The THPO department was created through a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Park Service to assume the duties of the State Historic Preservation Officer on Bear River’s tribal lands, and to engage in consultation and educational outreach throughout Bear River’s ancestral territory. The THPO department is the primary point of contact for Federal, State, and Local agencies regarding consultation and coordination to ensure the protection of cultural resources in Bear River’s ancestral territory. We work with over 30 different agencies, plus foresters and private cultural resource management companies, on a very wide range of projects, reviewing over 200 projects a year.
Some projects, as a means to ensure the protection of cultural resources, require monitoring during ground disturbing construction activities. Cultural monitoring contracts are run through the Cultural Resource Department (CRD), which is under the direction of the THPO department. The CRD occasionally secures contracts to conduct small cultural resource/archaeological surveys or collaborates on fieldwork projects with larger cultural resource management firms.
The department also directs the tribe’s Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) program. We participate in the Northwest California NAGPRA Coalition, a working group of NAGPRA program staff and tribal representatives from Humboldt and Del Norte County tribes that collaborates on issues of mutual concern and to increase awareness and knowledge about NAGPRA.
We also proactively seek grant funding to complete special projects, focusing our efforts beyond historic preservation of archaeological sites to include preservation and continuation of the tribe’s rich cultural history as a whole. The THPO department also oversees the Bear River Band Library.
The Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office strives to protect, preserve, and promote the Tribe’s history and culture. The THPO Department serves as an important point of contact for tribal members, the community, and various agencies; in this role we are able to provide relevant, culturally appropriate information and services. We endeavor to develop projects and programs within the tribal community to incorporate traditional knowledge and values into everyday life, health, and educational outreach.