ITG FAQ #7 Answer-Are reservation lands sold by the Federal gov't to non-Indians and subsequently repurchased by the tribe part of Indian Country?


In another Supreme Court case, Cass County, Minnesota. Et Al., v. Leech Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, 524, U.S. 103; the Tribe's reservation lands that had been sold by the Federal Government to non-Indians and subsequently repurchased by the tribe are held subject to the county's ad valorem property taxes. The decision held that with respect to an Indian tribe's reservation land that has been made alienable by Congress and sold to non-Indians by the Federal Government, the subsequent repurchase of the land by the tribe does not cause the land to reassume the status of exemption from state taxation unless and until the lands are restored to Federal trust protection. Some attributes of Indian Country are:

  • generally non-alienable;
  • often not contiguous;
  • within the borders of the United States;
  • within the jurisdiction of a Federally recognized Indian tribe;
  • not part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

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