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 inter-agency 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.
May 15, 2017
We’ve been hearing concerns from tribal members about a proposed Central Washington University archaeological field school this summer at Iceberg Point on Lopez Island. As you may know, Iceberg Point is in Samish traditional territory and was once a camas prairie. The camas root was a staple starch in pre-contact times and the prairie was maintained for generations. It is our hope to one day revive the prairie for tribal use.
There is some misinformation circulating about the field school and its physical impacts have been greatly exaggerated. Dr. Patrick McCutcheon has an extensive background in archaeology and anthropology. He has discussed this field school with me many times and has my full support. I intend to visit Iceberg Point during the field school and have arranged for a Samish tribal member and professional archaeologist to be out there once a week as a teacher’s assistant. Dr. McCutcheon is proposing 109 shovel tests and has calculated surface impacts to be 0.0032% of the total project area. I’ve sent Dr. McCutcheon the botanical survey of Iceberg Point that Dr. Nancy Turner conducted for Samish in 2014 and he was already aware of the sensitive plant species and environmental concerns for the area.
Dr. McCutcheon and San Juan Islands National Monument Manager Marcia deChadenèdes are hosting a public presentation at Woodman Hall, Lopez Village on Saturday, May 20 at 7:00 pm. Please contact me if you have further concerns you’d like to discuss.
Jackie Ferry, M.A., R.P.A
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Samish Indian Nation