16281 Q Road, Mayetta, KS 66509 | P. 785-966-3928
Steven Duryea, Tribal Land Planner
The Potawatomi Tribal Land Office (Land Office) is responsible for coordinating the Nation’s land acquisitions, coordinating the Nation’s purchase of undivided interests in trust lands, executing the Nation’s fee-to-trust applications, maintaining the records of the Nation’s land holdings including purchase documents, appraisals, reports, maps, etc., and acts as a liaison between the Nation and the BIA, as well as other necessary agencies, in regards to the Nation’s land business. All tasks are conducted with guidance from Tribal Council through the General Manager’s Office.
Tribal Land Holdings – The Nation’s land mass consists of 673 tracts (33,720 acres) through tribal allotment and owned individually by the Nation. The following table illustrates the ownership of the Nation’s lands. Data is current as of 3/8/2023.
Based upon an area of 77,440 acres, the Nation’s holdings and tribal allotments account for 46.2 % of the Nation’s land mass.
Land Acquisitions – In 1998, the Nation established a land acquisition program with the purpose of re-purchasing Reservation land, previously sold by the Nation or its members. The following table illustrates the reversal in declining tribal on-Reservation land ownership from 1918 thru 2015.
Undivided Interests – In 2014, the Nation re-implemented the program for the purchase of undivided interests in US Trust land. The purchase of undivided interests generally follows a six-step procedure, managed by the BIA Horton Agency.
- Interest is indicated to the Nation by the individual,
- Tribal Council endorses a solicitation to the BIA for the purchase of the indicated interests,
- The BIA conducts an appraisal of the property and determines its value,
- The interests are offered initially to the other co-owners and then to the Nation,
- The Nation purchases the interests through a resolution, and
- The BIA completes the transaction and files the deed.
Fee to Trust Applications — The Land Office works closely with the BIA in transferring tracts of land the Nation purchases from fee back into U.S. Trust. The Nation’s fee-to-trust applications follow a process managed by the BIA that consist of:
- Submission of the application,
- Review of the application,
- Review of the legal description,
- Draft of a preliminary title opinion,
- Opportunity for county and state comment/appeal,
- Submission of an environmental site assessment,
- Draft of a final title opinion, and
- Completion of the transfer into trust.
Records Management – The Land Office maintains purchase documents, appraisals, reports, maps, etc. for all of the Nation’s land purchases. Currently, staff are scanning these documents to create a digital records database, the Potawatomi Tribal Land Information System (PTLIS), and also working on developing an on-line mapping app to illustrate the Nation’s property ownership.
Do you want to try out the Nation’s new mobile mapping app on your smart phone? It’s free! Just go to the app store and download ArcGIS by ESRI. Once installed, open the app and search for the “Potawatomi Lands” map.
Realty Liaison – The Land Office has a working relationship with several local, state and federal agencies.
Kansas GIS Data Access and Support Center:
The Branch of Geospatial Support:
Bureau of Indian Affairs – Horton Agency:
Bureau of Indian Affairs – Southern Plains:
U.S. Department of the Interior: