Tribal Historic Preservation Programs

California has been home to a wide diversity of people for more than 14,000 years. The California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) is pleased to partner with Native American tribal groups, organizations, and individuals in the identification, evaluation, protection, and preservation of our state's important cultural resources. In the interest of furthering such partnerships as well as providing resources for participants in regulatory processes, the OHP's Tribal Programs webpage offers links to various programs and guidance. We invite you to explore the information offered here and on our other tribal-related pages. Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Jenan Saunders is the Tribal Liaison for the OHP. The Tribal Liaison's focus is improving communication, raising awareness, and providing assistance to tribes in California.


Developing a Tribal Historic Preservation Plan

Native American Involvement in the Section 106 Process

Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Program (THPOs)

National Park Service Tribal Historic Preservation Program  


News from the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs

Yurok Tribe Receives United Nations Honor
The Yurok Tribe of northern California is among the recent recipients of the United Nations Development Programme's Equator Prize. The prize recognizes the Tribe's efforts and approach to restoring the temperate rainforests in Yurok ancestral territory. Read more.

Jamul Indian Village Assumes THPO Duties

On September 25, 2018, the Jamul Indian Village of California became the latest California tribe to assume Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) duties, as approved by the National Park Service. The Tribe assumes formal responsibility for review of Federal undertakings under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as well as other State Historic Preservation Officer functions and responsibilities set out in the Act. Lisa K. Cumper is the THPO for the Tribe. Congratulations! 

Visit our Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Program (THPO) page to learn more about this important program, and to view a list of the forty-five California tribes with THPO responsibilities.

New Members Appointed to NAGPRA Committee
On May 22, 2018, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the appointment of three new members to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation (NAGPRA) Review Committee. The new appointees are John Beaver of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, Honor K. Keeler, of the Cherokee Nation, and Barnaby V. Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community, Arizona. Read the full press release to learn more about the new appointees and the NAGPRA Review Committee.

New Governor's Tribal Advisor Appointed
On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, Governor Brown announced the appointment of Christina Snider of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians to the position of Governor's Tribal Advisor and Executive Secretary to the Native American Heritage Commission. Read the appointment announcement here.  

New and Updated Guidance from the ACHP
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the ACHP Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) recently published their report, Improving Tribal Consultation in Infrastructure Projects. The report offers recommendations intended to improve the way federal agencies consult with tribes affected by infrastructure projects. The ACHP also released new guidance for Section 101(d)(5) that will assist tribal governments that may be considering entering into agreements with the ACHP under Section 101, and updated guidance related to Section 304 and the protection of sensitive information. These guidance documents and more are also available on the OHP Guidance-Tribal Historic Preservation webpage.

NPS Announces New Federal Rules for Tribal Plant Gathering

On July 12, 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) announced new federal rules for tribal plant gathering. The rule authorizes agreements between the National Park Service and federally recognized tribes that will facilitate the continuation of tribal cultural practices on lands within areas of the National Park System where those practices traditionally occurred, without causing significant adverse impact to park resources or values. This rule respects those tribal cultural practices, furthers the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the tribes, and provides sytem-wide consistency for this aspect of National Park Service-tribal relations. Click here to view and download the text of the new rules.