Land return, also called land reparations, land restitution, or land repatriation, includes efforts to support Native communities and apologize for centuries of history filled with land theft, the murder of millions, and the destruction of Indigenous communities. For land reparations efforts, land can refer broadly to any property or resources being returned to Native people; it can include buildings, physical infrastructure, or culturally significant locations, as well as the legal rights to land with water, minerals, plants, fishing, hunting, wildlife habitats, or other natural resources1. For some tribes, land return efforts may focus on larger tracts of land while for other tribes it may be smaller scale returns of specific, culturally significant sites2. Land return efforts can be part of multi-component policies that promote Native sovereignty, support decolonization, identify the root causes of injustice, encourage sustainable resource use1, preserve cultural sites, develop community assets, and improve economic outcomes for Indigenous people3. Land reparations efforts vary based on unique tribal history, specific tribal needs, and different local opportunities for land return1. Land reparations can also include efforts to reform the laws and bureaucracy that prevent Native Americans from achieving economic and political independence4.
Each sovereign tribe is unique and has its own history, language, culture, and customs. In our effort to understand, engage with, and present information from the available literature we refer to Native people, Indigenous people, Native Americans, and tribal communities as placeholders for the many distinct tribes, whether they are federally recognized or not. When possible, we refer to each tribe by its name.
Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)
Increased Native sovereignty
Improved economic conditions
Increased community wealth
Increased food security
Increased food sovereignty
Increased cultural preservation
Improved ecosystem restoration
Evidence of Effectiveness
Land return for tribal restitution is a suggested strategy to increase Native sovereignty and self-determination3, 5, 6, 7. Land return has been associated with improved economic conditions, improved social services, and improved community infrastructure when tribal communities have ownership and the ability to invest in their community3, 6, 7. Available evidence suggests land return that secures Native sovereignty may improve earnings, employment opportunities, and economic development for Native people3. Experts suggest US public lands may provide opportunities for future land return that could be less costly than federal aid to promote economic growth on existing reservations2. Additional evidence is needed to confirm effects3.
Food sovereignty is the right of Native people to produce traditional foods on their land to sustain their community8. Producing traditional foods requires access to and use of land for farming, ranching, agricultural production, hunting, fishing, and management of water and environmental resources9, 10. Throughout US history, Native tribes have been separated from their lands and have been denied food sovereignty. The loss of their lands has led to increased food insecurity and poverty for Native tribes9, 11. Experts suggest that restoring land to tribal communities may support traditional food systems, food sovereignty, healthy and culturally relevant diets, and food security. Land return efforts may also increase economic opportunity, as well as habitat and ecosystem restoration3, 12.
Apologies and recognition of historical wrongs are considered a critical component of any reparations program, though they are not sufficient by themselves13. Some experts suggest that sincere apology can support the healing process, increase positive thoughts, and may lead to forgiveness14. To achieve justice, reparations for tribal restitution must be established through open communication and negotiation on both sides, include land return efforts, and provide public acknowledgment of the specific circumstances and local context involved in centuries of atrocities. An apology may be perceived as empty symbolism if it is offered without land return or reparations that materially support the well-being and sovereignty of Native peoples4, 14. Apologies are delicate and difficult to convey appropriately in cross-cultural communication. Experts suggest that apologies may be more successful if they are culturally informed and follow the process of healing grievances used by Native tribes, rather than a Western model15.
There have been several examples of successful land return to Native tribes in the US. In New Mexico, the Zuni tribe received land reparations through court and legislative proceedings that included 25,000 acres of land, $25 million in monetary compensation for lost land, and another $25 million for damages to the reservation’s land caused by governmental acts of omission that led to erosion and the loss of minerals, timber, and water. This settlement created a permanent trust to support a sustainable resource development plan, as well as a permanent easement to secure Zuni religious freedom and provide access to the traditional route for their sacred pilgrimages16.
The Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 is an example of land reparations where the federal government provided $81.5 million in restitution to the Passamaquoddies and Penobscots, and the opportunity to purchase up to 300,000 acres of land. This land settlement is associated with improvements in living conditions, housing stability, economic security, investment and business opportunities, cultural and language preservation programs, and higher education opportunities for these tribes6, 7. Federal funds helped the Passamaquoddies and Penobscots improve infrastructure, resource police and fire departments, and establish health clinics on their land, although the improvements are associated with some challenges to traditional Passamaquoddy and Penobscot practices and culture7. The claims process and settlement was long and difficult, and it sparked controversy and backlash from Maine’s state leaders, private property owners, and Euro-American “rights” organizations7. In some circumstances, as seen in Maine, settlement language can be vague and complicated, giving state governments the opportunity to challenge and limit Native authority and sovereignty. The continuing challenges to the Maine settlement suggest both that this settlement language should be clarified and that protections to preserve self-determination and sovereignty for Native people in the future need to be included in other land return efforts6, 17.
The Arizona Water Settlement Act of 2004 (AWSA) established tribal authority over water resource rights, which may improve quality of life, economic, and sustainable growth outcomes for the Pima community6. In Southern New England, land return was successfully achieved in the Titicut Reserve in Massachusetts and the Great Swamp in South Kingstown, Rhode Island14. Under the Indian Claims Commission, land was successfully restored to several tribes. For example, 48,000 acres in Blue Lake, New Mexico were returned to the Taos Pueblo7. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 returned over 40 million acres of land and provided over $960 million in compensation for land taken from Alaska Natives. However, the land return has not been fully completed yet7, 18. In Arizona, 185,000 acres of land around Grand Canyon National Park was returned to the Havasupai Reservation7.
US presidents and Congress have officially recognized the illegality of the US role in overthrowing and colonizing the Hawaiian Kingdom and the unjust enrichment that followed. However, Native Hawaiians have not been formally recognized nor extended the land rights and sovereignty honored for some Native American tribes. Although a reservation of 1.2 million acres was created for Native Hawaiians, the Hawaiian State Department oversees and maintains control of the land, treating Native Hawaiians more as wards of the state and limiting Native Hawaiian land rights and sovereignty. A land reparations settlement could turn this land over to Native Hawaiians to increase self-determination, and to support well-being, health, and the cultural, social, and economic welfare of Native Hawaiians5, 6.
There are several international examples of land reparations settlements that suggest positive outcomes resulting from government efforts to return land and make restitution for historic injustices. For example, in South Africa, case studies suggest that substantive reparations including land return can support improved outcomes for employment, income, economic security, infrastructure, food security, and quality of life. However, symbolic reparations efforts are not associated with improved outcomes19. Land reparations and restitution settlements in Canada and New Zealand are associated with improved self-determination and increased economic prosperity, despite legal and political efforts to undermine settlement agreements20. The Canadian example also suggests that land reparations efforts may establish secure land rights for Native people, and that secure land rights support self-determination and improved economic outcomes21. In British Columbia in 2007, government-to-government negotiations established the Haida Gwaii Strategic Land Use Agreement, which includes an ecosystem-based management operating area and zoning to protect wildlife habitat and land of cultural importance for Haida Nation. This agreement affirms Haida Nation sovereignty and may support future land rights agreements and reconciliation efforts22. An Australian-based example highlights the need to protect land returns from future dispossession and protect Native sovereignty, especially as Native lands become appealing for large renewable energy projects. Tribal sovereignty needs to be maintained in any negotiations process, in agreements and benefit-sharing plans, and regardless of new potential land uses23.
In general, reparations are complicated on theoretical, political, and practical levels, as well as by the passage of time. The imbalance of power between dispossessed Native people and the non-Native majority, currently in possession of the land and in a position to write government policies and legal rules, also makes land reparations more difficult to implement4. The courts and the law have been used to oppress Native people throughout American history and continue to support their oppression in the modern era. Experts suggest that this creates a need for reparations, land return, and apology from the legal community as well as broader society14. The Supreme Court’s decision in McGuirt v. Oklahoma acknowledged tribal sovereignty in a criminal jurisdiction case. Several experts suggest the decision supports arguments for increased Native land rights, environmental jurisdiction, and land reparations efforts both on a case-by-case basis and for incorporating the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) into US law24. The United Nations adopted UNDRIP in 2007 with the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand all voting against the declaration; these countries all have very similar colonial settler histories and share a reluctance to undermine their own state land rights by affirming land rights for Native people. UNDRIP does not mandate land return, but it does prohibit forcible removal from land without just compensation or the option of land return. Although the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have changed their official positions to support UNDRIP (in 2010 President Obama endorsed UNDRIP with qualifications), as of 2022, the US Congress has not yet adopted UNDRIP as law5, 25. An Australia-based analysis suggests there are many challenges Native people face when seeking restitution either through a legal or legislative process. The challenges stem in part from the fact that settler colonialists and a Western judicial and legal system set the rules and requirements for bringing land claims26.
Experts suggest that state governments in the US should apologize and engage in sincere dialogue with recognized and unrecognized Native tribes in their area to apologize for the injustices of the past, take action to end policies based on false ideologies of racial superiority, and reduce obstacles to the federal recognition process. State governments can support efforts to build strong tribal court systems, complete inventories of available land parcels that could be returned, identify underdeveloped land that is sacred to Indigenous people, engage with private landowners that border existing reservations, and work collaboratively to return land to local tribes14. Some experts have suggested that to achieve reconciliation, a complete land reparations process would start with acknowledgement and an effort to gather oral histories, share testimony, and correct historical records; include formal apologies; engage in a peacemaking process; commemorate the past for future generations; compensate and restore land to Native people to the fullest extent possible without inflicting new injustices; and reform the law and amend the Constitution to support Native sovereignty and preserve a positive future legal and political relationship between tribes and the US government4. Non-Native individuals that want to be allies for tribal restitution efforts should be aware of the history of the land they live on, know their family history, and commit to learning together, asking permission, building relationships, and working for land return and restoration27.
Some experts suggest that monetary reparations are less complicated than efforts to restore land to Native people, and that reparations should focus on the present to improve the current and future circumstances of Native people, rather than attempt land restoration. These experts contend that the passage of time complicates claims for redistributive justice, diminishes the legal and moral obligations for returning unjustly appropriated property, and that the identity of the current owners may now be tied to their ownership of the land28. Other experts disagree and contend that despite the complexities of land reparations and the existence of distributive justice issues in society, land reparations are worth pursuing. Property law since the US was established has supported systematic inequality and racial wealth disparities, so reparations should be considered outside of the standard property law approach. Experts also suggest that financial compensation is inadequate as a repair since a person or group’s identity can be tied to land that was taken from them. This is the case for the Sioux who have not accepted financial compensation for the loss of the Black Hills in South Dakota29. For most Native Americans, returning ancestral and culturally significant land and property is essential to support self-determination and justice, and monetary compensation alone is inadequate4.
Potential to decrease disparities: Suggested by expert opinion
Experts suggest land return for tribal restitution has the potential to decrease disparities in economic outcomes, community development, and food security between Native communities, especially on reservations, and non-Native communities3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Overall, Native people experience significantly higher rates of poverty and unemployment than the rest of the US; although conditions vary between reservations and economic conditions have improved for Native Americans since 19903. The health, well-being, and culture of Native tribes is tied to the land and land return efforts may improve and preserve these outcomes for Native people4. Land return and increased self-determination may reduce disparities in access to social services and improve benefits for Native people. Throughout US history, Native people have faced bureaucratic roadblocks and endless loops when trying to access government benefits. Mainstream government agencies have frequently directed any requests from Native people to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), while the BIA often sent eligible applicants back to the original agencies with no benefits provided50. Land return efforts and increased self-determination may enable tribal governments to take over the direct provision of many government services, improving access and benefits and reducing poverty among Native people3.
Land return that supports increased Native sovereignty and self-determination has the potential to improve access to housing and reduce disparities in housing outcomes. Available evidence suggests about 56% of Native American families own their homes, compared to about 71% of white families, as of 20063. Data suggests Native people and other people of color continue to be targeted for subprime loans and are denied mortgage opportunities at higher rates than white people with similar income levels50. In the past, disparities in housing opportunities were exacerbated among Native veterans (who historically have higher rates of military service than other racial or ethnic groups) since the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) refused to grant Native Americans veteran status and sent any Native veterans to the BIA. The GI Bill provided federally guaranteed loans, low interest rates, and required small down payments to support homeownership opportunities in the suburbs for white veterans, but denied similar benefits to Native veterans. The GI Bill’s home loan benefit was also not available on reservation land, since that land was held in trust by the federal government and trust land cannot be used as loan collateral. In 1947 a resolution was introduced in the House to lift this restriction and provide access to the GI Bill’s home loan benefit for Native veterans of WWII, but it did not pass. The trust status of reservation land continues to limit home loans for Native people living on reservations50.
US history is rooted in the destruction, genocide, and forced relocation of Native communities as European settlers arrived. After the Civil War, the US Army actively pursued Native American genocide. Buffalo herds were destroyed and tribes were systematically massacred4. Native tribes were forced to sign treaties and relinquish millions of acres of tribal land in exchange for reservations. These treaties were full of mistranslations and manipulations of Native American terms for relationship with the land. Even such treaties were rarely honored by the US government. Reservations and land resources continued to be stolen from Native people as the government opened Native land up to homesteading and land was further parceled out under the General Allotment Act of 1887, which enabled the US government to incorporate more reservation land into a system of private ownership and control. The Allotment Act included policy for forced relocation, forced assimilation, and termination of tribal status1, 4, 34.
Government policy in the twentieth century towards Native Americans vacillated between periods of well-intentioned policies, tribal termination efforts, support for tribal self-determination, and periods of anti-Native American backlash14. From the 1930s through the 1950s, the federal government used Federal Housing Authority policies, redlining, and support for racially restrictive covenants to prevent Native people, as well as Black people and other people of color, from moving into white neighborhoods and to limit homeownership opportunities. In 1934, the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) was passed as an attempt to increase sovereignty and put tribal affairs under control of tribal governments7. The Indian Claims Commission (ICC) was created by Congress in 1946 to hear and resolve Native American land claims. However, neither the IRA nor the ICC achieved their goals7, 51. Federal support then shifted to policies aimed at relocation and termination of tribal status. Termination policy was portrayed as “freeing” Native people from the federal government’s supervision, but in practice it had devastating effects. It dissolved the relationship between sovereign tribal nations and the federal government, ceased the protection of reservation land which allowed those lands to be taken and sold to non-Native people, and ended all treaty-negotiated federal responsibilities to provide services, such as health care and education, federal aid, and protections of tribal sovereignty. Between 1953 and 1964, 109 tribes had their status terminated7.
The Indian Relocation Act of 1956 encouraged Native people to leave reservations and move to urban areas, with promises of training, job placement, and homeownership. When Native people moved to the city, housing was temporary, in very poor condition, and in distressed neighborhoods. Jobs were low paying and scarce. In the present day, relocation policy has increased the difficulty for tribes petitioning the Office of Federal Acknowledgement for recognition; tribes are more likely to be granted recognition if a land base is part of the petition, and petitions from Native people that have moved away from their ancestral land base or dispersed are not considered14.
During the civil rights era, national policy shifted to support Native sovereignty. In the 1970s and 1980s, many legal efforts to regain land and settlements for Native Americans began. Lawsuits were filed, for example, by the Oneidas, Cayugas, and St. Regis Mohawks in New York; the Wampanoags in Mashpee, Massachusetts; the Narragansetts in Rhode Island; the Western Pequots in Connecticut; the Passamaquoddies and Penobscots in Maine; and the Catawbas in South Carolina. However, not all of these lawsuits were successful7. The federal tribal recognition process was established in 1978 to reverse some of the damage done by termination policies14.
Anti-Native American backlash followed many of the efforts to support Native sovereignty. Several government leaders and politicians attempted to limit or end land reparations. For example, the Ancient Indian Land Settlement Claims Act in New York State was passed in response to the Cayugas’ claim to 64,000 acres. The Act made cash the only available compensation for claims cases, to remove the potential for future land returns7. In 1985, legislation was proposed to restore 1.3 million acres of federal land to the Sioux Nation, and this claim remains unresolved because non-Native politicians in South Dakota oppose any land return from the Black Hills, while the Sioux refuse to accept cash compensation alone without any land7.
- What local, Indigenous-led efforts are underway in your community? How can you support local land return efforts? What is the political climate in your area? Are all Native tribes recognized? How can you support recognized and unrecognized Indigenous people in their efforts to exercise sovereignty?
- What does your community need to know about land transfer opportunities and how to support collective ownership and control? Could your community establish or support Native land trusts that could receive land donations?
- What is the history of the land occupied in your community? What is your personal or organizational history? If you or your organization own property or land, how has that resulted in accumulated wealth? How does accumulated wealth and distribution of resources relate to health?
The Native Land Conservancy (NLC) in Massachusetts was the first Native-led land conservation group established east of the Mississippi, in 2012. The NLC works to preserve sacred spaces, habitat, and ecosystems as well as the history of the land and Native culture30. The NLC has benefitted from multiple land donations from local individuals, including Craig Simpson30 and Norman Hayes31.
Many tribal-led efforts aim to re-acquire land and establish their own permanent tribal territories, though these are not specifically land reparations efforts, since tribes are purchasing the lands and they have not been given an apology for historical injustices. For example, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota created the Rosebud Tribal Land Enterprise that manages over 600,000 acres and has a long-term land buying and preservation program32. Some of these efforts began as a way to re-establish reservation lands that a treaty promised but did not provide. For example, the Muckleshoot Tribe in Seattle, Washington purchased privately-owned properties within their tribal land boundaries. The Indian Land Working Group includes a Stewarding Native Lands program that offers financial and technical support to increase Native community control of and access to tribal lands and resources33, 34.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is an urban, Indigenous, women-led land trust that works to facilitate the return of land to Native community stewardship35. In 2018, the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust partnered with the non-profit Planting Justice to return ownership of one quarter acre lot in Oakland, California to the Ohlone people. Members of the Native community have reflected that having stewardship of the land provides the Ohlone community with a place to focus on spiritual wellness, to develop and share cultural pride, and to heal from intergenerational trauma35, 36. The work of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is also supported by the Shuumi Land Tax. (Shuumi means gift in Chochenyo, the Ohlone language.) The Shuumi Land Tax is a voluntary annual contribution that non-Indigenous people who live in the original territory of the Ohlone people, most of the East Bay, can make to support the work of returning land and developing urban gardens, community centers, and ceremonial spaces for Native communities. For residents on traditional Ohlone land, paying the Shuumi Land Tax acknowledges the history of theft from and genocide of the Ohlone people and supports healing and the future of the Ohlone community37. In the Seattle area, Real Rent Duwamish is a grassroots movement that encourages residents to pay a voluntary monthly amount to the Duwamish Tribe to support social, health, educational, and cultural services, as well as Duwamish cultural heritage preservation. As of 2022, over 21,300 residents pay real rent and the movement has started a petition to the federal government to officially recognize the Duwamish Tribe38. Reciprocity Trusts is working to establish a similar reconciliation project that asks British Columbia residents to pay a voluntary rent to First Nation communities in their area39, 40.
In Maine, First Light is an organization working to increase Wabanaki land stewardship through the land conservation movement. First Light functions as a bridge between land conservation groups and Native communities, increasing awareness of Native heritage, access to conservation lands for cultural uses, and understanding of shared goals between conservation and Native community advocates41, 42. Nibezun, a non-profit in Passadumkeag, Maine, stewards an 85-acre property that a small group of tribal members and allies purchased in 2016; this sacred land was a traditional meeting place and harvesting area for the Wabanaki people43, 44.
Individuals can support land return and tribal restitution. For example, in 2018, Art Tanderup, a farmer in Neligh, Nebraska, returned a 1.6-acre parcel of ancestral tribal land to the Ponca Tribe that the US government had forced the Ponca Tribe to leave 137 years ago. The land is being used to grow and restore the Ponca Tribe’s sacred corn45. In 2017, a professor, Christine Sleeter, gave $250,000 to the Ute Indian Tribe in east-central Utah. She inherited the money because of investments her great-grandparents made with the profits from selling a 160-acre plot of farmland that they were given in 1882 through the Homestead Act, after the government forcibly removed the Ute Indian Tribe from that land in 1881. Tribal leaders plan to use the money to build a new facility for the Uintah River High School46. In 1906, a private landowner donated a five-acre plot believed to be the location of the Great Swamp Massacre to the Rhode Island Historical Society and in 2021, the Historical Society worked with the Narragansett Tribe and Rhode Island Attorney General to provide the tribe with access to the site14.
Some companies have incorporated efforts to support Native communities and restitution into their business models. For example, Fedco Seeds is a cooperative seed company that acknowledges the role of Native breeders and past Seed Keepers in developing enduring seed varieties. Fedco sells and pays royalties to the Nibezun Project in Maine to support Indigenous people. Fedco also pays royalties to support the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust47.
Although not land reparations specifically, at the federal level, a movement to support reparations and the return of culturally significant museum collections was established in 1990 with the Native American Graves and Protections Act (NAGPRA). Congress has attempted to facilitate the dignified return of human remains and the repatriation of culturally significant items that were removed from Native American lands and ultimately taken to museums48. During the Obama administration, several settlements awarded compensation to Native tribes for the mismanagement of land and resources held in trust by the federal government49.
One proposal for a federal land reparations project suggests creating a “Buffalo Commons” (BC) from land that was never lawfully ceded to the US and at present is largely designated as surplus federal land, land held in public trust, national forest, military bases, or existing tribal reservations from Texas and New Mexico north to the Canadian border. The BC territory would be created for multiple Indigenous nations and would be open to tribes with ancestral land claims in the territory as well as to tribes with ancestral land claims elsewhere who wish to negotiate to be a part of the BC. The BC would be established with Native sovereignty over the land and over negotiations between tribes for the joint use of the land and its resources. BC proponents suggest that this territory could be established without forcing any of the approximately 400,000 non-Native homeowners off the land, although any homeowners who do not accept Native sovereignty over the land and do not wish to remain would be compensated for their property4.
‡ Resources with a focus on equity.
RG-Land reparations‡ - Resource Generation (RG). Land reparations & Indigenous solidarity toolkit.
SELC-Land return - Jung Y. Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC). Lessons learned from “How to rematriate the land” webinar. November 18, 2021.
Gonzalez-Land back 2021‡ - Gonzalez L. Land back: An examination of the Land Back movement, the shaping of US land ownership, and the criticality of land return. May 2, 2021.
NLD-Native land map - Native Land Digital (NLD). Native Land is an app to help map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages.
IEN-Principles‡ - Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). Indigenous principles of just transition.
USDA-Tribal food sovereignty - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Climate Hubs, Southwest Climate Hub. Tribal food sovereignty and climate change preparedness of tribal agriculture.
UW CFS-Peot 2022 - Peot E. Tribal food sovereignty resources. University of Wisconsin-Extension, Community Food Systems (UW CFS). 2022.
NCAI-Tribal food sovereignty - National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Tribal Food Sovereignty Advancement Initiative.
ESCP-Speaker Gyasi Ross 2015 - The Evergreen State College Productions (ESCP). A Coming Together Speaker Series with Gyasi Ross. January 11, 2015.
APM-Nesterak 2019 - Nesterak M. Uprooted: The 1950s plan to erase Indian Country. American Public Media (APM) Reports. November 1, 2019.
* Journal subscription may be required for access.
1 RG-Land reparations - Resource Generation (RG). Land reparations & Indigenous solidarity toolkit.
2 Sutton 2000a - Sutton I. The continuing saga of Indian land claims: Concluding commentary. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 2000;24(1):189-198.
3 WCEG-Akee 2021 - Akee R. Sovereignty and improved economic outcomes for American Indians: Building on the gains made since 1990. Washington Center for Equitable Growth (WCEG). January 14, 2021.
4 Bradford 2005 - Bradford W. Beyond reparations: Justice as indigenism. Human Rights Review. 2005;6(3):5-79.
5 HLR-Hawaiian land restitution 2020 - Harvard Law Review (HLR). Aloha ‘Āina: Native Hawaiian land restitution: Chapter 4. 2020;133:2148-2171.
6 Susskind 2008 - Susskind L, Anguelovski I. Addressing the land claims of Indigenous peoples around the world. Cambridge, MA: Consensus Building Institute (CBI); 2008.
7 Kotlowski 2006 - Kotlowski DJ. Out of the woods: The making of the Maine Indian claims settlement act. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 2006;30(4):63-97.
8 Sicangu CDC - Sicangu Community Development Corporation (Sicangu CDC). Waoyak'e ota: Food sovereignty: What it is, why it’s important, and a model. 2020.
9 CBPP-Maillacheruvu 2022 - Maillacheruvu SU. The historical determinants of food insecurity in Native communities. Washington, DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP); 2022.
10 NCAI-Tribal food sovereignty - National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Tribal Food Sovereignty Advancement Initiative.
11 USDA-Tribal food sovereignty - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Climate Hubs, Southwest Climate Hub. Tribal food sovereignty and climate change preparedness of tribal agriculture.
12 Civil Eats-Montalvo 2021 - Montalvo M. Indigenous food sovereignty movements are taking back ancestral land. Civil Eats. March 31, 2021.
13 ICTJ-Carranza 2015 - Carranza R, Correa C, Naughton E. More than words: Apologies as a form of reparation. New York: International Center for Transitional Justice; 2015.
14 Diamond 2022 - Diamond JD. An uncomfortable truth: Law as a weapon of oppression of the Indigenous peoples of southern New England. Roger Williams University Law Review. 2022;27(2):255-287.
15 Granville Miller 2006 - Granville Miller B. Bringing culture in: Community responses to apology, reconciliation, and reparations. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 2006;30(4):1-17.
16 Hart 2000 - Hart ER. The continuing saga of Indian land claims: Zuni claims: An expert witness’ reflections. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 2000;24(1):163-171.
17 Ganter 2004 - Ganter G. Chapter 2: Sovereign municipalities? Twenty years after the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980. In: Johansen BE, ed. Enduring Legacies: Native American Treaties and Contemporary Controversies. Westport, CT: Praeger; 2004:25-43.
18 ANCSA - ANCSA Regional Association. About the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
19 Chitonge 2022 - Chitonge H. Resettled but not redressed: Land restitution and post-settlement dynamics in South Africa. Journal of Agrarian Change. 2022;22(4):722-739.
20 Tait 2018 - Tait MJ, Ladner KL. Economic development through treaty reparations in New Zealand and Canada. Canadian Journal of Law and Society. 2018;33(1):61-83.
21 OECD 2020 - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Chapter 3: The importance of land for Indigenous economic development. In: Linking Indigenous Communities with Regional Development in Canada. Paris: OECD Publishing; 2020.
22 BCGN-Haida Nation - New agreement lays foundation for reconciliation of Haida Nation title and rights. British Columbia Government News (BCGN). August 13, 2021.
23 Chandrashekeran 2021 - Chandrashekeran S. Rent and reparation: How the law shapes Indigenous opportunities from large renewable energy projects. Local Environment. 2021;26(3):379-396.
24 Peden 2021 - Peden K. Dissenting into the future: The Supreme Court’s dissent in McGirt, UNDRIP, and the future of Indigenous land rights. Ecology Law Quarterly. 2021;48(2):729-740.
25 UNDRIP - United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP): The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly on 13 September 2007.
26 Timperley 2020 - Timperley C. Justice in indigenous land claims: A typology of problems. Politics, Groups, and Identities. 2020;8(1):1-23.
27 WN-Carnine 2016 - Carnine B, Bloom LM. How to support Standing Rock and confront what it means to live on stolen land. Waging Nonviolence (WN). 2016.
28 Alexander 2014 - Alexander GS. The complexities of land reparations. Law and Social Inquiry. 2014;39(4):874-901.
29 Rosser 2015 - Rosser E. The political possibilities of reparations. Law and Social Inquiry Forum. 2015;1:20-24.
30 NLC - Native Land Conservancy (NLC).
31 CC-Land gift - CapeCod.com (CC). Native Land Conservancy receives first gift of land. 2015.
32 RST-TLE - Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Tribal Land Enterprise (RST-TLE). Tribal Land Enterprise: Serving the Oyate since 1943.
33 FNDI-Native lands - First Nations Development Institute (FNDI). Our programs: Stewarding Native lands.
34 TC-Carmody 1996 - Carmody T. Tribes building permanent homelands. Tribal College (TC): Journal of American Indian Higher Education. Winter 1996;7(3).
35 STLT - Sogorea Te’ Land Trust (STLT). Purpose and vision.
36 CE-Wilson 2018 - Wilson E. Returning stolen land to Native Tribes, one lot at a time. Civil Eats (CE). 2018.
37 STLT-Shuumi - Sogorea Te’ Land Trust (STLT). Shuumi land tax.
38 RRD - Real Rent Duwamish (RRD). Pay rent and sign the petition for federal recognition.
39 VIN-Weston 2021 - Weston S. Reconciliation project asks B.C. residents to pay 'rent' to live on traditional First Nations lands. Vancouver Island News (VIN). October 5, 2021.
40 Reciprocity - Reciprocity. Reciprocity is recognizing Indigenous land rights, a way to say thank you, knowing where you live, and changing the culture of home.
41 FL-Land stewardship - First Light. First Light is a bridge between conservation organizations and Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Communities who seek to expand Wabanaki stewardship of land.
42 FL-Goals - First Light. Hopes and goals: What we journey toward.
43 Nibezun - Nibezun. Our vision, our mission, and the seeds we planted.
44 Nibezun-Sacred lands - Nibezun. Nibezun reclaims sacred lands.
45 BN-Hefflinger 2018 - Hefflinger M. In historic first, Nebraska farmer returns land to Ponca Tribe along “Trail of Tears”. BOLD Nebraska (BN). 2018.
46 SLT-Tanner 2017 - Tanner C. Professor gives $250K to Ute Indian Tribe to compensate for great-grandparents profiting off tribal land sales: Tribe says money will go to replacing old high school. The Salt Lake Tribune (SLT). 2017.
47 Fedco-Royalties - Fedco Seeds. Catalog codes: Indigenous royalties and Black benefit sharing.
48 NAGPRA - National Park Service. Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA): Facilitating respectful return.
49 NPR-Hersher 2016 - Hersher R. US government to pay $492 million to 17 American Indian tribes. National Public Radio (NPR). September 27, 2016.
50 Keeler 2016 - Keeler K. Putting people where they belong: American Indian housing policy in the mid-twentieth century. Native American and Indigenous Studies. 2016;3(2):70-104.
51 Sutton 2000 - Sutton I. The continuing saga of Indian land claims: Not all aboriginal territory is truly irredeemable. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 2000;24(1):129-162.
Related What Works for Health Strategies
To see citations and implementation resources for this strategy, visit:
To see all strategies: