Department of the Interior: Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal NationsDeadline: September 30, 2019
The Secretary of the Interior established the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations to implement the land consolidation provisions of the Cobell Settlement Agreement, which provided $1.9 billion to consolidate fractional land interests across Indian country. The Buy-Back Program allows interested individual owners to sell their land for immediate transfer to the recognized tribe that exercises jurisdiction. This effort will strengthen tribal sovereignty and put decision-making in the hands of the tribal government, freeing up resources that have been locked up as land interests that have fractionated over time.
The Buy-Back Program is interested in partnering with the eligible tribes that have jurisdiction over these locations, as well as any locations that may be added to the implementation schedule, to gain their direct participation in land consolidation efforts given the tribes’ unique qualifications to perform land consolidation activities for their reservations. Eligible tribes will be given the opportunity to apply for a cooperative agreement, whenever feasible and practical, prior to the implementation of the Buy-Back Program at the location under their jurisdiction.
Amount: The Settlement Agreement limits the amount of funding that may be used for implementation costs associated with the Program (e.g., outreach, land research, and appraisals). Thus, to help ensure that it stays within the established limit on implementation costs, the Program will fund indirect costs through cooperative agreements equal to no more than 15% of the modified total direct costs. Most awards will provide funding for no longer than 9 months, and tribes are encouraged to utilize the award amount to work with existing tribal land offices and programs.
Eligibility: Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized). Eligibility is limited to tribes with jurisdiction over locations with purchasable fractional land interests.