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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

Native American Involvement in the Section 106 Process


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

New Documents Regarding the Protection of Sacred Sites
From the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s (ACHP) Office of Native American Affairs comes an announcement of the release of two documents related to the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Indian Sacred Sites. As explained by the ACHP, the first document “is a policy statement addressing the need for federal agencies to be sensitive to tribal concerns about the confidentiality of certain information. The second is an information paper aimed at the general public and state and local agencies to help them understand the importance of protecting Indian sacred sites.” The two documents can be viewed by clicking the links below. Additional information about the documents and about the MOU regarding protection of Indian sacred sites can be found on the ACHP website.

Sacred Sites MOU Confidentiality Policy Statement
Sacred Sites Protection General Information

Change of Leadership at NPS Grants Division
Hampton Tucker, Chief of State, Tribal, and Local Plans and Grants, National Park Service, announced on Friday, July 24, 2015 that he will be leaving that position with the NPS. Mr. Tucker's statement:

"Today is my last day with the National Park Service's State, Tribal, and Local Plans & Grants Division. In the interim period between my departure and the selection of a permanent replacement as chief of the division, Megan Brown will serve on a detail as Chief of State, Tribal, and Local Plans & Grants. You're in good hands with Megan, as she has served as HPF grant manager for many of the SHPOs for several years, and is the coordinator of the Certified Local Government Program. Megan can be reached at 202-354-2062, or I'll still be working with the NPS's Cultural Resources programs, just in a different job, so I'm sure we'll continue to work together in a different capacity from time to time. Thanks!"

New Funding for Tribal Education
On June 9, 2015, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Director Dr. Charles M. Roessel to announce important funding to help further the Department of the Interior's goal to improve the quality of education students receive at tribal schools funded by the BIE and increase access to higher education. Central to this effort will be the transfer of control of BIE-funded schools from the BIE to the tribes the schools serve. Visit the BIE website to learn more about this new funding.

Facebook Page for Native American Youth
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Office of Native American Affairs recently launched a new Facebook page: Preservation Indigenous - Native Youth. As described by the ACHP, "the page connects American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian youth to information and opportunities related to historic and cultural preservation, and to career and educational opportunities."

New Tool in the Efforts to Protect Sacred Sites
The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) has released a new publication: Preserving Native American Places: A Guide to Federal Laws and Policies that Help Protect Cultural Resources and Sacred Sites. The guide is designed to assist tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations in their efforts to protect sites of cultural, historical, and religious significance. Visit the NTHP website to learn more and download a copy of the publication.

Tribes Consulted on CHRIS Access Policy
In November and December of 2014, The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) hosted four regional public meetings throughout the state to gain input regarding Native American Tribal access to cultural resource information maintained by the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS). A teleconference was also conducted and comments were accepted in writing as well. For more information about this effort and how the feedback collected will assist the policy effort as it goes forward, please visit our CHRIS Tribal Access Policy page.

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 the 2014 grantees.