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Real Estate Services

Fee to Trust

Fee to Trust Applications. This is a transfer of land from an eligible Indian tribe or eligible Indian individual to the United States of America, in trust, for the benefit of the eligible Indian tribe or eligible Indian individual.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for a fee-to-trust land acquisition?

Indian tribes and individual Indian persons who meet the requirements established by federal statutes and further defined in federal regulations are eligible to apply for a fee-to-trust land acquisition. See 25 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 151.2.

Where should an eligible applicant submit an application for fee-to-trust?

Applications shall be submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs office, by and through the Office of Real Estate Services, Cherokee Nation Complex, Tahlequah, OK 74465

What information is the applicant required to provide to accompany the application for a fee-to-trust acquisition?

The applicant must provide a legal description of the land to be acquired, the legal name of the eligible Indian tribe or individual, proof of an eligible Indian tribe or eligible person, the specific reason the applicant is requesting that the United States of America acquire the land for the applicant’s benefit, a title insurance commitment addressing the lands to be acquired and information that allows the Secretary of the Interior to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 602 Departmental Manual 2 (602 DM 2) – Hazardous Substances.

Will all applications from eligible Indian tribes and eligible Indian individuals result in a fee-to-trust acquisition?

No, but each application will be evaluated separately.  All decisions are in writing and the applicant will be advised of their appeal rights.

What are the benefits of owning land in Trust status?

Trust lands are protected by and under the jurisdiction of the local Tribe (Cherokee); has Federal protection; and is not subject to ad valorem taxes.