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 243,000 owners of approximately 2.5 million fractional interests, spanning 150 Indian reservations, who are eligible to participate.
Participation in the Buy-Back Program is voluntary. 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 received more than $100,000 for their interests (offer amounts vary based on the particular interests held).
Purchase offers are valid for 60 calendar days from the date of the Cover Letter that is included in the Offer Package provided to owners. After a completed purchase package is received by the Buy-Back Program by the established deadline, staff will process the payment within 60 days.
Staff Ready to Answer Questions
Landowners should not wait until the Buy-Back Program begins implementation to get more information. Please review the Program's frequently asked questions and become familiar with the Offer Packet Documents, available here.
Landowners can update their contact information or ask questions about their purchase offers by contacting the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at (888) 678-6836, visiting their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) office, or contacting their tribe’s staff working with the Buy-Back Program. Click here to find the OST office nearest you.