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Public Law 93-638 Contracting and Compacting




Indian Trust Self-Governance and Self-Determination Programs

In the early 1970s, Congress passed the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act that allowed Indian tribes and tribal organizations to acquire increased control over the management of federal programs that impact their members, resources and governments. These agreements are referred to as "638 compacts and contracts."

Contracts and compacts are very similar. Self-Determination contracts are authorized under the 1975 Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act. Self-Governance compacts are made possible by 1994 amendments to the 1975 Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act.

DOI has long supported tribal sovereignty, self-governance and self-determination efforts and continues to encourage tribes to assume the management of eligible programs through self-governance compacts or self-determination contracts.OST's responsibilities include management and administration of two programs that are eligible for tribal contracting or compacting:

  • Tribal Trust Asset Appraisal Services (real estate)
    Appraisals, or value assessments, are important elements to the many different types of trust land usage agreements. Some of the transactions that require appraisals include commercial, industrial, recreational and other leases; rights-of-way permits; land sales and land exchanges; grazing and range permits; and assessment of trespass damages. Appraisers place a value on trust assets according to professional standards and regulatory requirements so that Indian land owners receive fair value. Tribes, or a consortium of tribes, can administer their own appraisal services through an agreement negotiated with OST.
  • Beneficiary Processes Program (financial trust services)
    For every account held in trust by the United States, OST is responsible for financial trust services such as collection of income, accurate accounting, disbursal of funds and maintenance of current beneficiary information. These roles are managed by OST's Office of Trust Funds Management. Tribes, or a consortium of tribes, can contract or compact to assume a portion of the administration of Individual Indian Money (IIM) financial trust services through an agreement negotiated with OST.

Last Updated: 03/11/2014