Tribal Historic Preservation – How IS Business?

Presenter: Dr. Valerie Grussing, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Inc. (NATHPO)

Tribal Historic Preservation practitioners are charged with a bigger task than non-native preservationists, and work with fewer resources. Where we come from is a universally important part of the human experience, but for indigenous peoples, heritage includes ancestors, knowledge, and practices that are inextricably bound to land, water, and resources – and indeed individual, community and ecosystem survival. Additionally, cultural revitalization has the power to help heal deep generational wounds and improve environmental stewardship. Within the existing administrative framework, how can we take an approach that considers sovereignty, landscape scale, intangible values, and sensitive information? How can tribes truly partner in energy and infrastructure development – needed by everyone – to ensure environmental protection and their share of the benefits rather than just the costs?