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DOI sends another $34M in offers on Rosebud Sioux Reservation






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

The Interior Department has sent another $34 million in offers to nearly 11,000 landowners on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

The money comes from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. Owners have until May 16 to respond to the second round made on the reservation.

"The success of this program is a vital component of this Administration’s commitment to restoring tribal homelands and remedying the harms caused by the repudiated allotment policy.” Michael Connor, the deputy secretary at DOI, said in a press release. “Consolidating and returning these lands to tribes in trust have enormous potential to improve tribal community resources by increasing home site locations, improving transportation routes, spurring tribal economic development, and preserving traditional cultural or ceremonial sites.”

The first round of $49 million in offers went out to nearly 11,000 owners last year. More than $14 million was paid out, representing an acceptance rate of about 27 percent, according to a chart from the program.

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.

As of March 13, DOI has extended $892 million in offers to nearly 48,000 owners. Some $351 million in transactions have been concluded so far, resulting in the equivalent of 551,000 acres restored to tribes, according to the chart.

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