Minnesota Reservation Joins Buyback Program
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An American Indian band in northeastern Minnesota is joining a government effort to return lands on reservations to tribal ownership.
The U.S. Interior Department says the Fond du Lac Band of Minnesota Chippewa is among 21 Indian communities in 12 states that will join the land buyback program by 2017.
That brings the number of locations in the program to 42.
The buyback program is part of a $3.4 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed by Elouise Cobell of Browning, Montana, who died in 2011.
The lawsuit claimed Interior Department officials mismanaged trust money held by the government for hundreds of thousands of Indian landowners.
The buyback program aims to buy land with "fractionated" interests and consolidate ownership of the parcels under tribal governments.