Obama signs bill to expedite tribal development
Land on American Indian reservations cannot be bought and sold because it is held in trust by the federal government. Earlier, if a tribe or tribe member wanted to build a house or business, the Interior Department had to approve a "lease" of the land or mortgages. That process at times took years.
How to use their own land
"Tribal communities should be able to make their own decisions about how to use their own land, and the HEARTH Act will give them the freedom to do so," Heinrich said in a statement. "The last thing the federal government should do is stand in the way of a family who wants to buy a home, and this bill will help make it easier for Native families to buy and build houses in the communities where their families have lived for generations."
"This legislation complements the work we are doing at Interior to undertake the most comprehensive reforms of Indian land leasing regulations in more than 50 years," he said in a statement. "These parallel efforts will have a real impact for individuals and families who want to own a home or build a business - generating investment, new jobs and earnings."