Realty Services Office
The Tribal Realty Services Office was created by administrative action of the executive branch and Tribal Council to perform functions that are no longer performed by the BIA Realty Office. Those functions include, but are not limited to, all research into, and all transactions involving, possessory holdings in Tribal trust land. These transactions include: the inheritance of possessory holdings from an estate of a deceased Tribal member; purchases, gifts, and transfers generally of possessory holdings between Tribal members; rights-of-way easements; and disputes. Some years ago, the BIA determined that possessory holdings are a creation of the Tribe, are not created in federal law, and are not part of the BIA’s trust responsibility to the Tribe. The Realty Services Office also staffs and provides support to the Business Committee, Lands Committee, and Tribal Council on matters concerning the ownership of possessory rights in Tribal trust land.
Additionally, the Realty Services Office:
- Is pursuing a new record-keeping system to improve accuracy in records and service to Tribal members and possessory holders.
- Is pursuing increasing capacity for Tribal surveys and a self-determination contract with the BIA regarding realty services.
- Works collaboratively with Civil Law Group attorneys and the BIA to produce legal documents affecting Tribal member estates, possessory holding transfers, and other transactions like leases and mortgages that go before the Business Committee and Tribal Council for administrative approval.
As of September 30, 2018, the manager of the Tribal Realty Services Office is Brandon Stephens.