Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Muscogee Nation looking to sign Cobell land buy-back agreement

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The Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma is interested in participating in the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations, Chief James Floyd said.

Floyd made the announcement during his first State of the Nation address on Saturday. He said the tribe might sign a cooperative agreement with the Interior Department to encourage landowners to sell their fractionated interests.

If the effort goes forward, the tribe would only be the third in Oklahoma to participate in the program. The Osage Nation and the Ponca Tribe have signed cooperative agreements and are waiting on offers, according to DOI's 2015 status report.

The $3.4 billion Cobell settlement provided $1.9 billion for Indian landowners who want to sell their fractionated interests. The Interior Department will pay "fair market value" as required by the Indian Land Consolidation Act.

As of January 22, Indian landowners have accepted more than $734 million for their fractional interests. The equivalent of nearly 1.5 million acres has been transferred to tribes.

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