The Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) works closely with the tribes to efficiently and effectively achieve tribal land consolidation goals. It is critical that the Buy-Back Program and tribal leaders work together to ensure that landowners are made aware of the opportunity to sell their interests for the benefit of tribal communities.

The Department of the Interior is committed to a transparent process that provides the most opportunity for tribal government involvement and ongoing consultation with Indian Country. The implementation of the Buy-Back Program will best succeed with the active involvement and commitment of tribal communities.

Cooperative agreements provide a flexible mechanism for tribal involvement in the Buy-Back Program. These agreements define each tribe's role in implementing the Buy-Back Program on its reservation.

Please explore this section for detailed information about the cooperative agreement application process, actions tribes can take to prepare for the Program, and sample outreach materials that can be used during implementation of the Buy-Back Program.

2015 Planning Initiative

The Program has announced more than 40 locations where implementation will begin by the middle of 2017. In November 2015, the Buy-Back Program announced a Planning Initiative to assist in the development of its next implementation schedule for 2017 and beyond. The two-pronged Planning Initiative seeks input from tribal governments and landowners who are interested in participating in the Program.  

The Buy-Back Program now invites expressions of interest from eligible tribes that are not among those scheduled for implementation through mid-2017. The Program recognizes that a number of tribes have already registered their interest, but have not yet been scheduled for implementation. Those tribes which previously submitted written expressions of interest are invited to supplement their initial submissions by the deadline, if necessary.

A formal expression of interest is one factor among others considered in scheduling a location for land consolidation activities. Timely submissions will be utilized by the Program in developing its schedule for 2017 and beyond. The deadline for providing expressions of interest to the Buy-Back Program is March 11, 2016.

This will likely be the final opportunity for tribes to formally express interest in the Buy-Back Program, given the need to plan for allocation of available resources within the 10-year timeframe established under the Cobell Settlement.