St. Croix Tribal Historic Preservation
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. Under National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106, The Tribal Historic 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 be done on tribal land to identify 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.
The Tribal Historic Preservation Department is also responsible for the history of the St. Croix Tribe. We document the history, the oral traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation to ensure that they are not lost. We also help students work on tribal history projects for their schools or colleges. We host presentations on the St. Croix Tribe, to help the non-native communities better understand who we are.
Mission: To identify, interpret, preserve, and promote the culture and heritage of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin by connecting the past with the future
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.
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.
Mitchell La Sarge and Wanda McFaggen tell stories of St. Croix Ojibwe history on PBS Wisconsin
“Native people have started trusting their own thinking“
– Wilma Mankiller