Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations
The Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers at fair market value within a 10-year period. There are almost 245,000 owners of nearly three million fractional interests, spanning 150 Indian reservations, who are eligible to participate.
Participation in the Buy-Back Program is voluntary. 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. Consolidated interests are then immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.
Some owners have already received more than $100,000 for their interests (offer amounts vary based on the particular interests held).
Offer Deadlines Approaching -- Owners Must Respond Soon!
Offers are currently outstanding for landowners with fractional land interests at:
Ponca (Oklahoma) -- October 6, 2016
Fond du Lac -- October 24, 2016
Osage -- November 4, 2016
Lower Brule -- November 14, 2016
Purchase offers are valid for 45 calendar days from the date of the Cover Letter that is included in the Offer Package provided to owners. After a completed purchase package is received by the Buy-Back Program by the established deadline, staff will process the payment within 60 days.
Staff Ready to Answer Questions
Landowners do not need to wait until the Buy-Back Program begins implementation to get more information. Please review the Program's frequently asked questions and become familiar with the Offer Packet Documents, available here.
In addition, landowners can contact the Call Center at (888) 678-6836 with questions about their purchase offers, visit their local OST office, or contact their tribe's staff working with the Buy-Back Program.
Interested in Program Participation?
Landowners who are interested in receiving an offer through the Buy-Back Program are encouraged to visit or call the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) office nearest them or contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at (888) 678-6836 to: (a) learn more about the Buy-Back Program and their fractional interests; (b) update their contact information, if necessary; and (c) register as a willing seller, if interested. Registration in no way commits a landowner to sell – nor does it guarantee that a landowner will receive an offer – it is simply the best way to ensure the Buy-Back Program is aware of their interest.
Top 10 Locations with Highest Percentage of Registered Willing Sellers (as of 5/31/16):
Swinomish Indians 30.9%
Upper Sioux Community 27.3%
Crow (LAC 208) 26.9%
Crow (LAC 202) 21.3%
Coeur d’Alene 24.6%
Lower Brule Sioux 24.4%
Lake Traverse 24.0%
Crow Creek Sioux 21.9%
Spirit Lake 21.3%
Pine Ridge 21.2%