SWCA has maintained long-standing relationships with American Indian tribes, Island native peoples, and Alaskan corporations and communities. Our tribal services are based on the recognition of tribal communities as self-governing and self-determining entities.
We help tribes maintain sovereign management of their resources by collaborating with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and related agencies, helping tribes explore opportunities for project development, guiding tribes through the process of establishing Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs), and getting tribal members actively involved in the projects that occur on their land. Our culturally sensitive consultation services facilitate government-to-government communication, ensure compliance with relevant mandates, and effectively manage resources that are an integral part of tribal identity.
- Traditional Cultural Properties, Places and Landscapes
- Ethnographic/Ethnohistoric Overviews and Interviews
- Technical Assistance on Consultation
- NAGPRA Assistance
- Native Community Outreach
SWCA to Assist with Management Plan for Bears Ears National Monument
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) contracted SWCA to assist with preparing a Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement that will ensure future protection and restoration of the Bears Ears National Monument.
“We are excited by the opportunity to support the BLM and US Forest Service with the protection and restoration of the Bears Ears Monument and its objects. The entire landscape is of great historic, scientific, and spiritual significance and a place of belonging for the Indigenous Peoples from the Southwest,” said Chad Ricklefs, Principal Planning Team Lead out of SWCA’s Salt Lake City office.
A Plant By Any Other Name
Although the 2004 Power Fire in Northern California’s Eldorado National Forest occurred nearly two decades ago, recent grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation provided an opportunity to restore the area’s ecology and strengthen partnerships between Native American communities and the U.S. Forest Service.
Spurred by long-standing consultation between local Native American Tribes and the Eldorado National Forest, in late 2019 the nonprofit organization American Conservation Experience selected SWCA as the environmental agency to partner with local Native American Tribes and the Forest Service on a conservation project using this funding.
SWCA Gives Back
SWCA Gives Back Campaign Supports Native American Food Security
SWCA launched a companywide Gives Back Campaign called Funds for Food to support organizations fighting for food security throughout the United States. AmpleHarvest.org, the recipient of SWCA’s matching grant, recently reached out to share the nationwide rollout of AmpleHarvest.org in Indian Country – a new program specifically built to overcome some of the informational and logistical difficulties other hunger/food waste programs confront in many Tribal communities.
Gary Oppenheimer, Ample Harvest.org Founder and Executive Director, comments on SWCA’s support in relation to this program:
“The incredibly generous donation from SWCA will greatly accelerate the rate of growth of the program in Native American Reservations nationwide and will be hugely impactful this year and for years to come in reducing both food waste and hunger/malnutrition in these communities.”
Meet the ERG: Native & Indigenous People of SWCA with Wainani Traub
Meet Wainani Traub, a Staff Anthropologist out of our Honolulu, Hawaii office and co-lead of the Native & Indigenous People of SWCA Employee Resource Group (ERG) with Victoria Boyne. Wainani shares a glimpse into her story, passions for her heritage, hula, and anthropology, and goals for leading the group.
Meet the ERG: Native & Indigenous People of SWCA with Victoria Boyne
Meet Victoria Boyne, an Assistant Project Environmental Planner out of our Phoenix, Arizona office and co-lead of the Native & Indigenous People of SWCA Employee Resource Group (ERG) with Wainani Traub. Victoria discusses her values and shares her advice on turning knowledge and awareness into meaningful action and allyship.
A New Chorus: How the rise in tribal voices benefits people and projects
Contrary to what some may think – early engagement with tribal governments doesn’t weigh projects down with extra steps. Instead, it leads to a better path for the resolution of concerns, more efficient approvals, and fewer surprises once the project is underway. Tribal governments have always maintained their interest in the lands and resources important to the people they represent, their lives, spirits, and identity.
Following Their Footsteps: Routine Archaeological Investigations Reveal Glimpses of Ancient Lifeways
One summer, nearly 3,000 years ago, monsoon rains caused Rillito Creek in Tucson, Ariz., to overflow its banks and swamp a family’s fields at the confluence of the creek and the Santa Cruz River. As the water receded, a layer of sand was deposited, burying the footprints left by nine adults, two children, and a dog.
For native tribes in the area, the footprints were a missing piece to a puzzle that had been handed down by elders for generations. When members of the Tohono O’odham Nation visited the exposed trackways, several commented that this was the missing proof of all that they had been told – that their people have lived and farmed this basin for thousands of years.
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