Overview of Traditional Cultural Properties in Relation to the NHPA and Bulletin 38

Author(s): Michael Spears; Saul Hedquist

Year: 2018


The publication of National Register Bulletin 38 in 1990 highlighted the importance of living communities to historic preservation by establishing traditional cultural properties as places eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (Register). While the concept of traditionally important places was not new in 1990, locations important to living communities had received varied, and often minimal, consideration under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). By specifying how traditional cultural properties meet the eligibility criteria for inclusion in the Register, Bulletin 38 provides important guidance for documenting how places are important to living communities. Perhaps most importantly, the identification and consideration of traditional cultural properties requires meaningful consultation and collaboration between federal agencies and traditional communities. This approach heralded changes in the 1992 amendment of the NHPA that require federal agencies to consult with Indian tribes during Section 106 undertakings, and provide an expanded role to ethnography and the ethnographer in historic preservation.

Cite this Record

Overview of Traditional Cultural Properties in Relation to the NHPA and Bulletin 38. Michael Spears, Saul Hedquist. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443666)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20019