Planning for the Passing of Reservation Lands to Future Generations

Publication Year: 
2008
Publication Type: 
Program Highlight
Citation: 
Nez Perce Extension
FRTEP - 1862

The federal government recently passed new rules about how trust land can be inherited and many Indian people have not done estate planning and do not understand how land can be inherited.  This topic relates to the American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004 (AIPRA).

The target audience was adults and a four week seminar series was offered in the summer of 2008, free of charge, in two locations, Lapwai and Kamiah. The notebook and class materials were paid for by a grant from Montana State University. The FRTEP Educator partnered with the Nez Perce Tribe’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The law student intern, who was providing free will writing services to tribal members, was a co-instructor for the class. There were 34 participants in this program.

The pre-post-class evaluations showed an increase in knowledge about AIPRA, the Nez Perce Inheritance Act, the Dawes Act
(allotment), land fractionation, how land can be inherited, and how to obtain and read information from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regarding their trust land. Extra notebooks were provided to the OLC and BIA for distribution to people who need assistance in estate planning and there have been requests for additional classes.