“The Department of Interior recently completed the final tribal consultations for the implementation of the Cobell Settlement’s Land Buy Back Program for Tribal Nations. Tribal Consultations were previously conducted in Billings, Montana (July 15, 2011), Minneapolis, Minnesota (August 18, 2011), Seattle, Washington (September 16, 2011), Albuquerque, New Mexico (September 27, 2011), Phoenix, Arizona (September 29, 2011), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (October 6, 2011) and Rapid City, South Dakota (October 26, 2011), in anticipation of the Court approval of the final Cobell Settlement Agreement which became final during November, 2012.
These tribal consultation meetings were to address the continued proliferation of thousands of new trust accounts caused by the “fractionation” of land interests through succeeding generations. The Settlement established a copy.9 billion fund for the voluntary buy-back and consolidation of fractionated land interests. The land consolidation program will provide individual American Indians with an opportunity to obtain cash payments for divided land interests and free up the land for the benefit of tribal communities.