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DOI looks to spend $100M on Navajo Nation for Cobell buy-back

Filed Under: Cobell | National
More on: bia, doi, kevin washburn, land consolidation, navajo

Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn. Photo from Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Interior Department plans to spend $100 million on the Navajo Nation as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations, Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn said.

The reservation is among 21 that are being targeted as DOI ramps up land consolidation purchases. Washburn said the goal is to spend as much money as possible in Indian Country, rather than on administrative costs.

"Congress gave us 10 years to do this, and basically everybody would like us to get it done in one year. We could do that, but we would spend a lot more of the money hiring people and a lot less buying property," Washburn told The Albuquerque Journal.

The $3.4 billion Cobell settlement authorized $1.9 billion for land consolidation. DOI is using the money to buy fractionated interests from landowners in order to return the land to tribal governments.

The settlement allows DOI to take 15 percent, or $285 million, for administration.

Get the Story:
Former NM law dean seeks to empower tribes (The Albuquerque Journal 5/18)

Federal Register Notice:
Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations Under Cobell Settlement (April 30, 2014)

Related Stories:
DOI targets 21 reservations for next phase of Cobell buy-back (5/16)
DOI to announce next steps for Cobell land buy-back program (5/14)
DOI extends $1.6M buyback offers for Makah Nation landowners (05/09)
DOI to hold listening session on Cobell land buy-back program (04/30)
DOI looks to spend $2.55M on Makah Nation land buy-back (04/21)
Ten reservations account for biggest share of Cobell buyback (04/17)
DOI extends $1.2M in offers to Makah Reservation landowners (04/15)
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate reach agreement for Cobell buy-back (04/08)
Rep. Young open to an extension for Cobell buy-back program (4/4)
Audio from House subcommittee hearing on Cobell land buyback (4/3)
Larry Roberts: Answers about the Cobell land buy-back program (4/3)
DOI makes transfer of nearly $580K into Cobell scholarship fund (4/2)
Members of Oglala Sioux Tribe respond to Cobell buyback offers (3/28)
House subcommittee to hold hearing on land buy-back program (03/24)
DOI land buy-back boosts economy on Pine Ridge Reservation (03/19)
DOI announces $100M in land offers on Pine Ridge Reservation (3/18)
Deadline approaches for first Cobell land consolidation offers (1/27)

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