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.
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.
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:
- Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1979 (pdf)
- Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (pdf)
- American Antiquities Act of 1906
- National Historic Preservation Act (pdf)
- Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (pdf)
Washington State Laws on Archaeology:
- Executive Order 05-05
- Guidance to EO 05-05 (pdf)
- FAQ EO 05-05 (pdf)
- Indian Graves and Records (RCW 27.44)
- Archaeological Sites and Resources (RCW 27.53)
- Archaeological Excavation and Removal Permit (WAC 25-48)
- Abandoned and Historic Cemeteries and Historic Graves (RCW 68.60)
- Registration of Historic Archaeological Resources on State-Owned Aquatic Lands (WAC 25-46)
- Aquatic Lands – In General (RCW 79.90.565)
- Archaeological Site Public Disclosure Exemption (RCW 42.56.300)
- Discovery of Human Remains (RCW 27.44)
- Guidance to RCW 27.44 (pdf)