This land is our land

posted by
June 28, 2011
In These Times
by Alleen Brown  
Posted in Commentary, PND Commentary

"Joseph Reynolds knew that he owned land on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, but he didn’t know exactly where. Reynolds, who inherited the land from his grandparents, believed as many as 1,000 acres were waiting for him to build a life on. In 1971, when he moved back to South Dakota from California, the then-23-year-old contacted the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). They sent him a 12-page document detailing his inheritance. Reynolds visited the reservation’s BIA office and asked if officials would show him what he owned. One man told him: 'I’ll take you out there. And that baseball cap you’re wearing -- you can just throw it in the air and wherever it lands, that can be the land you own.' Reynolds quickly discovered that, thanks to a Byzantine federal system of managing tribal land, he had inherited only a fraction of his grandparents’ property title." (06/27/11)  

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