Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Landowners from Swinomish Tribe see $3.8M for Cobell buy-back






A view of the Swinomish Reservation in Washington. Photo from Joe Mabel / Wikipedia

The Swinomish Tribe of Washington is the latest to join the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

More than $3.8 million in offers went out to nearly 200 landowners on the reservation. Individual Indians have until December 11 to respond.

“We continue to see enthusiasm for the Buy-Back Program across Indian Country,” Michael Connor, the deputy secretary at the Interior Department, said in a press release. “As program implementation progresses, federal staff and tribal leaders must continue to work together to ensure that landowners are provided all the information they can to make informed decisions about the use of their land.”

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.

Since offers went out in in late 2013, Indian landowners have accepted over $714 million for their fractionated interests, according to the buy-back program. The equivalent of nearly 1.5 million acres have been returned to tribes.

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