or other special escrow account.

Although it is possible to adversely possess individual restricted land as provided by federal and state law, the legal action does require notification to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs. There are also restrictions and protections against unapproved mortgages.

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