Buy-Back Program Sends Nearly $18 Million in Purchase Offers to 7,000 Landowners with Fractional Interests at Turtle Mountain Indians Reservation

Interested sellers have 45 days to respond to offers from voluntary Land Buy-Back Program

Last edited 09/01/2020
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Date: October 11, 2016

WASHINGTON – Interior Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor today announced that nearly $18 million in purchase offers have been sent to approximately 7,000 landowners with fractional interests at the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Reservation in North Dakota. The purchase offers were extended as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program), which implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement and provides $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust from willing sellers at fair market value.

The Buy-Back Program’s implementation schedule includes 105 locations, which reflects more than 96 percent of all landowners with fractional interests and more than 98 percent of both the purchasable fractional interests and equivalent acres in Program-eligible areas.

Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, approximately $900 million has been paid to individual landowners. Interests consolidated through the Program are restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members. Thus far the equivalent of nearly 1.7 million acres of land has been transferred to tribal governments.

“Enthusiasm about the Buy-Back Program continues to grow across Indian Country,” said Deputy Secretary Michael Connor. “Payments through Program sales are already making a significant difference for individuals, families and their communities. We will continue to work with tribal nations and organizations to ensure that landowners receive prompt, reliable information about their land to help them make informed decisions about purchase offers.”

Landowners with fractional interests at Turtle Mountain have 45 days – until December 5, 2016 – to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided. Offers are also currently outstanding for landowners with fractional land interests at:

  • Fond du Lac – October 24, 2016 deadline
  • Osage – November 4, 2016 deadline
  • Lower Brule – November 14, 2016 deadline

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, regardless of the value of the land.

It is important that landowners think strategically about how to use the funds they receive from selling their land. Financial training, including budgeting, investing, and planning for the future, empowers beneficiaries to grow and sustain personal wealth.

Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 or visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) to ask questions about their land or purchase offers, and learn about financial planning resources.

More information and detailed frequently asked questions are available at to help individuals make informed decisions about their land.



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