Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate reach agreement for Cobell buy-back





The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota reached a cooperative agreement as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

The tribe will help the Interior Department with its outreach efforts for the program. Offers to owners of fractional interests on the reservation are expected to go out later this year.

“The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation has been actively acquiring fractionated lands for over three decades in an effort to reduce fractionation on the reservation,” Chairman Robert Shepherd said in a press release. “The Cobell Land Buy-Back Program will further our efforts to acquire more fractionated lands, increase the tribal land base and significantly decrease further fractionation for our children and future generations. Our previous and continued efforts are made in the spirit of our inherent tribal sovereignty and as a means of self-determination.”

The $3.4 billion Cobell settlement authorized $1.9 billion for land consolidation. Fractional interests acquired through the voluntary are returned to tribal governments.

So far, DOI has extended than $100 million in offers to members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Some $14 million has already been accepted by landowners on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

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