Native Americans have a minority status inside the US despite their ancestors were the indigenous people of this land. In the twentieth century, nearly 250,000 Native Americans lived in the US, mostly in reservations where they formed homogenous ethnic groups and preserved some form of self-government. Today, the federal government is responsible for the well-being of Indians, but this social group is not thriving yet. On the contrary, Native Americans are one of the poorest ethnic minorities in the US which do not have a full right to use their land.
At the present time, it is hardly possible to push forward energy development on Indian lands. Business people must be certified by four federal agencies and take dozens of steps to start a legal activity. The potential of the land can raise up to 1,5 billion dollars, but reservations remain idle. Bureaucracy prevents Native Americans from taking advantage of their own resources. Investors do not observe Indian lands as a possible place for doing business. Federal agencies still impose detrimental jurisdiction and economy on the Indian lands, therefore reservations cannot develop to the level of the remaining country.
One of the detrimental regulations inherent to Indian regions is a fractionated land ownership. According to the federal laws, lands of Native Americans are passed in equal parts to multiple heirs. Today these lands turned out to have hundreds of owners. Control over the sources of energy may look even more dismal. Historically, Indian resources were managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs which undervalued the land owned by the minority.
Throughout the history, Native Americans were repeatedly mistreated by the government which never gave the autonomy status to the tribes. Since the 1970s, Indians sued to gain their independence and loosen the grip of federal agencies as a limited independence does not improve their well-being.