Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Santee Sioux Reservation Receive Buy-Back Program Offers

Interested sellers have 60 days to respond to offers

Last edited 05/15/2019

Date: January 17, 2019



Santee Sioux Reservation.  Photo credit:  Santee Sioux Nation.

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced today that nearly 1,600 landowners with fractional interests at the Santee Sioux Reservation in Nebraska have been sent more than $2 million in purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. 

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the CobellSettlement, 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.  Because the Program is funded by the Settlement, it is able to continue implementation regarding Santee Sioux and for certain other locations despite the recent lapse in appropriations.  To date, approximately $425 million remain. 

Landowners with fractional interests at the Santee Sioux Reservation have until February 25, 2019, to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided.  Offers for landowners with fractional land interests at the Crow Reservation have a return-by date of February 11, 2019.

“The Buy-Back Program is working in close coordination with the Santee Sioux Nation to conduct outreach and promote informed decisionmaking by landowners who receive purchase offers,” said Program Director John McClanahan. “These offers are a unique opportunity for landowners to receive fair market value payments for their fractional interests and for the Santee Sioux Nation to further advance its goal of strengthening its land holdings.”

Interests consolidated through the Buy-Back 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 802,000 fractional interests have been transferred to tribal governments, which represents 34 percent of the total fractional interests in 2013 at the 50 locations where Program implementation has occurred and the equivalent of 2.2 million acres of land.  As a result of the Buy-Back Program, tribal ownership now exceeds 50 percent in 15,200 more tracts of land (representing an increase of approximately 126 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 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 888-678-6836 to ask questions about their land or purchase offers and request a copy of the appraisal completed for their land.   


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