Protecting and Preserving areas of importance to the Wanapum People

Similar to one of the major aspects of the Wanapum Heritage Center – the protection and preservation of both physical artifacts and Wanapum culture, the Wanapum River Patrol is focused on these same efforts on the landscape within the Wanapum’s traditional areas. The Wanapum River Patrol utilizes boats and four-wheel drive vehicles to patrol these areas year-round.

Specialized Training

The Wanapum River Patrol leverages specialized training, such as the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and Crime Scene Investigation Training, to assist law enforcement agencies and regulatory entities in the protection of archaeological resources. The training teaches the Patrol how to spot looters and looting activity. The Wanapum River Patrol learns how to study and document an ARPA crime in progress, and how to properly investigate the scene to achieve the best possible outcomes. The Wanapum River Patrol is also trained on the various laws that apply to the situations they encounter and how they can utilize them in the interest of protecting the resources.

Public Education

As part of the protection and preservation goals of the Wanapum River Patrol, education of the public plays a large role in the Patrol’s success. They strive to inform those they encounter regarding the applicable laws and agency policies that protect artifacts and locations of cultural importance. The Wanapum River Patrol also shares the Wanapum perspective on the value of preserving these areas for the perpetuation of their culture and the education of all concerning the history of this region.

The prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, isolated artifacts, archaeological districts, structures, engineering features, landscapes and traditional cultural properties are all protected by state and federal laws. The Wanapum take the protection of these sites and artifacts very seriously. 
In Washington, archaeological sites and Native American graves are protected from known disturbance by a variety of state and federal laws. Federal law applies to all federal and Native American lands and Washington State law applies to all other lands. The following is a list of some of the existing applicable laws:

Selected Federal Laws on Archaeology:

Washington State Laws on Archaeology:

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