As original landowners, Alaska Natives have endured countless obstacles and challenges in retaining their rights of ownership and access to the ancestral land that has sustained them for generations.

Through several Alaska Native Allotment Act Entitlements and the passage of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), some of these original lands have been returned. As of April 2019, over 16,000 parcels of land were conveyed back to individual Alaska Natives under the Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Native Allotment Program.
Some federal restrictions were included as a condition of the transfer of land. These provisions, including environmental and preservation policies, can hinder or complicate otherwise routine real estate or property matters. AVCP remains a staunch advocate and supporter of our region’s Native land rights and the individual rights of landowners.  Through the AVCP Realty Department, our team is able to assist tribal members.

AVCP realty services are limited to native allotments and exclude ANCSA lands and private real estate property.  The types of realty transactions our team supports include:

Gift Deeds
With the approval of the Secretary of Interior or his/her authorized delegate, Native landowners of restricted property may convey (gift) all or part of their land by deed for no consideration, other than “love and affection.”
Invalid Conveyance
With the approval of the Secretary of Interior or his/her authorized delegate, Native landowners of restricted property may convey (gift) all or part of their land by deed for no consideration, other than “love and affection.”
Land Exchanges
Native landowner may request to exchange parcels with another person or another entity such as a Native corporation, local government, the State of Alaska, or any other business or agency. A Native landowner may also request that he/she trade a parcel of land for other land or combinations of other things of value.
Native landowner can apply to mortgage his/her land. Mortgaging is a process where a landowner uses his/her restricted land as collateral (pledged as security for repayment of a loan) to obtain a loan from a lending institution.
A partition is any division of property between co-owners, resulting in individual ownership of the interest of each division. (Please note that the survey required to subdivide a property is the responsibility of landowner(s) and subdividing land is considered another separate transaction).
Revocable Use Permits
A Revocable Use Permit (RUP) may be requested for your Native Allotment or restricted Townsite lot. The person requesting a Revocable Use Permit on your land is called the “Applicant”. The Applicant can be a family member, your neighbor, or private company. AVCP Realty in order to process the Revocable Use Permit needs a letter from the land owner giving permission to the applicant, also a letter from the applicant requesting permission for the permit. A Revocable Use Permit can only be used for short term occupancy to preserve and protect the improvements and does not convey any leasehold interest and may be revoked at the direction of the Secretary of Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Grants permission or the right for a person or entity to use a piece of real estate they do not own for particular purpose. For example: road, footpath, water and sewer pipes, electrical transmission lines.
A contract outlining the terms under which one party agrees to rent property owned by another party. It guarantees the lessee (i.e. tenant or renter), use of land and guarantees the lessor (i.e. landowner), regular payments for a specified period in exchange.
Restricted Native landowners may sell all or part of their restricted land via a negotiated (i.e. already has a buyer) or advertised (i.e. no buyer; land will be advertised) sale with the approval of the Secretary of Interior or his/her authorized delegate.
The process where the landowner or heirs owning a portion of a single tract of land divide the land into multiple parcels so that each heir can hold a deed to a specific piece of that land.
Following types of unauthorized uses may constitute a trespass:
• Improvements: any structure placed on restricted land (even if it’s only a few inches).
• Removal of Natural Resources: the removal of timber, firewood, gravel, sand or other minerals.
• Easements: roads, trails, footpaths, telephone lines, electric lines, pipelines, water and sewer and other utilities. NOTE: If the easement is not reserved in the title document it may very likely be a trespass, although this is not always the case.
• Subsistence: hunting, fishing, trapping, berry picking, or other food gathering activities.
• Recreational Use: picnics, camping, or any other recreational uses.
• Excavating, Dredging or Filling: this includes depositing fill in marshes, lakes, rivers, etc., or dumping garbage, used cars, refuse of any kind on restricted lands.
• Damage to Structures or Personal Property: including fires, floods, and vandalism; using personal property of the restricted landowner without permission, i.e. boat, motor, snow machine or other equipment and machinery.
• Fees, rentals, or payments due on a contract. This includes lease payments on a BIA approved lease.
AVCP remains a staunch advocate and supporter of our region’s Native land rights and the individual rights of landowners.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A:  The AVCP Realty team is able to conduct land searches to determine whether or not you may be a landowner of a Native allotment. In order to proceed, a request must be submitted in writing to AVCP.

A:  No. While AVCP can provide information to an individual landowner, we are not permitted to release information on other landowners.

A:  Fractionation refers to the division of ownership of restricted lands. It is the result of tracts of land (allotments) being passed on to numerous heirs over generations. The land itself is not physically divided; rather, the heirs of the original allotment own undivided interests in the allotment.  Many allotments now have tens and even hundreds of individual owners. (See map of fractionation below)

A:  Divided ownership makes it difficult, if not impossible, to use the land for any beneficial purpose.  In order to make decisions regarding the use of a given tract of fractionated land, a required percentage of the individual owners must consent to the decision.  As a general matter, the percentage of co-owner consent, as well as the steps and type of approval and documentation required, depend on the intended land use (e.g., a tract of land could be used for residential, business purposes).  Several land uses require majority consent, while other uses entail consent thresholds that depend on the number of owners for that tract. As a result, fractionated allotments often lie idle rather than being utilized for subsistence, recreational, cultural, commercial, or even residential purposes. Even when a lease or permit can be obtained, highly divided ownership often results in individual owners receiving only nominal lease returns. A significant portion of landowners earn $25 or less in annual income from their fractional interests in allotments.

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