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About Us

Q: What is a THPO?
A.    Tribal Historic Preservation Offices are officially designated by a federally-recognized Indian tribe to direct a program approved by the National Park Service and the THPO must have assumed some or all of the functions of State Historic Preservation Officers on Tribal lands.  This program was made possible by the provisions of Section 101(d)(2) of the National Historic Preservation Act. 

Q: I am a Tribal Member (or Tribal Department).  How do I submit a project for archaeological review?
A.    Please direct your web browser to http://stofthpo/ (You will need to be inside the Tribe’s network)

Q: I am a student and would like to do an internship at the THPO, is this possible?
A.    Yes, the THPO has an exciting internship program.  Please visit our website’s Get Involved page for more information.

Q: What is archaeology?
A.    Archaeology is the study of past cultures and ways of life based upon what people left behind.  Archaeology combines both field excavation and laboratory analysis. To find out more information on how the Seminole Tribe of Florida does archaeology visit the Tribal Archaeology page.

Q: What is a SCS or TCP?
A.    An SCS is a Seminole cultural site associated with the cultural practices or beliefs of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, both which are deeply rooted in the Tribe's history and cultural identity.  A TCP, or traditional cultural property, is the general term used throughout Indian country to identify similar types of sites.

Q. What Federal Laws are most important for historic preservation?
A.    The Antiquities Act of 1906- This was officially the first legislation in the United States aimed at preserving the America’s historic sites on federal land.  The Act prompted the survey and protection of historic sites throughout the country, and imposed stiff penalties for destroying sites owned by the federal government.

The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966- The NHPA changed the face of preservation in American society.  The NHPA established the National Register of Historic Places, State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Section 106 review process.  The Act was amended in 1992 to set up Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, granting them the same roles and responsibilities of SHPOs.

Q: What Federal legislation protects the interest of preserving Native American heritage?
A.    The American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) of 1978- This law protects the inherent right of Native American tribes to preserve and practice their religious traditions. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) of 1979 defines archaeological resources as “any material remains of past human life or activities that are of archaeological interest” and requires permits before excavating and removing any of these resources on public and tribal lands.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990 set up a process for museums and federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items (human remains, funerary items, sacred items, or objects of cultural patrimony) back to the lineal descendants or associated tribal organization.

Q: What is the Seminole Site File?
A.    The Seminole Site File (SSF) is the repository for all cultural resource information
(historical, archaeological, and architectural) pertinent to the Reservation lands held by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The generation of new records and the curation of existing documents by the Tribe are significant because it provides the Tribe the ability to manage its cultural resources in an appropriate manner. The results of this process have important direct implications for community planning, permitting, cultural heritage, education, and career opportunities for tribal members.

Q: What is the National Register of Historic Places?
A.    The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), created under the NHPA of 1966, is the official federal inventory of the nation’s recognized historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects.

Q: What is the Tribal Register of Historic Places?
A.    The top tier of the Seminole Site File is called the Tribal Register of Historic Places
(TRHP). The TRHP mirrors the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in many ways and was developed so that exceptionally significant Seminole sites that do not meet the NRHP’s criteria will still be preserved. All sites considered for the TRHP must already be documented within the Seminole Site File prior to being nominated. Nominations of properties to the register can be made by anyone and will be reviewed for significance by the TRHP Committee and by tribal representatives and officials.


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