Office of Historic Preservation


Pawnee Nation Historic Preservation Office

The goal and objective of the Pawnee Nation Historic Preservation Office is to assist in the preservation of the culture and history of the Pawnee Nation and to share that knowledge with the Pawnee people. The Pawnee Nation Historic Preservation Office fulfills this goal through the Section 106 process, monitoring sites integral to the cultural landscape of the Pawnee Nation, working with cultural institutions on understanding and interpreting Pawnee culture, and educating the Pawnee people on their long and unique cultural history. The Pawnee Nation Office of Historic Preservation also identifies, protects and preserves archaeological and historic Pawnee sites within the boundaries of the original Pawnee Indian Reservation and across the Pawnee cultural landscape.  This cultural landscape includes the geography of the current states of Nebraska, Kansas, parts of Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, and Texas.  This cultural landscape includes archaeological sites, sacred/religious sites, rivers/streams, petroglyphs, burial grounds, resource harvesting areas, trails, and battlefields.

What is Section 106?  
Section 106 refers to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-665).  Section 106 of the NHPA requires that each federal agency identify and assess the effects its actions may have on historic buildings. Under Section 106, each federal agency must consider public views and concerns about historic preservation issues when making final project decisions.  This was in response to post World War II growth and urban renewal which brought about nationwide adverse effects to and destruction of historic properties.  In 1992 the National Historic Preservation Act was amended to include a role for indigenous people in the preservation program and offered better protection to places of cultural significance to those people.  This amendment allowed for the creation of Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) programs and a funding mechanism through the Historic Preservation Fund managed by the National Park Service. 
36CFR800 Protection of Historic Properties governs the Section 106 process and outlines how Federal agencies are to consult with THPO’s, identify historic properties, determine whether and how such properties may be affected, and resolve adverse effects.
What is a Traditional Cultural Property?  
A Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) is a property that is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) based on its associations with the cultural practices, traditions, beliefs, lifeways, arts, crafts, or social institutions of a living community. TCPs are rooted in a traditional community’s history and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community.
TCPs are best identified by consulting directly with members of a traditional community. Members often have a special perspective on properties that play important roles in their historically rooted beliefs, customs, and practices. While certain properties may be documented in the historic literature or through previous ethnographic or archeological studies, information on other properties may have only been passed down through generations by oral history or practice. For Indian tribes and Native Hawaiians, knowledge of TCP locations may reside with tribal elders or traditional practitioners who may retain specific confidential information regarding the location of properties and the special qualities associated with them. Sensitivity to these issues may be necessary during any identification and documentation process. (
What is a Traditional Cultural Landscape (TCL)? 
Archaeological sites burial grounds and traditional use areas are imbued with special meaning to past and present indigenous communities.  For these places, this connection is important for and often inseparable from, a community’s cultural identity.  Connection to place is a nearly universal concept held by indigenous groups throughout the United States and its territories and is embodied in the tribal cultural landscape definition:  A Traditional Cultural Landscape is any place in which a relationship, past or present, exists between a spatial area, resource, and an associated group of indigenous people whose cultural practices, beliefs, or identity connects them to that place. (
Section 106
Consultation with Pawnee Nation is required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), and 36 CFR Part 800.
All Section 106 submission are reviewed in the order in which they are received.
Please Do Not send incomplete packets of information.  If incomplete packets are received, they will be placed in the “ON-HOLD” file and reviewed when all other complete packets are processed and reviewed.
FCC Tower Construction Network System Section 106 Review
Effective September 29, 2015, the Pawnee Nation Office of Historic Preservation implemented a new Research Fee schedule for all new Section 106 consultations and undisturbed collocated sites. Consultation with Pawnee Nation is required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), and 36 CFR Part 800. 
Please be advised that the Pawnee Nation Office of Historic Preservation requires the following before research can begin on your request: 
  • $1,500 Non-Refundable Research Service Fee for all new consultations 
  • $750 Non-Refundable Research Service Fee for all collocations on previously consulted cell towers including existing sites with no expansion or height increases 
  • $250 Non-Refundable Research Service Fee for previously consulted projects that have been altered or disturbed from original plans, submitted to and consulted, on by this office
These fees are in addition to the paperwork normally required for Section 106 review

The  Pawnee Nation Historic Preservation Office requires the following before research can begin on your request:

  1. One-page summary of the project which includes any previously recorded archeological sites within a one-mile radius of the proposed project

  2. Archaeological assessment containing the following:

    • Background of the project

    • Mapped soil types within the project area/s

    • A cultural history of the project area/s

    • A search of literature and documents related to the project utilizing the National Register of Historic Places, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the state archeological survey

    • Description of field conditions

    • Methods used for the field survey

    • Results of field survey

    • summary of findings and recommendation

    • Shovel testing is required to determine site boundaries. 

      • Shovel tests should measure 40cm in diameter and be excavated to sterile soil or at least 80 cm below the ground surface, whichever is encountered first. Each shovel test should be excavated in no greater than 10 cm levels to ensure that any artifacts encountered can be plotted by depth. All shovel test fill should be screened through 6.35 mm wire mesh screen. Sites, if encountered, should be recorded using a Trimble GPS unit and plotted on 7.5 minute USGS topographic map. 
      • Shovel tests should extend in each cardinal direction, every 5 meters from the point of artifact discovery, until two negative shovel tests are sequentially excavated in each direction. 
  3. Photos of the project area/s

  4. Satellite photo of the project site/s

  5. A 7.5-minute USGS topographical map/s specifying the Area/s of Potential Effect (APE)

  6. Please include GPS coordinates as well as a legal land description of the project site.


Pawnee Nation Historic Preservation Office

Matt Reed, Historic Preservation Officer 
PO Box 470
657 Harrison Street
Pawnee, Oklahoma 74058
(918) 762-2180
(918) 762-3662 fax