FOR IMMEDIATE May 17, 2016
OSAGE NATION SEEKS TRIBAL MEMBERS WHO OWN FRACTIONS OF TRIBAL LAND
Individual Osage Indians who are owners of fractions of Osage Indian land will be contacted by the Osage Nation land buy-back program to sell their fractions of land ownership. The funds for the program are provided by the federal government Cobell Land Buy-Back Program as part of the Cobell Settlement Agreement with the federal government. Eligible Osages are those who own fractions of ownership in land which has a restricted Indian status.
The Osage Reservation of 1906 was carved into individual parcels of land with minimal amounts reserved to the Osage Nation as a whole. Since then, most of this surface land has been sold to non-Osages although a significant group of Osages, known as Osage Headrights owners, retain ownership of the minerals in Osage County. Of the remaining surface land held in Osage ownership, many parcels are owned by several individuals as a result of inheritance. This type of ownership is known as fractionated interests. Because land owned by many individuals is often difficult to use, the Land Buy-Back Program will ask Osage owners of fractions of land ownership if they would be interested in selling their fractions to the Osage Nation.
Compensation for Willing Sellers
Landowners who receive offers can choose to sell all, some, or none of the fractionated interests in the offer. Those who choose to sell will receive fair market value for their land interests, plus $75 per offer packet to compensate sellers for their time and effort. Sale proceeds are deposited directly into the seller’s Individual Indian Money (IIM) account with the federal government. Each owner who receives an offer has the opportunity to sell their undivided interest, without the consent of the other owners.
Landowners can indicate their interest by contacting the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 to register as a willing seller. Registration does not commit a landowner to sell – nor does it guarantee that a landowner will receive an offer. Individuals who own 100% interest in their land are not eligible for the Program. Every landowner who owns and undivided interest in their land will not receive an offer due to the limited funding.
Interested Osages may contact the Osage Nation Tribal Development and Land Acquisition Department at 918-287-5631 or contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836.
More information is available at: https://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram/landowners/informeddecisionmaking.
Osage Nation Tribal Development and Land Acquisition Department