Real Estate Services

The mission of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Department of Real Estate Services (DRES) is to expand and develop the land base of the Nation. In pursuit of this mission DRES is subdivided into several interrelated functional areas.

For an updated view of the map, click here.

Acquisition and Disposal

Acquisition and disposal refers to all activities relating to purchasing, selling and long term encumbrance of property.  Such long term encumbrances include rights-of-way, easements and leases.  The Nation is in a mode of expanding its land base by purchasing properties within specific selected area of the former reservation area.  

  •  Long term plans for CPN land acquisition and development include:
    • Ownership of all of the land bounded by HWY 177 on the west, Brangus Road on the east, the Right Bank of the North Fork of the Canadian River to the north and the tertiary terrace of the North Fork to the south.  The south boundary or tertiary terrace follows Squirrel Creek in the western portions of the described area and the line meanders southeast nearly to Benson Park Road in the eastern portions.  This area is to ultimately become the land base for an independent Indian Community.
    • Acquire ownership of and reassemble the divided interests in the individual trust allotments with the intent that the lands may be put to efficient beneficial use to support Tribal programs.
    • Utilize available investment capital for short term opportunistic investment in land parcels as they become available.  These parcels to be held for short terms (3-6 years) and sold as the opportunity to realize profit presents itself.
    • Utilize existing allotments and purchase additional lands as necessary to complete developments in the four identified development areas which are:
      • Firelake
      • Sacred Heart
      • Wanette
      • Mcloud  
      • These development areas were set out in the Integrated Resources Management Plan prepared by Dr. Jim Collard in 2012.      

Fee to Trust

In pursuit of the mission and to increase the flexibility of land uses, DRES works continuously to place purchases of fee properties into trust.  The result of this process is that deeds to properties read “Owned by the Unites States of America in trust for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.”  Although regulations exist to place property into trust for individuals, from a practical standpoint the only fee to trust application that the BIA will consider is if the owner is incompetent or a minor. 

Placing property into trust has a number of advantages for CPN including:

  • Tribal control of development policies and regulations
  • Taxes to Tribal tax system rather than State system
  • Expression of Sovereignty
  • Implementation of Self Governance
  • Methodology of building wealth
  • Land is the base for long term enterprise development
  • Puts assets in a form that is difficult for shortsighted leadership to sell, destroy or misuse
  • Protects land and wealth for future generations

Property Managment

Property Management maintains a number of houses for rent to Tribal members and employees.  These houses are scattered through the Nation and are rented on a priority basis first to Tribal members who are employees and then to employees.  Rental prices vary with the size and condition of the house and are based on a scale related to local fair market rents.  DRES maintains a listing of persons seeking to rent such properties and applications are accepted continually at the offices of DRES.


When a Tribal member dies and they owned trust assets such as an interest in trust land or trust funds, these assets must be probated by the Department of Interior.  The probate process begins with the collection of information about the person and their potential heirs.  The rules of heir-ship are set out in the American Indian Probate Reform Act and administered by the Office of Hearings and Appeals.  Once the family data is collected the materials are forwarded to the Department of Interior Administrative Law Judge who reviews the materials and makes a determination as to who are the rightful heirs and orders the distributions of the decedents assets.  As a part of this process and why this process is within the Department of Real Estate Services is the tracking of ownerships of the various trust allotments.

Purchase at Probate

DRES has operated the purchase at probate program for several years and is the only Tribe in the Nation doing so.  When a person dies owning trust land, staff of DRES makes an offer to the heirs to purchase the interest they stand to inherit.  At the heir’s option, they can sell their interest to CPN at or above appraised value.  This process is procedurally much simpler than other types of ownership transfer of trust lands.  The American Indian Probate Reform Act sets out rules for the transfer of trust lands to heirs and the DRES purchase at probate program does simplify the process as compared to the trust to trust purchase process.

Trust to Trust Purchases

Trust to trust purchases is a process whereby trust land owners can sell their interest to another owner in the same parcel at a price which is at or above the appraised value.  The process is somewhat lengthy and the BIA must be assured that the transfer of the property will not have a substantial effect on the income or well-being of the owner.  This attitude on the part of the BIA is a part of their trust responsibility.  Staff of DRES is prepared to assist trust owners in the procedures of the trust to trust process.  

Gift Deeds

Gift deeds are a process where-by trust land owners can transfer their ownership in a trust parcel to family members or other owners in the same parcel for consideration which is less than appraised value.  The process is somewhat lengthy and the BIA must be assured that the transfer of the property will not have a substantial effect on the income or well-being of the owner.  This attitude on the part of the BIA is a part of their trust responsibility.  Staff of DRES is prepared to assist trust owners through the procedures of the trust to trust process. 

Allotment Managment

DRES oversees the management and operation of the 77 allotments which remain from the 1,489 originally allotted.  With few exceptions the ownership of these allotments is fractionated to the point where owner management is not practical and DRES compacts this management function from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Management activities include farming and grazing leasing, oil and gas leasing, property maintenance and improvement, natural resource management.  Staff of DRES is available to assist trust owners with allotment management issues.


CPN has requested that the Bureau of Indian Affairs take the property known as “Tecumseh Church” into trust for the benefit of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.  The attached link is to a copy of the notice of decision.

Notice of Decision: Tecumseh Church (2 MB)

Notice of Decision: Graham-Jackson Property

Notice of Decision: Johnson Property

Notice of Decision: Rutherford Property

Notice of Decision: Phillips Property

Notice of Decision: Pecore Property

Notice of Decision: Black Property

Notice of Decision: Elliott Property

Notice of Decision: Srader-Butler Property

Notice of Decision: Chlouber Tract

Notice of Decision: Tibbits Tract


Charles Meloy: Director
Roberta Forehand: Administrative Assistant
David Bourbonnais: Property Development
Gena Rice: Property Development
Eric Reed: Conservation Officer
Tonya Turnpaugh: Oil and Gas/Farming and Grazing Leases
Angel Hybarger: Fee-To-Trust Specialist
Morganne Lyon: Probate Specialist
Kacey Foster: Trust-To-Trust/Purchase at Probate Specialist
Jay Smith: Scan Tech


Department of Real Estate Services
130 E. MacArthur
Suite 204 A
Shawnee, OK 74804
P (405) 395-0113
F (405) 395-0112

Rental Property Management
130 E. MacArthur
Suite 204 B
Shawnee, OK 74804
P (405) 395-0113
F (405) 395-0112

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