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The program is part of a $3.4 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit over Indian land royalties mismanaged by the government.

The Interior Department says in its draft plan released Thursday that it will target the most fractionated lands and the most willing landowners to complete the program within 10 years. The proposal is open to public comment for the next 45 days.

Land fractionation was caused by the 1887 Dawes Act, which split tribal lands into individual allotments often inherited by multiple heirs with each generation.

The Interior Department has identified 88,638 fractionated land tracts owned by nearly 2.8 million people.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports