Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 5308 (ih) To amend laws relating to the lands of the citizens of the Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations, historically referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] %%Filename:...

H.R. 5308 (ih) To amend laws relating to the lands of the citizens of the Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations, historically referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] %%Filename:...


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106th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 5308

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

  To amend laws relating to the lands of the citizens of the Muscogee 
      (Creek), Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations, 
 historically referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes, and for other 
                               purposes.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5308

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
  To amend laws relating to the lands of the citizens of the Muscogee 
      (Creek), Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations, 
 historically referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Five Nations 
Citizens Land Reform Act of 2000''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Purpose.
Sec. 4. Definitions.
             TITLE I--RESTRICTIONS; REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS

Sec. 101. Restrictions on real property.
Sec. 102. Restricted funds.
Sec. 103. Period of restrictions.
Sec. 104. Removal of restrictions.
Sec. 105. Exemptions from prior claims.
Sec. 106. Fractional interests.
 TITLE II--ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF CONVEYANCES, PARTITIONS, LEASES, 
             AND MORTGAGES; MANAGEMENT OF MINERAL INTERESTS

Sec. 201. Approval authority for conveyances and leases.
Sec. 202. Approval of conveyances.
Sec. 203. Reimposition of restrictions on conveyances of property to 
                            Indian housing authorities.
Sec. 204. Administrative partition.
Sec. 205. Surface leases.
Sec. 206. Mineral leases.
Sec. 207. Management of mineral interests.
Sec. 208. Mortgages.
Sec. 209. Validation of prior conveyances.
    TITLE III--PROBATE, HEIRSHIP DETERMINATION, AND OTHER JUDICIAL 
                              PROCEEDINGS

Sec. 301. Actions affecting restricted property.
Sec. 302. Heirship determinations and probates.
Sec. 303. Actions to cure title defects.
Sec. 304. Involuntary partitions.
Sec. 305. Requirements for actions to cure title defects and 
                            involuntary partitions.
Sec. 306. Pending State proceedings.
                        TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 401. Regulations.
Sec. 402. Repeals.
Sec. 403. Statutory construction.
Sec. 404. Representation by attorneys for the Department of the 
                            Interior.
                    TITLE V--WATER BASIN COMMISSION

Sec. 501. Water basin commission.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Since 1970, Federal Indian policy has focused on Indian 
        self-determination and economic self-sufficiency. The exercise 
        of Federal instrumentality jurisdiction by the Oklahoma State 
        courts over the Indian property that is subject to Federal 
        restrictions against alienation belonging to members of the 
        Five Nations is inconsistent with that policy.
            (2) It is a goal of Congress to recognize the Indian land 
        base as an integral part of the culture and heritage of Indian 
        citizens.
            (3) The exercise of Federal instrumentality jurisdiction by 
        the courts of the State of Oklahoma over conveyances and 
        inheritance of restricted property belonging to Indian citizens 
        of the Five Nations--
                    (A) is costly, confusing, and cumbersome, and 
                effectively prevents any meaningful Indian estate 
                planning, and unduly complicates the probating of 
                Indian estates and other legal proceedings relating to 
                Indian citizens and their lands; and
                    (B) has impeded the self-determination and economic 
                self-sufficiency of Indian citizens within the exterior 
                boundaries of the Five Nations.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    (a) In General.--It is the purpose of this Act to--
            (1) correct the disparate Federal treatment of individual 
        allotted lands of Indian citizens of the Five Nations that 
        resulted from prior Federal legislation by equalizing the 
        Federal legislative treatment of restricted and trust lands;
            (2) eliminate unnecessary legal and bureaucratic obstacles 
        that impede the highest and best use of restricted property 
        belonging to Indian citizens of the Five Nations;
            (3) provide for an efficient process for the administrative 
        review and approval of conveyances, voluntary partitions, and 
        leases, and to provide for Federal administrative proceedings 
        in testate and intestate probate and other cases that involve 
        the restricted property of Indian citizens, which concern the 
        rights of Indian citizens to hold and acquire such property in 
        restricted and trust status; and
            (4) transfer to the Secretary the Federal instrumentality 
        jurisdiction of the Oklahoma State courts together with other 
        authority currently exercised by such courts over the 
        conveyance, devise, inheritance, lease, encumbrance, and 
        partition under certain circumstances of restricted property 
        belonging to Indian citizens of the Five Nations.
    (b) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed 
to limit or affect the rights of Indian citizens under other Federal 
laws relating to the acquisition and status of trust property, 
including without limitation, the Act of June 18, 1934 (25 U.S.C. 461 
et seq.) (commonly known as the Indian Reorganization Act), the Act of 
June 26, 1936 (25 U.S.C. 501 et seq.) (commonly known as the Oklahoma 
Indian Welfare Act), the Indian Land Consolidation Act (25 U.S.C. 2201 
et seq.), and regulations relating to the Secretary's authority to 
acquire lands in trust for Indians and Indian tribes.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Five nations.--The term ``Five Nations'' means the 
        Cherokee Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, the Choctaw Nation of 
        Oklahoma, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and the Muscogee 
        (Creek) Nation, collectively, which are historically referred 
        to as the ``Five Civilized Tribes''.
            (2) Indian citizen.--The term ``Indian citizen'' means a 
        member or citizen of one of the individual Five Nations 
        referred to in paragraph (1), or an individual who is 
        determined by the Secretary to be a lineal descendent by blood 
        of an Indian ancestor enrolled on the final Indian rolls of the 
        Five Civilized Tribes closed in 1906.
            (3) Indian country.--The term ``Indian country'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 1151 of title 18, United 
        States Code, which includes restricted property and trust 
        property (as such terms are defined in this Act).
            (4) Indian nation.--The term ``Indian Nation'' means one of 
        the individual Five Nations referred to in paragraph (1).
            (5) Regional office.--The term ``Regional Office'' means 
        the Eastern Oklahoma Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian 
        Affairs, or any successor office within the Department of 
        Interior.
            (6) Restricted property.--The term ``restricted property'' 
        means any right, title or interest in real property owned by an 
        Indian citizen that is subject to a restriction against 
        alienation, lease, mortgage, and other encumbrances imposed by 
        this Act and other laws of the United States expressly 
        applicable to the property of enrollees and lineal descendants 
        of enrollees on the final Indian rolls of the Five Civilized 
        Tribes in 1906, and includes those interests in property that 
        were subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the 
        United States on the ownership of an Indian citizen who died 
        prior to the effective date of this Act (subject to valid 
        existing rights) but whose interest had not, as of the 
        effective date of this Act, been the subject of a final order 
        determining heirs by a State district court or a United States 
        District Court, or been conveyed by putative heirs by deed 
        approved in State district court, except that such term shall 
        not include Indian trust allotments made pursuant to the 
        General Allotment Act (25 U.S.C. 331 et seq.) or any other 
        trust property.
            (7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
            (8) Trust property.--The term ``trust property'' means 
        Indian property, title to which is held in trust by the United 
        States for the benefit of an Indian citizen or an Indian 
        Nation.

             TITLE I--RESTRICTIONS; REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS

SEC. 101. RESTRICTIONS ON REAL PROPERTY.

    (a) Application.--Beginning on the effective date of this Act, all 
restricted property shall be subject to restrictions against 
alienation, lease, mortgage, and other encumbrances, regardless of the 
degree of Indian blood of the Indian citizen who owns such property.
    (b) Continuation.--The restrictions made applicable under 
subsection (a) shall continue with respect to restricted property upon 
the acquisition of such property by an Indian citizen by inheritance, 
devise, gift, exchange, election to take at partition, or by purchase.

SEC. 102. RESTRICTED FUNDS.

    (a) In General.--All funds and securities held or supervised by the 
Secretary derived from restricted property or individual Indian trust 
property on or after the effective date of this Act are declared to be 
restricted and shall remain subject to the jurisdiction of the 
Secretary until or unless otherwise provided for by Federal law.
    (b) Use of Funds.--Funds, securities, and proceeds described in 
subsection (a) may be released or expended by the Secretary for the use 
and benefit of the Indian citizens to whom such funds, securities, and 
proceeds belong, as provided for by Federal law.

SEC. 103. PERIOD OF RESTRICTIONS.

    Subject to the provisions of this Act that permit restrictions to 
be removed, the period of restriction against alienation, lease, 
mortgage, or other encumbrance of restricted property and funds 
belonging to Indian citizens, is hereby extended until an Act of 
Congress determines otherwise.

SEC. 104. REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS.

    (a) Procedure.--
            (1) Application.--An Indian citizen who owns restricted 
        property, or the legal guardian of a minor Indian citizen or an 
        Indian citizen who has been determined to be legally 
        incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction (including a 
        tribal court), may apply to the Secretary for an order removing 
        restrictions on any interest in restricted property held by 
        such Indian citizen.
            (2) Consideration of application.--An application under 
        paragraph (1) shall be considered by the Secretary only as to 
        the tract, tracts, or severed mineral or surface interest 
        described in the application. Not later than 90 days after the 
        date on which an application is submitted, the Secretary shall 
        either issue the removal order or disapprove of the 
        application.
            (3) Disapproval.--The Secretary shall disapprove an 
        application under paragraph (1) if--
                    (A) in the Secretary's judgment, the applicant has 
                been subjected to fraud, undue influence or duress by a 
                third party; or
                    (B) the Secretary determines it is otherwise not in 
                the Indian citizen owner's best interest.
    (b) Removal of Restrictions.--When an order to remove restrictions 
becomes effective under subsection (a), the Secretary shall issue a 
certificate describing the property and stating that the Federal 
restrictions have been removed.
    (c) Submission of List.--Prior to or on April 1 of each year, the 
Secretary shall cause to be filed with the county treasurer of each 
county in the State of Oklahoma where restricted property is situated, 
a list of restricted property that has lost its restricted status 
during the preceding calendar year through acquisition of ownership by 
an individual or entity who is not an Indian citizen or by removal of 
restrictions pursuant to this section.
    (d) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to--
            (1) abrogate valid existing rights to property that is 
        subject to an order to remove restrictions under this section; 
        and
            (2) remove restrictions on any other restricted property 
        owned by the applicant.

SEC. 105. EXEMPTIONS FROM PRIOR CLAIMS.

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