The United States’ policies pertaining to the allotment and ownership status of reservation lands, policies rooted in colonial ideologies, have given rise to a pervasive problem in Indian Country: fractionation. The fractionation of reservation lands contributes to the economic stagnation faced by many reservation communities, and limits the ability of tribes to consolidate land for agricultural use or development. Despite efforts by Congress to resolve the issue and a class-action lawsuit, there is still no comprehensive plan to end the continually compounding fractionation of reservation lands. Any plan will require a long-term financial commitment to consolidation efforts, and a reformation of the law governing the transmission of tribal lands. In the meantime, stopgap measures such as the Cobell Settlement can provide an influx of capital to tribal communities as lands are consolidated, in addition to providing an example of an effective solution.
How to Cite:
Hartman-Strawn, D., (2016) “A Slow-Motion Train Wreck: The Continuing Problem of Fractionation in Indian Country and the Mixed Results of the Cobell Settlement”, Arizona Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 5, p.19-29.