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Fourteen land-grant universities benefit from money made off “trust lands,” or lands taken from Native Americans and managed by the states in which they’re located to produce income to sustain these institutions, according to Grist, an online news magazine focused on environmental issues. Trust lands include surface and subsurface acres, meaning underground resources such as oil, gas and minerals.

Grist used public data to identify 8.2 million surface and subsurface acres that previously belonged to 123 Indigenous nations and continue to monetarily benefit land-grant institutions. These trust lands generated at least $6.7 billion between 2018 and 2022. Meanwhile, Native Americans historically received about $4.3 million in today’s dollars for the lands, and often they weren’t paid.

Trust lands make money in a variety of ways, Grist reported. About a quarter of land-grant university trust lands are designated for mining minerals or producing fossil fuels. About a third of the land is permitted for cattle operations, and much of that land also allows for oil and gas extraction.

For example, trust lands that benefit Washington State University originally come from 21 Indigenous nations and generated $19.5 million in 2022, mostly from logging. The lands are managed by the state’s Department of Natural Resources. The University of Arizona has rights to lands taken from at least 10 Indigenous nations and managed by the Arizona State Land Department. Much of the land is designated for oil and gas production, among other commercial activities, and it generated $7.7 million in 2022.