The process of dividing up and assigning parcels of  reservation land to American Indian tribal members (allottees) as private  property.  Allotment began in 1887 with  the passage of the General Allotment Act.   Allotment ended only after American Indian tribes had lost over 2/3 of  their tribal land base.


Since the allotment period, original allotments have been  divided up many times over when land owners pass on and their land transfers to  their heirs, resulting in original allotments now being owned by dozens – or  hundreds – of descendants of the original allottees.  Fractionation renders many allotments  unusable by their current owners.


Status of allotments, which meant that the allotments could  not be sold or gifted by their owners.


People who die without a will are said to be intestate.  Intestacy refers to the same status, without  a will. 

Trust land      

Land held in trust by the federal government on behalf of  tribes and tribal members.  Allotments  are held in trust by the government.   These lands cannot be taxed by state or local governments and trust land  owners are limited in how they can transfer this land.