Michael L. Connor, the
Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
The Interior Department signed three more agreements as part of the Land Buy-Back
Program for Tribal Nations.
The new agreements are with the Coeur D’Alene Tribe of Idaho, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation of Oregon and the Gila River Indian Community of Arizona.
They will help facilitate the purchase of fractionated interests from willing sellers on their reservations.
“We are encouraged by the growing enthusiasm for the Buy-Back Program across Indian Country, and the increased engagement by tribal nations to participate in its implementation,”
Deputy Secretary Michael Connor, the second highest-ranking official at DOI, said in a press release.
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.
Since December, DOI has successfully concluded $62 million in transactions with individual Indians. More than 177,000 acres has been returned to tribal governments through the program.
“Since the very beginning of the Buy Back Program, we have said that its success on each reservation will depend on the willingness of tribal leaders to engage with us in moving this important initiative forward. In the agreements signed today, these tribal leaders are offering valuable support that will help to ensure the success of the program on their reservations,” Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said in the press release.
The settlement, which became law in December 2010, requires DOI to spend the money within 10 years.
Get the Story:
Interior Signs Agreements with Three Additional Tribal Nations to Reduce Fractionation in Indian Country
Federal Register Notice:
Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations under Cobell (May 23, 2014)
DOI sets agenda for Cobell
buy-back listening session on May 29 (05/23)
DOI extends Cobell buy-back program on Pine
Ridge Reservation (5/20)
DOI looks to
spend $100M on Navajo Nation for Cobell buy-back (5/19)
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
Audio from House
subcommittee hearing on Cobell land buyback (4/3)
Larry Roberts: Answers about the Cobell land
buy-back program (4/3)
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
for first Cobell land consolidation offers (1/27)