Indian Affairs | HEARTH ACT

HEARTH Act of 2012

The HEARTH Act (Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership) of 2012 creates a voluntary, alternative land leasing process available to tribes by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 415. Under the Act, once their governing tribal leasing regulations have been submitted to, and approved by, the Secretary of the Interior, tribes are authorized to negotiate and enter into leases without further approvals by the Secretary. Specifically, the Act authorizes tribes to execute agricultural and business leases of tribal trust lands for a primary term of 25 years and up to two renewal terms of 25 years each. Leases of tribal trust lands for residential, recreational, religious or educational purposes may be executed for a primary term of up to 75 years. In support of tribal self-determination, the Act requires the Secretary to approve tribal leasing regulations if the regulations are consistent with the Department of the Interior’s leasing regulations at 25 CFR Part 162 and they provide for an environmental review process that meets requirements set forth in the Act. Interested tribes may submit their regulations to the Deputy Bureau Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs-Office of Trust Services.

Regulations approved by the Secretary of the Interior

  • Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (Business) - Approved February 1, 2013
  • Pueblo of Sandia (Business) - Approved March 14, 2013
  • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Residential) - Approved April 11, 2013; Amended November 24, 2014
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community (Business) - Approved November 10, 2013
  • Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians (Business) - Approved November 10, 2013
  • Citizen Potawatomi Nation (Business) - Approved November 10, 2013
  • Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians (Business) - Approved December 10, 2013
  • Kaw Nation (Business) - Approved December 13, 2013
  • Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe (Business) - Approved April 4, 2014
  • Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians (Business) - Approved April 4, 2014
  • Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Business) - Approved April 8, 2014
  • Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut (Business) - Approved April 8, 2014
  • Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (Business) - Approved September 23, 2014
  • Seminole Tribe of Florida (Business & Residential Ordinances) - Approved January 8, 2015
  • Cowlitz Indian Tribe (Business) - Approved January 22, 2015
  • Oneida Indian Nation (Business) - Approved January 28, 2015
  • Ho-Chunk Nation (Business, Residential & Agricultural Ordinances) - Approved February 4, 2015
  • Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma (Business) - Approved June 3, 2015
  • Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians (Business) - Approved June 4, 2015 
  • Makah Indian Tribe (Business/Residential) - Approved August 18, 2015
  • Squaxin Island Tribe (Business) - Approved August 20, 2015
  • Gila River Indian Community (Business/Solar) - Approved November 20, 2015
  • Ohkay Owingeh (Business/Agricultural/Residential/Wind & Solar) - Approved January 4, 2016
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (Business) - Approved March 3, 2016

Related Links & Documents


Between July 2014 and September 2014, the BIA held three initial HEARTH Act presentations to assist tribes and BIA personnel in processing tribal leasing regulations submitted for review and approval under the HEARTH Act. Since the initial presentations, the BIA has continued to offer HEARTH Act information to groups consisting of, or serving, tribal governments, including the National Congress of American Indians, USDA's Rural Development, HUD's Office of Native American Programs, the National Tribal Land Association, and at sessions for tribes and BIA personnel hosted by BIA Regional and Agency Offices.  Additional sessions will be scheduled in the future.  If you are interested in attending a HEARTH Act presentation, or have questions regarding the BIA's HEARTH Act review process for tribal leasing regulations, please email or contact:


Cynthia J. Morales, Realty Specialist
HEARTH Act Coordinator and Liaison
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs
1849 C Street NW, MS 4642-MIB
Washington, D.C. 20240
(202) 768-4166