The Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers at fair market value within a 10-year period. There are almost 245,000 owners of nearly three million fractional interests, spanning 150 Indian reservations, who are eligible to participate.
Individuals who choose to sell their interests receive payments directly into their Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts. In addition to receiving fair market value for their land based on objective appraisals, sellers also receive a base payment of $75 per offer. Consolidated interests are then immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.
Some owners have already received more than $100,000 for their interests (offer amounts vary based on the particular interests held).
The Program has announced more than 40 locations where implementation will begin by the end of 2017, and will continue to apply lessons learned from each experience. The Program hopes to schedule additional locations as capacity and resources allow.
The Buy-Back Program has purchased land to place into trust for tribes at the following reservations:
- Pine Ridge
- Fort Belknap
- Gila River
- Northern Cheyenne
- Crow Reservation
- Lake Traverse
Deadlines Approaching - Owners Must Respond Soon
Purchase offers are valid for 45 calendar days from the date of the Cover Letter that is included in the Offer Package provided to owners.
Staff Ready to Answer Owner Questions
You should learn more about the Program now. Landowners do not need to wait until the Buy-Back Program begins implementation to get more information. Please review the Program’s Frequently Asked Questions. You should also become familiar with the Offer Packet Documents, available here.
In addition, landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at (888) 678-6836 with questions about their purchase offers, visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) office, or contact their tribe’s staff working with the Buy-Back Program.
Participation is Voluntary
Participation in the Buy-Back Program is voluntary. A decision to participate in the Buy-Back Program does not impact a landowner’s eligibility to receive individual payments from the Cobell Settlement, which are being handled by the Garden City Group (800-961-6109).