The St. Croix Tribal Historic Preservation Department was established in 2000 for the protection and preservation of cultural and historical resources on the St. Croix Reservation Lands.
The Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) is also responsible for educating the communities on cultural, historical and archaeological topics.
National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106
The Tribal Preservation Department is responsible for the protection and management of Archaeological, Historical and cultural Resources, prior to any development of tribal lands, an inventory of historical records is conducted to minimize the disturbance of important sites and to prevent the desecration of burials.
The preservation department works to see that procedures are followed to protect and preserve cultural resources and those investigations of tribal lands are completed in a sensitive manner. We identify and document historical and archaeological materials. We are also responsible for protecting Traditional Cultural Properties that may hold a cultural significance, such as a location associated with the traditional beliefs of a tribe about its origins, its history, or the nature of the world.
The Tribal Historic Preservation Department requires Archaeological Surveys to be done on tribal land to avoid sacred sites and burial grounds, such as cemeteries, and burial mounds. We see that the tribe is in compliance with section 106 and 36 CFR, part 800 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) is a Federal Law passed in 1990. NAGPRA provides a process for museums and federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items – human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony to lineal descendants, culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.
Wisconsin Inter-Tribal Repatriation Committee
The St. Croix Tribal Historic Preservation Department is also a member of the Wisconsin Inter-Tribal Repatriation Committee (WITRC). WITRC is a sub-committee of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, created in 1995, which consist of representation from the eleven federally recognized sovereign Nations and acts as a unified voice to repatriate and re-inter both identified and un-identified ancestral remains and works together to see that proper procedures are followed to prevent the desecration of burials.