Office of Tribal Sovereignty

The Office of Tribal Sovereignty (OTS), located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, manages and oversees all matters related to Tribal appraisal programs operating under P.L. 93-638 Self-Determination (Title I) contracts and Self-Governance (Title IV) compacts. OTS works with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Office of Self-Governance (OSG), and Tribes and consortiums to negotiate Tribal appraisal provisions, administer and monitor contracted programs, and determine and initiate annual distribution of funds to Tribes and consortiums. In addition, OTS conducts liaison, consultation, and ombudsman activities. The Associate Deputy Director serves as the approving official for Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for program specifications and proposed changes to appraisal contracts and other agreements.

Areas of Responsibility

OTS works within AVSO and with BIA, OSG, and Tribal organizations to implement authorities within the Department of the Interior under Title I and IV of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 (ISDEAA), P.L. 93-638, as amended. In addition, OTS provides information, technical assistance, and policy coordination in support of appraisal and valuation services in Indian Country and is the point of contact for Indian land consolidation matters outside of AVSO's Valuation Division. 

OTS also serves as a point of contact for Tribal appraisal programs for existing and new Tribes and Alaska Consortiums considering assumption of responsibility for the Real Estate Appraisal Services program under a Title I or IV program. Another of OTS's core functions is outreach---accomplished by presenting at national DOI-sponsored conferences and Indian workgroups and meeting with Tribes and Alaska Consortiums, client agencies, and other stakeholders about AVSO services, key inquiries, and issues. 


Eldred Lesansee

Associate Deputy Director, Office of Tribal Sovereignty 

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