Like Snow in the Spring Time: Allotment, Fractionation, and the Indian Land Tenure Problem
61 Pages Posted: 2 May 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2003
This article is an in-depth treatment of the fractionation, or co-ownership, problem in American Indian land tenure. The purpose of this work is twofold. First, the article establishes that fractionation is more than just inconvenient or unfortunate, but is instead a serious problem with major implications for modern tribal sovereignty. Second, the article proposes major reform that would remove unnecessary federal regulation of intratribal transactions and abolish the formulaic intestate division of property in favor of a more flexible case-by-case model that I call equitable distribution, with little added administrative expense.The article proceeds by examining the historical roots of the problem, surveying its modern scope, analyzing fractionation's many problematic consequences, and proposing several steps toward a more lasting solution.
Keywords: American Indian land tenure, property, fractionation, co-ownership, indigenous land
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