THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (New York, New York) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release November 7, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 1586, the "Indian Land Consolidation Act Amendments of 2000." This Act is critical to the economic viability of individually owned Indian lands and the success of the Department of the Interior's ongoing efforts to implement the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994. It will help reduce the administrative and financial burden arising from the fractionated ownership of Indian lands.
The Act puts provisions in place for probate reform and establishing uniform rules for the descent and distribution of interests in allotted lands. It also contains provisions for the consolidation of fractional interests, as well as preventing lands from being taken out of trust when inherited by non-Indians. In addition, it will enhance opportunities for economic development by specifying the minimum percentage of owners of fractional interests that must consent to leasing agreements. Finally, it extends the Secretary's authority to acquire fractional interests, of 2 percent or less, for tribal consolidation, through the pilot project that my Administration and the Congress initiated in 1999. Since many Native Americans die without wills, it also authorizes estate planning assistance.
The Act results from our close consultation and collaboration with the Congress, the tribes, and the Indian landowners that began in 1994 and has been one of my Administration's top priorities in Indian trust fund management reform. Today's action will help bring Indian land ownership, management, and development into the 21st century.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE, November 7, 2000.
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