Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Spirit Lake Reservation Receive Land Buy-Back Program Offers

Interested sellers have 60 days to respond to offers

Last edited 05/10/2019

DateOctober 2, 2017  

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior today announced that 5,041 landowners with fractional interests at the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota have been sent purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program).

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. Interests consolidated through the Program are restored to tribal trust ownership. As a result of the Buy-Back Program, tribal ownership now exceeds 50 percent in more than 14,100 tracts of land,strengthening tribal sovereignty and self-determination.

Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, more than $1.2 billion has been paid to landowners, nearly 730,000 fractional interests have been consolidated, and the equivalent of over 2.1 million acres of land has been transferred to tribal governments.

“The Buy-Back Program provides landowners with a unique opportunity,” said Program Director John McClanahan. “Tribal and Program staff are working diligently to perform landowner outreach to facilitate informed decisions regarding fractional interests at Spirit Lake, one of the many highly fractionated reservations in the Great Plains Region.” 

Landowners have 60 days to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided. Offers are currently outstanding for landowners with fractional land interests at: 

  • Yakama Nation – deadline October 17, 2017
  • Cheyenne & Arapaho – deadline October 24, 2017 

In July, Interior announced revised strategies and policies to more effectively reduce fractionation of tribal lands. The announcement came following extensive analysis and feedback received from tribal leaders and landowners

It is important that landowners think strategically about how to use the funds they receive from selling their land. 

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.


Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment