Skip to main content

Native Americans are buying back stolen lands

by Jordan McKay, Feb 23
1 minute read

Native Americans are buying back land and rebuilding territories.  After hundreds of years of relegation to ‘reservations’, tribes across the US are increasingly buying back lands lost during colonization.  Beginning in the 1970s, the trend has recently picked up pace, with one tribe in Wisconsin re-acquiring a full two-thirds of it’s original 65,432-acre reservation throughout the last twenty years, with more examples of purchasing popping up around the country.

green and brown mountains under white sky during daytime

So What?

After hundreds of years of theft and disenfranchisement, Native Americans are utilizing the very same private property rights systems once used to push them out, to regain access to and control of their original territories.  While the land being rightfully returned to its original inhabitants is a positive sign of progress, what might this mean for the future of Native American relationships with non-natives and land?

Will the recently purchased land be subject to tax in the same way that other US land is (reservations are not subject to normal US federal and state taxes)?  And, will this new ownership instead of stewardship role – especially if it is going to need to support tax levies – change relationships to the land?



by Jordan McKay Spotted 46 signals

I help organisations anticipate change, set and achieve sustainability objectives and act strategically to create the future they want. I value creating collaboratively, designing ambitiously, and communicating frankly.

Focus areas: The future of mobility, Technology, Transport, Circular economy, Biodiversity

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Join discussion

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.