Nearly 6,000 Landowners of Fractional Interests at Crow Creek Indian Reservation Receive $40 Million in Buy-Back Program Purchase Offers

Voluntary program offers fair market value to interested sellers

Last edited 09/01/2020

Date: November 9, 2016

WASHINGTON – Interior Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor today announced that $40 million in purchase offers has been sent to nearly 6,000 landowners with fractional interests at the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program). Landowners have 45 days – until December 29, 2016 – to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided. 

The Department recently released the Program’s annual Status Report, which highlights the steps taken to date to strengthen tribal sovereignty, consolidate fractional interests, and provide new opportunities to Native American communities. Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, approximately $910 million has been paid to individual landowners and the equivalent of nearly 1.7 million acres of land has been transferred in trust to tribal governments.

“I am incredibly proud of the substantial and lasting steps this Program has taken toward fulfilling President Obama’s goal of strengthening and investing in tribal communities,” said Deputy Secretary Connor. “Federal staff and tribal leaders must continue to work together to maximize this unique opportunity before us, and help ensure that landowners are provided all the information they need to make informed decisions about the use of their land.”

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

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 through mid-2021, which reflects more than 96 percent of all landowners with fractional interests and more than 98 percent of both the purchasable fractional interests and equivalent acres in Program-eligible areas. The Program is managing the Consolidation Fund in a manner that ensures resources will be available at a minimum for these locations, and the Department will consult with Indian Country in spring 2017 about options for continuing the Program beyond its current funding authorization.

Offers are currently outstanding for landowners with fractional land interests at:

  • Lower Brule – November 14, 2016 deadline
  • Turtle Mountain – December 5, 2016 deadline
  • Bad River – December 15, 2016 deadline

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 at: . 

Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 or visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians to ask questions about their land or purchase offers, make sure their contact information is current, 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.


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