Cobell Settlement Agreement

The Cobell Settlement Agreement provides for a $1.9 Billion Trust Land Consolidation Fund to be used over a ten-year period to purchase fractional interests. 

As tracts (or "allotments") of land are passed down through generations, they gain more and more individual owners. 

The purpose of the Dawes Act and the subsequent acts that extended its initial provisions was purportedly to protect Indian property rights, particularly during the land rushes of the 1890s, but in many instances the results were vastly different. The land allotted to the Indians included desert or near-desert lands unsuitable for farming. In addition, the techniques of self-sufficient farming were much different from their tribal way of life. Many Indians did not want to take up agriculture, and those who did want to farm could not afford the tools, animals, seed, and other supplies necessary to get started. There were also problems with inheritance. Often young children inherited allotments that they could not farm because they had been sent away to boarding schools. Multiple heirs also caused a problem; when several people inherited an allotment, the size of the holdings became too small for efficient farming.

The Secretary of the Interior established the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations to implement the land consolidation aspects of the settlement. In consultation and cooperation with tribes, the Program seeks to reduce historic fractionation through this unique opportunity for you, your land, and your community.

Collaborative Effort

The Program involves collaboration with Interior, tribes, and individuals - to reduce the number of fractional interests in tracts of trust or restricted lands.


The Nez Perce Tribe decided to enter into a cooperative agreement in April 2016. (see article)  to conduct outreach and education. 


Please note: There are no determinations made on who will receive an offer, nor does this guarantee an offer will be made to you, this is strictly informational for  making an informed decision. Please discuss this among your family and relatives to ensure this decision is right for you. Thank you.


Below are SAMPLE documents of what is included in offer packets, including appraisal information for your review.  Note that offers are time sensitive and if you need assistance or notary service our office can assist you through this process. 



  • The offer to sell your ownership interests is strictly voluntary - you decide if you want to sell. 
  • All completed and notarized original forms need to be returned/postmarked within the 45-day deadline in order for the sale to be processed.
  • Fill out the Deed, but don't sign it until you're in front of the Notary Public.  Be sure to sign your name exactly as it appears on the deed.
  • Return the original signed and notarized deed, and all original pages of both parts of Exhibit A: Purchase Interests Inventory, in the self-addressed postage prepaid envelope provided in your offer package.
  • Once your complete forms are received, it may take up to 60 days to complete the sale, after which you will receive an Acknowledgement Notice.
  • You may request your Conveyed Interests Report.  Review carefully for details about the land title interests that you sold - this is your receipt.

Additional Resources or questions please call Trust Beneficiary Call Center (TBCC) at 1-888-678-6836

Attention Land Owners! Initial Postcards have been mailed to announce offers coming soon. Please review the land owner's responsibility and suggestions below;

  • IIM Account is updated and correct (I.e., address, phone number, name change corrected and verified)
  • Method of payment is established (I.e., direct deposit, Chase debit card opportunity)
  • All offers are non-negotiable
  • TEN DAYS PRIOR to 45 day deadline, REPRINTS will not occur for any/all offer packets
  • Verify your offer packet if completed and/or returned for processing by calling the TBCC 1(888) 678-6836


Please consider your choices and take time to discuss this with family members. Reminder: Seller's remorse for multiple offers! Once a packet is returned and offer is accepted there may not be an opportunity to still accept any/all additional offers.