Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gov’t Ready to Spend $1.9B to Buy Back Land for Indian Tribes

The Obama administration is moving ahead with plans to spend $1.9 billion to buy back land held by individual Indians for the benefit of American Indian tribes. The enormous buy-back program will allow the tribes to consolidate ownership of land that has been passed down through the generations, to the point where one tract may be owned by hundreds, or even thousands, of individuals. The Interior Department says the voluntary Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations is “part of President Obama’s commitment to help strengthen Indian communities.” The $1.9 billion will be spent to purchase “fractionated” interests from willing sellers, at fair market value, within a ten-year period. The acquired, consolidated land, to be held in trust by the federal government, will make it easier for tribes to get bank loans to boost economic development...more
Are these "fractionated" lands really the most pressing problem tribes are facing today?
Interior holds 56 million acres in trust for native americans, 10 million acres of which are held for individuals and 46 million for tribes.  That means over 80% of the lands are consolidated.  If they can't get bank loans on that then giving more acreage to the tribe will accomplish nothing.
The $1.9 billion is being funded by the settlement in the Cobell case.  You know, that was the case where they found "mismanagement, ineptness, dishonesty, and delay" by the Dept. of Interior.  Now that same dept. will be running the buy-back program.  Great plan guys.

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