Title 43

SECTION 2531.1

2531.1 Qualifications of applicants.

§ 2531.1 Qualifications of applicants.

(a) General. An applicant for allotment under the fourth section of the Act of February 8, 1887, as amended, is required to show that he is a recognized member of an Indian tribe or is entitled to be so recognized. Such qualifications may be shown by the laws and usages of the tribe. The mere fact, however, that an Indian is a descendant of one whose name was at one time borne upon the rolls and who was recognized as a member of the tribe does not of itself make such Indian a member of the tribe. The possession of Indian blood, not accompanied by tribal affiliation or relationship, does not entitle a person to an allotment on the public domain. Tribal membership, even though once existing and recognized, may be abandoned in respect to the benefits of the fourth section.

(b) Certificate that applicant is Indian and eligible for allotment. Any person desiring to file application for an allotment of land on the public domain under this act must first obtain from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs a certificate showing that he or she is an Indian and eligible for such allotment, which certificate must be attached to the allotment application. Application for the certificate must be made on the proper form, and must contain information as to the applicant's identity, such as thumb print, age, sex, height, approximate weight, married or single, name of the Indian tribe in which membership is claimed, etc., sufficient to establish his or her identity with that of the applicant for allotment. Each certificate must bear a serial number, record thereof to be kept in the Indian Office. The required forms may be obtained as stated in § 2531.2(b).

(c) Heirs of Indian settlers and applicants. (1) Allotments are allowable only to living persons or those in being at the date of application. Where an Indian dies after settlement and filing of application, but prior to approval, the allotment will upon final approval be confirmed to the heirs of the deceased allottee.

(2) In disposing of pending applications in which the death of the applicant has been reported, the heirs of an applicant who was otherwise qualified at the date of application should be notified that they will be allowed 90 days from receipt of notice within which to submit proof that the applicant personally settled on the land applied for during his or her lifetime, and while the land was open to settlement, and upon failure to submit such proof within the time allowed the application will be finally rejected.

(3) When it is sufficiently shown that an applicant was at the time of death occupying in good faith the land settled on, patent will be issued to his or her heirs without further use or occupancy on the part of such heirs being shown.

(d) Minor children. An Indian settler on public lands under the fourth section of the Act of February 8, 1887, as amended, is also eligible upon application for allotments made thereunder to his minor children, stepchildren, or other children to whom he stands in loco parentis, provided the natural children are in being at the date of the parent's application, or the other relationship referred to exist at such date. The law only permits one eligible himself under the fourth section to take allotments thereunder on behalf of his minor children or of those to whom he stands in loco parentis. Orphan children (those who have lost both parents) are not eligible for allotments on the public domain unless they come within the last-mentioned class. No actual settlement is required in case of allotments to minor children under the fourth section, but the actual settlement of the parent or of a person standing in loco parentis on his own public-land allotment will be regarded as the settlement of the minor children.

(e) Indian wives. (1) Where an Indian woman is married to non-Indian not eligible for an allotment under the fourth section of the Act of February 8, 1887, as amended, and not a settler or entryman under the general homestead law, her right, and that of the minor children born of such marriage, to allotments on the public domain will be determined without reference to the quantum of Indian blood possessed by such women and her children but solely with reference as to whether they are recognized members of an Indian tribe or are entitled to such membership.

(2) An Indian woman married to an Indian man who has himself received an allotment on the public domain or is entitled to one, or has earned the equitable right to patent on any form of homestead or small holding claim, is not thereby deprived of the right to file an application for herself, provided she is otherwise eligible, and also for her minor children where her husband is for any reason disqualified.

(3) An Indian woman who is separated from her husband who has not received an allotment under the fourth section will be regarded as the head of a family and may file applications for herself and for the minor children under her care.

(4) In every case where an Indian woman files applications for her minor children it must appear that she has not only applied for herself under the fourth section but has used the land in her own application in some beneficial manner.

(f) Citizenship. (1) Under section 6 of the Act of February 8, 1887 (24 Stat. 390; 25 U.S.C. 349), every Indian born within the territorial limits of the United States, to whom allotments were made under that Act, and every Indian who voluntarily takes up his residence separate and apart from any tribe of Indians and adopts the habits of civilized life is declared to be a citizen of the United States.

(2) The Act of May 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 182; 8 U.S.C. 3), changed the time when an Indian became a citizen by virtue of the allotment made to him to the time when patent in fee should be issued on such an allotment.

(3) The Act of June 2, 1924 (43 Stat. 253, 8 U.S.C. 3), conferred citizenship on all noncitizen Indians born within the Territorial limits of the United States, but expressly reserved to them all rights to tribal or other property. These rights include that of allotment on the public land, if qualified.

[35 FR 9589, June 13, 1970, as amended at 37 FR 23185, Oct. 31, 1972]