ITG FAQ #4 Answer-What is Indian Country?


Title 18 of the U.S. Code defines Indian Country (18 USCS Section 1151), it states "Except as otherwise provided in sections 1154 and 1156 of this title, the term 'Indian Country', as used in this chapter means (a) all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and, including rights-of-way running through the reservation, (b) all dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a state, and (c) all Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same."

For application of the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 of the U.S. Code) as it pertains to Indian tribes, civil courts rely on this statute in part. There is no generic definition for Indian Country applicable to all tribes. Treaties and more recent legislation, such as the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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