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Archaeology of Indigenous North America: Laws and Ethics

Read about current laws and ethical practices

"Federally recognized Indian tribes are sovereign nations exercising government-to-government relations with the United States." - U.S. Bureau of Land Management 

Protocols for Historic Preservation

Per the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 

"Tribal consultation regarding public-land activities has 4 essential elements:

  • Identifying appropriate tribal governing bodies and individuals from whom to seek input.
  • Talking with appropriate tribal officials and/or individuals and asking for their views regarding land use proposals or other pending BLM actions that might affect traditional tribal activities, practices, or beliefs relating to particular locations on public lands.
  • Treating tribal information as a necessary factor in defining the range of acceptable public-land management options.
  • Creating and maintaining a permanent record to show how tribal information was obtained and used in the BLM's decision making process."

For more information, see the BLM's Tribal Relations Manual and  Tribal Relations Handbook.


State Protocol from the Bureau of Land Management:

For a complete list of state archaeology related information please visit our Archaeology of the United States guide. There you can navigate information on state protocols regarding Native American sites and other local guides.