Cultural resource management (CRM) has been an intricate part of our countries growth and development since the inception of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. While the roots of cultural resource stewardship in the United States goes back at least to the late 1700’s, much of the formal CRM was informed and enacted under modern archaeological theory. In particular archaeology has developed around the cultural history approach. Since this beginning CRM has changed in form and function to include more stakeholders, more theoretical approaches and with new methods. In the mid 1990’s the CRM field was expanded to include American Indian Tribes as central players in CRM, especially on reservations. And now Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs) have become an emerging force in the CRM world.
The Chippewa Cree Tribes of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation first received funding for the Chippewa Cree Tribal Historic Preservation Office (CCTHPO) in 2004, and has since been developing ways of recording and archiving archaeological and cultural sites. In addition, the CCTHPO has been has been working on establishing cultural heritage as a central component in endeavors at the Rock Boy’s Reservation from natural gas development and road construction to community outreach and K-12 curriculum. One of the goals of the CCTHPO is to transform CRM into a vehicle for heritage for the Chippewa and Cree people. CCTHPO has also been working with Stone Child College on Rocky Boy’s to invest in students who are interested in careers in cultural resources and expanding awareness of cultural issues on the reservation.