Indian Allotment – a conveyance of land by the U.S. to an individual Indian or to a tribe, the title of which is held in trust by the U.S.

Indian allotment:

1. A conveyance of land by the United States to an individual Indian, usually the head of a family, made in pursuance of a policy adopted in reference to the Indians. 27 Am J1st Indians § 27.

2. A term also applied to any allotment of land to Indians, the title of which is held in trust by the United States or which remains inalienable without the consent of the United States.  27 Am J1st Indians § 45[1]

Related Terms:

Indian country – all land within the borders of any Indian reservation together with the land occupied by any Indian community not on a reservation.

Indian land – land owned by the United States but held in trust for & used by the American Indians.

Tribal Land – any part of an Indian reservation not allotted to or occupied by individual Indians but instead held in common by tribal members.

Indian title – a right of occupancy, constituting possession rather than ownership, that the federal government grants to an American Indian tribe based on the tribe’s immemorial possession of the area.  aka aboriginal title.

Indian Reservation – an area that the federal government has designated for use by an American Indian tribe, where the tribe generally settles & establishes a tribal government.

Indian law – the body of law dealing with American Indian tribes and their relationships to federal & state governments, private citizens, & each other.

Tribal Court – a quasi-independent court composed of tribal members, usually situated on a reservation, varying in procedure according to local custom.

Tribal-Exhaustion Doctrine – the general principle that when an Indian tribal court has jurisdiction, the parties must pursue all remedies available under tribal law before turning to non-tribal courts. [2]


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[1]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[2]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6


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