Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Fond du Lac Band reports success with land-buy back program






A veteran with the Fond du Lac Band Honor Guard. Photo by Minnesota National Guard

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Minnesota is wrapping up efforts under the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

More than 4,000 landowners on the reservation saw over $6.2 million in different waves. So far, the tribe has been able to consolidate 3,319 acres of the 8,000 acres of fractional interests that were targeted, The Bemidji Pioneer reports.

"We are happy with the success of the program, but realize that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to reduce fractionation and bring the reservation back to its original state," Patti DuFault, the coordinator for the tribe's buy-back effort, told the paper.

The $3.4 billion settlement to the Indian trust fund lawsuit set aside $1.9 billion for the program. As of September 2, more than 44,000 individual Indian landowners have accepted nearly $883.8 million for their fractional interests.

As a result, the equivalent of more than 1.6 million acres has been transferred to tribal governments, enabling them to better consolidate their land bases.

If the current rate of sales continues, the money will run out before the 10-year deadline anticipated by the settlement. The Obama administration is studying ways to continue the effort.

Read More on the Story:
Fond du Lac land buyback program nears end (The Bemidji Pioneer 9/8)

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