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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe signs agreement for Cobell buy-back






A view of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Photo from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has signed a cooperative agreement for the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

According to the Interior Department, the reservation is the second-most fractionated in the nation. Participation on the program will benefit as many as 230,000 Indian landowners at Standing Rock.

“The department remains committed to reaching as many interested landowners as possible, and our agreement with Standing Rock leaders will facilitate critical outreach on one of the most fractionated locations in Indian Country," deputy secretary Michael Connor said in a press release today. "This will ensure Indian landowners are aware of the Buy-Back Program, understand the opportunity to sell their fractional interests for the benefit of their tribal community, and have the assistance they need to make informed decisions and complete the process if they chose to sell."

The $3.4 billion 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.

Participation is entirely voluntary. Any land that is acquired will be returned to tribes.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is holding a hearing this afternoon to discuss the program and other parts of the Cobell settlement. The hearing takes place at 2:30pm and it will be webcast.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Interior, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Sign Agreement to Reduce Land Ownership Fractionation in Indian Country (DOI 7/16)

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on "Improving the Trust System: Continuing Oversight of the Department of the Interior's Land Buy-Back Program" (July 16, 2014)

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