You can support the mission of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation in many ways, including making a contribution, helping to reverse the negative effects of the Dawes Act or teaching native culture and history in your community.
Help Reverse the Negative Effects of the Dawes Act
The General Allotment Act (or Dawes Act) was signed into law on February 8, 1887 and is named for its creator Senator Henry Laurens Dawes of Massachusetts. It is a piece of legislation that was directly responsible for the loss of 90 million acres of Indian land – nearly two-thirds of the total Indian land base. You can help raise awareness about the devastating consequences of this historic piece of legislation and take action today to reverse some of its negative effects.
The Act required tribally-held land to be divided among individual tribal members and the remaining “surplus” lands opened to white settlement. This division and alienation of Indian land and assets had devastating consequences for Indian people that still endure today. ILTF works to reverse the negative effects of the Allotment Act, through land recovery, legislative and regulatory reform, and targeted outreach with community members. Here are few simple actions you can take that will help us move one step closer to reversing the negative effects of this damaging legislation:
1. Educate Yourself and Others – Watch and share the video, “A Matter of Honor: 125 Years of Living with the Legacy of the Dawe’s Allotment Act” to learn about the impact of this legislation.
2. Stay Informed – Return to iltf.org regularly for the latest news and information about land issues.
3. Urge Political Leaders to Take Action Now – Encourage your congressional representative to pass the “Carcieri Fix” to address the unintended consequences of the 2009 Carcieri v. Salazar ruling. Click here to learn more about the “Carcieri Fix”
4. Support the Solution – Contribute to ILTF to support efforts that assist in the recovery and control of Indian land.
Teach 'Lessons of Our Land'
Lessons of Our Land is an interdisciplinary Indian land curriculum created by ILTF as a way to easily incorporate Native American stories, lessons and values into regular classroom instruction. Aligning with state educational standards, this dynamic, interdisciplinary curriculum is used successfully by teachers in more than 100 school districts. While Lessons of Our Land positions Native American tribal issues and values at the forefront, the curriculum emphasizes the fundamental relationship between land and people in general, not just Native Americans. Lessons of Our Land:
- Meets state standards in multiple core areas including history, art, civics, mathematics, science, geography and language arts
- Includes grade-level appropriate lessons in four key content areas
- Has a wide variety of online resources teachers can use to supplement the lessons
- Includes a teachers guide for curriculum integrations
- Has specific state adaptations for California, Minnesota, Montana
Learn more at lessonsofourland.org
Teach ILTF College Curriculum
ILTF’s Native Land Tenure History Course is intended to serve as a starting place for faculty to develop a course particular to the academic field in which it will be offered. It discusses Native land tenure issues and problems currently facing Indian people outlined as an introductory, three- or four-semester credit, college-level course.
The curriculum components include:
- Background on Indian land tenure history and issues
- Course design that allows for easy modification to suit the individual needs of each instructor
- Sample 15-week course syllabus focusing on four major content areas:
- Historical origins of Native land tenure
- Major western concepts of Native “property” law
- Use and management of Native land
- Re-acquisition of the Native land base
ILTF’s Strategic Land Planning Course addresses the strategic land planning process and is designed to be taught in tribal and community colleges, aimed at students who are interested in community-based planning and development. The curriculum components:
- Includes historical, legal, cultural, ecological and economic aspects of Indian land tenure and land use
- Applies specific problem-solving and strategic land planning practices to research, develop, implement and evaluate land tenure and land use decisions
- Takes a participatory planning approach that engages all affected persons
- Emphasizes combined academic and experiential learning opportunities through partnerships, applied problem-solving research, community outreach and community service.
Support the only national organization serving Indian nations and people in the recovery and control of their rightful homelands. Your support can take many forms based upon your interest and capability. Perhaps your family would like to make an enduring legacy gift in honor of a loved one who was interested in land, or you can choose to support the general ILTF mission through your gift.