Keeping in mind the American Indian saying, "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children," the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) administers tribal lands on behalf of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska natives. Formed in 1824 and part of the
Department of the Interior
since 1849, the BIA manages more than 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates for about 2 million Native peoples. Forestland development, asset leasing, agricultural programs, water and land rights protection, and infrastructure maintenance all fall under the agency's auspices. The BIA also provides schooling to more than 40,000 Indian students across the country.