Tribal Lands Department staff members assist Tribal members, other trust land owners and Indian land users, and the Tribal government with land ownership research and recordation, purchases and exchanges, appraisals, land use planning and subdivision, road and utility easements, wills and estate planning, probates, leasing and permitting, agricultural planning and development, noxious weed management, and transfers of land from fee to trust, or trust to fee status. The Tribal Lands Department employs approximately 35 specialists in real estate and land management.
The Tribal Realty Office started out in the mid-1960s, with two employees located in Ronan along with Bureau of Indian Affairs Realty staff. Tribal Realty became a part of the Tribal Natural Resources Department when it was established in 1982.
By the mid-80s, the Tribal Realty Program had evolved to include a draftsman, permit agent, special projects/land development coordinator, planning coordinator, program manager and a secretary. These staff managed home site and business leasing, land acquisition, gravel permits, revocable permits for other land uses, surveys, and land and resource planning coordination. In 1990, the Tribes contracted management of the Flathead Agency Land Operations Branch from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and began operating agricultural and real estate programs in addition to those listed above, as the Division of Lands within the Tribal Natural Resources Department.
In 2002, the Tribal Council created a new department for Tribal Lands, which includes four main programs Permitting and Leasing, Land Planning, Land Services (Acquisition, Exchanges, Easements), and the first Tribally-managed land Titles and Records office in the nation.
Mission Statement: To provide real estate and land management services that guide land and resource use and ownership in a manner that protects natural and cultural resources while promoting Indian self-sufficiency and Tribal sovereignty.