Cultural Resources Protection


Program Mission Statement
The CRPP promotes the protection, preservation, and perpetuation of the CTUIR's culturally significant places and resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

About the CRPP
In the past, non-Indian archaeologists had control of how cultural resources were managed on tribal, federal, state, and private lands.  Management decisions were often based on values other than protection of cultural resources.  This resulted in the destruction of many sites important to tribes.

In 1987, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation developed the Cultural Resources Protection Program.  The CRPP began to work with federal agencies in the archaeological decision making process, on tribal lands and on lands ceded by the CTUIR to the U.S. in the Treaty of 1855.

The CRPP uses a variety of tools to educate federal, state, and local agencies about cultural resource laws, executive orders, and tribal concerns.  The CRPP also contracts with these agencies to provide services that help them comply with cultural resource laws. 

The CRPP's approach to cultural resource management has changed the archaeological community in the CTUIR's ceded lands.  Where there once was no Native American involvement in the management of cultural resources, Native American involvement is now a necessity.  Incorporating traditional knowledge of how our ancestors managed cultural resources into archaeological methods has given the archaeological community insight into the fact that tribes have always managed archaeological sites, sacred sites, and traditional use areas.

Before the existence of the CRPP, the CTUIR's traditional practices and values were not recognized by many agencies and archaeologists charged with managing cultural resources.  Today, most agencies understand their responsibility to consult with the CTUIR and other tribes.  Although we still need to reach more agencies, we have succeeded in protecting hundreds of sites that would otherwise have been damaged.

Services Offered

The CRPP sustains itself largely through contracts to conduct cultural resources work for outside entities.  The CRPP has contracted with federal, state, and local government agencies; other tribes; educational institutions; companies; and individuals.  We offer the following services.  Please feel free to contact us to request a scope and budget estimate, or to further discuss your project and potential cultural resource needs.

  • Cultural resource inventory surveys
  • Cultural resource monitoring (of ground disturbing activities, erosion, looting, burial sites, etc.)
  • Site evaluation
  • File and literature searches
  • Ground penetrating radar
  • Oral history interviews
  • Traditional use investigations
  • Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) inventories
  • Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) research
  • Training on an on-demand basis

Tribal Historic Preservation Office

In 1996 the CTUIR Cultural Resources Protection Program entered into an agreement to assume Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) responsibilities for tribal lands from the Department of the Interior.  We were one of the first twelve tribes in the nation to do so.  Under our agreement and pursuant to Section 101(d)(2) of the National Historic Preservation Act, the CTUIR assumed certain functions that  the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office previously conducted (SHPO) with respect to tribal lands.  Such functions are carried out by the CTUIR’s Tribal Historic Preservation Officer.  The THPO regulates compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and the CTUIR’s Historic Preservation Code.  Specifically the THPO tries to ensure that federal agencies/undertakings and tribal projects make a reasonable and good faith effort to identify and evaluate historic properties and minimize or mitigate for any adverse effects to those properties, all with the goal of protecting, preserving and perpetuating the tribes’ cultural resources and tribal culture for the members of the CTUIR. 

The CTUIR belongs to the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Offices which  provides a forum where tribes can share concerns and solutions, as well as create a united front when fighting for cultural resource legislation.


Contact information for the Tribal Historic Preservation Office:

Ms. Carey L. Miller

Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

(541) 429-7234 phone