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Tribes Use Interior Department Grants For Cultural Preservation, Archaeological Work


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.

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.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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