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Land buy-back program extends to Standing Rock

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The U.S. government has signed agreements with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to extend a land buy-back program for the reservation straddling the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

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The agreements announced Wednesday between the tribe and the Interior Department pave the way for the government to buy fractionated land parcels from their multiple owners and give them to the tribes.

The program began with South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation and so far has spent $72 million to restore 203,000 acres of land to tribes.

Officials say that Standing Rock is the second most fractionated location in Indian Country, with nearly 230,000 purchasable fractional interests.

This spring, Interior Department officials said the program would expand to 21 reservations.

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