Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Douglas MacDonald

Commitee Members

Anna Prentiss, Wade Davies


cultural resource management, THPO, tribal consultation


University of Montana


The National Park Service Tribal Historic Preservation Office Program allows tribes to obtain control over their cultural resources which had previously been held by the state historic preservation offices, through the optional transfer of some or all SHPO responsibilities involving tribes ‘cultural resources to the tribes’ themselves. While limited research on the THPO program has been completed on a general and/or national level, little or nothing is known as to how the program is working at a state level or within each tribe. This study looks at the tribal historic preservation offices of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Blackfeet Tribe, and Crow Tribe (the five Montana tribes that have established THPOs as of 2008).

Funding, while greater than before the THPOs, is a major, if not chief issue afflicting the program, affecting the individual Montana THPOs and the program as a whole in a myriad of ways. Consultation has generally improved, although numerous problems remain despite the creation and existence of the THPOs. In general, the Montana THPOs have done and are doing a lot. Having established their respective THPOs at different times, their experiences, problems, issues, progress in regard to incorporating the program into their tribes generally differ, although it seems everyone views the program in a positive light. However, various facets of the program, locally and nationally, have also been identified as problematic, and a variety of issues are present. It is widely agreed or nearly unanimous that improvements need to be made in regard to funding, consultation, and the program in general, and there are many suggestions for addressing some of the shortcomings. Without change, the Montana THPOs will continue to exist and be functioning; beyond that, it is generally questionable.

This record is only available
to users affiliated with
the University of Montana.

Request Access



© Copyright 2011 Heather Allison Brown