BISMARCK, N.D. — Thousands of landowners on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation have been sent purchase offers through a federal program to return land on reservations to tribal control.
The buyback program was initiated by the Obama administration and has spent more than $1.2 billion to purchase parcels of land with multiple owners and transfer them to tribal governments.
The Interior Department says 5,041 Spirit Lake landowners have been sent offers. They have about two months to consider them.
The buyback program resulted from a lawsuit that alleged U.S. officials for decades mismanaged trust money held on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Indians. To date, more than 2.1 million acres of land have been transferred through the program.