Native American tribes tired of waiting for the U.S. government to honor centuries-old treaties are buying back land where their ancestors lived and putting it in federal trust.
Native Americans say the purchases will help protect their culture and way of life by preserving burial grounds and areas where sacred rituals are held. They also provide land for farming, timber and other efforts to make the tribes self-sustaining.
Tribes put more than 840,000 acres — or roughly the equivalent of the state of Rhode Island — into trust from 1998 to 2007, according to information The Associated Press obtained from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Freedom of Information Act.
Local governments aren't happy because they still have to provide services to the land, such as sewer and water, but lands in federal trust are exempt from local taxes. But you know what? Considering their tax base comes from land that is often theirs because of plague, deceit, or force, I can't feel sorry for them. The indigenous peoples of the United States got the shaft when it came to treaties. It's nice to see them acquiring land to use for their own good.