Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1587 (is) To amend the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 to establish within the Department of the Interior an Office of Special Trustee for Data Cleanup and Internal Control. [Introduced in Senate] ...

S. 1587 (is) To amend the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 to establish within the Department of the Interior an Office of Special Trustee for Data Cleanup and Internal Control. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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                                                       Calendar No. 714
106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 1586

                          [Report No. 106-361]

  To reduce the fractionated ownership of Indian lands, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 15, 1999

 Mr. Campbell (for himself and Mr. Bingaman) introduced the following 
  bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian 
                                Affairs

                             July 26, 2000

              Reported by Mr. Campbell, with an amendment
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To reduce the fractionated ownership of Indian lands, and for other 
                               purposes.

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

<DELETED>SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    This Act may be cited as the ``Indian Land Consolidation 
Act Amendments of 1999''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 2. FINDINGS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    Congress finds that--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) in the 1800's and early 1900's, the United 
        States sought to assimilate Indian people into the surrounding 
        non-Indian culture by allotting tribal lands to individual 
        members of Indian tribes;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) many trust allotments were taken out of trust 
        status and sold by their Indian owners;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) the trust periods for trust allotments have 
        been extended indefinitely;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) because of the inheritance provisions in the 
        original treaties or allotment Acts, the ownership of many of 
        the trust allotments that have remained in trust status has 
        become fractionated into hundreds or thousands of interests, 
        many of which represent 2 percent or less of the total 
        interests;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) Congress has authorized the acquisition of 
        lands in trust for individual Indians, and many of those lands 
        have also become fractionated by subsequent 
        inheritance;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (6) the acquisitions referred to in paragraph (5) 
        continue to be made;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (7) the fractional interests described in this 
        section provide little or no return to the beneficial owners of 
        those interests and the administrative costs borne by the 
        United States for those interests are inordinate;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (8) substantial numbers of fractional interests of 
        2 percent or less of a total interest in trust or restricted 
        lands have escheated to Indian tribes under section 207 of the 
        Indian Land Consolidation Act (25 U.S.C. 2206), which was 
        enacted in 1983;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (9) in Babbit v. Youpee (117 S Ct. 727 (1997)), 
        the United States Supreme Court found that the application of 
        section 207 of the Indian Land Consolidation Act to the facts 
        presented in that case to be unconstitutional;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (10) in the absence of remedial legislation, the 
        number of the fractional interests will continue to grow; 
        and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (11) the problem of the fractionation of Indian 
        lands described in this section is the result of a policy of 
        the Federal Government, cannot be solved by Indian tribes, and 
        requires a solution under Federal law.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    It is the policy of the United States--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) to prevent the further fractionation of trust 
        allotments made to Indians;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) to consolidate fractional interests and 
        ownership of those interests into usable parcels;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) to consolidate fractional interests in a 
        manner that enhances tribal sovereignty; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) to promote tribal self-sufficiency and self-
        determination.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 4. AMENDMENTS TO THE INDIAN LAND CONSOLIDATION 
              ACT.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) In General.--The Indian Land Consolidation Act (25 
U.S.C. 2201 et seq.) is amended--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) in section 202--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``(1) 
                `tribe''' and inserting ``(1) `Indian tribe' or 
                `tribe''';</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) by striking paragraph (2) and 
                inserting the following:</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(2)`Indian' means any person who is a member of 
        an Indian tribe or is eligible to become a member of an Indian 
        tribe at the time of the distribution of the assets of a 
        decedent's estate;'';</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) by striking ``and'' at the end of 
                paragraph (3);</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (D) by striking the period at the end of 
                paragraph (4) and inserting ``; and''; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (E) by adding at the end the 
                following:</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(5) `heirs of the first or second degree' means 
        parents, children, grandchildren, grandparents, brothers and 
        sisters of a decedent.'';</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) by amending section 203 to read as 
        follows:</DELETED>

<DELETED>``SEC. 203. OTHER APPLICABLE PROVISIONS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    ``(a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), sections 5 
and 7 of the Act of June 18, 1934 (commonly known as the `Indian 
Reorganization Act') (48 Stat. 985 et seq., chapter 576; 25 U.S.C. 465 
and 467) shall apply to all Indian tribes, notwithstanding section 18 
of that Act (25 U.S.C. 478).</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(b) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section is 
intended to supersede any other provision of Federal law which 
authorizes, prohibits, or restricts the acquisition of land or the 
creation of reservations for Indians with respect to any specific 
Indian tribe, reservation, or State.'';</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) in section 205--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) in the matter preceding paragraph 
                (1)--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) by striking ``Any Indian'' and 
                        inserting ``(a) In General.--Subject to 
                        subsection (b), any Indian'';</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) by striking ``per centum of 
                        the undivided interest in such tract'' and 
                        inserting ``percent of the individual interests 
                        in such tract. Interests owned by an Indian 
                        tribe in a tract may be included in the 
                        computation of the percentage of ownership of 
                        the undivided interests in that tract for 
                        purposes of determining whether the consent 
requirement under the preceding sentence has been met.'';</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (iii) by striking ``: Provided, 
                        That--''; and inserting the 
                        following:</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(b) Conditions Applicable to Purchase.--Subsection (a) 
applies on the conditions that--'';</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) in paragraph (2)--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) by striking ``If,'' and 
                        inserting ``if''; and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) by adding ``and'' at the end; 
                        and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) by striking paragraph (3) and 
                inserting the following:</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(3) the approval of the Secretary shall be 
        required for a land sale initiated under this section, except 
        that such approval shall not be required with respect to a land 
        sale transaction initiated by an Indian tribe that has in 
        effect a land consolidation plan that has been approved by the 
        Secretary under section 204.'';</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) by striking section 206 and inserting the 
        following:</DELETED>

<DELETED>``SEC. 206. DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF TRUST OR RESTRICTED 
              LANDS; TRIBAL ORDINANCE BARRING NONMEMBERS OF AN INDIAN 
              TRIBE FROM INHERITANCE BY DEVISE OR DESCENT.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    ``(a) Tribal Probate Codes.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of law, any Indian tribe may adopt a tribal probate 
        code to govern descent and distribution of trust or restricted 
        lands that are--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(A) located within that Indian tribe's 
                reservation; or</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(B) otherwise subject to the 
                jurisdiction of that Indian tribe.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(2) Codes.--A tribal probate code referred to in 
        paragraph (1) may provide that, notwithstanding section 207, 
        only members of the Indian tribe shall be entitled to receive 
        by devise or descent any interest in trust or restricted lands 
        within that Indian tribe's reservation or otherwise subject to 
        that Indian tribe's jurisdiction.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(b) Secretarial Approval.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(1) In general.--Any tribal probate code enacted 
        under subsection (a), and any amendment to such a tribal 
        probate code, shall be subject to the approval of the 
        Secretary.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(2) Review and approval.--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(A) In general.--Each Indian tribe that 
                adopts a tribal probate code under subsection (a) shall 
                submit that code to the Secretary for review. Not later 
                than 180 days after a tribal probate code is submitted 
                to the Secretary under this paragraph, the Secretary 
                shall review and approve or disapprove that tribal 
                probate code.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(B) Consequence of failures to approve 
                or disapprove a tribal probate code.--If the Secretary 
                fails to approve or disapprove a tribal probate code 
                submitted for review under subparagraph (A) by the date 
                specified in that subparagraph, the tribal probate code 
                shall be deemed to have been approved by the Secretary, 
                but only to the extent that the tribal probate code is 
                consistent with Federal law.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(C) Consistency of tribal probate code 
                with this act.--The Secretary may not approve a tribal 
                probate code under this paragraph unless the Secretary 
                determines that the tribal probate code is consistent 
                with this Act.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(D) Explanation.--If the Secretary 
                disapproves a tribal probate code under this paragraph, 
                the Secretary shall include in a notice of the 
                disapproval to the Indian tribe a written explanation 
                of the reasons for the disapproval.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(E) Amendments.--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    ``(i) In general.--Each Indian 
                        tribe that amends a tribal probate code under 
                        this paragraph shall submit the amendment to 
                        the Secretary for review and approval. Not 
                        later than 60 days after receiving an amendment 
                        under this subparagraph, the Secretary shall 
                        review and approve or disapprove the 
                        amendment.</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    ``(ii) Consequence of failure to 
                        approve or disapprove an amendment.--If the 
                        Secretary fails to approve or disapprove an 
                        amendment submitted under clause (i), the 
                        amendment shall be deemed to have been approved 
                        by the Secretary, but only to the extent that 
                        the amendment is consistent with Federal 
                        law.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(3) Effective dates.--A tribal probate code or 
        amendment approved under paragraph (2) shall become effective 
        on the later of--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(A) the date specified in section 
                207(e)(1); or</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(B) 180 days after the date of 
                approval.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(4) Limitations.--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(A) Tribal probate codes.--Each tribal 
                probate code enacted under subsection (a) shall apply 
                only to the estate of a decedent who dies on or after 
                the effective date of the tribal probate 
                code.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(B) Amendments to tribal probate 
                codes.--With respect to an amendment to a tribal 
                probate code referred to in subparagraph (A), that 
                amendment shall apply only to the estate of a 
                descendant who dies on or after the effective date of 
                the amendment.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(5) Repeals.--The repeal of a tribal probate 
        code shall--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(A) not become effective earlier than 
                the date that is 180 days after the Secretary receives 
                notice of the repeal; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(B) apply only to the estate of a 
                decedent who dies on or after the effective date of the 
                repeal.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(c) Use of Proposed Findings by Tribal Justice 
Systems.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(1) Tribal justice system defined.--In this 
        subsection, the term `tribal justice system' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 3 of the Indian Tribal Justice Act 
        (25 U.S.C. 3602).</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(2) Regulations.--The Secretary shall promulgate 
        regulations concerning the use of proposed findings of fact and 
        conclusions of law, as rendered by a tribal justice system, in 
        the adjudication of probate proceedings by the Department of 
        the Interior.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(d) Life Estates for Non-Indian Spouses and Children Who 
Would Otherwise Be Precluded From Inheriting By Reason of the Operation 
of a Tribal Probate Code.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(1) In general.--Paragraph (2) shall apply with 
        respect to a non-Indian spouse or child of an Indian decedent, 
        if that decedent is subject to a tribal probate code that has 
        been approved by the Secretary (or deemed approved) under 
        subsection (b) and--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(A) dies intestate; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(B) has devised an interest in trust or 
                restricted lands to that non-Indian spouse or child, 
                which the spouse or child is otherwise prohibited from 
                inheriting by reason of that tribal probate 

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