National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced June 12 that more than $3.7 million in historic preservation grants to 142 American Indian tribes, from the Absentee-Shawnee to the Zuni. The grants assist tribes in carrying out national historic preservation program responsibilities on tribal lands.
“Our country’s American Indian tribes embody a rich heritage of human experiences, architectural and intellectual achievements, and cultural identities,” said Jarvis, in an NPS press release. “These grants will help tribes preserve their important cultural sites so that all Americans can gain a greater appreciation of their rich traditions and cultures.”
Tribes can use the grants to fund projects such as nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, preservation education, architectural planning, historic structure reports, community preservation plans, and bricks-and-mortar repair to buildings. Examples of projects funded by grants in 2012 include:
The Caddo Nation developed a memorandum of agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office regarding procedures for the treatment and disposition of all Native American human remains and cultural items found at Bellevue Mound. The mound is one of the oldest Native American burial mounds in northwest Louisiana, located on the Caddo Nation’s traditional homeland. Originally acquired for use as access to a boat launch, the Army Corps of Engineers decided, after consultation with the Caddo Tribal Historic Preservation Office, that the site will be used for educational purposes in a culturally sensitive manner.
Grant money from tribal historic preservation offices was used to survey approximately 242,175 acres of tribal land, resulting in 4,746 archeological sites and 1,115 historic properties being added to tribal inventories. The Historic Preservation Fund is derived by revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf and catalyze private and non-federal investment in historic preservation efforts nationwide. The NPS administers the fund and distributes annual matching grants to state and tribal historic preservation officers from money made available in congressional appropriations. This year’s appropriation was decreased by about five percent as a result of sequestration.
For more information about the NPS tribal preservation programs and grants, click here.