The land disputes in Cameroon that are best known are between groups of local (indigenous) populations and people originating from elsewhere (incomers). This situation is fairly common in the cosmopolitan towns of Douala and Yaoundé. The purpose of this article is not to revisit these types of conflict, but rather to explore conflicts over land between the indigenous populations and the state. This new kind of opposition demonstrates that it is not only the incoming populations who are dispossessing indigenous people of their land. In fact, in various and more effective ways, the state is playing a significant part in the expropriation of indigenous land heritage. This process may be witnessed in urban housing developments, as well as in areas set aside for public utility, or those that are too dangerous to be developed (slopes, piedmonts and marshlands). Through its policy of urbanization, the state is seemingly contributing to producing ‘landless indigenous people’ in much the same way as and probably more effectively than the incomers. This article reviews the historical processes of land expropriation from the time of the colonial state, analysing the grievances of indigenous people faced with this situation, as well as the strategies they have developed in an effort to take back control of their lost lands.