January 20, 2023

Resource List: Preserving Native American Places

In 2021 the United States Department of the Interior swore in Deb Haaland as the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet Secretary. A member of the Pueblo of Laguna and a 35th-generation New Mexican, Secretary Haaland has already been, through her leadership, a force for good in the protection of Native American land and rights. One of her key priorities as Secretary of the Interior is “Strengthening Indian Country,” which includes a comprehensive review of the “troubled legacy of federal boarding schools.”

As preservationists, it is important to recognize the long heritage and lived experience of Native Americans. From working to protect sacred lands, to recognizing the value of intangible heritage, there are a variety of different ways in which the work of preservation can support efforts to protect Native culture and heritage.

photo by: Lusha Evans

View of Grand Gulch at Bears Ears. | Credit: Lusha Evans

In the other resource lists—for Latine, LGBTQ+, APIA, and Black Histories—I have put together, I emphasize the need to approach the history of these communities with humility, recognizing that if we are not of the community that we have much to learn. The same is the case with Native communities. While we often talk about Native American Heritage collectively, that heritage is comprised of many different histories and traditions and it is important to consider that in your preservation work.

In that spirit, the list below is not comprehensive. Rather it is a list of places to look to for information, guidance, and more.

This list was produced in consultation with the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.

The Power of Place: Traditional Cultural Places in the 21st Century

Donate Today to Help Save the Places Where Our History Happened.

Donate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation today and you'll help preserve places that tell our stories, reflect our culture, and shape our shared American experience.

While her day job is the associate director of content at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Priya spends other waking moments musing, writing, and learning about how the public engages and embraces history.

We believe all Americans deserve to see their history in the places that surround us. As a nation, we have work to do to fill in the gaps of our cultural heritage.

Let's Get to Work