- Associated Press - Thursday, April 21, 2016

WAGNER, S.D. (AP) - The U.S. government has signed an agreement with the Yankton Sioux Tribe to extend a land buy-back program to the reservation in South Dakota.

The agreement between the tribe and the Interior Department was announced Thursday.

Land buy-back programs aim to help tribes buy parcels of reservation land that have accumulated multiple owners. The purchases are part of a settlement over government mismanagement of Indian land royalties.

Yankton Sioux Tribal Chairman Robert Flying Hawk says the “consolidated tracts will open doors for housing, business and home sites and agricultural activities.”

The program has restored nearly 1.5 million acres to tribal governments since 2013.

Allotting reservation land to individual tribal members, who passed it to heirs, was once a government method for assimilating American Indians. Some parcels have several owners.

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