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Tribal Historic Preservation

The Samish Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) provides consultation services to public and private agencies, works with other tribes and museums to implement the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), and maintains and houses the archaeological collections. The THPO strives to build interagency relationships, protect and preserve Samish heritage and resources, and be a resource for local and tribal communities.

The Samish THPO actively participates in local and regional projects, conducts archaeological and project site visits, monitors archaeological sites, and conducts NAGPRA consultation. The THPO stays up-to-date on current happenings in Cultural Resource Management by attending regional conferences, meetings, and trainings and consults on projects at city, county, state, and federal levels.

Do you know what to do if you find an artifact?

It’s exciting to find an artifact and your first impulse will probably be to take it home with you. However, it’s against the law to knowingly disturb an archaeological site and this includes removing artifacts (RCW 27.53.060). Take a photo if you can and note its location so you can inform an archaeologist later. Artifacts are most useful to archaeologists when they’re in context (where they were originally placed/lost/dropped years ago). This is how we can try to determine its function and learn more about past lifeways. If you find an artifact on your own property, it’s legally yours and we still recommend leaving it in place and contacting an archaeologist or the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (https://dahp.wa.gov). 
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