Department of the Interior

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Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians
Contact: Pat Gerard
(505) 816-1313
Tribes Collaborate with Interior on Boundary, Land Use Database to Improve Trust Management

(WASHINGTON) -- Four American Indian tribes have joined Interior Department agencies in pilot projects to develop an electronic database that will provide instant access to accurate tribal boundary and land-use information to improve the management of Indian trust assets.

The Cherokee Nation, Three Affiliated Tribes, Red Lake Reservation and the Spokane Indian Reservation will work in partnership with Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Special Trustee and Bureau of Land Management to identify legal land boundary information for the database. The projects were selected from a field of tribal applicants.

"This innovative partnership allows the Department and the Tribes to combine their respective expertise in the development of a resource that will provide accurate trust land boundaries at the touch of a button," said Ross Swimmer, the Special Trustee for American Indians in the Department of the Interior. "Use of this electronic database brings modern technology solutions to the way Interior provides land boundary services in Indian lands."

Developed by the BLM Cadastral Survey Program, the database is a digital representation of the surveyed land boundaries and is used to identify legal land descriptions for use in managing real property and other Indian trust assets. The pilot projects are expected to demonstrate the accuracy and reliability of survey data in the management of Indian land. The projects also can document the benefits realized or the obstacles encountered in the collection of good boundary information.

The information gathered will help Interior to carry out its comprehensive trust management plan by modernizing major trust business processes including survey, ownership, title, and asset management functions that are core to Interior's trust responsibilities. Following successful completion of the pilot projects, the program is expected to be expanded to additional reservations. For additional information contact Don Buhler, Chief Cadastral Surveyor, BLM, 202-452-7781.



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