Tribal survey project aims at “protecting the sacred”

A vehicle headed west on U.S. 2 crosses Moses Coulee, which parallels the Grand Coulee roughly 16 miles west of Coulee City. The Colville Confederated Tribes are working on a survey of culturally significant sites in the area. – Scott Hunter photo When you drive across it on highway 2, you may not think of Moses Coulee as anyone’s home, but once it was a place where people lived in villages, grew gardens and gathered what they needed to live.

Previously undocumented rock feature sites in the Moses Coulee region, significant to local tribes, can now be recorded with help from National Park Service dollars.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are one of 12 recipients of Tribal Heritage Grant money.

Congress appropriated funding for the program in 2020 through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, assisting with a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars, with the intent to mitigate the loss of a nonrenewable resource to benefit the preservation of other irreplaceable resources.

The 12 grants total $569,086.

“Through these competitive grants, the NPS is able to work with American Indian Tribes, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities to help preserve their cultural heritage and connect people with traditions of the past,” NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in an Aug. 16 press release.

The Colville Tribes are receiving $49,961 for a project titled “Protecting the Sacred: A Targeted Survey of Rock Feature Sites in the Moses Coulee […]

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