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DOI announces $100M in land offers on Pine Ridge Reservation

Filed Under: Cobell | National
More on: bia, doi, kevin washburn, land consolidation, oglala sioux, south dakota

The Interior Department has made more than $100 million in offers to landowners on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

The offers were made as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. Any interests that are acquired -- the program is voluntary -- will be returned to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

“The success of the Buy-Back Program is vitally important to the future of Indian Country,” Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said in a press release. “Consolidating and returning these lands to tribes in trust will have enormous potential to unlock tribal community resources. While we know that it will be a challenge to reach all landowners, we are committed to exhausting all efforts to make sure that individuals are aware of this historic opportunity to strengthen tribal sovereignty by supporting the consolidation of tribal lands.”

Some landowners have already accepted offers as part of the program. So far, more than $10 million has been spent on the reservation, according to the press release.

The Cobell settlement provided $1.9 billion for Indian landowners who want to sell their fractionated interests. DOI will pay "fair market value" as required by the Indian Land Consolidation Act.

Related Stories:
Deadline approaches for first Cobell land consolidation offers (1/27)
Kevin Washburn: Buyback program strengthens tribal relations (12/20)
Audio from SCIA hearing for Cobell land consolidation program (12/11)
Oglala Sioux Tribe enters agreement for land consolidation (12/10)

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