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Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana

BIA Logo Indian Affairs - Office of Public Affairs
Media Contact: Nedra Darling, OPA-IA Phone: 202-219-4152
For Immediate Release: January 19, 2017

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (“Gen-I”) initiative to remove barriers to success for Native American youth, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) joined with their federal partners last month to launch the Culture and Meth Don’t Mix program, a multi-agency methamphetamine (“meth”) prevention initiative for Native youth.

The program is the result of collaboration under the Gen-I initiative between the White House Council on Native American Affairs, which is chaired by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the BIA’s Office of Justice Services, BIE, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its aim is to be a culturally appropriate approach for meth prevention among Native American youth through community and interagency involvement. The program also reflects the Interior Department’s intent to uphold the United States’ trust responsibility to the federally recognized tribes.

“Through the Generation Indigenous initiative, the Obama Administration has sought to utilize federal resources across the board to address the issues that can prevent Native youth from fulfilling their potential,” Roberts said. “The Culture and Meth Don’t Mix program’s goal is to strengthen meth prevention in tribal communities through the combined efforts of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services, BIE schools, and SAMHSA. I want to thank SAMHSA for working with us to help tribes with protecting their children and youth, and tribal leaders for participating in this important effort.”

The program was initially rolled out in December 2016 with Indian Affairs, BIA and BIE officials and leaders from seven tribes: The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana, and the Penobscot Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s Pleasant Point and Indian Township communities in Maine.

The program also includes a speaker series to be held in selected BIE schools that will discuss the implications and health issues involved with methamphetamine use. Speakers will include BIA law enforcement officials who will explain the legal implications of meth use, a SAMHSA-recommended health professional to describe how meth affects personal health, and a representative from the tribal community to address meth’s impact on it culture and people.

The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs supports the Secretary of the Interior in carrying out the Department’s responsibilities to the federally recognized tribes through BIA and BIE programs and services. The BIA’s mission includes maintaining and improving public safety and justice in tribal communities through the Office of Justice Services. Visit Office of Justice Services for more information on OJS’s mission and programs.

The BIE implements federal Indian education programs and funds 183 elementary and secondary day and boarding schools (of which two-thirds are tribally operated) located on 64 reservations in 23 states and peripheral dormitories serving over 40,000 students. The BIE also operates two post-secondary schools, and administers grants for 28 tribally controlled colleges and universities and two tribal technical colleges, and provides higher education scholarships to Native youth. For more information, visit

SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. For more information on SAMHSA’s tribal affairs efforts, visit

BIA Logo Indian Affairs - Office of Public Affairs

Program works to consolidate fractionated lands, strengthen Tribal communities

Media Contact: Nedra Darling, OPA-IA Phone: 202-219-4152
For Immediate Release: August 30, 2018

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney announced today that the Department of the Interior has signed agreements with the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana, and the Santee Sioux Nation of the Santee Sioux Reservation in Nebraska to guide implementation of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations at each of these reservations.

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers at fair market value within 10 years. Consolidated interests are immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.

“Our partnerships with tribal nations recognize the importance of tribal sovereignty and support tailored implementation of the Buy-Back Program at each unique reservation,” said Assistant Secretary Sweeney. “Each tribe’s input and involvement is critical for outreach to landowners and overall effective implementation of the Program. Landowners and the Buy-Back Program benefit tremendously from the significant contributions of our tribal nation partners.”

To date, the Department has entered into agreements with 49 tribal nations to cooperatively implement the Buy-Back Program. The agreements outline coordinated strategies to facilitate education about the Program to landowners, but are unique in time, scope and responsibilities based on particular circumstances at each location.

These are the second agreements of their kind signed between the Department and the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

“The Oglala Sioux Tribe is pleased to enter into an agreement with the Department,” said Oglala Sioux Tribe President Troy “Scott” Weston. “Through this agreement, we look forward to providing outreach to Tribal landowners regarding the Land Buy-Back Program. Our collaboration with the Department will enable landowners to voluntarily sell their fractionated trust land interests in order to benefit our Tribe.”

“This is the second time our Tribe will be involved in the purchase of fractionated trust land from individual Indian landowners. Consolidating our Tribal land base has been a priority for decades as it allows us to make better culturally-based resource management decisions, more opportunities to increase economic development and housing opportunities, strengthen Tribal sovereignty and most of all to preserve the sacredness of the land for the coming generations,” said Northern Cheyenne President L. Jace Killsback. “We value Secretary Zinke’s consideration and approval of our Tribe’s request for the Land Buy-Back to return to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.”

This is the first agreement of its kind signed between the Department and the Santee Sioux Nation. “We are thankful for the opportunity to purchase from those members or stakeholders who wish to sell their interests in allotted lands to the Santee Sioux Nation,” said Chairman Roger Trudell. “It provides the Nation the opportunity to strengthen its Land holdings and we are grateful for this opportunity provided to us by the Land Buy-Back Program.”

Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, more than 765,000 interests and the equivalent of nearly 2.2 million acres of land have been transferred to tribal governments. As a result of the Buy-Back Program, tribal ownership now exceeds 50 percent in 14,700 more tracts of land (representing an increase of approximately 120 percent for the locations where implementation has occurred), strengthening tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Returning fractionated lands to tribes in trust has enormous potential to improve tribal community resources by increasing home site locations, improving transportation routes, spurring economic development, easing approval for infrastructure and community projects, and preserving traditional cultural or ceremonial sites.

Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 or visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians to ask questions about their land or purchase offers. More information and detailed frequently asked questions are available at Buy Back Program FAQ to help individuals make informed decisions about their lands.

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