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Tribal Historic Preservation Programs

Tribal Historic Preservation Officers

Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs) are officially designated by a federally-recognized Indian tribe to direct a program approved by the National Park Service and the THPO must have assumed some or all of the functions of State Historic Preservation Officers on Tribal lands. This program was made possible by the provisions of Section 101(d)(2) of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Before a Tribe may assume the functions of a State Historic Preservation Officer, the National Historic Preservation Act requires Tribes to submit a formal plan to the National Park Service describing how the proposed Tribal Historic Preservation Officer functions will be carried out.

Developing a Tribal Historic Preservation Plan

List of California's Tribal Historic Preservation Officers

Other Lists of THPOs in California
National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers
National Park Service


White House Tribal Nations Conference
This week (December 3, 2014), President Obama welcomed tribal leaders from across the country to the sixth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference. The conference provided the opportunity for tribes to interact directly with the President and members of the White House Tribal Council on Native American Affairs. It also built on President Obama's commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country. The Tribal Conference is featured on "This Week at Interior" the Department of Interior's weekly news clip. 

Tribal Consultations Scheduled
The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) is hosting four regional public meetings to gain input regarding Native American Tribal access to cultural resource information maintained by the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS). There also will be a teleconference meeting, and comments can be submitted in writing, as well. For more information about this effort and scheduled meeting dates, please visit our CHRIS Tribal Access Policy page.

Historical Landmark Dedication at Tomo-Kahni
On October 18, 2014, California State Parks and the Nüwa (Kawaiisu) community commemorated Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park’s 20th anniversary and its designation as California Historical Landmark No. 1054. The day’s events included Nüwa storytelling, interactive American Indian lifeways demonstrations, and the dedication of the new Landmark plaque. The dedication ceremony for the plaque included a Nüwa Indian blessing and ceremonial drumming, as well as speeches by State Parks officials and former state senator Phil Wyman. Also present were representatives of the Native Sons of the Golden West, the organization that helped fund the new plaque as part of the 150th anniversary of California State Parks. The plaque commemorates the Kawaiisu rock art site that overlooks the Sand Canyon region known as Tomo-Kahni–“Winter Village”–of the Kawaiisu.

NPS Awards Tribal Heritage Grants for 2014
The National Park Service, through their Tribal Preservation Program, awarded Tribal Heritage Grants to 18 American Indian tribes (including three California tribes) and Alaskan Native organizations. Grants are given to assist in preserving and protecting cultural sites and traditions. Click here to learn more about the program and to see a list of this year's grantees. 

Materials from the 2013 THPO/SHPO Summit Now Available
Handouts and presentations from the October 30-31, 2013, THPO/SHPO Summit are now available. Please refer to the Summit Materials webpage to download these items.