Technically, the Native American or “Indian” reservations in the US are not owned by the tribes. They are owned by the US government and are in “beneficent trust” to the Indians. In the Dawes Act (Indian General Allotment Act) of 1887, the US government held title to American Indian land and Indians enjoyed only a right of occupancy. http://nativeamericanfirstnationshistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_dawes_act#ixzz0RCh57xKD
Excerpt from the Indian General Allotment Act
“In all cases where any tribe or band of Indians has been or shall be located upon any reservation … the President shall be authorized to cause the same or any part thereof to be surveyed … whenever in his opinion such reservation or any part may be advantageously utilized for agricultural or grazing purposes by such Indians, and to cause allotment to each Indian located thereon to be made in such areas as in his opinion may be for their best interest not to exceed eighty acres of agricultural or one hundred and sixty acres of grazing land to any one Indian.”
For an example of how the US government controls “Indian Lands” look at the Shoshone tribal lands, that house the Nevada Test Site AND the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage hole. http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/yucca/yuccaltrbycorbin102400.htm
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