The White Earth allotments and land claims controversy involved the individual property rights of Indian people who had received allotments (tracts) of land to be held “in trust” by the United States government. The White Earth land claims involved over 1900 individual allotments and titles to over 100,000 acres of land, which were illegally transferred during the 1900’s. The illegal transfers were accomplished through the use of  falsified affidavits, deceptive conveyance tactics, unapproved minor sales, tax forfeitures, etc. Many of those illegal transfers were uncovered during a federal investigation during the 1980’s. Due to the existing and potential lawsuits involving many and diverse interests that were creating great hardship and uncertainty for government, indian communties and non-indian communities the White Earth Land Settlement Act (WELSA) Act was established.


The WELSA Act was passed in 1986 authorizing three major components;

  • Monetary compensation, to present day living heirs of the allottees who have a valid claim on his or her allotment  
  • $6,600,000 for economic development
  • 10,000 acres of land transfered in trust for the White Earth Band


Contact us:
WELSA Project Office
Federal Building - Room 314
522 Minnesota Avenue NW
Bemidji, MN  56601

 Toll-free: (888) 760-6222
Office: (218) 751-6619
Fax: (218) 751-7168