Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation Receive Buy-Back Program Offers

Interested sellers have 60 days to respond to offers

Last edited 04/30/2019

Date: November 19, 2018



The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Photo Credit: Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced today that more than 2,000 landowners with fractional interests at the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana have been sent more than $24 million in purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. 

Landowners with fractional interests at the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation have until January 14, 2019, to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided.   

“In partnership with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Buy-Back Program is working hard to build on the achievements of the initial implementation at the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation to assist the Tribe in achieving its goals of increasing economic development and housing opportunities, and of making better culturally based resource management decisions regarding their land base,” said Program Director John McClanahan.  “The Buy-Back Program is a unique opportunity for landowners to consider fair market value offers for their fractional land interests.  Acceptance of the voluntary purchase offers will help further the Tribe’s desire to preserve the land for generations to come.”

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of theCobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to consolidate fractional interests in trust or restricted land within a 10-year period set to expire in November 2022.  To date, approximately $446 million remain. 

Interests consolidated through the Program are restored to tribal trust ownership. Returning fractionated lands to tribes in trust has enormous potential to improve tribal community resources by increasing home site locations, improving transportation routes, spurring economic development, easing approval for infrastructure and community projects, and preserving traditional cultural or ceremonial sites.

Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, more than 790,000 fractional interests and the equivalent of nearly 2.2 million acres of land have been transferred to tribal governments.  As a result of the Buy-Back Program, tribal ownership now exceeds 50 percent in 14,900 more tracts of land (representing an increase of approximately 120 percent for the locations where implementation has occurred), facilitating the exercise of tribal sovereignty and self-determination. 

Various informational tools are available to landowners, who are encouraged to think strategically about their options and carefully consider how to use the funds they receive from selling their land.  Detailed frequently asked questions are available at  and additional information to help individuals make informed decisions about their land can be accessed at  .

Landowners also can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836or visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians to ask questions about their land or purchase offers and request a copy of the appraisal completed for their land.   

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