- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) - The Navajo Nation is partnering with the federal government to educate tribal members about the U.S. Interior Department’s land buy-back program.

The agency and tribe entered a cooperative agreement Monday. The agreement outlines the resources that will be provided to the tribe to reach out to the owners of fractionated interested in reservation land.

Under the billion-dollar program, willing landowners sell the government their land allotments to be consolidated and turned over to the tribes. The land stays in trust for uses benefiting the tribes and their members.

The program aims to consolidate as many parcels as possible by a 2022 deadline.

Since it began making offers in December 2013, the program has paid nearly $370 million to individual landowners and restored more than 900 square miles to tribal governments.

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