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Tribal leaders criticize land-buyback program

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HELENA, Mont. — Tribal leaders from Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington state told a congressional panel Thursday that they feel shut out of decisions being made in a $1.9 billion land-buyback program managed by the U.S. Department of Interior.

The buyback program is the largest part of the $3.4 billion settlement in 2010 of a class-action lawsuit filed by Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mt., over mismanaged trust money held by the government for individual Indian landowners.

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