In the early 20th century, laws were written in various states to try and preserve jobs and land for Anglos (sound familiar?). In Washington State, legal aliens of Japanese descent would be willing and able to pay much more to lease land than Anglos. Since Native American lands were not covered by state laws, the Native Americans could and did lease land to the Japanese farmers. The below article describes one such attempt to prevent this practice.
LEGION TO FIGHT ALIEN LEASING
Ruling on Indian Lands by Secretary Work Opposed by Seattle Body.
Seattle, June 28–Thomas N. Swale of this city, chairman of the national oriental committee of the American legion, is preparing to contest a ruling of Secretary of the Interior Work permitting Indians to lease their land to aliens.
Mr. Swale declared that the ruling of Secretary Work reversed one by his predecessor, Albert B. Fall, forbidding Indians in the Yakima valley of this state to lease their lands to aliens ineligible to citizenship. Secretary Work, in a case that came up in Oklahoma, decided that the Indians should be permitted to lease their lands to those who would pay the most.
Don M. Carr, Indian agent on the Yakima reservation, was quoted as saying that he did not believe the ruling would enable Indians to lease their lands to aliens in Washington, because state laws forbid such leasing.
Spokane Daily Chronicle 1923