Law Dictionary

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

Agency

legal Definition of Bureau of Indian Affairs

Interior Department agency that serves as the principal link between federally recognized Native American populations (officially, American Indian tribes) and the U.S. government. The BIA, which has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., but is organized into various area and local field offices, is responsible for administering approximately 56 million acres of land held in trust for groups holding a statutory relationship with the United States. It also provides various economic development, educational, and natural-resource management services to help promote self-determination and well-being among Native Americans, though some of its efforts have been protested by local communities. The Office of Indian Gaming is responsible for gaming-related activities statutorily assigned to the bureau.

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