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4 Oklahoma tribes work with National Park Service to preserve cultural resources

Spring Creek in Northeastern Oklahoma
Graycen Wheeler
Spring Creek in Northeastern Oklahoma

The Modoc Nation, Kiowa Tribe, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Delaware Nation signed preservation agreements with the National Park Service, aiming to strengthen their preservation efforts.

The four tribes that recently signed agreements join 27 other Oklahoma tribes in an ongoing effort to take care of tribal lands and history.

The agreement means the tribal nations will assume responsibilities related to historic and cultural preservation, transferring certain functions from the state to the tribes. Essentially, the duties of a State Historic Preservation Officer will shift to a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer.

One of the Oklahoma tribes to work with the Tribal Historic Preservation team was the Pawnee Nation, who surveyed land in north-central Oklahoma to ensure ceremonial grounds were protected with assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Currently, there are 222 tribal nations with signed Tribal Historic Preservation Office agreements nationwide.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

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