The ACHP’s Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) launched a Native Youth Initiative in 2015 that has two goals: 1) to introduce Native youth to historic preservation as a potential career choice, and 2) to provide Native youth an opportunity to voice concerns regarding the protection of sacred sites. Introducing historic preservation as a career choice responds directly to concerns expressed by Tribal Historic Preservation Officers about attracting tribal youth to work for or succeed them. It is a significant component of building the capacity of both Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organization to participate in the national preservation program both now and in the future.

The program is part of the ACHP’s Youth and Historic Preservation Initiative which strives to educate young people on the benefits preservation offers to local communities and the nation and encourage them to enjoy history in their own backyards and beyond. The ACHP maintains a program specific to Native youth in order to appropriately and respectfully address cultural sensitivities and to respect tribal sovereignty. Therefore, in November 2015, the ACHP adopted a strategic plan for its Native Youth program.

The program includes a variety of specific initiatives such as in-person events in which Native youth can interact with preservation professionals and participate in preservation activities; providing information through the ACHP’s Native youth Facebook page and on this page; and, historic preservation distance learning.


Outreach and Events News


The Preservation Indigenous - Native Youth Facebook page was established in March 2015 as a tool to share information. The page’s following continues to grow and is connecting Native youth (and those who work with youth) and tribes across the country with information and opportunities related to historic and cultural preservation developments, and career and educational opportunities.

Roundtables and Workshops

Several events in 2015 and 2016 provided opportunities for Native youth to learn about careers in preservation and engage in conversations about sacred sites and the field of historic preservation in general. ACHP members and staff had the opportunity to learn from Native youth!

An inaugural roundtable discussion took place in May 2015 with tribal youth at the annual Cultural Resource Protection Summit hosted by the Suquamish Tribe in Washington. Tribal youth from the region had an opportunity to interact with summit attendees during a lunch roundtable led by Suquamish Chairman Leonard Forsman, also a member of the ACHP.

At the White House Tribal Youth Gathering in July in Washington, D.C. in July 2015, 90 Native youth participated in the Cultural Preservation and Revitalization breakout session. ACHP Member Dorothy Lippert served on the federal panel for this session and heard firsthand about youth concerns about cultural preservation as well as their suggestions for improvements.

At the July 2015 United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Conference in Washington, D.C., ONAA hosted two workshops on sacred sites and had a booth at the event’s Career Expo. The workshops were co-hosted with federal partners in the interagency Sacred Sites Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). And, at the July 2016 UNITY Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ONAA again hosted two workshops and a booth at the event’s Career Expo.

And in late July 2015, a day-long gathering with tribal youth and adult historic preservation professionals (both tribal and non-tribal) from southern New England was co-hosted by the ACHP and the Mohegan Tribe. This event included a visit to an active field school site, roundtable lunch discussion, and visit to a Mohegan sacred site.

For more information, contact Rae Gould in at or 202-517-0196.

Giving Native youth a voice in matters of preservation sets them up for personal and professional growth.