Native News Network Staff in Native Briefs. Discussion »
WASHINGTON On Thursday, January 31 the Department of the Interior will hold the first of three tribal consultation sessions on its Initial Implementation Plan outlining how Interior will carry out the land consolidation component of the historic Cobell Settlement.
Cobell Settlement Land Consolidation
“The Land Buy-Back Program is a historic opportunity to address the fractionation problem and restore lands to Indian tribes, but it will not succeed without the active support of tribal leaders,”
said Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn.
“The Department is keenly interested in receiving guidance from tribal leaders on the draft Plan.”
The first meeting will take place in Prior Lake, Minnesota., with the remaining sessions to be held February 6 in Rapid City, South Dakota, and February 14 in Seattle, Washington.
The Settlement provided a $1.9 billion fund to purchase fractional interests in American Indian trust lands from willing sellers, thereby enabling federally recognized tribal governments to use the consolidated parcels for the benefit of their communities. The Plan reflects comments received from tribal consultation sessions the Department held in the summer and fall of 2011 and on a draft Plan released in January 2012.
On December 18, the Department announced the launch of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations, which will purchase the fractional interests, as well as a Secretarial Order outlining the program's organizational structure.
For more information about the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations, the Cobell land consolidation component, the Initial Implementation Plan, and the Department's 2011 and 2013 tribal consultation sessions, visit www.doi.gov/buybackprogram.
First tribal consultation session on the Department's Initial Implementation Plan for the Cobell Settlement land consolidation component.
Thursday, January 31
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel
2400 Mystic Lake Blvd
Prior Lake, Minnesota 55372
Lawrence S. Roberts, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, DOI
Michele Singer, Deputy Special Trustee, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, DOI
John McClanahan, Program Manager, Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations, DOI
Anthony N. Walters, Counselor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, DOI
Darryl LaCounte, Senior Advisor to the Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, DOI
posted January 30, 2013 8:20 am est