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DOI sends out $50M in buy-back offers on Rosebud Reservation

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


A view of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Photo from Rosebud Sioux Tribe

The Interior Department has sent out $50 million in offers to landowners on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

The offers to 11,000 landowners were made under the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. The deadline to accept is August 16.

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 today. “Consolidating and returning these lands to tribes in trust will have enormous potential to unlock tribal community resources. 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 Indian lands.”

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

Participation is entirely voluntary. DOI will pay "fair market value" as required by the Indian Land Consolidation Act.

Since the start of the program late last year, Indian landowners have received $67 million for their fractionated interests. Nearly 190,000 acres have been transferred to tribes.

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