By Richard Walbauer
The Federal Preservation Institute (FPI), a program of the NCPTT, in cooperation with Northwestern State University of Louisiana, is developing a website to provide essential information about historic preservation and Native American issues. The website will identify available legal mandates; policy statements and guidance; summarize available technical assistance and training; and provide contact information for tribal governments and federal agencies.
The Federal Preservation Institute hosts monthly meetings of Federal Preservation Officers from a broad range of government agencies. These officers are responsible for developing, maintaining, and implementing cultural heritage programs within their agencies’ missions. They identified improvements in consultation with Native Americans as a high priority need for their programs.
Federal Preservation Officers frequently consult with tribal groups on the preservation of Native American cultural resources. They must meet the requirements of laws such as the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in the context of the government- to-government relationship between the United States and tribes.
In addition, federal preservation officers must be aware of a broad range of ordinances enacted by tribal governments. Many tribes have offices and organizations that manage heritage preservation. Also, there are now more than 30 Tribal Historic Preservation Offices that operate preservation activities under the guidelines of NHPA.
The variety of laws and development of groups responsible for the preservation of Native American cultural heritage provides new opportunities to improve interactions and activities through a web-based knowledge center.
The Federal Preservation Institute’s Native American Consultation website may play an important role in fulfilling this need. FPI is currently collecting available information and organizing it for review and comment. Information will be sorted into simple categories such as legislation, sample agreements, case studies, glossary, and links and contacts. FPI is also seeking information about preservation consultations with tribes. If you have available documents, publications, websites, reports, or other useful information that you are willing to share, please contact the institute. FPI is particularly interested in hearing about your valuable learning experiences that resulted in improved formal policies and procedures.
If you can help …
Please send information to:
Federal Preservation Institute
National Park Service (NCAP-330)
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240