Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes see 4K acres from buy-back






Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) appear before leaders of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in August 2014. Photo from Sen. Tester / Facebook

Nearly 4,200 acres have been restored to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

Offers went out to about 1,900 individual Indian landowners on the Flathead Reservation last year. About 25 percent accepted, resulting in $5.4 million going into their hands.

The fractional interests were then transferred to the tribe. As of June 12, the equivalent of 4,197 acres were restored, according to a chart from the buy-back 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 June, DOI has extended $1.5 billion in offers to more than 4,900 individual Indian landowners. Some $445.4 million in transactions have been concluded so far, according to the chart.

The equivalent of more than 795,000 acres have been returned to tribal governments as a result of the program.

Get the Story:
Land buyback program puts over 4,000 acres into tribal ownership (The Lake County Leader 6/17)

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