Fee Patents and Allotment on the Omaha Reservation, 1900-1934

Authors: Andrew Allen*, University of Kansas
Topics: Historical Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Allotment, GIS, Land tenure
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In 1884, the Omaha Reservation was divided into parcels of land to be given to each tribal member through the process of allotment. Originally, these tracts were to be held in trust by the United States government for twenty-five years, but Omaha members could petition to get full title, a fee patent, to their land early through a policy known as competency. These lands were often targeted by speculators who desired to acquire reservation land cheaply and by unscrupulous means. Utilizing historical documents and GIS, I analyzed which parcels received an early fee patent and how the competency policy affected the Omaha Reservation.

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