Native Americans have been making land gains since 2009, totaling to about 400,000 acres, according to the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.
President Obama pledged to place a total of 500,000 acres into trust for Native American tribes before his term as President ends. An article from the Associated Press points out, “that’s more than double the roughly 233,000 acres placed into trust, during the prior tenure of President George W. Bush.”
But future growth of tribal lands weighs a lot on the next administration, who would have to decide about nearly 525,000 acres that are pending being placed in trusts. Currently, Native American lands tally up to about 56 million acres across America, which is estimated to be, collectively, the size of Minnesota.
Lands that are in trusts are tax-exempt and are eligible for federal government programs, which include housing and business development.