Tribal Historic Preservation OfficeIn the Spring of 2015 the Otoe-Missouria approved and submitted an application to the National Park Service (NPS) for status as a Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) under section 101 d 2 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Program, referred to as THPO (Tribal Historic Preservation Office), is a NPS directive that allows Federally-Recognized Tribes to assume the duties of the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) on Tribal lands. The Otoe-Missouria THPO Office was formally recognized by the NPS in the Spring of 2016, making the Otoe-Missouria Tribe the 165th Tribe to assume historic preservation duties that were previously the responsibility of the State.
The Tribal Historic Preservation Office's primary responsibilities include:
- Ensuring compliance with Section 106 (S 106) of the National Historic Preservation Act, (NHPA). All federal agencies must consider the effects of their actions on historic properties, which include properties that may have religious, cultural, or historic significance to Indian tribes. The THPO office reviews all federal undertakings that occur within the tribe's current jurisdiction and within the areas the Otoe-Missouria Tribe had a historic presence.
- Ensuring compliance involves receiving, logging, and reviewing notices provided to the Tribe pursuant to S 106, to monitor federal undertakings that might have an effect on properties of significance to the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. This includes requesting additional information about federal undertakings when needed, and taking the appropriate steps to protect the cultural and historic resources of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe as outlined in the NHPA.
- A federal undertaking is "a project, activity, or program funded in whole or in part under the direct or indirect jurisdiction of a Federal agency, including those carried out by or on behalf of a Federal agency; those carried out with Federal financial assistance; those requiring a Federal permit, license or approval; and those subject to State or local regulation administered pursuant to a delegation or approval by a Federal agency". -36 CFR 800.16(y))
- A historic property is "any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion on the National Register" this also includes artifacts, records and remains related to a property. -16 U.S.C. Section 470(w)(5). Many important sites to the Otoe-Missouria Tribe meet this standard of being eligible for inclusion as they are rooted in the history of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community.
- Surveying sites and maintaining an inventory of historic and culturally significant properties to the Otoe-Missouria Tribe.
- Producing periodic reports the National Park Service pursuant to our grant, and produce reports to the Otoe-Missouria Tribe provided in the Tribal Historic Preservation Office.
- Consultation with federal agencies, which consists of meetings between tribes and federal agencies to discuss federal undertakings, as necessary.
- Preservation education, which can include working with local, federal, and state agencies to help them preserve a historic property, especially when special considerations or information is needed to help preserve this property.
- Other responsibilities of the THPO when needed and able include:
- Advising and assisting local, state, and federal agencies in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities.
- Developing a comprehensive historic preservation plan covering historic and culturally significant properties.
- Evaluating and nominating eligible properties to the National Register.
- Working with the cultural leaders & organizations to participate in events related to the culture and history of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe.
- The Otoe-Missouria Tribe Historic Preservation Office is committed to the perpetuation of historic properties and the cultural knowledge tied to them. For more information, please contact Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Elsie Whitehorn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 580-723-4466 x 202