Services our office provides
The Native Village of Kotzebue, Realty Department, has a compact with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to provide the following services to landowners of restricted property that are within our jurisdiction:
- Negotiated Sales
- Advertised Sales
- Gift Deeds
- Revocable Use Permits
- Unresolved Rights
- Removal of Restrictions
Overview of Restricted Property
The Federal Government conveyed land to Alaska Natives subject to certain restrictions. This property is inalienable and non-taxable, therefore the Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for managing such assets. Restricted property cannot be sold, leased or otherwise conveyed without the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Eligible persons were able to apply for restricted land not to exceed 160 acres under the Native Allotment Act of May 17, 1906. Eligible persons were also able to apply for a restricted townsite lot under the Alaska Native Townsite Act of 1926. These lands have almost entirely been conveyed from the Bureau of Land Management to those who’ve applied.
Overview of Probate
Probate is the legal process of determining the property, debts, heirs or devisees, and other matters relating to the distribution of an individual’s estate when they pass away.
The Native Village of Kotzebue, Realty Department, prepares Probates for landowners of restricted property who have passed away and that are within our jurisdiction. The Office of Hearings and Appeals will conduct a Probate Hearing for all cases then issue a Probate Decision. This Probate Decision is considered a legal title document.
Please notify our office if you are aware someone has passed away that owns restricted property. If you inherited restricted property and would like copies of probate decisions, feel free to contact us.
Estate Planning/Last Will and Testament
Our office can assist landowners of restricted property with Estate Planning needs. One of the most important would be making a Last Will and Testament. Please contact our office if you are interested in preparing a Last Will and Testament.
If an individual did not leave a Last Will and Testament when they passed away then the Alaska Intestate Statutes would be followed to determine their heirs. Click here for a Summary of Alaska Intestate Succession Laws for Probates of Alaska Native Lands (PDF).
- If you have any questions regarding the Indian Trust Settlement (Cobell Settlement) please visit their website here.
- To find out if you are on the Office of Special Trustee’s Whereabouts Unknown list please visit their website here.
- Additional Bureau of Indian Affairs programs can be found on their website here.
- The Bureau of Land Management’s website is a great resource for information regarding federal land.
- The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources maintains records including Land Title Records and Survey Maps. These records can be search, and in many cases be viewed, on their website .