Landowners with Fractional Interests at Lower Brule Indian Reservation Receive Nearly $11 Million in Buy-Back Offers

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

Last edited 02/07/2019

WASHINGTON – As part of the implementation of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program), Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor today announced that nearly 4,000 landowners with fractional interests at the Lower Brule Indian Reservation have received more than $11 million in purchase offers. Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, nearly $900 million has been paid to individual landowners and the equivalent of more than 1.6 million acres of land has been transferred to tribal governments.

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust from willing sellers at fair market value within 10 years. Consolidated interests are immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members. 

“Through this Program, we are working to fulfill the Obama administration’s commitment to provide more sustainability for landowners, their families, and tribal communities for the benefit of generations to come,” said Deputy Secretary Connor. “We will continue our efforts to make sure landowners have the information they need in order to make informed decisions about the use of their land.”

Lower Brule landowners have 45 days – until November 14, 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:

  • Ponca (Oklahoma) – October 6, 2016 deadline
  • Fond du Lac – October 24, 2016 deadline
  • Osage – November 4, 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.

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 purchasable fractional interests and equivalent acres in Program-eligible areas.

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. More information is available here: . 

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 here to help individuals make informed decisions about their land.


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