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Home Working with Section 106 The Protection of Indian Sacred Sites
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) encourages agencies and the general public to fully understand the importance of consulting with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and respecting sacred sites. In the Section 106 context, the term “sacred sites” is sometimes used as shorthand for historic properties of religious and cultural significance to Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. As with other kinds of properties, sacred sites must be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in order to be considered in the Section 106 process.
In December 2012, the Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture and Energy and the ACHP (signatories) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding interagency coordination and collaboration for the protection of Indian sacred sites. In March 2013, the signatories issued an action plan for implementation of the MOU and in March 2014, issued a progress report. Both documents are available at the links below.
On November 6, 2015, after seeking tribal input through teleconferences, emails, and a face-to-face meeting on October 27, 2014, at the National Congress of American Indians meeting in Atlanta, the signatories issued the following documents:
The Protection of Indian Sacred Sites: General Information
This document is a full and comprehensive review of applicable laws and policies that impact the area of sacred sites. It was created with the assistance of subject matter experts from across the federal government and is a useful resource for federal officials.
Copies of the MOU, Action Plan, Progress Report, and other information may be accessed by clicking the links below:
The Forest Service also maintains a webpage devoted to the Sacred Sites MOU at:
Finally, the ACHP issued a brief explanation of the relationship between Executive Order 13007: Indian Sacred Sites and the Section 106 process:
November 12, 2015