Land Acquisition Program
Land Management Department Mission Statement
In 1998, the Tribal Council of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation had a desire to repurchase reservation land, previously sold by the Nation or its members or lost through the passage of laws and policies of non-Indian governments. Thus, each budget year the Nation allocates land purchase funds. The Nation keeps increasing the amount of total land managed and maintained each year. According to a report from the BIA in 2010, the Nation owns in trust 7,165 acres and has cumulative acreage of tribal members (alloted acreage) totalling 17,256.
Land is a valuable and uniquely powerful asset for people, and is especially important for the Potawatomi Nation. Land offers several benefits:
- Environmental preservation
- A place for housing, income generation and economic development
- A lasting gift to future generations of Potawatomi
- Land acquisition shifts tribal resources away from simply reacting to and monitoring the actions of those outside the Nation, and toward a more proactive establishment of the Nation's regulatory authority.
Currently, the Nation uses a portion of tribally-owned lands for the provision of social services, such as a girl’s youth home, EPA services, landfill, composting site, firing range and for elder and low-income housing. One portion of land, toward the center of the reservation, houses two clusters of homes, senior housing, Boys and Girls Club, Early Childhood Education Center, Potawatomi Fire Station and the Firekeepers Elder Center – all of which effectively form a Potawatomi neighborhood. Many of the land purchases have included houses that have become part of the housing stock and presently are rental homes with possible plans for these homes to become rent-to-own.
Finally, future land acquisitions will provide a long-term asset base for future generations and will serve as a component to other tribal priorities. In the language of investment theory, land can be interpreted as a way for the Nation to diversify its asset holdings. By investing in a combination of assets (such as investments in facilities and equipment, stocks, land, etc.), the Nation spreads the risk of losing money and provides a more predictable, stable growth rate on its overall investments.
The Nation's optimum investment portfolio may include, for example, a mix of per capita payments to individual tribal members, investments in the reconstruction of tribal buildings, the provision of social services and land, among others. Thus, an appropriate asset portfolio, with land as one of its components, is one way to ensure the long-term security of -- and return on -- assets.