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BIA Law Enforcement Arm Announces Tribal Cultural Heritage Protection Services

June 12, 2018

Law Enforcement Officer Cultural Protection Training Offered in June and August – First Training Starts Monday, June 11

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (BIA-OJS) has scheduled cultural protection trainings on June 11-15, 2018, at the Tesuque Pueblo in NM and from August 6-10, 2018, in Albuquerque, NM.

This training program entitled, the “Archaeological Resources Protection Training Program,” will be administered by the United States Indian Police Academy. It is available to all BIA and tribal law enforcement officers. This training program was developed with the technical support of several tribes that are actively engaged in tribal cultural heritage investigations.

You may apply for the trainings by contacting Sasha Ward at 575.746.5641 or sasha.ward@bia.gov.

BIA-OJS Establishes Cultural Resources Unit

BIA-OJS is working to develop mechanisms that would aid in the protection and repatriation of tribal cultural heritage. This includes establishing a Cultural Resources Unit (CRU) to assist and lead investigations into tribal cultural heritage related crimes.

Since 2017, the BIA Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Program has actively worked with tribes regarding items of tribal cultural heritage being sold illegally through auction sites, antiquities shows, internet business sales, and other venues.

In response, the BIA established its CRU to lead investigations into ARPA, NAGPRA, and related tribal cultural heritage crimes across Indian Country.

Special Agent Frank Chavez, located in Albuquerque, NM, is taking the lead on the Cultural Resources Unit and will be Indian Country’s main point of contact for tribal cultural heritage issues.

To seek assistance, you may contact Special Agent Chavez directly at 505.228.8053 orfranklin.chavez@bia.gov. You may also contact your District Office or the Office of Justice Services Headquarters Office in Washington, DC.

NCAI Contact Info: Derrick Beetso, Senior Staff Attorneydbeetso@ncai.org

Last modified: June 12, 2018