Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Program (THPOs)

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 Tribal Historic Preservation Officers

Map of California Reservations and THPOs
(Created for California's Tribal Historic Preservation Officers by the Aqua Caliente Indian Reservation)

National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO)

Map of THPOs Nationwide
(Created for NATHPO by the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation)

National Park Service Tribal Historic Preservation Program


CHRIS THPO Tribal Access Policy

The State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC) approved the CHRIS THPO Tribal Access Policy at their August 1, 2019 meeting. The Policy is limited to Tribes with a National Park Service THPO Agreement, and provides a consistent means for THPO Tribes to access all manner of cultural resource data housed at the regional Information Centers (ICs) of the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS). Tribes that are not approved by the National Park Service as a THPO tribe may access the CHRIS either through use of the standard CHRIS Access and Use Agreement or by executing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the appropriate Information Center(s).

CHRIS THPO Tribal Access Policy

Access Policy Fact Sheet

Guidance on Implementing and Using the Access Policy


THPO/SHPO Summits

Hosted by California tribes, THPO/SHPO summits provide an opportunity to discuss a variety of topics and issues related to tribal historic preservation concerns. Summits typically occur once per year, though not necessarily on an annual basis. 

For information about upcoming or previous summits, please visit our THPO/SHPO Summits page.