OCR Interpretation

Navajo times. [volume] (Window Rock, Ariz.) 1960-1984, December 05, 1963, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047513/1963-12-05/ed-1/seq-5/

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Indians Eligible For
Public Land Allotment
From Rockv Mountain Oil
Reporter - Henry W. Haugh
These suggestions may prove
helpful to individual Indians, to
Tribes with alert leadership, and
to Agency personnel. We refer to
the opportunity now open to virtual
ly all Indians to obtain allotments
similar to homesteads on the
Public Lands inthe Western States,
under “long forgotten" provisions
of Section 4 of the General Allot
ment Act of Feb. 8, 1887, as
amended. This seldom-used law
has aroused a tremendous contro
versy by publication of an article
in the DENVER POST Sunday
Empire magazine, Nov. 10, 1963,
“An Indian ‘Moses' Seeks the
Promised Land" by A. L. Schafer.
Sheepmen and cattlemen with
profitable ranching operations de
pendent on use of Public Lands
are very fearful this may mean
millions of acres will pass into
Indian hands under the plainly
stated terms of the old law. All
Senators and Congressmen have
been alerted by groups opposed to
allowing Indians to claim and take
over land.
These powerful groups may find
away to nullify or repeal the law,
but at present the Indians have
every right and advantage and only
need to act promptly and intelli
The individual Indian act
ing by himself is almost help
less in this case —a well
planned program by a Tribe
or other group of Indians,
aided by their Agency friends
and technical advisors, can
accomplish very much. It
could be the “best break"
American Indians have had in
a great many years, as a
means of building up their all
important land base as / to
morrow's security.
Public Lanas are handled by
the Bureau of Land Management
and its records are kept in the
big over-worked Land Officer at
Denver, Cheyenne, Phoenix, Santa
Fe, Billings, Boise, Salt Lake
City and Reno. These offices must
be visited in person to accomplish
anything. Most citizens, Indian or
non-Indian, wouldn’t have any idea
what to do, and a swarm cf In
dians in a Land Office would ac
complish. nothing.
Select a representative who is
conversant with Land Office re
cords, supply him with maps com
plete with township and range num
bers so he can check the records
for specific locations desired if
available The people in the Land
Offices will supply (a) copies of
the Law applying to Indian allot
ments of Public Lands, (b) Form
DIAN ALLOTMENT, and (c) Form
CATION.’, When these blanks are
filled out and turned in, they must
TRICE’S *=t dlt
best brands
in Western Wear JL
Ras istol—Bandera Hats OF
Panhandle Slim Shirts SADDLE GOODS
222 West Cool Gattup
be accompanied by a Certificate
issued each individual Indian by
the Bureau of Indian Affairs prov
ing that the individual really is
an Indian asking his Agency
Superintendent for it is the way to
obtain this all-important Certif
icate, rather than trying to get it
from Tribal authorities.
The Superintendent of BIA will
add the necessary data as supplied
by the Tribe as to Tribal status,
or can get this. Some land applica
tions have been held up because
Certificates were not properly
provided. The law allows 90 days
after the application has been filed
for the Certificate to be obtained
by the applicant from the Bureau
of Indian Affairs, but it is best to
submit it along with the applica
tion, if possible. There are no
lists of available lands, and it
takes hard digging in the records
to locate and identify suitable and
available tracts. None of this can
be done by mail with any Land
This generous and far-reaching
provision in the law wds designed
to HELP Indians to acquire land
for their own use and possession.
Forest lands are included, even if
the land is in a National Forest.
These allotments are from lands
owned by the Federal Government
and have nothing to do with any
allotments ever made from Res
ervation or Indian lands.
Each Indian man, wom
an and child is entitled
to nr* more tiian 40 acres
of Public Land deemed suit
able for irrigation, or SOacres
of nonirrigable agricultural
land, or 160 acres of non
irrigabie grazing land, li there
are four members of an In
dian family, all Indians, each
of the four is entitled to his
full share of land ...they
could receive 640 acres of
grazing land, for example.
All mineral rights including
oil and gas are reserved by
the Federal government.
Not many In.iians are able to go
into a Land Office and check the
records to learn what tracts are
available. It may seem like a lot
cf red tape, but remember riuit
the land is offered free. There
are lew hampering restrictions
on Indians acquiring this land,
much less than home steaders
were expected to fulfill in the
old days. Not many Indians have
the temperament or background
to farm small acreages on a suc
cessful basis. Even well-educated
people with money find this a
heart-breaking endeavor. Even
tual heirship problems and frac
tional ownership seem to present
additional problems. But land is
wealth, and if intelligently ap
proached this can be utilized very
Many of the Public Lands are
adjacent to Indian Reservations...
these areas should be scrutinized
■ If?
\ 'wsbsssbß& ■>-%'l
“OPEN HOUSE" at the newly constructed Resource building attracted
visitors and employees from the Window Rock departments on Nov. 27th.
Shown above aside from the crowds are employees from the Navajo
Tribe’s Design and Construction. Left to right: Pearl Bitsui, Loyola
Hubbard and Larry Sells. (Staff Photo, R. C. Billie)
carefully by Tribal authorities and
by individual Indians, to see if
such lands can be obtained. These
lands might be operated economi
cally in large units, perhaps using
Tribal resources and equipment
as well as expert guidance in
management of farming, livestock,
timber and other enterprises or
resources. The next best bet would
be to try to find a valley or other
watered area where several fam
Gallup Music Store h— own.d
1 Home Operated
221 W. Cool, Gallup Phone 863-9291
■ MMTah-..
Sr 'll HVfe»,£jn M
m ' M MMMbBI %
Sfflanßßr W JSra ’* vSmmik:
m .
mL ••
New Lowrey Organ only ’495
—lets than $4 a week
& H JA will hold any piano or organ
III for a musical Merry Christmas
Story & Clark, Used $495.00 • Wurlitzer, Used $395.00
Stark, Repossessed Like New $419.00
Marco Polo Demonstrator, with bench, like new $419.00
Hohner electric Spinet $239.00 & $385.00
Just one practice piano - $139.00 ~* •
Page 5
ilies getting together could develop
properties to be worked in fairly
large economic units.
The sheer size of their col
lective holdings would make it
relatively easy to obtain, neces
sary financial assistance for well
supervised and profitable opera
tions. BIA assistance with realty
and other problems will be very
valuable, as will help from other
(Continued on Page 11)
December 5, 1963
WILSON BARBER, Supervisor of
Shallow Wells and Spring Devel
opment Window Rock, Arizona,
recently moved his department in
to the newly constructed Resource
building. In an effort to develop all
possible sources of stock and
domestic water, the Navajo Tribe
has appropriated funds for the de
velopment of Shallow Wells and
Springs. (Staff Photo, R. C. Billie)
Sols Sorvico
Corner of Third G Aztec
Gallup, New Mexico
Everything For The Office

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