Facebook logo
Support The Native History Association With AmazonSmile

National Historic Preservation Act


The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) is a federal law passed in 1966 that governs the historic preservation policy of the federal government. It also created the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), an independent agency of the United States government, that oversees federal preservation efforts. The NHPA and it's regulations are the most important tools for protecting historic sites affected by projects undertaken, funded, or regulated by the federal government.

Section 106 of the NHPA requires agencies to consider the impact of undertakings they carry out, fund, or regulate on historic properties and to give the ACHP the opportunity to comment on those undertakings. Regulations established pursuant to Section 106 specify how agencies are to fulfill these obligations.

Some of the requirements established by the Section 106 regulations, 36 CFR 800, are that federal agencies:

  • Make attempts to identify historic properties that might be impacted by their actions; these attempts include seeking input from knowledgeable sources
  • Make attempts to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any impacts their actions may have on historic properties
  • Give the public an opportunity to comment on projects affecting historic properties
  • Consult with interested parties on how to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts to historic properties
  • Consult with the appropriate federally-recognized Native American tribes when Native American historic properties are involved

These requirements are highly significant when it comes to preserving Native American historical sites. The requirement to identify historic properties makes it less probable that these resources will be unintentionally destroyed. This is particularly significant in Tennessee where we have large numbers of sites that are unrecorded or completely unknown. Involving the public, interested parties, and Native American tribes in the process provides the opportunity for these groups to assist federal agencies in fulfilling their preservation responsibilities and to provide independent oversight of these activities.

See the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Web site for more information on the National Historic Preservation Act.

Federal Laws Federal Agencies Tennessee Laws State Agencies
American Indian Religious Freedom Act Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Archaeology Statues Division of Archaeology
Archaeological Resources Protection Act National Park Service Burial Statues Historical Commission
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act U.S. Forest Service Sacred Sites Policy Review Heritage Conservation Trust Fund
National Historic Preservation Act


Preserving Native American Historic Sites