Fact Check: Posts Purportedly Shows 'Indian Land for Sale' Poster. Here's What We Found

Library of Congress
Library of Congress


Image from 1911 authentically depicts a poster advertising "Indian land for sale."


Rating: True
Rating: True

In late June 2024, an image advertising "INDIAN LAND FOR SALE" from the early 20th century went viral on multiple social media platforms, including X and Reddit. One post shared the image in conjunction with a poster advertising real estate in Israel. "Birds of a colonial feather flock together," the caption of the X post read.

"Pictured: the people we stole the land off. Jesus, that's callous," one Reddit user wrote, referring to the man whose photograph was included in the advertisement.

The image is authentic, meaning that it was not AI-generated or otherwise digitally produced or altered. Using Google's reverse image search, we were able to find the poster on the official Library of Congress website.

(Library of Congress)

According to the Library of Congress file on the advertisement, the United States Department of the Interior originally issued it in 1911. The summary is as follows:

Broadside advertises upcoming land sale by sealed bid allotted by the United States Department of the Interior in 1911. Average sales amount per acre and number of acres sold in 1910 are listed for Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Interested parties are requested to write for booklet "Indian Lands for Sale" to the Superintendent U.S. Indian School at a number of places within listed states. Signed at end by Walter L. Fisher, Secretary of the Interior and Robert G. Valentine, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Illustrated with a half front portrait of Padani-Kokipa-Sni (Not Afraid of Pawnee) of the Yankton Indian tribe in native dress wearing a two eagle feather hair charm. Image is also reproduced from a photograph taken by De Lancey Gill.

Padani-Kokipa-Sni, the man pictured in the advertisement, belonged to the Sioux and Yankton tribes, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.

In sum, because we were able to trace the advertisement to the official Library of Congress website, we rate this claim "True."


'Indian Land for Sale : Get a Home of Your Own, Easy Payments. Perfect Title. Possession within Thirty Days. Fine Lands in the West'. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, https://www.loc.gov/item/2015657622/. Accessed 26 June 2024.

'Portrait of Padani-Kokipa-Sni | Photograph'. Wisconsin Historical Society, 31 Nov. 2003, https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Image/IM27962.

'They Took the Children: U.S. Created Indian Boarding Schools to Destroy Cultures and Seize Land'. Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2024/american-indian-boarding-schools-history-legacy/. Accessed 26 June 2024.