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Tribes Use Interior Department Grants For Cultural Preservation, Archaeological Work

Archaeological survey work with the Coquille Tribe.
Archaeological survey work with the Coquille Tribe.

The National Park Service and Interior Department have announced $60 million in historic preservation grants to states and tribes, including Oregon. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Archaeological survey work with the Coquille Tribe.
Credit www.coquilletribe.org
Archaeological survey work with the Coquille Tribe.

Seven Oregon tribes are sharing nearly a half-million dollars. The Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde are using their money ($62,227) to maintain archaeological staff and projects. Cultural resources manager, David Harrelson, says it’s another form of self-governance.

Credit www.granderonde.org

“So as opposed to having the federal government do that work on tribal land, the tribe does it ourselves.”

And Kassandra Rippee, the Coquille Tribe’s Historic Preservation Officer, says their share ($61,153) will help language revitalization, surveys of development sites, and enforcement of Oregon Senate Bill 144, which went into effect this year.

“That bill prohibits the collection of archaeological material on public lands," explains Rippee.  "Everybody wants a little piece of history. People tend to not think of the fact that, if I takes one piece and Jim takes one piece, and Sally takes one piece, we’re all taking something home, and altogether we’re going to lose that entire site.”

Congress appropriates the grants every year.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Copyright 2018 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.